HomeReviews & TechPushing the Limits - Edgy Cycle Wear from Look in Review

Pushing the Limits – Edgy Cycle Wear from Look in Review

For most bike brands, everything beyond the actual bike itself is just periphery. This is understandable, but sometimes the interest in a brand is much greater. It can reach beyond owners and potential customers, for example when Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France in 2011, almost every second cyclist in Australia wore a Team BMC jersey the following year. And a lot of people have happily worn a Cinelli cycling cap without having Cinelli in their bike collection.

There is untapped potential for bike brands, who are the bike experts, to inject their bicycle expertise into cyclewear. The cyclewear range from the well-regarded French brand Look reveals that they are still driven by their innovative streak.

look ride your dream cycling

In the past decade, the rapid pace of progress in cycling kit design has presented cyclists with an immense range of variety from which to choose; Style, tech, performance and price-point. In the crowded cycling-wear market, it has become harder to be innovative, but the Look Race Purist Cycling Jersey comes with some highlights that raise the bar. In review on Bicycles Network Australia, this Khaki cycling jersey was paired with the Race Radar Bibshorts, designed for long distance riding, Core Socks and matching Kaki Race Gloves.

riding look bike wear

Look has promoted their current range with a sunburst orange, though these glaring bright colours only feature in just a few garments; the Lightweight Fondo Jersey and the Orange Tangerine version of the Race Purist Jersey. The rest of the range contrasts with subdued blues, khaki, grey and black tones. For riders it means you can go loud or subtle and I was relieved when the subtle Khaki coloured jersey arrived. Some of the bibknicks incorporated colour only on the inside making them easy to mix and match with different tops.

look range cycling jerseys
Look Summer range of cycling jerseys and base layers
look range bib knicks
Look Summer range of socks, gloves and bib knicks

The simple colours or gradients lend to the elegance and except for a very small LOOK logo on the right breast, there is no branding and hardly any graphics so it is akin to choosing between a bright orange Porsche or a black Porsche, you can go under or over the radar.

Race Purist Jersey – 137 grams – 115€ (ca. AUD186)

The highlight of the race jersey is the mesh material for the sleeves and rear panel and sliver of mesh on the shoulders. Triathletes have long since ditched sleeves, but it is hard to think-away sleeves in road cycling. Admittedly, the mesh takes getting used to. Though I have a few lightweight, mesh base layers, they are not for show and stay underneath. This makes the inbuilt mesh sleeves on the Purist jersey a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ feature.

green cycling jersey

But it does work, this is a warm weather cycling top designed for breathability so when the temperatures go south, you will notice. A nice detail is that the mesh is also used inside the three cycling pockets at the rear. I found the mesh material to be fairly robust and didn’t have any concerns that it would fray but would still think twice about putting keys or sharp objects in my jersey pocket.

Regarding the sun protection of the mesh, I couldn’t get any holeproof facts that confirmed that the mesh sections provide absolute UV protection so this remains an unanswered question. With my fair skin, I would gravitate towards the regular sleeves to be on the safe side.

look cycling kit review

Usually I am a size L (Large) and the Look cycling garments appear to conform with familiar European sizing norms so the size charts are reliable. The cycling jersey and all of the garments were an excellent fit. The jersey is cut fairly short, like a ‘race jersey’ which suited me well, the generously tall pockets however mean that you do have to stretch a bit when you reach to get anything in or out of the pockets.

cycling jersey pocket test

Most cycling jerseys are constructed with a polyester material comprising of up to 25% elastane (i.e. spandex or lycra) however the Race Purist Jersey from Look uses 72% Polyamid and 28% Elastomer. Another brand that use this material is Pas Normal and it is a material that feels different to regular cycling jerseys. The textile weave is very tight and on the skin the material is soft and silky. This material does tend to hug the skin so may not be particularly flattering if you are trying to hide your tummy.

cycling jersey gripper

A detail to highlight is the orange ‘sweat collar’ on the inside. It is a hidden detail that isn’t visible when you are wearing the top but it feels nice. I am not even sure if it is for sweat or if it is a wind seal to stop wind rushing into the jersey – whatever the function, it feels nice and is a detail I appreciate. The jersey also has reflective tag on the rear for night riding, solid stitching on the pockets and zipper, a silicon gripper at the rear of the jersey to keep it slipping. Overall it has impeccable sewing and construction quality.

cycling jersey collar mesh
look cycling jersey polyamid

The Race Purist Jersey is available in the bright Tangerine Orange (trust your instincts to judge whether you can pull it off), an all-black version and the khaki version which I tested. If the mesh sleeves are not your thing, look at the Fondo range with more traditional sleeves.

