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Look KG381i & KG361 Frames(31 posts)

Look KG381i & KG361 FramesTom F
Mar 5, 2002 8:04 PM
Looking into buying a Look frame, most likely the KG361 because it's cheeper then the 381i. However I am a little worried that it might be to soft side to side. Can anybody tell me how they ride and how much difference a fork makes. I am thinking I could upgrade the fork if a stiffer fork would make a big difference. I would order the 51cm frame and my riding is a lot of climbing and a few races here and there.

Thanks, Tom
re: Look KG381i & KG361 FramesCT1
Mar 5, 2002 9:44 PM
I've got a KG281 in size 52 and I just built a KG381i in size 57 for my brother.

The 381i is MUCH beefier in the front triangle and fork. That being said, in your size (51cm) the 361 should be plenty stiff. I know my 52cm is plenty stiff and the round tubes on the 361 shouldn't be much different. Keep in mind the front triangle on the 51cm frame is VERY small!!! I haven't used the alloy steerer tubed fork that comes on the 361 (LDS) but I would expect it to be stiffer than my HSC2.

Unless you're an Ulrich in a tiny body I'd vote for the 361 and use the "extra" money on some Ksyerium SL's. :)

BTW: where are you getting the 51cm 361??? I've been looking for this very same frame for a friend.

ride on
re: Look KG381i & KG361 FramesClue
May 15, 2002 8:52 AM
Another question...would you buy a frame overseas? Parker in England sells the 381i with fork for $1400 US....but if it has a problem...that might be a concern
re: Look KG381i & KG361 FramesPaul
Mar 6, 2002 4:17 AM
I have a 386 which is (advertised) 15% stiffer then the 281 which the 381i is based on. My 386 has great acceleration, and is very stiff. Based on the fact that there is only a 15% difference between the 281 and the 386, and is used by 3 or 4 pro teams, I wouldn't hesitate buying the 381i. Can you test ride one? I would also consider the 386, a multi-purpose bike. More aero then the 381i, and used by the pros in time trials.
re: Look KG381i & KG361 FramesCT1
Mar 6, 2002 7:36 AM
Can you site a reputable reference to you 15% stiffer comment?? That sounds like total BS to me.

I've pawed over all of the LOOK frames and IMHO NONE are anywhere close to the 381i in overal technology and hi-zoot appeal. From the new massive fork (ALL other LOOK forks are noodles) to the trick externally butted main tubes..... the whole package is just right-on. If you're looking for the ultimate road race frame, this is it!

That being said, most or all of this technology is wasted on a 51cm frame. At that size there won't be any (or VER-VERYY minimal) difference in stiffness and ride quality between any of the LOOK frames. That's one of the minor benefits of using small frames.

No, that was how the Look ad stated it, mabe someone else mightPaul
Mar 6, 2002 8:59 AM
remember seeing it also. A friend brought the Look ad over to where I work, and it stated 15% stiffer. It makes sense in that it is designed for time trials, and those bikes are stiffer by design. I mean it has to be, any bike with big aero tubes will be stiffer if made from same material than a smaller tube. I can't say if Look is full of BS or not, just what the ad stated. Mavic lies about the weight of last years Ksyriums, so maybe it's a French tradition.

Also, Look claims on the 281(don't know about the 381i), that each tube is hand rolled for each frame size, thus maintaining frame characterics for different sizes. My 386 is very stiff, seems to be more stiffer than my CAAD4. The first t thing I noticed on my first ride was the acceleration. The Wishbone stay design gives this effect.

I agree, the 381i seems to be one hell of a bike, with the hsc4, it must be a joy to ride.
what is Look's warranty plicy on their carbon frames?Uphillbattle
Mar 6, 2002 11:45 AM
Is their product durable or is it a true racing only disposable bike meant to last a coupole seasons. have any of you guys ridden both the Looks and the trek OCLV's and if so, can you compare the rides versus each other?
what is Look's warranty plicy on their carbon frames?CT1
Mar 6, 2002 2:50 PM
LOOKS come with a 3 year warrentee.

