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Look 381i_ncredible ( kinda long gush )(10 posts)

Look 381i_ncredible ( kinda long gush )flying
Sep 19, 2002 9:29 PM
Usually I would wait longer to say what I think of a new bike but.........
Man-O-Man I love this 381i !
It has been just under 2 weeks now & a lil over 200 miles.
I have 4 new personal bests on different rides. Yes I know enthusiasm helps but this is more. I have ridden Italian steel for 13 years & I was a little worried of how French Carbon would feel.

All I can say is If steel was real this carbon is real comfy!

I know this will sound odd but I don't know any other way to describe it. This bike feels vertically compliant & laterally stiff.
Out of the saddle it is the most responsive I have ridden. In the saddle it is the most comfy I have ridden.At the bottom of a stroke it almost feels cushioned. On steep climbs while seated it transfers the power super efficiently & while standing it feels quite effortless. Surprising because the frame is only 100 grams lighter than my MXL. Although the fork is 200 grams lighter than my Flash on the MXL. So 3/4 lb total but this is not about weight. This bikes laid back geometry just does *it* for me. On the longer 50+ mile rides I am spending far more time in the drops & powering along the flats seemingly easier. I am use to the Italian 74/74 geometry & I am never going back. This 72/72.5 just feels so much better to me.

Quality of construction is very good. The paint is good & the cutaway 381 Team on the seat tube is cool. Peering into the carbon is like 3D. About the only thing I can say I have a niggle about is the cable adjusters near the head tube. I am not able to turn them by fingers alone. I will remove them in a week or so & try cleaning the paint out of the threads. Not a big deal since once I had adjusted the cables I don't need to re-adjust. But still the day will come that I need to turn it on a ride so....

Other than that all I can say is if you have thought about one & wondered .....I would give it a try they are very nice!
Lastly Mike & Adrian are great to buy from at Total Cycling. Great price & service. When I wrote Mike to say how much I loved it he said.... Adrian is also building a 381i Kelme for himself & Mike rides a 281 & will most likely be also building a 381i too.
This is a good endorsement considering they also sell Colnago & DeRosa ;-)

Sorry for the long gush but i wanted to pass it along to anyone wondering about the Looks.
Gotta agree . . .Look381i
Sep 20, 2002 2:48 AM
I kept my Italian steel for my trainer, but I don't expect it to see much of the road any more.

Were you surprised at how much better the Kelme team looks in person? Before I bought mine, I had only seen it in photos. The blue bits had always looked muddy black.

How did you build it up?
Gotta agree . . .filtersweep
Sep 20, 2002 4:17 AM
I think Looks are one of the more underrated frames, if not "overlooked" frames. I agree that you really need to see them in person to appreciate the unusually shaped tubes, and in my case, the nude carbon finish (that usually looks black in a web photo- while Look dubiously calls it "barbecue" ?). They rather have an austere industrial design that appeals to me... almost a retro futuristic quality.

I have a 281, which is the same frame with slightly different lugging and without the integrated headset- I purchased it from my LBS at an incredible price. I think Looks odd numbering scheme must really affect close-out pricing... a 381 sounds like an upgraded model from a 281 (like they are not even related), rather than a different model year. I don't even think Look ever mentions model year... unlike a Trek, for example...

The ride itself is what did it for me- it seems to have a unique feel for a carbon frame. I've never been one to project anthropomorphic characteristics upon my bike... but I swear the ride and geometry were built especially for me ;)
Has anyone ridden 381i & C-40? I would be interested in compariOld_school_nik
Sep 20, 2002 4:38 AM

I am thinking with my tax refund maybe an upgrade?

The Look would be $1800 cheaper....

yes, both hereJohnG
Sep 20, 2002 5:56 AM
I built a C40 AND a 381i for my brother. He liked both bikes quite a bit but ended up selling the C40 because......... well not really sure why. Probably because the C40 was just too popular in our riding circle. In any case both frames are absolutely top notch. Both have a stiff yet smooth ride quality. IMHO, the 381i is a bit better constructed (tube set is out of sight) but the differences are very minor. Oh, the 381i has a replaceable dropout which can be a life saver if you ever crash the bike. The only downside about the LOOK is that it's made by the French. I had to swallow real hard when I ordered them.

BTW, you can get a C40 for around $2400 from Maestro and the 381i goes for around $1600 from Total so the price differential is really only about $800.

Get whichever frame really turns you on.

..downside about the LOOK is that it's made by the FrenchSpunout
Sep 20, 2002 6:52 AM

OF course, you wouldn't have a mavic rim, wheel, or Michelin, Hutchinson tire around. Or never raced an old Peugoet either.
Gotta agree . . .flying
Sep 20, 2002 6:53 AM
Look 381i.... Yes I agree the bike is even prettier in person. I built it up with Chorus 10sp, Campy Nucleon Tubular wheels, Alien Carbon post, Cinelli Solido bar & stem, Flite saddle. Here is a pic in the gallery

Filtersweep....... I feel the same way..... The fit & geometry makes it feel custom fitted to my body too ;-)

Old school & John G..... I had considered (briefly) the C-40 from Maestro too but really the price diff is more like 1300 ;-0
Total has the Kelme 381i on sale now.
Yes the tubeset is outa sight ;-) Just beautiful really!
Thinking about new wheels . . .Look381i
Sep 20, 2002 7:47 AM
I need a new set of wheels (Two bikes, one wheelset). I use my old Ksyriums on the 381i. I am considering adding a set of Eurus or Neutrons instead of the new Ksyriums. Just can't seem to pull the trigger. My daughter said she wants to start riding again, so now I have a good excuse to make a decision. (My son has also has a bike and wheelset, and we'll need three operating bikes).
Just curious...furnace
Sep 20, 2002 10:11 AM
what size frame is your 381i?

As for visual appeal: I love the subtle Kelme colors. Hard to believe it's a team paint scheme. Super-fine!
Just curious...flying
Sep 20, 2002 12:04 PM
It is a 54cm c-c