Race Radar Bib Shorts – 189 grams – 160€ (ca. AUD 260)

The bib knicks are subtle, essentially an all-black style which you can match with any cycling gear. But like the jersey, there are lots of detail and even a surprise which I didn’t immediately notice, more on that soon.

look cycling knicks review

Like the other cycling wear from Look, these also use the polyamid and elastomer textile and are made in Albania. The advantage of European production over Asian production is that for European brands, the production facilities are closer and quality control is easier. Like the Race Purist Jersey, the construction and attention to detail is 100%.

look cycling jersey test

For cycling knicks, sometimes I opt for an XL when I am in-between L and XL. For these I selected the size L the result was a wonderful fit. Close but not too tight. The chamois is from Elastic Interface which is a safe bet. I have used their chamois before and always with good results. This particular chamois is suited to longer distances and is about 10mm thick in the most-padded sections. It initially feels quite thick but quickly settles in and for me works well for the long haul.

look elastic interface chamois
cycling knicks review

All of the details you need in bib knicks are included such as leg grippers on the cuffs, comfortable and breathable braces and subtle reflective tabs for a bit more safety at nighttime. The surprise was something I didn’t notice immediately – the sewing pattern is quite original. Similar to the Pedla Team SuperFIT G+ knicks, it has an ergonomic construction in which each leg has its own section of material. The pattern Look use accentuates this even further and while I didn’t notice any obvious differences while riding, they are extremely comfortable.

Core Socks – 40 grams pair – 15€ (AUD 24)

As a rider, the Core Socks were straight forward, form fitted and fairly thin for a comfortable fit. I like them and they work well.

look cycling socks

Gloves – 34 grams pair – 30€ (AUD 48)

For the gloves I am convinced that they are good although the differ from typical cycling gloves. The back of the hands has a mesh, like vintage cycling gloves… but finer. The palm of the hands has a light synthetic leather with some perforated holes for more breathability. There is no padding on the palm, instead extra reinforcement is used for the contract points such as between the thumb and forefinger when you are gripping the hoods. The wrists are generously covered with a wider-than-usual ‘cuff’ and they even have selected the right material for these gloves to let you wipe sweat from your brow.

look cycling gloves
look cycling gloves test

Getting the gloves on and off is a bit tight, there are no finger loops to make it easier to withdraw your fingers. I unsure about the mesh and whether it provides UV protection, but sunscreen on underneath the gloves is self-defeating… even if the gloves other fit and work well. And when it comes down to details, the gloves are ‘Khaki’ in colour so you would assume that they match the ‘Khaki’ cycling jersey, but they don’t. The jersey is a jungle green whereas the mesh on the gloves brown. No doubt it can be difficult matching colour tones on different types of materials, but in this case the colours are way off.

In Summary

The Look cycling wear has been thoughtfully designed with the type of features that come from dedicated riders with years of experience with a clear vision of what works. But it is also edgy with features such as the mesh sleeves which push the limits… perhaps a bit too far for some riders.

look cyclewear review

Like a lot of premium kit, the Look cyclewear comes with a price, but is not quite at the extreme end and is still more attractively priced compared with gear from Rapha and Assos. The construction quality and materials are simply excellent so the style and risqué details appeal, the Look cycle wear will easily please.

Look products are distributed by Groupe Sportif. The availability of the Look cyclewear in Australia is limited, the best port of call are bikes shops that stock Look bikes:

Bike Force Balcatta in Perth
TBE Belmont in Perth
Riders Choice Cycles Leederville in Perth
Glen Parker Cycles Nedlands in Perth
Churchill Cycles Booragoon in Perth
Traks Cycles Norwood in Adelaide
Flemington Cycles in Melbourne
Fitzroy Cycles Carnegie in Melbourne
Port Melbourne Cycles in Melbourne
Cycles Galleria in Melbourne
Lygon Cycles East Brunswick in Melbourne
Cycle City Lynham in Canberra
The Bike Shed Mortdale in Sydney
Semi-Racer Albion in Brisbane
Corry Cycles in Mackay

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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The Look cyclewear ticks a lot of boxes, premium kit and quality at a fair price. The biggest question mark for this kit is the mesh sleeves which you may find edgy and innovative... or horrible. The kit looks good and for most riders, the jerseys with more traditional arms will be a safe bet.Pushing the Limits - Edgy Cycle Wear from Look in Review