low bicycles is a small manufacturer of high quality, handmade aluminum bicycle racing frames. Established in 2010 by Andrew Low, all of our frames are manufactured by hand in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Our designs reflect a passion for the sport, the craft, and the culture. Here in San Francisco, we are at ground-zero of one of the most vibrant cycling communities in the world. With most major manufacturers moving their production overseas, and dozens of cookie-cutter import fixie brands popping up like mushrooms, our mission is to honor the craft by staying local and keeping all our production in-house, and honor our heritage by continually working with and responding to the needs of the cycling community to provide the highest quality and fastest bikes we can build. Because we take pride in the quality and precision of our work, each frame is handmade in-house, in small batch production runs.
design philosophy: We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. We build race bikes. A tribute to bombing down velodrome banks or city hills and cranking hard, our frames are built to go fast and handle the rigors of racing. Our geometries remain true to, and are intended for competitive racing; with aggressive profiles, responsive handling, and overall strength and stiffness. Our aesthetic embodies clean lines, smooth welds, supple contours, proportion, power and simplicity.
why aluminum? While we hope to work with other materials in the future, aluminum is a remarkably stiff, light and lively material, lending itself to be an excellent material for a responsive race bike. In some applications, a well built aluminum frame can out perform high end carbon fiber frames. Additionally, aluminum is ideal for the track because, unlike long road races, there is no rider fatigue from jarring road bumps. While carbon fiber dominates the high end bicycle market in this day and age, aluminum, at a fraction of the price, is a great option for serious up-and coming riders on a budget, and is still viable at the world class level.
the process: Low Bicycles goes above and beyond our competitors when it comes to welding our frames. Welding is just one of the many steps involved in the fabrication process, but it is what really sets Low Bicycles apart from the rest of the industry. We have perfected a multi-pass smooth weld technique that is significantly more labor intensive than the welding process used by our competitors. The larger smoothed out fillets not only look good, but they increase joint stiffness, and reduce stress risers that lead to cracks and frame failure. Stress risers are commonly associated with sharp angle breaks at the tube junctions of aluminum frames.
the shop: The entire fabrication process all happens in our small 500 square foot shop.