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Pro bikes, February 2, 2006

Thor Hushovd's Credit Agricole Look 585

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Photos ©: Mark Gunter/Cyclingnews

Looking for the sprinter's edge

Look HSC 5 SL fork
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Carbon peeks through
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Look Keo pedals
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Shimano Dura-Ace transmission
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Shimano Dura-Ace brake/shift levers
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Pro UK Pilot stem
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Continental GP 4000 tyres
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The name on the frame
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You'd expect one of the world's top sprinters aboard his bike sponsor's top frame, and that's exactly what we find when we look (sorry) at the bike of 2006 Tour de France green jersey winner Thor Hushovd.

The big Norwegian's Credit Agricole team has a long-standing relationship with French bike maker Look. The team has been riding Look bikes since its inception in 1999, and Look's support of pro racing has clearly fed back into its bikes.

Hushovd rides Look's lightest frame, the 585, which despite weighing under 1000g seems to be plenty stiff and tough enough for the 6ft 1in-tall (1.83m), 178lb (81kg) Hushovd. Look achieves this combination of low weight, strength and rigidity by using very high strength carbon fiber for its tubes, and joining them with carbon fiber lugs.

The most crucial of those lugs is the bottom bracket area and for that section, Look uses a very high pressure moulding process to shape the bottom bracket shell, a procedure it describes as being akin to "forged carbon". For a sprinter like Hushovd, the resulting frame rigidity is essential.

Up front, the 585 uses Look's featherweight, all-carbon HSC 5 SL fork, one of very few forks that can accurately claim to come in under the 300g mark.

Look, of course, is best known as the inventor of the modern clipless pedal (Look calls them 'automatic' pedals, which is less confusing if you're too young to remember the steel clips and leather toestraps that attached cyclists feet to the pedals before the mid-80s.) Last year, Look introduced the most significant update to its pedals since its first products in 1984 with the Keo, a substantially lighter design that used a new cleat and modern materials. The Keo was a roaring success and Keo pedals hold Thor Hushovd's feet in place on his 585.

Look is also known for seatposts, and especially its incredibly handy Ergopost 2. Because the Ergopost 2 has three locations for the saddle clamp, it's popular with riders who find they can't get their bike position exactly right with a conventional post, and it's Hushovd's post of choice too, even though he uses the middle position. There's no real downside to having this adjustability in reserve - an Ergopost 2 Ti like Hushovd's weighs just 195g, and in keeping with the low weight theme it's topped by a Selle Italia SLR saddle.

Shimano provides the transmission and braking components for Credit Agricole, and these are the tried, tested and reliable Dura-Ace parts on Hushovd's bike. There's almost nothing to say about Dura-Ace: it works, and it keeps on working even when you slide it along the ground, as a Cyclingnews reviewer recently found out.

Up and coming British brand Pro UK supplies most of the rest of Hushovd's components, with its Pilot aluminium handlebar and stem and R-50 Classic rims.

Continental supplies Credit Agricole's tyres, with the team choosing the new GP4000 - in red in this case to match the red highlights of the frame. Style matters.

Finishing off the package are bottle cages from TACX and back with Shimano for a Flight Deck computer.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph

Full specification

Frame: Look 585 VHM carbon
Fork: Look HSC 5SL Full carbon
Colour: White

Critical measurements
Rider height: 1.83cm/6ft 1in
Rider weight: 81kg/178lb
C of BB to C of seat tube: 515mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 548mm
C of BB to T of seat: 760mm
Top tube length: 560mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars: 610mm
C of front wheel to top of bars: 595mm

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace, 175mm, 53/39
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed, 11-23


Rim: PRO UK R-50 Classic
Tyres: Continental GP 4000, 23mm

Bar: PRO UK Pilot aluminium, 44cm
Stem: PRO Pilot aluminium, 130mm
Headset: FSA, 1 1/8in

Pedals: Look Keo
Seat post: Look Ergopost Ti, 25mm
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR
Bottle cages: Tacx
Cycle computer: Shimano Flight Deck SC6502

Total weight: 8.1kg/17.8lb