When Joscelin Lowden ascended to victory in the 2017 British hill-climb national championships she did so on a relatively unconventional bike – even for hill-climb standards.
Lowden’s machine could be described as ‘cobbled together’, as it features the Planet X frame of her brother James’s bike, as evidenced by his name still present on the top tube, and an array of components. Proof, perhaps, that you really don’t need to spend large sums on a bike fit to win a national titles.
Joscelin’s brother James Lowden, we should point out, is also a hill-climb specialist with a string of titles, and placed third in last year’s HC championships.
However, there’s no denying that it was effective, as the Lewes Wanderers rider took her first national title in Northumberland at the end of October having only turned to cycling in 2016 after being a runner.
The Planet X carbon-fibre frame was adorned with pared back and lightweight parts to create a whole. Planet X also provide the rims, shod with TUFO tubs, and the lightweight brake calipers.
Old SRAM Red levers and rear derailleur are used for shifting – although, of course, there’s no superfluous front mech to add weight where it is not needed.
The 3T handlbar has been cut off just below the lever clamp, which now seems to be standard practice for hill-climb bikes. Lowden has a FRM stem.
The carbon saddle is devoid of padding and adds little in the way of weight to the overall bike.
The cranks on the Shimano Ultegra chainset (with both rings still attached) hold PowerTap pedals, but Lowden couldn’t use the power output figures from the pedals as the Garmin computer mount she bought would not fit her bars!
Since taking the national hill-climb title it has been announced that Lowden has been signed by the Storey Racing team for 2018.