Who’s behind the slick new bikes at top of pro cycling?

Posted on: August 9th, 2017

Factor O2 bike

There is an unusual and exotic coalition of personalities behind the brand; from F1 engineers to some of the most successful bike riders of the last decade. And success is now beginning to take hold. Above, the O2 ridden by Romain Bardet to 3rd place overall at the Tour de France.

 

The people behind slick new Factor bicycle brand

 

By Jessica Lamb

There was a new bike on the Tour de France podium last month. It got a stage win with Romain Bardet.

The same rider also went on to achieve a second podium finish in Paris. He ran out 3rd overall, riding a Factor.

Factor Bikes was borne out of a collaboration between supercar engineering firm BF1 Systems and former pro cyclists.

They include 2003 Tour green jersey winner Baden Cooke and multiple Grand Tour stage winner David Millar.

Completing the coalition is Rob Gitelis, one of the founders of Carbon Composite bikes in Asia.

FACTOR001, its first model back in 2009, was a £20,000 concept training bike inspired by Formula 1 cars.

It came with inbuilt performance-monitoring computer, GPS, and state-of-the-art, carbon-ceramic hydraulic disc brakes (100 times sleeker than today’s options, in our opinion – Ed).

The technology and engineering lit up the high-performance training units across the globe, and sent Factor into phase two; the road bike.

 

Factor O2 bike

Factor O2 bike

Factor O2 bike

Top, the McLaren F1 LT675 and the Factor ChptIII. Middle, the SLiCK TT machine. Bottom, a Factor O2 climbing bike weighing in at just 4.59kgs.

 

Luxury super car brand Aston Martin – who work with BF1 Systems – came in on the £25,000 FACTOR ONE-77 hyper bike.

It was a refined version of the 001; keeping all the ground-breaking technology of the inbuilt handlebar computer. It also linked the one-off disc brakes to a Shimano Di2 groupset.

Only 77 were made.

But a year later, in 2013, their first unlimited production bike was unveiled as the Vis Vires.

It was a machine that took the UCI guidelines, and did the opposite; in the name of aerodynamics.

What was learnt in engineering and adaption of these super bikes distilled into the World Tour bike AG2R La Mondiale ride for the first time this year.

And it was that model that Bardet rode so sweetly (most of the time) in last month’s Tour.

Cooke, a pro cyclist for 14 years, and Gitelis, bought Factor from BF1 Systems during development of the racing bike.

Along with Millar they produced the high end range that made its Tour de France debut this year.

Unlike other manufacturers with WorldTour bikes, Factor only produces super bikes.

Bardet rode the O2, whose frame retails at €4,999. A One-S frame costs the same, while a One frame will set you back €5,499.

The fully kitted out TT model, Slick, costs €12,499. And Millar’s limited edition Chpt comes in at €13,499.

Perhaps a trickledown will occur eventually, with the brand very much in its infancy at present.

But until then, the vast majority of us will have to just sit back and swoon.

 

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