One of our bestest friends at Factory Five, Markus, created this one-off custom stem cap. It's our Racing logo, hand hewn and meticulously polished from a single piece of brass. It fits like a glove over this Thomson Stem. So awesome. We may need to get better at polishing our fork steerers down!
Last friday we were honored to be invited to the House of Vans event over at Central Studios. We're massive fans of both those things so skitched straight over there after closing the workshop.
It was rammed. Everybody, and we mean EVERYBODY was there... getting their nosh -on, beer -on, Jameson & Ginger -on and screening printing vans tshirts on the fly, -on. Vans had done a super awesome job of zoning the huge spaces into visually beautiful zones of photographs, stories, product showcases. The whole multi-space studio had been turned into a Vans experience - which was just one day of a whole weekend of parties, sports and creativity.
We got straight in the rhythm and zoned out to the beats of DJ Gary Wang from Shelter. Then the party continued over at Arkham. If you saw us there throwing down some frankly killer moves to Peaches... it wasn't us but our evil doppelgängers.
Factory Five is seeking an intuitive Graphic Designer to join our core team.
Here at F5HQ we pride ourselves on the quality and variety of our original content. Almost every piece of media we produce involves a degree of creativity and design which connects with it's audience in the most engaging way possible. In short, we do everything in house and strive to make it look awesome. This full time position is to join the team and be involved with all the work we create on a daily basis - this includes:
- Branding Idents
- Event posters
- Photographs and imagery
- Logos and typography
- Original content for online articles
- Supporting graphics
- Newsletter visuals
The Graphic Designer is key to the way Factory Five looks and feels, especially online. The right person is experienced at working with a creative, lifestyle brand to generate compelling and mostly digital content. They are confident, have an eye for visual identity and are proficient across a number of platforms (often simultaneously!).
A strong portfolio of relevant work is a must, as are photography skills and a passion for bikes. Chinese fluency is preferred. An intuitive, self-starting attitude is utterly essential.
Does this sound like you? If so we're excited to hear from you. send your CV and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org
This sweet whip is currently skidding it's way around Germany, being ridden by Lucas. He bought the F550s frame from us online and finally got around to building up his new ride. With red anodized hubs, hard anodized H Plus Son Archetype rims, and a nice set of road drop bars this build looks fantastic. Nice job, and thanks to Jakob Mandelkow for the great photos!
Another week slammed full of killer shots on our Instagram account. We post tons of bike pron, sweet whips, news about riding in Shanghai and rad components every week. It's the easiest way to get a full in your face dose of awesomeness. Here are the top 6 photos from this week, including our most 'liked' photo ever reaching almost 700. Pretty sweet, right? Head on over to our account!
After purchasing his silver element F5 Pista through our online shop, Lukas let us know how he excited he was to get his new frame. A week later it was in his hands, and he says, "It's been built up within half an hour from arrival!" - amazing. Killer build, watch out for it on the streets of Cardiff!
Counterfeit goods touch almost every industry. From watches and bags to milk and medicine there's a fake for everything. Sometimes we laugh it off as harmless. They say mimicry is the best form of flattery. But what does it really mean to us? Here are 10 reasons to think about...
1. The wrong person gets the rewards
The entrepreneur who put their time and effort into making the original product gets virtually none of the benefits. Coming up with great ideas, researching, prototyping, analyzing, iterating through versions, testing, certifying and marketing products all needs to be done before a single unit is sold. How are they going to get returns on all this?
2. It's immoral to steal someone else's idea
In most countries it's illegal. Nobody deserves to be ripped-off, nor are companies making so much money they don't care. Why should anybody go through the whole product development process, qualify that there is a valid demand and then bear all the effort to launch it - only for some other dude to come along and take their money?
3. Counterfeit products are of inferior quality
Fake producers are only interested in making cash. They'll cut corners to make production more convenient and cheaper for them. They didn't design the product, undertook no R&D or product certification. They won't know the potential pitfalls of using a different material here or there. Fake things fall apart all the time, we've all seen it. Why risk it?
4. Bad products are bad news
Any negativity to inferior counterfeit products trickles over to the original designer. People may see examples of inferior or broken fakes and assume the are the original products. Some customers may have purchased a counterfeit product thinking it is original. Who are they going to turn to when it fails?
5. Industry pricing gets completely screwed up
In every vertical there are standard supply chains with producers, intermediaries and sales channels. There are norms for transactions and margin. The faker crashes in with an inferior product, piggybacks off the existing market and takes everything for themselves. Their margins are normally super low. So are their prices. They didn't have all the overhead costs leading up to the original product's launch and have managed to reduce costs by switching out for cheaper inputs. They're getting something for nothing anyway, right?
