For SF’s TCB Courier, the busy summer months aren’t easy with all their deliveries yet the hustle and bustle of a day to day life of a bike messenger aids itself well for staying in shape. Especially come ‘cross season. This year, the team will be racing on the new LOW ‘cross frames. These frames are decorated with blue and orange paint, with each bottom bracket stamped with the racer’s name.
Made in house by Andrew, painted in San Francisco and designed from months upon months of PR&D from the guys on TCB, these bikes have been a project in the making for over a year. Personally, I love seeing two local companies working together like this. While it may seem like an easy move, both parties have worked their asses off to get to this point.
Real recognize real… Be on the look out for these bikes at the Bay Area ‘cross races this season. Oh and Chas, they left of the “H” in your last name!
If you’re a local, roll through City + County Bicycle Co tomorrow to check these out in person.
While LOW Bicycles might be known best for their made in San Francisco track bikes, for the past year or so, they’ve begun to develop road and ‘cross frames. Debuted at NAHBS, the MKI road is Low’s first geared bike offering, selling in small production runs and starting as a collaboration with Cadence, a longtime supporter of the brand.
A lot has changed at LOW since my last visit. Andrew hired Michael full-time, who aids in everything from prep to production and finishing. This enables Andrew to focus on welding and keeping up with the ever-increasing demand for frames.
When I was at the shop, Michael was working on one of the LOW MKI ‘cross frames in their new color: safety orange. These frames are being raced by TCB Courier and should be available soon for purchase.
When visiting a longtime friend like Andrew, more time is spend chatting and catching up, but I did get a few photos of the shop, the new frames and his dog, Manny. Enjoy!
If you’d like to pick up a LOW, head to their web shop or email Andrew for availability of their new MKI road and MKI cross frames.
In the world of track crits, like Red Hook Crit and this weekend’s Wolf Pack Hustle’s Civic Center Crit, racers quickly realize that a standard track bike might have its limitations.
Let’s look at what a track bike is designed for: all left turns on a banked velodrome, with walls around 45º steep for a 250m track.
These crits however are completely different. For starters, the amount of people racing is almost three times what a miss-n-out or win-in-out would have competing. There are both right and left turns, yet no banked walls. In road criterium racing, you can coast through the corners and rail all the turns. With a track bike you need to pedal all the time.
That’s where Marc’s one-off comes into play. He and Andrew from Low Bicycles discussed options for a bike that was bred from the conditions of track crits. How is it different? Well, in all things related to bike design, a few millimeters here or there can make a huge difference. The bottom bracket is higher, to make for more crank clearance in the turns and the wheelbase is a bit longer to make it easier to hit those turns at speed.
So far Marc has raced three or four crits on it, as well as taking it to Hellyer, the local track to race.
Me, I just think it’s a beautiful fucking machine. Made in San Francisco by Andrew Low, fitted with Ritchey parts and with PAUL wheels made by Fresh Air Bicycles.
Steve works for Bicycle Coffee in SF and is a good dude, which is why I’m excited to see him riding for a great builder like Low Bicycles. Congrats to all parties involved.
Cadence and LOW Bicycles have been working on numerous collaborations this year, culminating at NAHBS with the Cadence LOW Road MK1 bike. For those of you who are looking for a less pricey option, check out these new collaboration kits…
Swoop the LOW bib and the Cadence LOW jersey at Cadence.
Andrew Low has been building aluminum frames in San Francisco since 2010. While he’s best known for his track frames, in recent months, he’s branched out into cyclocross and now, road bikes. It’s been a long path for Andrew to get this point, but after many months of design, he felt ready to enter the road market.
This particular frame is a working prototype. The aluminum tube diameters, angles and measurements for production are still being worked out but you can expect a tapered fork and a GXP-style BB. This frame in particular is a 55cm.
SRAM Red 22 and ENVE’s made in the USA rims really vibe with the custom Cadence paint treatment, which was a collaboration between Dustin Klein of Cadence and Andrew himself. I have to say, while this bike wasn’t an official NAHBS bike (it was part of the Cadence clothing booth), it was one of my favorites at the show. Available this summer from LOW.
Photos by John Daniel Reiss
Andrew Low has opened a pre-order for the MKII track frameset. This bike has been in development for a few years and is finally ready to be sold to the public. Pictured here is Marc Marino’s build. Get your order in today for a March-ish 2015 delivery.
Andrew Low sent this over, along with some other photos and information, but we’ll wait to share the rest for the time being. However, it seems that he’s developing cyclocross frames for TCB Courier’s team. I know it’s a bit late in the season, but these things take time and now at least the guys will have ample time to make any design changes until next season begins. Eventually, after all the details are dialed in, Andrew will add these bikes to the Low Bicycles catalog.
More information to come, for now, follow Low on Instagram.
Photo by Marc Marino
I love this bike, Marc and I can’t wait to shoot it one day.
Orange and red are two colors that often clash, but sometimes they work. Case in point, Patrick’s LOW track bike. If this one looks familiar, it’s because Kyle shot photos of it at the black top in LA a few months back.
To Patrick, this bike is the result of intense financial planning. It took him almost a year to save up for this bike, but the end result is one of his favorite moments of the day. As he describes, when he hops on the bike “it rides like a razor blade of butter.” Super stiff, but smooth…
Campagnolo Record drivetrain, H+Son rims, Thomson and Chris King. This bike is laced with top of the line, yet durable components and it adds a bit of subtlety to the flashy paint job. As I was photographing this bike, a pedestrian walked by and said “damnnnn that’s like a Testarossa!”
I love Andrew Low’s bikes, they’re a testament that made in the USA aluminum track bikes will always have a place in the world, whether the street or the track. Enjoy the ride, Patrick!