The Factor 001, dubbed the "world's most advanced bicycle" is now being made available to the general public.
Priced at a recession-busting £21,995 (US$36,000) and upwards, you can order one of these from London department store Harrods. Just in time for Christmas, perhaps?
But the high price tag hasn't deterred people, it seems. Claire Dumbreck, from BERU f1systems, told BikeRadar that in the last nine months they'd had "hundreds" of sales enquiries with serious orders "in the tens" - so there obviously is a market for a bike this expensive.
It was designed by motorsport specialists BERU f1systems as a side project to their main line of work: electronic monitoring systems and composites for Formula One, military, aerospace and nautical applications. They wanted to see if this technology could be applied to the bicycle and have spent the last two and a half years doing so.
We previewed the Factor 001 in March and it's been on display in London's Science Museum since then. Most of it, save for the Shimano Di2 electronic transmission and the tyres, has been designed and built by BERU in Norfolk, UK. Each one that's sold will be customised to the buyer, who will get a full fitness assessment including technique, posture and performance, as part of the price.
The Factor 001's main purpose seems to be an advanced training tool rather than a high performance racing bike. On-board measuring systems give data on around 100 parameters, including crank force, incline, lean angle, body temperature, chest expansion, speed and riding position for analysis afterwards using software specifically designed for this bike. The software is an additional cost, by the way.
What's it like to ride? Our colleagues over at Cycling Plus are getting one in for testing in early 2010. We'll keep you up to date on how it performs.
- Bespoke, custom fit Twin Vane composite frame with integrated electrical, hydraulic and LED lighting systems.
- Composite carbon Factor 001 wheels
- Shimano Di2 electric shifting mechanism
- Hydraulic brakes with options for metallic or carbon discs
- Optional electronics and data acquisition pack
- Weight: 7.4kg
- Price: from £21,995
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