Factory Five: Four Floors Down

We slipped four stories below Shanghai recently and did a few training laps of an empty underground car-park. The air was calm, the lights bright and the lines straight – perfect for a sprint.

Down here the silent hum of nearby generators is the only background noise, joined with the whirr of our chains. Brakeless with risers brought the columns closer but within control parameters – we trialled the curves, training for a ghost lap that only we would see.

Studio 191 @ Factory Five

We’ve been eager to team up with our friends at Studio 191 for quite some time, and have finally pulled the trigger.

Each month, Studio 191 teams up with a unique venue, collaborates on a photo theme and then curates a small gallery based on all of the photo submissions.

On Friday, April 17th we’ll be hosting the next Photo Party at Factory Five. The theme is CYCLE. It is open to interpretation, and entries are free – they just need to be submitted to studio191shanghai@hotmail.com before the deadline of April 11th, so act fast!

The photos are then printed and put on display – and available for sale through a silent auction on the night. More details on this later.

We’re going to be entering our own gallery of photos from our upcoming ride across the Xinjiang desert.

Expect super cheap drinks and food with music rolling late into the night. The party starts at 9pm and is free.

F550s: Mark

This F550s build pulls out all the stops. Complete with our omnilattice crankset, Chris King headset, Thomson seat post and stem, Deda drop bars, Gran Compe hubs and H Plus Son TB14 rims this bike absolutely rips. Built custom for Mark it’s set up as a single speed smasher with one front brake. Catch it on the street of Shanghai this summer!

Rider Profile: Yu Yang 于洋

From the streets of Tianjian to the velodrome of Shanghai. Yu Yang has a unique story to tell and one of the world’s lightest bikes to tell it on. We caught up with him in the workshop ask a few questions and to lay trembling hands on the first sub 5kg bike Factory Five has ever witnessed.

name: Yu Yang 于洋
age: 25
hometown: Tianjin
profession: Shanghai Theater Academy Puppet Master

Q: That looks like one of the lightest bikes we’ve ever seen in Shanghai, is it?

A: Well, it very well could be! It weighs only 4.9kg! I’m running a 53×13 ratio and the frame is a Wilier carbon road frame complete with entirely carbon components: Campagnolo Chorus crankset, Madfiber track wheels, Fizik carbon handlebar, and even a carbon saddle.. What can I say, I’ve got a carbon fetish!

Q: Seems you really prefer riding road components of track components, why is that?

A: Over my years riding track bikes I guess I’ve just lost interest in riding ‘vintage’ and ‘classic’ style bikes. With all the new components being developed that are super lightweight, I figure I should take advantage of those and build something made entirely for speed. This particular setup is what I ride during my velodrome training with the Inferist track team here in Shanghai. Actually almost all of us have this new hybrid of road/track bike builds!

Q: You’ve gotten quite the reputation riding in Shanghai these past years. What draws you to the city?

A: Compared to my hometown of Tianjin, Shanghai is a riders’ paradise. All the roads here are flat and smooth, with a lot of open stretches for sprinting. Back home there is so much construction and all the roads are in such poor condition – I could never ride this bike there. I’ve grown to love Shanghai and it’s where I plan on staying for quite some time.

Q: If you’re not riding your bike, where do you like to hang out?

A: Ferguson Lane is really interesting to me. It’s got a really cool blend of unexpected architecture – it’s elegant but not pretentious. Does that make any sense? aha!

Q: How would you describe your style, I see you like sportswear?

A: I do! I’m not so fashionable, to me sportswear is wearable in many situations so it works for me. I wear it on my bike, when I’m at the archery range, or even when I build model cars.

Q: Have you got any advice for new riders to the track scene?

A: Safety first! Always wear your helmet, gloves and use lights.. But most importantly listen to F5! They know what they are talking about (aww, thanks Yu Yang!). Don’t be put off just because you can’t afford expensive upgrades right away – just start pedaling and the rest will fall into place. Ride just because you love to ride, that’s all that matters.

Q: Any thing else you’d like to say?

A: Just a quick thank you to all my friends here in Shanghai and back in Tianjin. One of the most amazing things about riding a bicycle is the family you develop along with it. There is such a strong sense of community here in Shanghai and it has really supported me along the way. One heart, we stand together!

