Yikes! Tyler from Factory Five is one of the raddest dudes I’ve met over the past few years, so I can just imagine him smashing around Shanghai on this thing. As a drummer of a hardcore band, he’s no stranger to camo (shorts), so it just seemed like a natural move to paint his new Factory Five F550s track with the digital pattern. Check out more at the Factory Five Flickr and see the build specs below.
Photos by Sean Murphy
As one of the first people to test out the new cycling gear from Mission Workshop, I greeted it with as much apprehension as enthusiasm. Surely, there were already a lot of options for urban cycling gear out there but were these new pieces strictly for cycling?
Not at all. In fact, while I enjoyed riding in the clothes, I didn’t feel like there was anything in particular that made it cycling-specific and that’s a good thing. The side utility pocket has everyday applications and the cut certainly fits on the bike. In the end, this is made in the USA, high-tech, high-quality clothing from a company that is no stranger to those traits.
The crew at Shanghai-based Factory 5 are some talented folks. They’ve been working on designing, developing and fabricating track bike goods in China. For them, it’s actually quite an easy task because they live just miles from the factories. One of their recent developments is this precision CNC milled, intricate dual-plane lattice cutout, prototype 7075 aluminium track chainring that weighs less than 80g.
So solid guys! I’ll post more once they’re available.
Photos by Benoit Florencon
The whole time I was in Shanghai, I kept going nuts looking at all the street spots and no one was riding them. I’m glad to see that Steven Jensen got to hit as many as he could in the four hours of street riding he had while visiting. Also, I want to congratulate Steven on getting over his fear of air travel. That’s a long flight to lose your airtime virginity to!
Couldn’t make it out to the opening party of The Ends at Mission Workshop? No big deal, yesterday I shot some photos of the pieces and they’re all displayed in the Gallery. At this point, I’m exhausted from this whole process of going through 800 drum-scanned photos and narrowing a selection down to around 30 photos. The theme is apparent here, if you take the time to soak it all in and I’ll be posting more about The Ends over the next few weeks…
This show will travel to Eurobike and Paris later this summer, as well as Interbike. We’re still trying to figure out what pieces will be displayed where, but in the meantime, the photography book is available at Mission Workshop. Also, you can contact Mission Workshop if you’re interesting in purchasing one of these handmade, high-quality photographic prints on Fuji paper.
Here’s a video trailer promoting a series of webisodes that Mission Workshop is working on with the Werehaus, showcasing our bike tour in China:
“Setting out from Shanghai, John Watson and Mission Workshop began their cycling tour of China’s Yangtze River Delta. Using both film and digital formats, Watson photographed the surroundings and encounters with the local community. Led by their friends from Factory Five, they headed into a frenetic network of massive residential complexes, large industrial parks, and super highways. At first glance, the route seemed straightforward, however, the reality of the 1,000km trip was far more intense than anyone expected.”
Last month’s tour was one of the best months of my life. China was, albeit a bit taxing at times, incredible and that’s all thanks to the crew at Factory 5. One of those dudes is Jeff and this is his no frills Factory 5 F550 track bike. Bare aluminum, black components and my favorite rims, this bike is clean!
I have to admit, it’s my favorite from the group and that’s mostly due to the utilitarian nature of the setup. Sometimes, there’s risers and a front brake, other times, compact drops. The gear range is spinny and as Jeff proved by smashing it up some serious climbs, he’s well equipped for anything…
James Adamson from Adventure Refugee has a long-time relationship with Ibis Cycles, so when the time came to prep for the Mission Workshop trip to China, he contacted them about a bike. Their Hakkalügi Disc Cross made the most sense for this tour.
Shown here, completely stock with cross tires or as it appeared in my post photos with Fyxation tires. The Hakkalügi retails with an Ultegra kit for $3699. Unfortunately, these are the last photos this bike will ever have taken of it because China Airlines crushed it in transport. Bummer! Check out more in the Gallery.
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.