Aston Martin partners with Factor Bikes on "world's most technologically advanced road bicycle"
The Aston Martin One-77 is the sports car maker's most advanced, expensive model ever. In fact, at times it's been the most expensive new car in the world. While the car itself has sold out, Aston Martin has teamed up with bicycle manufacturer Factor Bikes to offer buyers a two-wheeled version. Not just any bike would be fit to carry the name, and the parties call the One-77 "the world's most technologically advanced road bicycle."
The One-77 is the result of a team-up between Aston Martin and Factor Bikes, the recently-formed subsidiary of motorsports and aerospace outfit bf1systems, which designed the high-tech F001 bicycle several years ago. That bike laid the foundation (and entire house) for the One-77. Aston Martin brings the marketing panache of a high-performance sports car company and the One-77 name, a name that already screams "ultra-exclusive, high-tech vehicle."
Like the One-77 car, the bike uses loads of carbon fiber to keep weight as low as possible - the frame, fork and handlebars are all made from the lightweight composite material. The bike is outfitted with Shimano Dura-Ace components and rolls on bespoke carbon wheels. An integrated lighting system with high-intensity front LED and red rear LEDs keeps cyclists prepared for dusk. There's not as much to outfit with fancy materials on a bike as a car, but the One-77 does feature hand-stitched leather handlebars and saddle as a sort of high-end, sporty touch and homage to its supercar namesake.
What really sets the One-77 apart is its advanced computer system, originally developed for the F001. The computer uses a complex array of sensors, including GPS, a rear-wheel speed sensor and a crank position sensor, to take performance analysis well beyond the speed and distance measurements of other systems. It gives cyclists a menu of more than 100 specific measurements, including crank torque, leg power and crank force, all broken down into left and right legs. Other measurements include acceleration, wasted leg power, rate of ascent and rear wheel speed. Of course, traditional measurements like speed, altitude, GPS location and heart rate are also a part of the system. It's akin to a sports labratory in the form of a bike.
Not only is the computer system quite elaborate, it's integrated seamlessly into the bike. The backlit touchscreen display is built into the handlebars and the electronics run internally through the frame. The user operates the system with a control set mounted on the handlebars.
The One-77 is built as a training tool for serious cyclists, and we're guessing buyers will need a big sponsorship or two to cover the cost. There's no listed price, but Bike Radar reports that the bike will cost around £25,000 (US$39,000 at time of publishing). That's about what we'd expect, given the One-77 car priced at around US$2 million.
Those that have the money for this much bike can put in inquiries with Factor. Only 77 models will be built, and customers will be invited to the factory throughout the process. Sales will begin next month. Before you commit to a One-77, though, you might want to shop around the supercar-branded, performance bike market a little and check out competitors like the "fastest complete performance bike in the world" from McLaren/Specialized.
Source: Factor Bikes via Bike Radar
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Sadly that is the state of arrested development "serious" bicyclists (meaning aspiring racers within Olympic rules that have hardly changed in that time) have to contend with today. For years now other technologically advanced carbon fiber bikes that are not constrained by archaic rules have been going at speeds as high as 83 mph in the deserts of Nevada near Battle Mountain.
You use it for things like identifying weaknesses in certain muscle groups that you target in training for competition.
It doesn't sound like much but one of the things that pushed formula 1 to the limits are the on board computers that capture excruciating levels of detail that is analyzed by teams of engineers and super computers on the sidelines.
It is the kind of data that will tell riders the most efficient gear to use for a 10% incline, which sized sprockets are best for individual legs of races, which peddle clip technology delivers the best upward torque, which riders are hurting themselves by doing too much of the work with a dominant leg etc.
Just because it isn't useful to you doesn't mean it isn't useful, and because a huge portion of the cost is likely due to the custom computer there is potentially room for future versions to come down in price by a decent amount as printed circuit boards or ASIC's are used and R&D costs are recuperated.
I don't get the Aston Martin tie in or the 25,000 price, though.
Hunched up? Well, it's quite efficient. It works. It's aerodynamic and it lets large muscle groups do their thing.
No, it's not recumbent, but I've never been comfortable in a recumbent - it feels funny to me to push against the direction I'm going, and I can't really slam hard like I can on a road bike - just stand up and use gravity to my advantage. . .
So, summing up, carbon bike with a LOAD of sensors that can tell me how much force I'm putting out as well as everything else I can get from Polar or Garmin. . .yeah, sexy!