Seabass Collection: Look KG 196!

August 29, 2018

 

A Look KG 196 from Seabass Cycles collection of bikes on display in their Peckham shop, complete with a few coffee stains from its days of being used as the morning cafe racer along Rye Lane. The guys originally picked up the bike from a collector in Rotterdam. 

 

LOOK has a long history of innovative designs and this is certainly one of them, with it's chunky aero looking early monocoque carbon frame and LOOK's trademark Mondrian design, can we call it a 'neo-retro' bike? It comes from a interesting and slightly weird period in bicycle design in the early 90's when all the various bicycle materials were battling for supremacy, all offering something different and claiming an edge over the others. 

 

The KG 196 model was designed in the early 90's and was LOOKS first monocoque carbon frame with integrated cables whose material structure consists of carbon, kavlar, ceramic and aluminium. It was engineered for both road and track racing and had some quirky features including the adjustable stem, integrated fork and a compact rear triangle (technology that is still being experimented with today). However in 1993 these features weren't greatly received. The frame was used in the professional ranks by Team ONCE in 1993. 

 

The frame's not build up with the original spec but with parts that are correct to the frame's period. A Selle Italia Flite saddle, first generation Shimano dura ace groupset (one of the first STI groupset's) and a Cinelli Giro d'italia handbar and Rigida dp18 rims shod with Schwalbe tires.