We were impressed with the Look when we first heard about it. It’s designed for enthusiasts who are looking for a lightweight carbon bike that is built to allow you to improve and sneak into the racing set, should you choose. The attraction for buyers is that for under three thousand dollars, you can ride one of the pro peloton’s most storied brands. The question we all had was, could the 555 hold up to the Look’s name at that price point? Would the 555 have that distinct and famous feel that the 586 spreads around the globe?
|The Look 555 is a great choice for $3,000.|
The 555 is built using Look’s tube-to-tube construction. The frame features an oversized design connecting to an oversized bottom bracket. The rear triangle features are designed to emphasize vertical compliance, and up front is Look’s popular HSC4 fork to handle stability and steering. Each section of the frame illustrates that Look was going for comfort and stability with the 555 and the use of tube-to-tube construction allowed them to avoid the increased cost of more expensive (lugs or monocoque) methods. That being said, our XL 555 had a pro-look and weighed in at a respectable 17.4 pounds.
The parts package on the 555 is impressive. Shimano’s solid Ultegra SL takes care of the controls and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels and Hutchinson Top Speed tires handle the pavement. A Ritchey Carbon Pro seatpost with Selle San Marco Ponza K saddle and a Ritchey Comp stem and bar combo, finish off the cockpit. A really nice touch is a set of Look Keo Sprint pedals. We have always liked Look Keo pedals and their choice to offer a ‘complete’ bike in a climate of cost cutting gives Look lots of points in the customer satisfaction arena. Even if you have your favorite pedals, an extra set of Look Keos can’t hurt.
|The front end of the 555 was stable and responsive.|
Our XL Look 555 features a 58-centimeter top tube, a 73-degree head tube, and a 73.75-degree seat tube and 175 millimeter Shimano Ultegra cranks. The 555 comes in four sizes: small, medium, large and XL (with a real-world sizing that is pretty close to 51, 53, 55 and 57 centimeters) with slightly longer top tubes.
We spent a lot of time on the 555. At first it didn’t jump out at us as a Look frame usually does. The feel was solid, comfortable, nimble and adept, but it wasn’t until we put more miles on the 555 that we began to understand its best qualities. The Look 555 is a very comfortable bike that keeps you riding for miles and miles and almost gets better as the day goes on. It is a solid handler and descender, not an innate climber, but fine on long hills and capable on rollers, and solid in a frenetic sprint situation.
The Look 555 does exactly what Look intended it to do and does so with an attitude-inspiring design, construction and heritage. There was some grumbling in the RBA offices when this feature was suggested. Lower-end bikes from the most famous builders in the world? Why not get their most expensive models to review? That’s what people want to see. Well, the Look 555 proves our point and justifies this feature. For under $3000 you can get the benefit, testing, history and panache of a Look bicycle that holds true to its revered name.
|The 555 utilizes tube-to-tube construction.|
Price: $2,999 ($1,499 frame, fork and headset)
Weight: 17.4 pounds