What do you get when you take a handful of Formula One engineers that build $10 million race cars and let them redesign the bicycle? You get the $34,000 Factor 001 from BERU f1systems.
When developing the Factor 001, the engineers did not want to be limited by any preconceptions surrounding traditional road bike design. This allowed them to start from the ground up and make an outstanding ride experience. The bike is extremely light and riders should experience rapid acceleration with minimal exertion. Every component was crafted in-house using the same techniques used to produce Formula One components.
The Factor 001 has a lightweight and extremely rigid carbon fiber monocoque structure. They use a twin vane system that offers lateral stiffness with no weight penalty. Each frame will be custom tuned to the rider geometry, allowing small changes in the frame dimensions to ensure a full custom fit. The carbon-composite material has load sensors, wiring, control cables and lines for the hydraulic braking system fully integrated during construction.
The wheels for the bike were completely redesigned as well. It also uses carbon fiber, but unlike existing composite designers, which can be fragile in exchange for weight savings, the Factor 001 wheels are designed to cope with the real world. This was the most difficult component to design, they had to construct a narrow hub because of the disc brakes, and wanted to use as little spoke material as possible to improve aerodynamics.
Each bike takes six highly skilled engineers a week to make, and only a few hundred will be made. The bike is for sale at Harrod’s while being displayed in the London Science Museum. You can pick one up for yourself now for about $34,000, or wait for the model with integrated electronics in April 2010 which will run slightly over $40,000. You can read more about the bike at Factor001.com.