Low Bicycles Cyclocross Mki Frame Pre-Order Dec 23, 2014


This one’s hot off the DFL race in SF last weekend, from Andrew Low himself:

“We’re taking pre- orders now at my website. Production will begin right after the end of the season – after the frame has been adequately tested, when I am satisfied there are no issues with it, and when all my current standing orders are fulfilled (about 4 months from now).

The geometry is a fairly standard with 70mm bb drop, 71.5º head tube, 74º seat tube. We will be offering 1-1/2″ tapered head tube, disk brake, and single speed as options.

In case anybody is wondering why we’re testing it so late in the season it’s because of my broken wrist this summer, I was out of commission for 3 months. Also, we plan to build her up with fancier parts, but this is the best we could do on short notice.”

Pre-order a MKi Frame for $1,550 at Low Bicycles now!

  • Tommaso Gomez

    I understand that Low will charge whatever customers are willing to pay, but $1550 is a lot to ask for a first-generation aluminum cross frame, without a fork.

    • andrew low

      I understand $1550 is not a cheap price, but I think you will find our pricing is very much comparable to, or cheaper than similar american made frames. We only charge enough to cover the cost of the materials, paying the guys who built it an honest paycheck, and keeping the lights on. I’m not getting rich doing this. As far as this frame being 1st generation, I must disagree that that would automatically reduce the value. We have spent over two years developing this design, paid careful attention to every detail and we are not reinventing the wheel. After all the work that has gone into this frame, I know we have built a superior product. The quality and workmanship of the frame itself is backed by the experience and reputation I have gained from building hundreds of frames, track or otherwise.

      • Tommaso Gomez

        Maybe it is a fair price compared to $2300+ for hand-built, American-made Columbus steel or titanium frames, but those are also more expensive materials. I guess its hard to find a point of comparison when the rest of the aluminum frames out there are mass-produced Taiwanese frames in the $800-1000 range – many of which are tried and tested in racing. That said, I appreciate the pride you take in building your frames and standing by a unique product.

        • andrew low

          Thank you,
          Like the producers of those $2300 frames, we only use the finest materials available. Our Easton/proprietary tubesets are no cheaper than a Columbus tubeset.

          • Kurtz

            The higher price for a hand-built frame from an owner-operator who doesn’t have mass-production industrial resources at his disposal is well worth it.

            I’ve visited with Andrew at his shop, and second his comments and pride for his work. For instance, Rock Lobster’s cross frame is at this exact same price point.

            As far as Gen1 is concerned – Andrew’s writeup makes it clear – he’s giving 4 months of testing before producing the sold units, which will take care of most concerns. Not mentioned in this write up is that LOW issued the true Gen1 frames to TCB Courier’s cross team, who will beat the living crap out of them over the next few months throughout GGP / Candlestick / Mt Tam / Skeggs Pt / Planet of the Apes / Marin Headlands etc. (http://lowbicycles.com/Low_Bicycles/frames_cross.html). That’s plenty of real-world testing for my tastes.

          • andrew low

            thanks for the support! :)

          • Ian Connelly

            Hi Andrew, how many ‘cross frames have you made?

          • andrew low

            Over the last year and a half I have built 3 versions, and a few sub-assemblies for testing our fabrication process. This is the 1st cross frame I’ve built that I would consider a finished product, but we are testing it in a competitive setting before fabrication so that we can be absolutely sure this frame is to our standards. I have built several hundred frames over a period of 6 years, so I would say the more relevant question at this point is how well is our cross frame thought out and if it’s been tested, because from a fabricators standpoint, other than the fact that the cross frame is more labor intensive, there is really not much difference between building a cross frame or a track frame.

        • Tyler Shannon

          i think you hit the nail on the head. “mass-produced Taiwanese frames” are the keywords. Handmade in America costs more, and it’s worth it.

        • kaseyirl

          I don’t think you even understand the argument you’re making

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            Yeah I’m confused as well. Haha.

          • Tommaso Gomez

            I do. In fact, most of the people on this thread understood my point and we were able to have a mature, amicable conversation. It’s a shame you have nothing constructive to add.

