As any levelheaded cyclist knows, more than any other material, carbon fiber has revolutionized the bike industry in ways that neither aluminum, steel nor titanium ever could. Still, in addition to delivering new levels of lightweight performance to cycling, carbon fiber is also known for providing heightened levels of marketing hyperbole. Between the overuse of references like “nano” and “aerospace” technology, everyone’s favorite “black plastic” material has also frequently been linked to the high-tech world of Formula One racing. 

However, if there was one bike that could legitimately lay claim to having actual F1 origins, it would be the ultra-limited-production Factor One-77.  It was back in 2008 when John Bailey—then the managing director for BF1 Systems, a UK-based company that supplied the carbon steering wheels and electronics for the highest level of car racing—decided to try his company’s hand at designing a bike. 

In its original form, the bike was known as the Factor 001, and as Bailey himself admits, it was never meant to be sold as a production bike. But that all changed when BF1 customer and prestige English car maker Aston Martin adapted the bike as an optional purchase item to go along with their radical One-77 hypercar. What made the bike so unique? How about internally routed hydraulic, flat-mount disc brakes, neither of which the bike industry had yet conceived! No doubt the other most visually stunning aspect of the bike was the twin-spar fork and Twin Vane downtube and seat tubes.  

Borrowing from BF1’s electronics prowess, the One-77 was among the earliest adapters of Shimano’s nascent Di-2 electronic drivetrain. BF1 also created their own dual-sided power meter and head unit. Speaking to how early the bike was in the electronic revolution yet to unfold, John added: “The bike was ready well before the electronics, which were a constant headache but ultimately the most interesting part of the bike for us.”


Within a few years the bike had attracted enough outside attention from others that John decided to move back to cars full-time and let others take the helm of a burgeoning new bike brand, appropriately enough called Factor. Over-developed as the One-77 was, the new owners realized that there was too much good technology to not put into use for a production bike. With the help of American designer Steve Domahidy, the result was the Factor Vis Vires, which made its debut at the 2013 Eurobike show and a few months later on the cover of RBA  (below). 

It would be three years later when the design descendent of the Vis Vires was born in the shape of the $12,500 Factor One aero road bike (above) which used a simpler version of the twin spar fork (now dubbed the OTIS, (One Total Integration System), but retained the split Twin Vane downtube.

It’s amazing now to look back and consider not only how advanced the One-77 was at the time, but that it found its origins in a company that was making steering wheels for Formula One cars. And so it goes!

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