Category Archives: Factory 5
Another one of the Factory 5 track bikes that was on the bike tour was Tyler’s. This 61cm frame has quite the component kit on it. Most interestingly, one of five pairs of H+Son carbon fiber wrapped Formation Face rims. The aluminum rims were thinner, to compensate for the wrap, resulting in a lighter rim. They’ll never see full production, because they were a pain to fabricate, but they look great laced to Dura Ace 7600 36h single side track hubs. Tyler’s also riding Paul Royal Flush cranks, which he’s had for over four years in China with no issues.
This is the third prototype of the forthcoming Factory 5 aluminum low pro frame, with smoother welds. The final version will still have a few revisions. Factory 5 has been working on this particular model frame for over a year, revisiting the geometry before making the final version. It makes their motto “We Build. We Ride” even more fitting.
I wanted to photograph his bike after the tour, muddy and all, as a recording of how fucking dirty his bike got riding through China. I’m going to miss hanging out with Tyler. He’s like my metal brother in China…
Check out Factory 5’s current frame offerings here and more photos in the Gallery.
As I ease back into normal blog content, I’ll be posting some of the bikes that the dudes rode on our bike tour. The first of the bunch is owned by one of the most famous track bike riders in China, MMC. The story goes that MMC was one of the first people in Shanghai to really embrace track bikes. When he wasn’t tearing through the streets, he was scouring the internet for deals on vintage Italian and Japanese components and frames.
Once he started working for Factory 5, the guys made sure he was on one of their new prototype aluminum low pro track frames. These frames look great with their classic lines, true track geometry and a 1″ threaded fork mixed in with oversized and shaped tubing. This particular frame is the third prototype. Many changes will be made for the final production model.
You can build them out however you want (you’ll see more examples). MMC usually rides his Zipp 404 laced to gutted Novatek hubs (upgraded to titanium bits and ceramic bearings) but we put the HED3 on for the photo shoot. Even his cranks are balleur. Campy C-Record Pista with a custom manufactured carbon chainring. He literally contacted a local factory to make it for him (53 x 18).
It’s a slick bike and he rode it like a champ on our tour. It really has one of the meanest stances I’ve seen recently in a track bike… Check out Factory 5’s current frame offerings here.
These past few weeks have been absolutely incredible. Our bike tour was easily one of the most exhilarating rides I’ve ever been on. To be concise, it was an eye-opening experience. I really thought that I knew what China was all about but almost immediately, I realized my preconceptions vastly polarized. My anxieties about some situations subsided, as the harsh reality of globalization’s effect on a ancient land settled in.
There’s nothing that can prepare you for the realities that hide on the outskirts of the city. As my film gets processed and scanned, I’ll begin think about how I’ll present my experience on paper. Right now, I feel like I’ve been nursing a two week long hangover. My body aches, my head is pounding and my lungs need some recovery time. So would I do it again? Of course.
When it’s all said and done, I’ve met some truly amazing people and had the opportunity to share all these experiences on bikes with them. I’ll say in confidence that we all will walk away from this trip with some great memories and for that, I’ll always be thankful to the communities that we rode with, the towns we stayed in and the guys at Factory 5.
Until next time, Shanghai, zài jiàn.
As the culmination of the Mission Workshop China Bike Tour with Factory 5, we threw a huge party last night. 700 bottles of beer, 2 Pocari Sweats and a few 2 liters of Sprite brought in around 400 people throughout the evening. Shanghai’s bike scene is a mix of ex-pats and local Chinese riders, so the crowd was quite interesting from a westerner’s point of view. I had a mini-photo show from some photos I posted on the site, James played some rough-cuts of the Mission Workshop videos and Shanghai brought the fun.
Tomorrow morning we all leave China and I still haven’t even begun to process this trip. I’ll share with you some thoughts later on, but for now check out some narrated photos from the party in the Gallery!
Last night, we arrived in Shanghai, where we’ll stay until Monday night. Saturday night is the Mission Workshop party at Factory 5 where I’ll be displaying some of my favorite digital photos from the trip. There will be mountains of free beer, good music and great people. If you’re in Shanghai, roll through!
Unfortunately, Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook and even Gmail (sometimes I can load it up) is blocked in China, so regular blog posting won’t commence until I’m in Australia on Tuesday (your Monday). Thanks for understanding and if you sent an email, there’s no need to forward it again and again, I received it…
Expect some more Shanghai-related posts to go up periodically over the next few days, including bike portraits, so stay tuned.