October 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 26, 2012
A firm which makes components for the motorsport and aerospace industry has turned its expertise to making one of the most hi-tech road bicycles on the planet.
Factor Bikes, a subsidiary of bf1systems, has spent the last year developing the One-77 bicycle at their technical centre in Owen Road, Diss, which combines precision engineering with the latest technologies.
But if you have been encouraged to take up cycling following the Tour de France or the forthcoming Olympics and Tour of Britain, you will need to start saving as these two wheels are going to set you back a cool £25,000.
A team of 15 staff at Factor Bikes began work last year to design and make the bicycle, inspired by Aston Martin’s One-77 coupe supercar, which costs in the region of £1million.
Simon Roberts, project manager at Factor Bikes, said that since the launch of the new bicycle at the car company’s glitzy Park Lane store in London earlier this month, they have already received four orders from Australia, Japan and Brazil from people who have not even seen the bike and seven more inquiries.
The Aston Martin bike uses some of the same design and technology as the Factor001 bicycle the Diss firm made three years ago at a cost of £20,000.
“We are using a lot of electronics in the bike to take lab data measurements on the road and there are components we use in motorsport that we have adapted for the One-77.”
“The cranks measure the left and right leg power 200 times a second and the electronics on the handle bars measure things like GPS, heart rate, temperature, humidity, and altitude,” said Mr Roberts.
Only 77 of the Aston Martin bicycles will be made by the Diss firm and it takes seven people two weeks to make one. The One-77 also comes in seven different colours, including the classic racing green.
The head unit, which displays over 100 channels of information, also sports a bluetooth connection to connect with and share data to smartphones and other devices.
Mr Roberts said the company designed its first Factor001 to showcase the firm and demonstrate how the latest race car materials and technology could be applied to a bicycle. Staff are already working on their next generation bike, which is set to be launched at the end of the year.
Almost 90 people work for Factor Bikes and bf1systems, which provides cutting edge components for vehicles in Formula 1, Indycar, World Rally and Moto GP and has a client list including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin and Maserati.
One of East Anglia’s largest crane hire companies, Quinto Crane & Plant Ltd, has been bought out in a multi-million pound deal, with the new owner promising to safeguard the jobs for its 125 employees and guaranteeing future investment.