I've test riden a 5200 OCLV and didn't like it at all. VERY dead feel. :( Maybe that isn't a big deal to you but I couldn't stand it. However, someone recently posted a review of a 5900 and he said it was much livelier than the older OCLV's. ???

My 281 is VERY lively. Almost harsh by comparison to my CT1. go figure!

ouch.... don't take this the wrong way....... ;)CT1
Mar 6, 2002 3:17 PM
Don't know the history behind this pic but found it during a search for the KG241. I guess all frames have a limit, regardless of how stiff they are. :(

FWIW: I don't put much stock in the LOOK's claim re the individually spec'd tubeset for each framesize. From comparing personal experiences, my 52cm 281 seems to ride significantly rougher than my brothers recently departed 56cm 281. However, I sort of like the rough and touble feel of the 281 as it's not dead like some other carbon frames I've tried.

Got to say that my CT1 is just as stiff (if not more so) than my 281 and significantly smoother. hmmmmmmmmm :)

ride on
If ti is so great, why are they putting carbon stays/down tubesPaul
Mar 7, 2002 4:39 AM
on them? Maybe the wheel base on your CT1 is longer, thus giving a better ride. It seems carbon is now the trendy material, a lot of bike manufactures putting thme on all types of frames. I rode with a guy that was coming back from his first long ride on a new CT1. He had a steel Colnago before the CT1. He said that the CT1 was beating him up. I couldn't believe it, as i was considering the CT1 at the time. His model didn't have the B-stays, but I figure it shouldn't make that much of a differnce in ride. It just goes to show that we all like/dislike a certain bike for whatever reason.
re: Look KG381i & KG361 FramesClue
May 15, 2002 8:35 AM

I'm considering a 54cm 381i..but others tell me to look at the Calfee Tetra or appear to know what you are talking about thus my inquiry...additionally not a fan of the Look Ergo post and checking on others...what do you have and what wheels do you ride?

You can still get good deals on the KG241Dave Hickey
Mar 6, 2002 2:05 PM
This is my 241. I weights within 200 grams of the 281/381
and I paid $520.00 for frame and fork
You can still get good deals on the KG241CT1
Mar 6, 2002 2:46 PM
Do you know where a 51cm can be had for that price???? I've looked and can't seem to find one.

You can still get good deals on the KG241Dave Hickey
Mar 7, 2002 4:46 AM
The guy on ebay from the UK(biz4bikes?) had them last week. I think he had the Kelme team color.
You can still get good deals on the KG241CT1
Mar 7, 2002 8:56 PM
The ebay link seems to be gone and I can't find any reference to biz4bikes.

You can still get good deals on the KG241S-U-B
Mar 8, 2002 1:40 AM
John G
email Jonathan at and tell him what you are looking for. I told him I was looking for a 361 with ultegra for 1800 bucks and he said ok. He told me he could get me a 51 cm kg 361, but that it would take about a month. I ended up getting a great deal on a lemond zurich, this bike was for my wife. You can also just check the Bitz4bike site in a few days, his frames are usually off for 2 or 3 days, then he will have full inventory again. Seems nobody has 51cm in stock except excelsports, but they want over a $1100 for it. I'm buying the 381 in about 2 months myself.
you'll LOVE the 381CT1
Mar 8, 2002 8:32 PM
I just built a 381i for my brother and that frame is sooooooo awesome!!! Words can't describe how bitchen that frame is.

good luck
you'll LOVE the 381Clue
May 15, 2002 8:43 AM
What seat post and wheelset did you use...curious where you got it for I am looking for one right now

You can still get good deals on the KG241Dave Hickey
Mar 8, 2002 3:43 AM
Here is a link for a carbon seatpost. This is the same guy.
thanks for the link........ nmCT1
Mar 8, 2002 8:34 PM
follow up ..... no response from the guy! :(CT1
Mar 10, 2002 9:23 AM
Emailed him two days ago and no response.

