I Have Not Yet Decided How to Spend This $30,000 I Have Just Laying Around

05.27.2009 | 12:38 pm

As a person who is not a famous and award-winning blogger, you almost certainly spend more than half your waking hours wondering what it must be like to be me.

I can understand that. I can respect it. I can even sympathize, because I once found myself wondering what it would be like to be someone besides me, and you know what happened? I started thinking about what it must be like to be me.

Well, in order to satisfy your (completely justifiable) curiosity, today I’m going to give you a little peek into a dilemma I am currently working out.

You see, as a very famous, beloved, and award-winning blogger, I make a ton of money. Seriously, it’s just ridiculous. I mean, when I got into blogging I knew that it was lucrative, but really, I had no idea I’d be making money hand-over-fist like this.

As a result, each month I have given myself a monthly $30,000 allotment for bicycles and bicycle-related equipment.

And that’s where the hard part comes in.

For the month of June, I am thinking of focusing on road bikes. I am hence faced with a difficult dilemma: what should I spend my $30,000 on? I have narrowed it down to doing one of two things:

Option A

I could use my $30,000 to buy a fleet of high-end road bikes, including all of the following:

This leaves me with $1500 for upgrades. And let’s face it, there would be upgrades. That said, I think you might agree with me that this would be a fine road stable, and should keep me quite happy, at least for this month.

Option B

However, I can’t help but think that instead of buying four absolute beyond-dream bikes, I should perhaps buy this:


Yes, this is the Factor 001: For the serious athlete! And by the way, that “for the serious athlete” and the accompanying exclamation point is straight from the company site, which can mean only two things:

  1. This bike is for serious athletes.
  2. This company is very excited about the fact that this bike is for serious athletes.

I can’t help but be drawn to the Factor 001. For one thing, since it costs $28,000 (base model), I wouldn’t have to spend all that time — and time is money (and in my case, time is a lot of money!) after all — purchasing and fitting those other four bikes.

Also, the Factor 001 is not just any bike. No. It’s a virtual cycling lab, containing these very exciting features, which I am taking straight from the press release and then interpreting:

  • Unique ergonometric data collection, logging and analysis capabilities: This means the cyclocomputer is included.
  • Biometric, physical force and environmental data harvested simultaneously: This means the included cyclocomputer also measures watts. And, evidently, knows which way the wind is blowing and if it’s raining.
  • Huge technology transfer potential to other sporting environments: This means they ran out of ideas for the bullet list, but didn’t want it to just have two items.

What they don’t list as a feature — but which I fully expect is included considering the price — is that the bike actually uses all this data to tell you how you’re doing. For example, if I’m not really applying myself, it might say, “I’m sorry, Fatty, but you don’t seem to be as serious an athlete as you ought to be.” Because, as noted, this bike is for serious athletes. Oops, I mean: serious athletes!

This $28,000 (or in my case, $30,000, because I plan to get the upgraded saddle) bike also has a very exciting feature: all new componentry. This is really good news, because I’ve been thinking lately that the scores of years and millions of dollars of research Campagnolo, Shimano, and (sure, let’s include it) SRAM have spent simply haven’t resulted in reliable, honed, time-tested parts. What I need is a bike that uses completely new and proprietary — albeit strikingly similar to what already exists — bike parts, designed by a car company.

Oh, and also I want the bike to weigh at least a pound more than any road bike that costs a fifth as much, and I want it to not be legal to race. Because, as you know, it’s silly to expect your training bike to have similar weight and handling characteristics to your race bike.

Above all, though, is the look of this bike. Pure elegance. Nothing says “sexy” to me quite like a lot of rectangles.

And that fork: ooh la la!


As you’ve no doubt guessed, I’ve made up my mind: I’m getting the Factor 001. The other bikes…well, they can wait ’til next month, I guess.

Unless I decide to use next month’s $30,000 to get that matching Arantix and Ascend I’ve had my eye on.


  1. Comment by db | 05.27.2009 | 12:48 pm

    If you decline to upgrade the saddle, you can get some Rapha shorts ….

  2. Comment by mikE | 05.27.2009 | 12:59 pm

    I would spend $28,000 on a bike, but only if it was made of Hydrogen, and weighed less than 76 grams. That would be cool.

  3. Comment by Mellow Velo | 05.27.2009 | 1:01 pm

    That’s the ugliest “bicycle” I’ve ever seen. Try this:


  4. Comment by Tim D | 05.27.2009 | 1:12 pm

    Fatty, I have a bashed up Ribble 531c winter training bike that I am due to replace soon for a new Hewitt Audax bike. It weighs less than the Factor 001, it has an ergonomic data display device, but alas not a data logging or analysis device. Due to the rip in the saddle I am willing to let it go for $29,995, just because its you. I’ll be taking the mud guards and lights off though.