      • GioFio

        You get what you pay for. And for a hand-built frame, this is a great price, which has me almost shying away from going for a custom steel CX bike next. The materials are top notch, and the craftsmanship you’re getting is top-notch. Super stoked on these frames, and I might just be adding one to my stable in the next year or two.
        One question for you Andrew, the current alloy cx frame i’m riding can beat the hell of me when things get rough, whereas steel seems to really even out the bumps and various hits. How does the Easton alloy do at shock absorption?

        Killer stuff man!

        • andrew low

          Thanks Man! With aluminum frames specifically, as with steel and carbon frames, a lot of the ride characteristics and stiffness come mostly from the shape, size and ‘wall’ thickness of the tubes. If you are looking at the entire bike, a lot of the ride characteristics come from the wheels, tires, fork, front cockpit and saddle – the parts connecting your body to the ground, and the bike industry has made improvements in leaps and bounds in this area.

          Without knowing what kind of bike you have, I cannot compare it to mine. However, we added a few features to ease shock a bit: I believe that shock can be absorbed through flex or dissipated through surface area. Even though skinny tubes have more flex, thin walled, over-size tubing dissipates shock better (if used in the right places) because there is more surface area to spread the shock. This is why, along with increasing torsional stiffness we added a large, healthily oversized top and down tube, and we plan on offering tapered head tubes as well. Older aluminum frames tend to use much smaller top and down tubes, and thicker wall tubing. Thicker wall tubing makes for a stiff bike, but does nothing to absorb the shock. I feel that steel frames absorb shock despite the smaller tubing, instead relying more on flex and thin wall tubing.

          Tuning/shaping the tubes also helps -Aside from an extra long taper on the seat stay, we will also be slightly ‘ovalizing’ the chain and seat stay, making them wider than tall in certain areas. Not only will this increase vertical flexibility, but it will increase lateral stiffness. In addition, if you look closely, you will see we have ovalized the top tube at the seat tube cluster, allowing the seat stays to meet the top tube at an off-set in relation to the seat tube. This in turn allows some of the shock coming from the rear axle and up the seat stays to be deflected around the seat tube and into the oversized top tube, instead of into the seat tube and up your butt. Plus, it looks good too!;)

          • GioFio

            Thanks for the reply! I’m currently riding a Ridley X-Bow Frame with a 4ZA Carbon fork on an alloy steer tube. Didn’t throw the cash at the bike as much as I wanted because I knew I wanted to upgrade eventually, so I still have an alloy bar/stem/seatpost. Changes in that for the next bike will help with the shock absorption for sure.
            Thanks again for all of the information. The bike looks awesome and you really helped with that! I’m in Walnut Creek when i’m not in college, so I might be paying you a visit by this summer!

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      MADE IN THE USA. That’s actually pretty standard pricing.

      • GioFio

        Actually lower than many other USA hand-built frames out there. I think it’s actually a great price-point, and has me almost shying away from going custom steel for my next CX bike.

    • Jon B.

      Wow, I read that price and immediately thought it was a bargain. I paid nearly the same price for an aluminum Giant frame last season.

  • Asklionheart

    i’m convinced commenters on the internet anywhere are just cheap, or just looking to troll. Things cost money. end of story. these guys make bikes because it’s their passion. they don’t go to your job and tell your boss you get paid too much.

  • NoNo

    i bet this would make a badass bike that would last and a reasonable price. hell yea, Andrew. Good shit, man. Let your work speak for itself

    • gabe ramirez

      I’ve tested most big name non American cyclocross frames and want to say I can’t wait till it’s production model is ready ,Deffinlty a race bike worth having in the arsenal. Andrew your working wonders and can speak on the quality of the prototype because I’m racing and training on it and I am very very pleased on all it’s specs and features

      • andrew low

        Thanks Gabe!

  • Harry

    I still want a Low track bike!

  • Maxime Gouache

    Remarks on the price in the previous comments are pretty relevant. For $1550 you can have a fine scandium made to measure frame, made in USA, by someone who built more than 3 cyclocross in his whole life. Someone name Paul Sadoff, if I recall right…