Look vs. Trek, warranty, tube manufacture.Ian
Mar 8, 2002 6:32 AM
I have owned a Trek 5200, KG281 and KG361, currently waiting on a KG381i.

The Trek has a slightly more detached feel to it. I always liked to compare it to riding on a sheet of glass, very smooth. But you lose some of the road feel, which many people do not like. The KG bikes still ride nicely, but you fell more attached to the road. This was not a big deal to me, I didn't dislike the ride of the Trek like others do.

The KG281 vs. the KG361, they ride pretty close. The 1" carbon steerer on the 281 flexed just a little more then the 1" steel steerer on the 361. I didn't notice it while riding, just if I stood over the bike and twisted the bars. I think the rear of the 281 was a little more stiff, but it is hard to say if it actually was or it was just in my head.

The 281 and 381i tubes are all made by hand, for each given bike size. Take a look at those bikes, the tubes are butted. You can't just roll up a bunch of tubes and cut them to length. So, a 51cm should ride very close to a 59cm.

I think someone else already posted, but the warranty is 3 years.

The KG361 can be ordered by just about any LBS. Veltec (Look's US distributer) has 51cm frames in stock.

should a person be worried about only a 3 yr warranty?bobobo
Mar 9, 2002 3:02 PM
Doesn't seem like much of a warranty. What weight would a size 56/57 KG381i be roughly?
How much does a 5' 10" person weigh??? ......... ;)CT1
Mar 9, 2002 3:17 PM
Seriously, that's an impossible question to answer without know what group and build kit you're going to use.

The frame/fork/HS is around 1.8Kg for these frames. Light enough to build a reliable 16.5# if you've got enough money.

As far as warranties go.... I could give a RA about em. The LOOK frames are so well make that the only way they'll fail is from abuse/crash.

ride on
Mar 10, 2002 11:30 AM
My LBS last year had to return two Look frames to LookUSA for non crash frame failures. One was a KG281 and one was a KG386. Both had the same exact problem, cracking of the bottom bracket junction on the chainstay side. The bike shop determined that neither was cracking of just the paint or clearcoat but actual frame damage. I bet those two riders gave a rats ass about a warranty??????
Mar 10, 2002 2:20 PM
That is surprising that two frames went through the same LBS. But, bike frames will fail on occasion, whether it is Look or any other manufacturer.

Is a lifetime warranty better than a three year warranty? Sure.

Will I buy a bike I like less with a lifetime warranty over a bike I like more with a three year warranty? No.

My KG281 was built with D/A and Velomax wheels and weighed 17lbs. If I had switched out the Ultegra bottom bracket for D/A, went with lightweight tubes and tires and a lighter seat I could have been down to 16.3 lbs pretty quick. But since I don't race, I value that extra bit of reliability over that small amount of weight.

My new KG381i should come in about the same, maybe a tad lighter. I am going use the FSA team carbon cranks so that should save a little weight.
Warranty and your Look 381iClue
May 15, 2002 8:47 AM

Have you got your 381i yet? if so, how's it ride? What wheelset and seat post to you get? I'm looking at getting one soon and wanted to confirm my choice...Calfee is up there as an option
You worry too much..........CT1
Mar 10, 2002 5:29 PM
Get a frame (doesn't really matter which one), but make sure it has a lifetime waranty.

You worry too much..........bobobo
Mar 10, 2002 7:51 PM
I never realized I was worried, is mind reading one of your skills? Seemed like I asked a legit question based upon what I saw at my lbs. Given the fact I myself have sent multiple e-mails to LookUSA asking them for their warranty policy and they have never responded to a single one it doesn't seem to me like customer service is a top priority of theirs either. At least I was able to find out their warranty policy in this forum. :-)
Most will disagree...Ian
Mar 11, 2002 5:49 AM
... with your opinion of LookUSA, actually Veltec Sports. From comments I have read on other posts and my experience, their customer service is first rate.
Ditto on Veltec Sports..... great guys!!! :) .... nmCT1
Mar 11, 2002 7:34 AM