Ever wondered what would happen if a group of Formula One engineers got together to create a bicycle? Wonder no more, because the fellows at Beru f1systems have done exactly that, and the end product is the Factor 001 -- a high-tech two-wheeler worth £27,000. Puts the £2,000 Ultra Motor A2B electric bike to shame, doesn't it?
The bike was designed to serve as an 'elite training system' for discerning (read: incredibly rich) riders who want the ultimate in acceleration and stability. It's constructed from a strong, lightweight carbon monocoque frame, but more impressively, it comes with fully integrated GPS and performance-monitoring systems that analyse the rider's heart rate, effort and prevailing road conditions to figure out whether you're feeling as much burn as you should be. Perfect for F1 drivers in training for the new season.
Settings can be adjusted via a handlebar-mounted touchscreen display, and all data from your riding session is stored on a 64MB portable data logger, which can be removed from the bike and connected to a PC for data analysis.
The Factor 001 uses a Shimano Di2 electronic gear system that lets users change gear at the press of a button. This, we're told, reduces the time it takes to change gear, shifting the chain about the chain-ring significantly quicker than equivalent manual systems.
If that doesn't justify the Factor 001's enormous price tag, consider this: it comes with steel-disc brakes, or the option of carbon-ceramic brakes like you get on high-performance sports cars such as the Aston Martin DBS.
Don't expect to see the Factor 001 at the Olympics any time soon -- it's so high-tech it doesn't comply with all the usual race regulations. If you want one, head over to the Factor 001 Web site, but before you do, check out some of the pictures in our gallery.