The Racer's Bicycle

An F1 company has applied it expertise to two wheels

At the start of October I took part in a cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of Parkinson’s UK. Strange decision – I’m not a big fan of cycling. But one of the good things that came out of the experience – apart from the amazing amount of money people have been generous enough to donate - was that bf1systems (On the Road, April issue) kindly allowed me a day’s training on a bicycle it had built to showcase what can be achieved with two pedal-powered wheels, given a blank sheet of paper.

Applying its racing expertise, the wiring systems company has come up with the Factor 001. The bicycle is solely for training as it hasn’t been homologated for most racing categories, but in that realm it is quite amazing what it can do. Only the tyres, bearings and electric gear system are off the shelf, and bf1systems has used sensors all over the bike to measure everything from each leg’s torque load to skin temperature, speed, atmospheric pressure and heart rate.

It was an amazing piece of engineering to ride but it was hard to truly appreciate, as not only am I far from a professional cyclist but it carries a price tag of £20,000. That aside, I can see why the Factor 001 is the training tool for professional athletes, if a very expensive one. Above all, it’s good to see Formula 1 technology being used in other areas.