BERU f1systems Engineers Build World's Most Advanced Bicycle

BERU f1systems Factor 001 cycle - 940 - 17.02.2010
BERU f1systems Factor 001 cycle - 940 - 17.02.2010

Engineers at BERU f1systems in Norfolk, England, have created what they call the "world's first bike designed and hand built by Formula one engineers."  The incredibly expensive Factor 001 bicycle has a starting price of £22,000.

For that money, the customer gets a lightweight carbon monocoque frame completely customized to the owner's physical measurements.  The bicycle does not comply with many rules for competitive cycling, which gave designers the opportunity to create a machine that accelerates quickly with the highest level of stability.  The look of the bike can also be designed to the customer's wishes, with his or her name engraved on the handlebars.

"In designing and perfecting Factor 001 we chose not to be limited by any preconceptions surrounding traditional road bike design," said BERU exec John Bailey.  "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."

Built into the frame are "highly sophisticated load sensors, wiring, batteries, control cables and lines for its hydraulic braking system."  With additional electronics, the bike collects data on ergonometrics, biometrics, physical forces, and environmental factors.  Data is displayed on the included LCD touch screen, but can also be downloaded onto a computer for analysis.

The bike is on sale now with carbon ceramic brakes, and a Shimano Di2 gear shift.  The version with added electronics will be sold for £27,000.  Only several hundred units of the Factor 001 will be produced.


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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Comments (20)

