BERU Factor 001: Formula 1 engineers create a bicycle
The product of British engineering firm BERU F1 Systems, the Factor 001 very well might be the pinnacle of road bikes. Without having to comply to the regulations of any particular cycling series, BERU was able to start from scratch and design the bike the way they best saw fit. The carbon fiber monocoque frame is painstakingly built according to the customer's specifications and measurements and features carbon-ceramic brakes and an LCD touch-screen that displays biometrics and various other readings.
BERU will only produce a few hundred examples of the Factor 001, which may come down more to the time factor: each example takes six engineers a week to build. Currently on display at London's Science Museum and at Harrod's department store, prices – are you ready for this? – start at a whopping £22,000. That's about $34 grand in American greenbacks, in case you weren't cringing enough already. Details in the press release after the jump.
[Source: BERU F1 Systems]
WORLD'S MOST EXCLUSIVE AND TECHNICALLY ADVANCED ROAD BIKE READY TO ROLL
The ultimate riding experience is just around the corner for a few hundred privileged customers as the world's first bike designed and hand built by Formula One engineers receives its finishing touches
A revolutionary new bicycle designed by Formula One engineers at BERU f1systems to deliver the ultimate riding experience is now ready to roll. With smooth, clean lines and a dramatic stance, Factor 001 has been designed to offer a highly responsive ride free from the need to comply with race regulations, and optimised to offer maximum acceleration and stability. Lightweight and robust with a carbon monocoque frame, it will deliver an elite training system for just a few hundred discerning customers worldwide, with the option for riders to record up to 100 channels of biometric, environmental and physical force data.
The launch follows a year of track and laboratory tests with feedback from leading sports technologists, during which BERU f1systems perfected its 'ultimate riding machine' and built the first full production specification model. Each bike will be individually tailored to the customer's exact measurements and design preferences, with the owner's name engraved on the handlebars.
"Every carbon composite component of the bike is crafted in-house drawing upon the same techniques used to produce Formula One components," explains John Bailey, managing director, BERU f1systems. "Each model takes six highly skilled engineers a week to make. With only a limited number of bikes due to be built, we expect Factor 001 to become a desirable collector's item."
Heralded by 220 Triathlon magazine as a 'rule-destroying speed machine' and 'mobile sports laboratory', Factor 001, which is currently being displayed in the London Science Museum and is on sale at Harrod's department store, was recognised by France's leading cycling magazine, L'Acheteur Cycliste, as offering supreme rigidity and precision in its steering, with a very lightweight feel and highly reactive acceleration and braking. The magazine's chief bike critic also recognised the mastery of carbon fibre that had gone into its design and manufacture.
"In designing and perfecting Factor 001 we chose not to be limited by any preconceptions surrounding traditional road bike design," comments Bailey. "By starting afresh and working outside the design regulations set out by the Union Cycliste International, we could ensure that nothing would stand in the way of developing an outstanding riding experience. Riders will quickly notice how light the bike feels to ride, and should experience rapid acceleration with minimal exertion."
Factor 001 has a lightweight and highly rigid carbon fibre monocoque structure. Its unique twin-vein architecture can be adjusted to within a millimetre to suit the rider's measurements and typical riding position. In keeping with the frame's robust design, the bike's eight-spoke carbon composite wheels are capable of reliably negotiating tough road conditions. The bike also features the world class Shimano Di2 electronic gear shift, and customers can opt for carbon ceramic disc brakes.
"Our twin-vein design provides substantially improved lateral stiffness and therefore more of the power generated by the rider is transmitted into forward motion," explains Bailey. "A conventional frame, even one made of carbon composite, flexes when the rider applies force to the pedals, which absorbs energy and reduces acceleration. Our twin-vein frame almost completely eliminates this problem, delivering an exceptionally responsive ride."
Packed with BERU f1systems' patented technology, the bike's frame contains highly sophisticated load sensors, wiring, batteries, control cables and lines for its hydraulic braking system, all of which are fully integrated into the composite during construction to give unparalleled efficiency with a clean, uncluttered appearance.
Physical structure aside, the multi-channel electronics package available with the bike has unique ergonometric data collection, logging and analysis capabilities. It can simultaneously correlate biometric data from the ride, physical force data from the bike and environmental data to offer a level of analysis previously only available under laboratory conditions. Riders can record everything from skin temperature and respiration rate to atmospheric pressure and humidity and individual leg power output. The individual channels of data can be displayed on the LCD touch screen, all of which are logged and can be downloaded for post-ride analysis. The rider can configure each screen to display his/her preferred parameters, and the system allows the rider to easily switch between screens whilst riding.
"We have worked in collaboration with sports technology experts at Loughborough University to determine the most efficient means of optimising the bike to suit the rider's individual training needs and riding style, and are now confident that the fine tuning we can offer customers will greatly enhance their training experience," comments Bailey. "Additionally, as the bike is totally customisable, we can also tailor its paintwork and graphics to complement the owner's design preferences."
Just as a Formula One driver's car set-up is optimised to allow him to perform at his best, so customers purchasing a Factor 001 bike will be invited to an in-depth cycle fitting and analysis session to ensure that the bike is an exact fit for his/her physical fitness and training needs. The comprehensive fitting session with sports innovation consultancy Progressive Sports Technologies lasts two to three hours, during which an SICI qualified (www.serottacyclinginstitute.com) bike fitter completes a detailed scientific appraisal of the rider's cycling physiology, technique and alignment.
Areas of focus will include posture, core condition, muscle recruitment, pedal force and cleat position, as well as any injury or pain concerns, taking into account the rider's sporting history and using high technology video analyses. Customers can also undergo a series of in-depth fitness tests to measure their maximal aerobic power output, V02max, sub-maximal cycling economy and maximal anaerobic capacity.
The standard bike is available at a cost of £22,000, while the model with integrated electronics, due to be released in April 2010, costs £27,000. The frame is available in pearlescent white with composite masked decals and customer specific schemes can be quoted for upon request. For further information, visit www.factor001.com
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