  5. Comment by Rantwick | 05.27.2009 | 1:14 pm

    Thanks Fatty. I think I threw up a little bit there. And I love bikes.

  6. Comment by bikemike | 05.27.2009 | 1:23 pm

    ‘09 Litespeed Ghisallo, Easton EC90 SLX fork, Sram Red with Zipp Vuma Quad cranks and ceramic bottom bracket and Zipp 202 Zedtech ceramic wheels. 14lbs. maybe sub 14 depending on bar, stem and pedals.

  7. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.27.2009 | 1:24 pm

    I love how the video at the product website shows a little animated squiggle through a huge parking garage with the caption “train here…”


    Yeah, for a mere $30K and one quick spin in front of a fancy four-wheeler, you too can drag race with Ayrton Senna in the Great Beyond…

  8. Comment by jdmitch | 05.27.2009 | 1:27 pm

    Okay Fatty, I really enjoy reading your blog. But, would you please refrain from putting my keyboard in danger of my coffee?

    Seriously though, this post is awesomeness on a plate.

  9. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 05.27.2009 | 1:39 pm

    Wow! What an ugly bike! Wierd steering column. And does the rear wheel sit next to the frame or bump right into it? Maybe that’s why it’s for “serious athletes!” You have to pedal extra hard to turn the back wheel against the “frame resistance.”

  10. Comment by Don | 05.27.2009 | 1:39 pm

    HAHAHA! The cheese grater/bikes are back! I wondered when we’d see those again.

  11. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.27.2009 | 1:58 pm

    D’oh–I was SOOO planning on making an Arantix reference, but I guess the unflappable Molly Fat Cyclist beat me to it.

    I have no idea what that last part means–I just writes what the voices tells me to write…

  12. Comment by Rob M. | 05.27.2009 | 2:07 pm

    Sorry, Fatty, but you screwed up in evaluating the Factor 001.

    Instead of writing how much you liked this bike you should have mentioned how disappointed you are. You should have expressed various shortcomings in something or other.

    In a few weeks the Company would have sent you a brand new Factor 001.

    And, as a bonus, Trek, Seven, and the other companies would have sent you their dream bikes.

    You know, like when you recently found fault with a pair of shoes and you were gifted with a lifetime’s supply of shoes.

  13. Comment by axel in texas | 05.27.2009 | 2:07 pm

    how can they call it formula 1 technology and still leave a chain and deraileurs on the thing. Ever seen a race car with a chain? $30000 should buy a chainless bike, one that shifts flawlessly, maintainance free for 10 years or 100000 miles. Or even better, a Continuously Variable Transmission like on my new car (which cost less than the bike).

  14. Comment by Canadian Roadie (posing as a mtn biker) | 05.27.2009 | 2:29 pm

    I personally like the trails of blue and orange. Do those trails follow you so others can see where you’ve gone? Maybe that’s the new technology they’re talking about.

  15. Comment by bikerchick | 05.27.2009 | 2:32 pm

    The YouTube video from Factor 001 brags that, “The frame is made from the same material as Formula 1 cars, carbon fiber, which makes it ‘really nice.’” Why didn’t anybody else think of using that material?!?

    I guess I’ll just go cry on my inferior Seven tonight with its inferior titanium and DA.

    As others have commented, D’oh. ::shakes head::

  16. Comment by USAFANARC | 05.27.2009 | 2:33 pm

    So, I’m assuming that I won’t have to use my DZNuts if I’m riding this bike since there is no way that I could possibly suffer any chaffing on a bike such as this (assuming I got the saddle upgrade). On second thought, I can’t live without my DZNuts.

  17. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 05.27.2009 | 2:35 pm

    Are you sure this bike isn’t built by Ronco because it looks like it could slice, dice and even make julian fries all at 16 lbs.

  18. Comment by LidsB2 | 05.27.2009 | 2:39 pm

    “Nothing says “sexy” to me quite like a lot of rectangles.” OK Fatty, I’m neither a geometrist nor a shapeologist, but I only see a lot of triangles. What am I missing?

  19. Comment by Ron | 05.27.2009 | 2:47 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    I’ll take that money.

  20. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 05.27.2009 | 3:16 pm

    From the website, “For the first time, riders and their coaches will collect and analyse laboratory-quality data in a real-word environment.”

