Low hits the pavement with aluminum mki Road bike

MKI_road_front_angle

Andrew Low established Low bicycles a mere 6 years ago. Since then the company has come a long way, they’ve developed a track record of creating some of the most advanced aluminum frames out there. Now available, the mki road promises to provide the stiffness of a criterium machine but with the comfort of an all day road hog.

Get the Low down after the break…

photos c. Low Bicycles

photos c. Low Bicycles

The craftsmen at Low take attention to detail to a whole new level. Being a small batch manufacturer that puts out roughly 20 frames a month, it’s safe to say each frame gets the royal treatment.

Since we last spotted the mki in March of this year at NAHBS, the bike has gone through some final tweaks. Slight changes have been made to the geometry and tubing selection. Additionally, the bike has been ridden by Low’s factory race team for nearly a year, assuring it’s fully capable of competing with its carbon competitors.

MKI_geo_low

The frame is constructed of various tube shapes, each providing a specific job. The rear triangle and top tube are built with wide and flat tapered tubes. This tube form allows the bike to absorb vertical chatter from rough roads. For added vibration damping, the seat stays are smoothly affixed to the top tube. This supposedly allows some of the vibration to deflect forward rather than up into the riders back. Furthermore, an over-sized oval down tube provides the bike with its “back bone” ensuring horizontal stiffness.

MIK_road_rear_angle

Specifications

  • Frame weight: 7005 alloy with external cable stops – 1400g (54cm)
  • Fork: ENVE composite 1-1/2′ tapered carbon road
  • Dropouts: Road 130mm spacing
  • Head tube: 1-1/2″ tapered head tube with drop-in bearing seats
  • Bottom Bracket: English threaded 68mm
  • Seat post: 27.2mm
  • Seat post collar: 31.8mm
  • Drivetrain: Sram eTap mechanical brakes
  • matte black with white, orange graphics / classic colorways and raw finish also available for upgrade price

The current wait time to get your hands on one is growing, with it currently pushing past 3 months. The frameset option is running $2,500, while the complete build is going for $4,300.

Lowbicycles.com

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25 Comments
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brettrobinson
6 years ago

this is hot. i have a feeling aluminum is gonna make a comeback.

lovethebike
lovethebike
6 years ago

love the stack and reach numbers.

lovethebike
lovethebike
6 years ago
Reply to  lovethebike

a Lemond style seat tube angle with a nicely raked fork with low stack = a well handling bike that is also comfortable. With that st angle, a 54 is more like a 56 in terms of reach, but a stack height that rids the needs for a negative stem (which can make the steering a bit twitching due to shortening the stems reach). good geometry. Canyon and the H1 Trek are the only other companies coming close to that nice of geometry.

Tommy Rodgers
6 years ago
Reply to  lovethebike

Are you sure? Looks like CAAD10 numbers to me – Lemond was known for slack seat tubes, this as a 54 degree seat angle in a size 54, and all other numbers are also very similar to my CAAD…

Wv Cycling
6 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Rodgers

My belief on the geometry is this would be a great crit bike.

I prefer shorter ETT and longer stem, but I’m not a frame builder ~_~

Ano
Ano
6 years ago

^^^74deg ST on a 56cm also?

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago

I really like the stack and reach on the 58cm but fear its a typo. Higher stack than the 56, but shorter reach (essentially identical though).
I actually think this makes sense at least for my body. I am very leggy, and a higher stack works better for me.

Allan
Allan
6 years ago

Wow, dat logo size! Garish!

CowtownCyclist
CowtownCyclist
6 years ago

Huh. Stock aluminum for a lot more money than plenty of stock carbon frames. The frame alone weighs about the same as my carbon disc cross frame and fork for about 5 times the price. Seems legit.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  CowtownCyclist

The price does seem very high, right… one can get an Trek Emonda ALR for ~$900 or a Spesh Allez Sprint for $1100. I am not sure what a CAAD12 frameset runs, but a CAAD12 105 msrp is $1680.

But then it is made in the USA. So it is similar to something like a Turner, which used to be a premium, but now foreign made similarly equipped bikes seems to be just as expensive (and now Turner is going the same route as they lost a builder and no domestic carbon manufacturers that can scale)

So, taking into account is origin and cost of labor, it doesn’t seem that bad.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  CowtownCyclist

Where were those stock carbon bikes made? Made in the USA costs more.

CowtownCyclist
CowtownCyclist
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Yeah, they are made in China. I wish I could say I felt I was getting better quality when I purchased something made in the USA but I certainly haven’t seen any evidence of that lately and I buy a lot of manufactured steel for work.

Danno
Danno
6 years ago

Alu practicality, carbon price

SV
SV
6 years ago

1400g?

Warren
Warren
6 years ago

It’s like cannondale geo I love that part. It looks super hot too. But probably a all black Caad 10 is about the same thing.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

I’m not knocking it, but $2500 for a aluminum frame seems pretty high to me! I wondering if the waiting list is simply a production bottlenecks rather then tons of people buying this frame…

Carl
Carl
6 years ago

1400g for the frameset (size 54). Cannondale is doing way better with their caad12 (around 1150g) for cheaper. I mean the frameset look really nice but 2500$ isn’t cheap for an aluminium bike.

Von Kruiser
Von Kruiser
6 years ago

Pheelin Low

VeloTime
VeloTime
6 years ago

What’s the point of this frame?
A CAAD12 is 1098g and much cheaper.

John
John
6 years ago

Can’t wait to get my hands on one!!

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago

Cannondale didn’t cut the price of the CAAD frames in less than half when going overseas. There shouldn’t be this much of a premium for a bike that surely doesn’t have the engineering of a CAAD 12 or even a CAAD 10.
If this were custom, maybe but its not

Bikemark
Bikemark
6 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

$200 up-charge for custom geometry.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

Your comment doesn’t really tell us anything.
Did Cannondale profits on frames pre and post overseas manufacture change at all?

I know many goods that went to overseas manufacturing and maintained their MSRP price. Does that mean cost of manufacturer was the same? Does it mean quality was up/down? Lots of variables.

As for engineering, I can’t comment on that. But engineering in and of itself doesn’t always make a great bike. There are many small builders and even smaller brands who make incredible riding bikes with no where near the R&D of the big brands, who can come out with ho-hum (but probably competent) bikes.

nightfend
6 years ago

Good luck with that. If I’m paying that much for an aluminum frame, it better be completely custom. There are a ton of aluminum custom builders like Rocklobster, Primus Mootry, etc. that are less expensive and do high quality frames.

Jason Marshall
6 years ago

I own a Low road frame. It is completely custom. It rides better than any other frame (Ritchey Logic possible exception) that i have owned which includes a BMC, 3 Cervelos, a caad10 and a hand made 8, TCR, surly pacer and a few others. It strikes me a odd that those who would seriously consider a bespoke frame would also be concerned about value. A caad12 complete is impossible to beat for the money. period. If you need to save money then a custom frame should not be a consideration. If, on the other hand, you are in the market for a bespoke product which is locally made then how you perceive value and “need” will be different in which case value only exist when and where you assign it.