In keeping with the technology theme from my last post, I will mention the Factor 001 bike that I saw today on Quickrelease.TV. The bike was designed by BERU f1 systems, a supplier of performance engineering solutions to the motorsport, automotive, and marine industries. Exactly what kind of data the bike will provide is not yet clear, but the company claims that this will be the “ultimate bicycle and training tool, combining innovative design and advanced electronics to record and analyse volumes of biometric data.” As the QR.tv post speculates, a power meter and HRM output will surely be parts of the toolset that will be integrated into the composite frame and proprietary components.
Details about the bike are scarce at this point and, to be honest, I am not sure what I think of the design of this prototype. Still, I am glad to see a company with a successful history in automotive engineering taking an interest in the design of a high-end bicycle. I have written about some of the automotive branded bikes on the market in the past, but this is a bit different. Most of those past bikes have really just been licensed products or have resulted from co-branding agreements in which the car company bearing the brand name had very little design input. Anyway, I guess time will tell if the Factor 001 will go the direction of bikes like the old Ferrari Colnagos (not the new CF4s, but the old ones with the big flywheel attached to the crankset) or if the varied engineering background of a company like BERU f1 will possibly lead to a product with a few truly innovative features.
As I have said before, I like to see ideas for bicycle products coming from companies outside the traditional bicycle industry. In some cases, a degree of unfamiliarity can provide a fresh perspective in the development of a product (those who don’t feel like they already know all the answers aren’t afraid to question the status quo). I am not really speaking specifically about the factor 001 at this point, but I think this is a trend that we will see more of in the future. At any rate, I am curious to hear what you all think about companies from other industries designing bikes. Any thoughts on the subject?