6. Counterfeit products slow the industry down
If the person who gets all the money doesn't care about the products (because all they do is copy someone else's) then they're not going to advance it any further. The original product developer might not have the capital to keep going. Why would they even put in the energy to advance the product if they know it's just going to get copied anyway?
7. Newcomers to the industry get put off
When there's a faker already hanging around the market place churning out counterfeit products it makes alarm bells ring in everybody's mind. Bootstrap businesses have enough trouble launching new products. Breaking through and making success only to have the sales income pulled from underneath is a horrible risk. Would an angel be willing to invest in a new start-up knowing there's a increased chance of making nothing in return due to foul play?
8. Fakers don't contribute to anything
It's not like they're forging relationships in the industry. They're not pitching in at trade events, trying to establish new norms or sharing new techniques. They're not using peripheral services, or activating the community, or supporting grassroots initiatives, or educating the market, or developing over decades to become industry figureheads. Who's friends with a faker?
9. It's fundamentally illegal
Did we mention it's illegal? Just because counterfeit goods are all over the place doesn't make things okay. The time and expense of chasing fakers back down their holes is being diverted away from the finer, more deserving things in life. it costs a fortune to try and protect what shouldn't need protecting anyway. Wouldn't the world be better without these bad guys?
10. People who buy counterfeit products look pretty uncool
Feigning ignorance is bordering on negligent these days. Why buy the fakes when the original one is better and more ethical. At first glance they might look the part but it's a hollow victory and they stand out way more in the daylight. Counterfeit goods are going to fall apart at the worst time anyway. Don't you want to support the brands you allege with?
So that's it...
Factory Five has been operating in the China bike industry since 2010 and as the fixed-gear market has grown around us, so have the fakers. We've seen enough. Brands we cherish are being ripped off daily, even our own products. It's time to stick our pitchfork in the ground and say something. We don't sell fakes and we never will - and we don't deal with people who do. Join our cause, please share this list and let's remind ourselves what counterfeit products really mean.
This 60cm Pista build is nothing short of fantastic. Pascal chose all the right to components to build something timeless and beautiful - the classic steel frame track bike. He did a fantastic job photographing his build as well (you can see the full set on his Flickr page HERE). Really a great build and it rides like a dream! Full detail spec below:
Frame: Factory Five f5pista silver element 60cm
Rims: Velocity Deep V Silver
Hubs: Miche Primato Pista (36)
Cog: Traffic Distribution 17T
Cranks: Andel Single Speed Cranks
Chainring: Sugino 75 (48T)
Chain: DID Stainless Racing Pro (NJS)
Stem: Nitto Pearl (NJS) 80mm
Handlebars: Nitto B125AA (NJS) 39cm
Headset: Tange Levin (NJS)
Grips: Genetic Track Grips
Brake: Tektro OEM
Brake Lever: Promax Retro B
Pedals: MKS Sylvan Track
Seatpost: Nitto Crystal Fellow
Saddle: Sanmarco Concor Supercorsa
This killer F550s was built up by 21st Ave Bikes in Portland, Oregon for Eric - and they spared no expense! Complete with ZIPP drop bars, SRAM brake hoods, Campagnolo brake calipers, Thomson seat post and stem, H Plus Son rims, and a wicked crankset / pedal combo. Nice touch with the blue handlebar tape too. Long live the track singlespeed!
We currently have a 25sqm office space available for rent in the F5 compound. If you've been to Factory Five before, it's in the same building, up on the 3rd floor.
The office was entirely custom renovated last year. We've been using it as our custom service control center for the past couple. It can comfortably seat five people at the fitted workbenches, (or more, or less depending on your needs and style). There's custom storage and a raised table for meetings or preparation.
It would make an ideal space for a start-up company; quiet and undisturbed towards the rear of the compound with windows wrapping around two walls filling the space with natural light. Access to local services is great, Fuxing road is around the corner. The Yan'an highway is a block north. Taxis are always hanging around outside and two metro stations are a walk away (of course we don't use any of these because we cycle everywhere!). There is a print shop upstairs and photography studios downstairs (which we do use all the time!).
It's ready to occupy straight away, including air conditioning, brainstorm wall and power sockets everywhere. You'll just need chairs and to sign up for the internet.
Let us know if you're interested and want to take a look - email email@example.com