Iconic Iconic
I;m not buying one unless it transforms into Optimus Prime
Feb 19th, 2010 3:47am
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AlpinaRacerX AlpinaRacerX
"In designing and perfecting Factor 001 we chose not to be limited by any preconceptions surrounding traditional road bike design" hahaha...that's why it looks like any traditional road bike. Also while designing they forgot (or maybe never knew) what it is that road cyclist are looking for! And which avid cyclist will buy this bike? I think even with Bill Gates money hardly anyone will want to buy this thing. There are much, much more advanced and sophisticated bicycles out there, that make a 1000% more sense. Beru dudes, focus on your F1 stuff, this bicycle is just silly.
Feb 19th, 2010 3:22am
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599FXX 599FXX
before i read the article in its entirety i thought the electronics pack might have been kers... too bad for $40k+ i would expect energy recovery
Feb 19th, 2010 3:21am
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unknownuser unknownuser
I've been a devoted cyclist for over 15 years now and a serious cyclist would not spend even half the amount on this bike. It's over kill. We spend more money so that our bikes weigh less. Also...some people wouldn't buy bikes (or even parts...wheels) that don't conform to racing guidelines because they're purists...or posers that want to use what the pros use is more like it... This road bike is a nice conversation piece...but then again there are many other things that you can purchase for this amount that make for even more interesting conversations.
Feb 19th, 2010 2:46am
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acrane7073 acrane7073
being an avid bike rider, I don't understand some of their logic. You do not need carbon ceramic hydraulic disk breaks on a road bike. The only time that would be necessary is in mountain biking. The sensors are a great idea but how much weight does that add to the bike. Road bikes are all about being light.
Feb 19th, 2010 1:59am
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sideskraper sideskraper
So it's a lightweight road bike burdened by batteries sensors cables and hydraulic lines? Great plan. The only people who will buy this are people who want to say their bike is built by "F1 engineers". It's obvious they're useless or they would be employed in F1 or another series and too busy to design this bike.
Feb 19th, 2010 12:14am
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amhirst amhirst
Simple question of a simle mind: Why on EARTH would you need carbon ceramic brakes on a f.....ing BICYCLE !!!!???
Feb 18th, 2010 9:33pm
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hitar_potar hitar_potar
cause of all the heat the brake generates when you're stopping from 30-40 miles per hour. not to mention that bikes like this one do go even faster pretty often. as you can see, the brake rotor are small so the heat would have less material to spread through. that's why on mountain bikes manufacturers put bigger rotors. but on a road bike like this one everything is about the weight - rotor must be smaller and lighter, but still to perform excellent and not to heat up too much. :P
Feb 18th, 2010 11:22pm
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sideskraper sideskraper
A typical bike brake disc rotor is about 1/8" thick and is 160mm around. A lot of heat can be generated into a rotor like this under use. I have a cheap bike and the rotors end up hot enough to burn and blister my fingers if I touch it after a short ride to the shops and back. However, there are some serious wtf's about this braking setup. Road bikes use virtually the same brakes as they have for the last 30 years for a reason. They are the best solution for the application. They don't need disc brakes or even linear pull brakes for the very reason that other bikes do need them. 1: Braking power applicable is dictated by grip. You can brake as hard as you like but if your tires can't maintain traction then it is pointless. Road bike tires have a very small contact area for the lowest possible rolling resistance. Thus too much braking power = no control (or modulation of the brakes) during braking. 2: Disc and V brakes benefit other cyclists with their tire clearance and debris clearance. Running big tires on a MTB, cyclocross or commuting bike is advantageous. On a MTB or cyclocross bike the debris (mud etc) can get jammed in the brakes/cables hence they tend not to use road brakes and have different configurations. 3: Hydraulic brakes (and lines) are heavy but they maintain their performance over a wide range of conditions by dispensing with the cable which can stretch, snap, etc. Cables have friction issues especially when there is dirt and water involved. During sustained agressive braking the stretch can render cable actuated brakes useless. 4: Shimano Di2 levers are meant for cable actuated brakes not hydraulic brakes. This means that somewhere along the line there has to be a cable to hydraulic conversion mechanism. This is heavy, presents another potential failure point, and means that all the disadvantages of cable actuation is present. I maintain this bike is idiotic and only unemployed engineers from a team like Super Aguri would design a bike like this.
Feb 19th, 2010 12:38am
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Bristol411S3 Bristol411S3
I absolutely do not get people chiming with in with "you could buy a Ducati" or "you could buy a Clio RS". Have you worked out how many potatoes you could by? Or dobermans? Or how much carpet? I think BERU are aiming for people who want a high end bike specifically, rather than people who have been told that unless they spend £27K by sunrise they'll be murdered in front of their family.
Feb 18th, 2010 9:14pm
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charlemagne charlemagne
after all it's just a Shimano. I'm pretty sure in about 10 years you'll be able to buy something very similar at a fraction of cost.
Feb 18th, 2010 8:57pm
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vladimir vladimir
Yeah, but the Clio RS wouldn't be a bicycle, now would it?
Feb 18th, 2010 7:36pm
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johnny232 johnny232
you could actually buy a Renault Clio RS instead of this
Feb 18th, 2010 6:14pm
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bmwaddict bmwaddict
S..t!!! A brand new Ducati 1198S is 22000 euros. Who in it's right mind would buy this bicycle?
Feb 18th, 2010 4:20pm
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nederina nederina
What's revolutionary about it? You still have to pedal. A Ducati 1198S? Make that two! A BMW K1200S sounds good too
Feb 18th, 2010 4:59pm
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hitar_potar hitar_potar
haha, i always admired so close-minded people like you two (bmwaddict and nederina) - i've heard this far too many times - why buy a bicycle for the same amount of money as a Ducati. just think - a ducati will cost you 20000 euros, then you pay taxes for it, you buy yourself some equipment for like 1500 euros (helmet, boots, racing suit ot a motorbike jacket, motorbike pants, gloves), then you have to fuel for gas and a serious motorbike consumes fuel as a car, if not even more. then comes servicing the motorbike regularly - engine oil, filters, tyres (powerful motorbikes do eat their tyres fast enough). in the same time a mountain bike or a road bike costing 20000 euros will be bought by somebody with far too much money who already has a motorbike, or a racer cyclist. a mountain or road bike does need regular servicing as well, but it's far cheaper than a motorbike. other important thing is that by riding a mountain or road bike is active practising of some sport - you train your body. i myself ride a mountain bike for several thousand euros and i'm not even a racer - i ride it for the fun of it, to spend some good time with friends of mine, to stay fit. i'm not someone with too much money - my car is 10 years old but it's ok. i've ridden a friend's motorbike as well - it's great but it's too much money. oooh, yeah, i forgot - you need a garage to keep your motorbike in it - the mountain bike stays at home. :P different people, different kinds of taste - why do people buy an aston martin while in the same time they can get the tuned out golf R32 from (i think) tuner HTP with 640bhp and blow the fuck out every aston martin out there? :P
Feb 18th, 2010 6:33pm
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Narco Narco
agree with hitar 100%. I wouldn't have a need for a USD ~40,000 bike, but someone who cycles much more seriously could probably see some value in this. However I used to race mountain bikes and my bike at the time was $5,000 due to its suspension. My point being there are some serious cyclists out there that while not using this for competition, would train on it and possibly use it for research purposes. People should stop blasting every new idea and expensive product that comes out just to fit in and sound negative. Fishes, Narco.
Feb 19th, 2010 1:03am
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nederina nederina
That's what they have menus in restaurants. I like spaghettis and you might like something else. I love cycling but for 20k, I'll stick with my Ducati. These bikes will ended up exhibiting in a museum or a gallery than be used for everyday.
Feb 19th, 2010 2:11am
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v6s_stink v6s_stink
It looks like both the R8 and the BMW r2D2 thingy.
Feb 18th, 2010 1:48pm
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EDavis EDavis
"In designing and perfecting Factor 001 we chose not to be limited by any preconceptions surrounding traditional road bike design," ...And certainly they weren't limited by the "preconception" that cyclists are absolutely fanatical about the weight of their machines, which is why this thing is saddled with "highly sophisticated load sensors, wiring, batteries, control cables and lines for its hydraulic braking system." "Only several hundred units of the Factor 001 will be produced." And far fewer will be sold.
Feb 18th, 2010 12:56pm
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