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Justify the Look 381i for me(25 posts)

Justify the Look 381i for mePatM
Sep 30, 2002 11:11 AM
Ok I am looking at replacing my current main ride, KHS aero comp(1999) 853 steel frame with a Look 381i(swapping most parts). I am looking for a relaxed geom, do about 5000+/year and mostly distance and group rides. Will I really be able to tell the difference ? Should I have concerns about the durability of the frame on New England roads with a 210-220lb rider ?
Thanks in advance
Whats wrong with the KHS? nmSteve_0
Sep 30, 2002 11:13 AM
Whats wrong with the KHS? nmPatM
Sep 30, 2002 11:54 AM
Nothin really, good all around bike. two things, is carbon going to give better performance and comfort, and two looking toward the day when I want another bike.
Trying, but cant justify it when the obvious choice is the Merakonespeed
Sep 30, 2002 11:24 AM
(with Record 10?) nmSteve_0
Sep 30, 2002 11:25 AM
Maybe get a stiffer fork for the KHS...Lon Norder
Sep 30, 2002 11:33 AM
I weigh 180 and I find the aero comp's fork is borderline too flexy. Definitely too flexy for someone who weighs 220. The aero comp has a very comfortable ride, though. Great for long distance riding.
Any suggestions ? nmPatM
Sep 30, 2002 11:55 AM
Hey LonPatM
Sep 30, 2002 1:21 PM
Do you remember what kind of fork came with the bike from GVH - I think you bought yours there as well. I would love to be able to stick with the frame - I need suggestions for a replacement fork !
Thanks - Pat
I think it's made by Advanced Composites...Lon Norder
Sep 30, 2002 3:34 PM
Sort of a generic Taiwanese fork. Mine's a '97, maybe yours is different. I haven't tried any other carbon fiber forks, but I've heard good things about the Reynolds Ouzo Pro. Here are some reviews:
Thanks - nmPatM
Sep 30, 2002 4:04 PM
re: Justify the Look 381i for meneil-qcw
Sep 30, 2002 11:57 AM
If you are 220, and your current bike is too flexy in the front end, I don't know if I wouuld go with a Look. I am 155 and find the front of my 281 a little flexy. Not bad, but I am 65 lbs less than you. Ride one, I know that the 381 has a new front end, but it is worth looking into. I love my look by the way. But this last weekent I was on a ride with pro who rides a Pinarello prince and used to ride a look, and he said the Pinarello is superior.
re: Justify the Look 381i for meflying
Sep 30, 2002 12:27 PM
Yes but the HSC4 fork on the 381i is nothing like what was on the 281
re: Justify the Look 381i for meflying
Sep 30, 2002 11:58 AM
I have been on my 381i for about a month now & love it.
I too was looking for a more laid back geometry. I also like you do 5000k + miles a year.
I have only good things to say about this bike.
It is the most comfy, quiet, efficient,faster, best handling bar none bike I have ridden.
After 13+ years on Italian Steel I have a hard time believing I could be so smitten but yes it is that awesome!
I am coming off a Colnago MXL.
I would not worry about durability if I were you. I am not your weight but I am very impressed with the quality of construction. The fork is also very beefy & stiff.
I bought this sight unseen due to no Look dealers here. I had a great price & great service from Mike at Total cycling.
If you have anymore Q's just ask.
re: Justify the Look 381i for mejaybird
Sep 30, 2002 1:13 PM
I have the 381i, I live in New England, I am 220+/- and I put in about 5000 a year. The bike rocks! I just wish I had an engine worthy of the bike. Initially I thought the bike was a little flexy in the front end but it turns out that was just the vulcan death grip I had on the bars. The Look is very stiff in the bottom bracket so it climbs and sprints great.

Where do you live? I am in Franklin, MA.
re: Justify the Look 381i for mePatM
Sep 30, 2002 1:24 PM
Weymouth, ride mostly around the south shore down to Plymouth - Halifax that area. Do you do any of the NBW rides ? I am a member but can't get down there enough to justify staying a member, other than TFCE !
re: Justify the Look 381i for mejaybird
Sep 30, 2002 1:46 PM
Unfortunately almost all of my riding is done solo. I am pretty new to the area and I don't know too many other riders nearby. I ride mostly in the Franklin, Framingham and Worcester.