Adidas Originals Superstars x F5

Adidas just launched a new marketing campaign where they feature the unsung heroes that really make a city come alive. Living in Shanghai that means art, music, food fashion and of course bicycles.

Jeff has been [rightly!] chosen as ‘the God of the streets’ and will be the face for the upcoming Adidas Originals Superstars initiative ~ featuring our workshop, retail space and Jeff’s fine good looks!

Lee Jeans: Urban Riders x F5

We’re no strangers to the Lee Jeans Urban Riders collection (seen here, here and here) having already done a few collaborations with them back in 2011. They’ve recently re-launched the collection with a few modifications and multiple new pieces. With their new slogan, ” 型于探索 ” (which means ‘explore in style’) Tyler and Jeff saddled up for a few photos to help spread the word on Weibo. Check it out! Cool stuff Lee Jeans, cool stuff.

F5 Sunday Ride, this weekend

Come with us on a Sunday ride through balmy and beautiful Shanghai.

We’ll be saddling up at ten and heading out to the outskirts of town to chase a bridge or two and see where the Metro ends this time. The ride goes for three hours, maybe more, maybe less. This weekend is looking great, and if last weekend was any indication, we’ll be royally stretching our legs.

The Sunday Rides are open to all fixed gear and road bikes. They are training-level… so we build up to some intense blasts and cruising around 30km. It’s for intermediate riders only.

Wear a helmet, bring your bike and join us at 10h00 on Sunday at 667 Changhua Lu. Please RSVP to shoutout@wearefactoryfive.com to sign-up.

Photo Hunt Results

Last night was the prize party of the Photo Hunt we held in collaboration with Bike to Jue. We had all kinds of entries and the Jury had a blast going through and picking the winners. Huge thanks to everybody who took part. Here are the results…

BEST SHOT – chinaboogie (weibo)
Split works shot – roiiikou (weibo)
Best F5 shot – everettlaw_cycling (instagram)
Judge’s Pick – slowbearthegreat (instagram)
ROUTE 1
Route 1 First Place: squirrel.niels (instagram) – Annual Split Works Pass WINNER
Route 1 Second Place: dkwan (weibo)

Route 1 Third Place: danxianchen (weibo)
ROUTE 2
Route 2 1st place: neverbecomplete (instagram) – complete F550 BIKE
Route 2 2nd Place: beaverterror (instagram)
Route 2 3rd Place: mryomai (instagram)

Bike Flea Market – This Sunday

Join us this Sunday, March 22nd from 14h00-18h00 for our Spring Bike Flea Market. Roll up with all those parts, accessories, frames, bikes, clothes or anything bike-related which is taking up space in your closet and turn them into golden pennies. Or swap them for something else.

We’ll have free table-space for sellers and have raided the F5 preloved-treasure-chest so there’ll be plenty of wares to peruse. Need a french threaded bottom bracket for that vintage frame? Prefer a messenger bag which has been worn-in already? Fancy yourself a bit of an NOS collector? There’s sure to be all the answers amongst the tables.

Those bars cramping your style… or spine? Whip ’em off and shop around for a new style. Fixed gear riding is all about modularity and instant gratification. That old component collecting dust is exactly what another dude is looking for to complete his shabby-chic beater – believe you me.

Bring it all or bring nothing and browse what’s on offer. Easy. Come early to reserve some space, we’ll have labels for you to write your name and price if you prefer to play it cool and hang out by the bar.

There’ll be beers, food and the usual F5 magic… plus a few discounted items of our own to grease the wheels.

DATE: Sunday 22nd March

LOCATION: F5HQ – 667 Changhua Rd (near Anyuan)

F5 Pista Custom: Dylan

When Dylan from Shanghai Tattoo and Doc Guthries fame approached us about building a new whip, we knew that his request for a ‘4 colour blend’ was going to be something truly amazing. Green, red, dark brown and a light tan all come together on this custom F5 Pista, housed by chrome details and the finest components. Add a BROOKS saddle and bar wrap into the mix and you’ve got an unforgettable ride. Catch it in Shanghai!