Factor has been everywhere in Adelaide and at the Tour Down Under. With teams in the women’s and men’s TDU, a new Ostro VAM, a stand in the expo, an eighth-anniversary bash on Wednesday, and finally, a presentation of their new track bike on Thursday evening, it’s been difficult to avoid them.
That track bike is the Hanzo Track, developed explicitly for Australia’s riders heading for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Its launch was a little strange, providing no actual technical details, stiffness numbers, nor aero data. The only insight we did get was that the bike is a pursuit-specific model developed in collaboration with AusCycling.
Its unveiling doubled up as the Factor & AusCycling partnership announcement, and although the bike was there to touch and feel, the actual details were not for sharing.
Not for sharing … until after the Olympics, that is, which is a similar story to the pricing for this bike. Some talk this week suggested prices as high as $60 & $90,000. Regardless of the actual number, what is clear is that the pricing is just a workaround for the UCI commercialisation rule, which states all equipment must be available to purchase in a bid to ensure “fair and equitable access for all” to the latest tech.
Technically, the bike probably is available to order and, as such, is in keeping with the rule. But there are no team pursuit nations with 60-90K to drop per bike for their four- or five-rider team pursuit squads. And even if a nation does have that kind of money, you can be sure they’ve already got a similar partnership with another brand that’s delivering a similarly – for all intents and purposes – exclusive bike. You can probably also expect to see that price drop as soon as the final medals are presented at the Paris Olympics.
In the meantime, while we may not be able to buy the bike just yet, we do at least have this gallery of Sam Welsford’s national team pursuit bike to pore over.