You wont be sorry with the Look. One thing that I think makes a big difference for me is the wheels. I put on a set of Ksyriums and they help a lot with the stiffness.
There are a number of clubs out there...PatM
Sep 30, 2002 4:09 PM
Seven hills wheelmen and charles river wheelmen, do a number of rides out that way
Seven hills do a century ride around the Quabbin in June, I might try next year - we will see.
re: Justify the Look 381i for meMike Prince
Oct 1, 2002 1:37 PM
Off post, but I grew up in Franklin. Lots of good riding around there. It's been years, but some of the best riding was up into Wrentham, Norfolk and into the Medfield area. I will qualify my statements by saying it was 12 years ago, so I'm sure riding on Rtes 140/126/1 is a bit riskier now due to increased traffic.

My mom/dad still live in Franklin and I have several other family members in the area as well. Will be there around xmas and am trying to talk my wife into letting me take the road bike and winter wear. If you want, shoot me an email and I'll contact you around our trip up and we can ride. If not maybe I'll see you on the roads :)

Front flexy?filtersweep
Sep 30, 2002 1:34 PM
If you don't like the Look fork, try another- if it even comes with a fork. I have a 281 with the HSC3 fork- love the ride- basically the same frame with a different headset and lug finishing... don't know much about the fork differences. I've never had an unnatural attachment to a bike before this one... for whatever that is worth.
If it makes you happy buy itPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 30, 2002 2:28 PM
Ultimately the best advice I can give you is buy a bike that makes YOU happy. A guy who has a lot in common with you in terms of size and where he lives said its a great frame and not stiff. And all in all the Look will be a quantum leap for you from the KHS in feel and stiffness since the frame is where you will feel the biggest difference.

But my only comment is that after 3 years of riding 5000+ miles/year your components may be starting to wear out as well. In which case a nice aluminum bike like a Cannondale with a really stiff wheelset like the Kysriums may also be a good option. Like I said though ultimately buying the bike that you want is most important.

Cheers and good luck in getting a new bike or frame!
If it makes you happy buy itPatM
Sep 30, 2002 4:14 PM
Yup, I know I am going to have to replace the shifters, ultegra, but everything else is in pretty good shape.
I have a CAAD 3 as my second bike for limited racing and such, good bike also not sure if I would ever want to do a century on it.
Not sure about those low spoke wheels for someone my size, I hate to think about breaking spokes now even knowing I know I can limp it home, if you break one of those your done right ? It would make me way to nervous !
Re: Wheels and framePODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 30, 2002 8:16 PM
Just to reply to your comments.

The newer CAAD's like the CAAD 5 are a lot more comfortable than the older frames. I've done a number of centuries on mine. Very stiff frame... I'm 190 lbs and like to think of myself as a sprinter and theres no hint of flex.

But if your confident in your components keep riding them!

As for the Ksyriums they are super stiff super solid wheels. I was in Trinidad in the Spring where the roads are riddled with potholes and nailed more than my fair share... wheels were still very true. I've also put a ton of miles on mine and they have only required minimal trueing. As for breaking a spoke I have never heard of that happening on the K's. But if it does you are kinda in trouble. But that can be said with any wheel if you don't have a backup spoke (kevlar spokes are available for regular wheelsets).

Several reasons:look271
Sep 30, 2002 3:11 PM
1) It'll be the best bike you've ever owned. Case-in-point; a guy that frequents an lbs near me owns a Merlin. He keeps buying new bikes trying to find something he likes as much or more. He's had Pinarrello's, a Colnago ti, and custom steel, among others. Last bike he bought was a kg281. Still has it.
2) Owner of said lbs is about 6'4, 220lbs at least. His kg281 is plenty stiff for him and he races.
3) My kg271, which is stiff enough for me (I'm 185 on a lean day), yet is supple and smooth on our Pennsyslvania roads, and trust me, they are at least as bad as your NE roads.
Go for it.
go for itS-U-B
Sep 30, 2002 3:23 PM
I've had my 381i for about 6 mos and i have no complaints. I'm between 169 -185 on the scale and I have never felt flex, and I do alot of standing on some steep hills.
Best ride I've owned . . .Look381i
Sep 30, 2002 4:02 PM
The other posters have covered the 381i's attributes well. With Ksyriums and an SLR saddle, it rides smooth as butter, combining all the best features of ti, alu and steel. (I just put a pair of Campy Eurus on today and went out for a quick 20. They felt good until I hit a little Paris-Roubiax section. They seemed not to soak up the bumps as well as the K's.)

My only advice is to be careful with the fit. If you like your current set up, measure everything and find out whether you can replicate it on the Look. I was fortunate in being able to do it from my lugged steel Guerciotti by using a seatpost that had less setback (USE Alien Carbon). By careful measuring, I figured this out before buying the Look.