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Look 765 Gravel RS review

12 Jan 2022
Verdict:

In not attempting to reinvent the wheel, the Look 765 Gravel RS hits all the right notes

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Practical • Ride quality • Stability
Against 
Would benefit from 1x build • Lighter tyres would be nice

When I played rugby as a kid, the pro I idolised most was an Argentinian hooker by the name of Mario Ledesma. Unlike contemporaries such as New Zealand’s Keven Mealamu or South Africa’s Schalk Brits, Ledesma lacked the flair and panache to throw a three-man miss pass or make a 40-yard line break.

What he could do, however, was scrummage like an ox, hit endless rucks, make tireless tackles and throw accurate darts at lineout time – things that made him indispensable for both club and country during his illustrious 20-year playing career. Ultimately, Ledesma couldn’t do amazing things on a rugby pitch, but he could do all of the small things well, which made him a great rugby player.

My point? Like Ledesma, the Look 765 Gravel RS is not a bike that is breaking new ground in the gravel market, nor is it making claims to be lighter, faster or more compliant than its rivals. No, in the 765 Gravel RS, Look has simply made a gravel bike that does all the little things well and is all the better for it.

Look 765 Gravel RS ride quality and capability

Confession time. When I first set eyes upon the 765 Gravel RS, I struggled to get excited. The geometry is pretty standard for a gravel bike – the wheelbase and trail are long for stability and assured handling, the stack is high and the reach short for comfortable positioning – there are no fancy suspension systems, and at 8.9kg (medium) without pedals, it’s far from a featherweight.

Even the understated black and red paint job left me feeling a bit meh. Besides the funky noughties-looking stem and recessed cable entry on the head tube, I was feeling underwhelmed. But I guess I should know better than to judge a book by its cover. 

On the very first ride, it began to click what this bike is all about. It started when I noticed how well the 765 Gravel handled. We’re now at that time of year when byways become sloppy with mud and trails that were once rideable are now questionable.

Regardless of the condition, I always felt in full control of the bike, confident that I could pick a line on a descent or negotiate an off-camber corner and come out the other side upright.

Look claims to have put in a lot of work where handling is concerned, developing its steering components – fork, headset, stem and bars – as one system. I’d say it has paid off. 

It also helps that this particular build came with knobbly 40mm Hutchinson Touareg tyres, which though not the fastest on tarmac have such a generous tread I felt more anchored to the floor than an Insulate Britain protester.

As well as the squidgy tyres (the 765 Gravel has space for 700x40mm or 650x2.1in rubber), Look also attributes comfort to its 3D wave stays. These flattened, scrawny seatstays are claimed to offer 15% more compliance than round stays of the same dimensions.

I’ll have to take Look’s word for that, but certainly the frame seemed to have bundles of compliance at the rear without resorting to suspension systems to achieve it. 

Look 765 Gravel RS build and versatility

I’m not one for epic off-road cycling adventures – that’s what comes of living within the M25 – but if I was, the Look 765 Gravel RS is the kind of bike I would use for such a ride. It’s comfortable, it handles well and there are no fiddly parts that could potentially go wrong or overcomplicate things. It’s just a practical, well-put together machine. At £4,399, it is even reasonably priced in the grand scheme of how much bikes cost these days (which I know is a hell of a lot).

There are some changes I would make, however. This particular build came with a 2x Shimano GRX810 gravel groupset, which did not miss a beat because, well… it’s Shimano, but personally I would have preferred a 1x setup. Getting rid of that front derailleur means one less thing to go wrong – music to my technically incompetent ears.

I’d also consider my choice of tyres. The Touaregs may be battle-hardened, but for my gravel outings I’d appreciate something lighter than the claimed 550g for a bit more tarmac-rolling zip.

With the 765 Gravel RS, Look has clearly not tried to reinvent the gravel bike. It hasn’t introduced a new way of looking at carbon layup; it hasn’t bolted on clever suspension systems; it hasn’t made an off-road bike as light or aero as a road bike. It isn’t going to win any awards for innovation. But what Look has achieved here is to make sure that all the simple things you look for in a gravel bike are done well, which combine to make a very good bike overall.

In fact it’s just like Mario Ledesma, only 101.1kg lighter.

Look 765 Gravel RS geometry

Pick of the kit

Stonewall rainbow laces, £2.99, stonewall.org.uk


Stonewall is a UK-based charity that campaigns for the rights of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and asexual people. Wearing these rainbow laces shows your support for LGBTQ+ inclusion in cycling, and the money goes a small way to helping tackle homophobia in sport.

I like to think that, when I wear these attention-grabbing laces, any rider who is gay, bi or questioning their sexuality will know they have my support without having to ask. Because sport is for everyone.

Look 765 Gravel RS alternatives

Look E765: Electric avenue 

Looking to rock down the electric route? The E-765 (from £4,999) has the same geometry as the 765 RS but houses a Fazua Evation motor in the down tube.

Look 795 Blade RS: On the road again

At the very opposite end of the spectrum is the 795 Blade RS, a cut-and-dried aero race bike complete with aggressive geometry, stiff carbon frame and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (£9,100).

Spec

Frame Look 765 Gravel RSS
Groupset   Shimano GRX810
Brakes Shimano GRX810
Crankset Shimano GRX810
Cassette Shimano GRX810
Bars Look Alloy LS2
Stem Look LDS
Seatpost Supra Carbon Aero
Saddle San Marco Short fit saddle
Wheels Shimano RX, Hutchinson Touareg 40mm tyres
Weight 8.9kg (size M)
Contact zyrofisher.co.uk

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£4,399