It would have been easy to confuse Lov Bikes as a custom paint provider, but the brilliantly colorful frames are theirs, too.
They build in Eagle, Colorado, with fillet brazed steel and titanium. All full custom, with a big emphasis on paint. How big? Click on through to see some great examples, plus alloy road racers from Low and a full suspension trail bike from first time builder Lichen…
This eTAP cyclocross/gravel bike was designed for racing. They ran a continuous seatmast through the top tube/seatstay junction, and with the deep carbon wheels and eTAP’s currently limited cassette range, there’s no guessing as to its intent.
The fat bike may have been the least colorful of the bunch, but showed off their new titanium-and-carbon builds.
Somehow I missed a complete shot of the mountain bike, but these four closeups (above and below) highlight the level of detail work they’ll put into a paint scheme.
This sparkly blue road bike was over in the Campagnolo booth as part of their custom contender contest.
They’re also working on a carbon fiber frame, which was represented by this 1/3 scale 3D printed prototype. It’ll be tube to tube construction, letting them make it full custom. Their carbon guy came from Parlee and is also working on carbon and titanium blended frames, too. As for this one, there wasn’t much detail on how that rear dropout section would end up looking, but the swoopy shape would be sweet if they can keep it intact.
Ti starts at $4,000, ti-carbon at $6,000. Probably phasing out the steel, which is a shame because these are beautiful, but they say it’s very time consuming and they don’t do enough steel bikes to keep someone on full time doing it.
Low continues with their oversized alloy race bikes, building understated performance with modern touches like disc brakes and clean inset headsets. They also get custom butted and tuned 7005-series alloy tubes to provide, in their words, ride quality and performance that is comparable to carbon. Above is the cyclocross bike…
…which keeps the front shifting enclosed for as long as possible by running the housing around the backside of the BB shell.
The fatter welds of aluminum bikes are usually smoothed over nowadays, and these are no exception. Note how the seatstays are flattened in the middle to help mitigate impacts from reaching your tookus.
They also make track, pursuit and aero bikes.
For something completely different, there’s Devin Bodony’s Lichen Bikes. His inaugural project is this 150mm travel All Mountain/Enduro bike called Matchstick. It uses a a dual link system that uses co-rotating links (unlike the Santa Cruz VPP, which counter-rotate). Bodony says it has a falling rate that, coupled with an air shock, gives a linear suspension rate with good pedaling characteristics with strong but neutral anti-squat.
He’s also making many of the small parts in house. Here’s his description:
“All welded components are 4130 Chromoly. Front Triangle is double butted True Temper OX tubing. Swingarm is from straight gauge .035″ wall box section 4130. The dropouts, swingarm junctions, chainstay yoke, front triangle pivot bracketry, are all machined from 4130 Normalized bar stock. The linkage is machined from 6061 Aluminum, and the pivot hardware is machined out of 7075 Aluminum. I do all the machining except for a handful of parts. The head tubes, BB shells, and cable guides are Paragon Machine Works items. And two of the pivot pins are turned by another shop for now.”
The bike is starting life as a Kickstarter with frame and shock going for $2,300. After that, the frame alone will be $2,500. Standard and custom geometries are available. Check the video and link below.
Check out Lichen’s Kickstarter project here, which ends Thursday, March 24th but has already met its funding goal.