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 äºŽæ´‹
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!