Unlike its rivals, Look’s 765 Optimum doesn’t rely on squishy suspension or gizmos to deliver its comfort, instead focusing on good ol’ frame flex.
The 765 Optimum is an endurance road bike with clearance for 34mm tyres, with the French brand saying the bike is ideal for long-distance riding in comfort. There are mudguard mounts and the beefy tyre clearance means the bike should be capable on rougher surfaces.
Although the geometry is endurance bike in feel, Look hasn’t forgotten its racing roots. It has a slightly longer reach compared to its competition and there are some neat aero touches.
The 765 Optimum I’ll be testing over the next 12 months costs £4,690 / €4,690 / $5,500 and is specced with a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset.
The bike is available in five different models, starting at €3,790 for a Shimano Ultegra R8000 build and topping out at £6,290 / $7,300 / €6,290 for a Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8100 groupset and own-branded carbon wheels.
Look has also released a 765 Optimum+ with an even larger clearance for 42mm tyres and geometry that’s further relaxed.
Look 765 Optimum long-term review update one
I’ve been getting to know the Look 765 Optimum more intimately since my initial review and have now clocked up just over 1,000 miles on the endurance road bike.
A large chunk of those miles were completed in one ride, the Paddington Express audax, which is 408km (253 miles) long.
After a surprisingly enjoyable overnight 308km audax last November, I’ve been on the hunt for another challenge to put the Look to the endurance test and this even longer audax seemed like the perfect opportunity.
All aboard the Paddington Express
The Paddington Express audax starts in Bristol and heads to London Paddington station through towns and villages north of the M4 motorway. The audax then heads back to Bristol but takes a southerly route.
With 3,400m of total elevation, it’s relatively flat for the imposing distance.
The audax started at 3pm and runs overnight. It’s been designed this way because it’s a qualifying event for Paris-Brest-Paris – a 1,200km ride held every four years where entrants must complete an approved 200, 300, 400 and 600km audax in the preceding months. This format allows prospective riders to test themselves at riding overnight.
Riding overnight didn’t phase me. The 3pm start was actually preferable to the 10:30pm start of my previous audax, which I found difficult to prepare for in terms of sleep.
Overall, the ride generally went much better than expected. I managed to get into a well-coordinated group after 20km and we averaged 17mph for the first 250km.
That average speed swiftly dropped as my legs started to complain at around 330km. Although I began