1990 Look KG96

Liking those lock rings on the tops of the bars make a neat job for the cables but can you get them if you had STI shifters so you have gear cables aswell ❓🤔
Liking those lock rings on the tops of the bars make a neat job for the cables but can you get them if you had STI shifters so you have gear cables aswell ❓🤔
They’re an old thing from way back in the early 90’s, distributed by Cinetica (famed for carbon bars and adjustable carbon stems). I can’t see why you couldn’t make them using a decent 3D printer as they’re really simple in design. Older STI units wouldn’t be an issue because their gear cable was outside of the bars, but newer ones would need adapting or a redesign.
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Now then, there’s a story here…


Far left is the original BB that came with my other 7400 groupset, which I swapped out for a Royce Titanium. It needed a better axle as this one had some nasty bearing wear on one side of it, plus I was tuning components on that build to lighten it.

Late night eBay hunting purchased the replacement BB as finding a bare axle wasn’t going to be as easy. This is in immaculate condition, and has been sat patiently in a box for years. All excited about my build progress, I decided to fit this BB last week, but couldn’t understand why the threads wouldn’t start in the BB shell. On closer look, my fear became reality, and I quickly realised that I’d bought an Italian threaded BB all those years ago ffs.

Now, at this point I’m full of energy trying to get this bike completed, so another BB search commences in an effort to find a British threaded one that’s not knackered (not as easy or cheap as you’d expect). I found decent one and struck a deal for way more than I wanted to pay, but I was impatient, and over a barrel, so the third BB enters the story.

The very next day, I spotted a single 68mm axle for sale on eBay at a really good price, hence the immediate purchase and last BB in the picture. Annoying really, as that axle was all I needed in the first place, but like buses…

Also, I’ll be getting the chance to use my genuine Shimano BB tools for the first time in decades - literally, decades!

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Well, things just came together all of a sudden last night, and although it’s not quite 100% finished, it is fully operational. This of course means it’s time for the long awaited test ride!

By the way, the brake calipers are a bugger to set up as they have to be so perfectly aligned. I’d forgotten how much of a pain they are - when they’re the pre tension adjuster screw which allows fine tuning.

The chainset was originally a 42/52 which ain’t much fun on the hills anymore, so I found a genuine 39T chainring in Italy of all places. It was also missing the Dura Ace crank caps, which I picked up on eBay as the final piece. I could easily polish up the cranks in a day, but they’d stand out too much from the rest, so they stay as they are. The bottom bracket went together easily enough, and is as smooth as any I’ve felt. I was really impressed with both the BB and the headset on this groupset.

Pedals had to be Look Carbo Pro in Red, just like the original spec. I’ve a few pairs of these pedals, and they’re really durable; the axles are still as smooth as when new.


So, to the test ride (just a 20 miler with some very basic tools).



Initially I was nervous, and spending more time with my head down looking at the bike rather than the road ahead, but gradually I began to trust the bike, and gain faith in my skills at putting it all together. Within 10 mins of riding I was starting to appreciate it all, rather than critique every aspect of it for potential failings!

First thing I noticed is how smooth it is on the road, like really, really smooth. The thing seems to feel very much like a high end steel bike, but unexplainably more compliant and almost dampened. There were no creaks, no rattles, and almost no movement when stamping on the pedals. It’s fast too, plus really confidence inspiring when out of the saddle or on the drops. Whilst mentioning the saddle it’s worth acknowledging how comfortable it is. Although I never used a Rolls back in the day, I can now understand why so many did. I was always a San Marco Regal guy.
The grouspset performed faultlessly throughout the ride, and the only murmur of something needing adjustment was maybe the rear axle needs servicing some time soon. I could detect a little bit of play at the end of the ride. I take the responsibility for that because I never properly inspected it before building it up.
The tyre choice was a compromise from the start of the project, as I would have liked something more period, but anything the same age as this bike is thin on the ground, and when they are available, their width makes them a handful at 19/20mm. The 25’s were a welcome addition in that they offer more grip and comfort, without much of a visual distraction. They overhang the MA40 profile slightly (when looking down on them), but don’t distort or give way in a hard corner. I found that I started pushing it more aggressively into corners as the ride progressed, just seeing if I could keep my hands off the brakes and test those tyres. They didn’t give any sign they were near their limit, and I was very impressed.

I will pick up some bottle cages for it next, and then I can start exploring it on rides further afield. I’m just not sure which bottle cages to go for. I think TA Specialities are probably the most likely choice, although I’d prefer alloy versions rather than steel ones I keep seeing. I’ve a couple of really nice early Elite cages, but they’re committed to the next build (an unusual bluey grey colour that matches up perfectly with the other frame prohibits their transfer).

Most satisfying thing about the ride was watching the sun catch all the carbon tubes and bring them to life!! They glow gold in the sun, and just look awesome. 🤩
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I’ve a few of those cages, but reserve them for the Titanium frames really. I tried one and it looked out of place.
I finally settled on the bottle cage I wanted, but finding one took a bit of time. I’ll likely get another if one crops up in the future. It’s an Elite (pre logo) cage, which has come up really clean after a quick wash.


With the cage fitted, and the weather sunny, I decided it was time for a more ambitious test ride, up towards the hills and winding lanes of Lancashire.
Analysing every aspect of it as I rode, it occurred to me that modern road bikes have come on so far in the last 40 years. Despite their dimensions remaining unchanged, the technological advancements within that small outline of a road bike have been monumental. Pretty much every aspect of a modern bike is upgraded over this Look, and what’s interesting is that you can feel it. Whether it be, the brakes, bar comfort, gearing range, stability, weight, or even the bottle cage positioning, modern bikes so much easier to ride and live with. That said, not many are as pretty…

Bernard Tapie owner of LOOK sportif started in 1985 a joint venture with TVT to have another product of his young company. He did it on recommendation of Bernard Hinault and Jean-Francois Bernard the main riders of his LaVie Claire cycling team. Hinault forced him to hire his former teammate Lemond and in 1986 both win 1-2 Tour de France on a silver Look labeled TVT Carbon 7. IMG_0562.JPG IMG_0559.JPG IMG_0561.JPG The Joint Venture which completely financed by Tapie gives the base for Look technology. In 1991 joint Venture ends and TVT goes back to Material research Look took over all the technical Know-how and used it as the base of their own frame production. The first frame set by their own was the KG 96. IMG_0983.JPG IMG_0985.JPG IMG_0986.JPG KG 86 or Kevlar 2001 and KG 76 Kevlar 2000 was building in Lyon by TVT which shows the TVT on chainstay and rear fallouts. The KG 76 was the TVT Carbon 7 which was the frame set Lemond and Hinault used in 1986 TdF.
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