    Fatty – I think they’re coming after the blogosphere too! Where else does the real-word environment exist! Mr. Dumbreck (seriously, that’s the dude’s name, I didn’t make that up) must be very very proud.

  21. Comment by Jim | 05.27.2009 | 3:32 pm

    You think at that price, they would slap some paint on it!

  22. Comment by Trekker | 05.27.2009 | 3:43 pm

    You neglected to mention its most advanced training feature: pedals are included! All those other cheapskate manufacturers make you buy your own. Think of the time you’ll save by not having to choose, purchase, and install pedals.

  23. Comment by USAFANARC | 05.27.2009 | 4:08 pm

    I’m still waiting on that email about the Kona Cadabra. Please email me soon, confirming that I won. BTW, I’m 6′2″ tall. What size do you recommend that I order? Thanks.

  24. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.27.2009 | 4:25 pm

    Damn you Fatty! You just had to sneak that Arantix reference in.


  25. Comment by Elainemac | 05.27.2009 | 4:39 pm

    My first thought about the Arantix? “A bike that shaves your legs at the same time!”
    And the second thought? “It’s grey”.
    Sorry Fatty, that won’t do.

  26. Comment by triguy | 05.27.2009 | 4:48 pm

    I hope it comes with a Formula 1 pit crew to fix my flats and squeeze my water bottle/gel for me on the fly.

  27. Comment by Hamish A | 05.27.2009 | 6:19 pm

    At $30k a pop you’d think they could at least afford to hire some copy writers and perhaps someone to proof the site.

    Ugliest bike of the year (and I include the Santa Cruz BLT push me / pull you in this list).

    WIN Susan!

  28. Comment by Australian Fat | 05.27.2009 | 6:27 pm

    As an alternative, what about the Super Trainer from Inside Ride, http://www.insideride.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=42
    Think it goes for upwards of USD25k.
    But if you want to ride THE BEST BIKE IN THE FREE WORLD – try the all Australian Baum Corretto Ti.
    The only bike in the world with every titanium tube butted to the individual rider.
    This is one of the reasons why a country of less than 20 million people is the third ranked cycling country in the world. Better buy now before your US dollar really falls over!

  29. Comment by Ethan | 05.27.2009 | 7:14 pm

    Seriously, you don’t like SRAM?

    Also, that bike is 95% ridiculous, but I think that the brake technology might be really cool on a mountain bike.

    More like I haven’t tried SRAM. I understand some of their latest stuff is pretty excellent. – FC

  30. Comment by Dobovedo | 05.27.2009 | 7:29 pm

    I say skip this month, add the $30K to next month, and then spend $60K. Next month’s theme? RECUMBENT month!

    How would you spend 60 large on recumbent(s)?

  31. Comment by kentucky joe | 05.27.2009 | 8:22 pm

    okay, seriously, how the heck did you even find this bike? you must be some type of Google cycle-searching genie among your other super powers….really did you search on “$30,000 bike for the serious athlete”?

  32. Comment by Jim B | 05.27.2009 | 8:26 pm

    Don’t sell the bike short. If you look carefully, it seems the bike has a kickstand. That makes it worth $30K easily.

  33. Comment by Brian | 05.27.2009 | 8:41 pm

    As the BBC report shows, it is only for serious ath-a-letes. I am definitely not a serious athlete, but ath-a-lete I most definitely am, therefore, I must have one.

  34. Comment by WheelDancer | 05.27.2009 | 8:56 pm

    Price it high enough and even a pathologically ugly bike could have appeal though not to me.

  35. Comment by dr_robert | 05.27.2009 | 10:21 pm

    That’s… beyond insane.

    Of course, it’s an easy gamble for the company. If they sell even one of the ugly things, they’ll probably break even.


  36. Comment by ricky | 05.27.2009 | 11:04 pm

    go with the vintage schwinn varsity for ~50 bucks. with the remaining $29,950 you can load up on assos gear for your luxury body.

  37. Comment by MattC | 05.27.2009 | 11:05 pm

    OK…I’m in on the little secret here…the bike is ACTUALLY a Stealth fighter bike! NO RADAR RETURN! It was quite obviously designed to let the good guys swoop in upon the bad guys undetected! (as long as there is nice pavement going where they need to go).

    AND…once you are back from the war zone with your trusty stealthy steed, you can ride as fast as you want and the police get nothing! You are free to ride 17 in ANY 15mph zone! No WONDER it cost 28 grand! Probably designed by NASA though..that would also explain the cost (sorry NASA). Why use old-hat off-the-shelf componentry (no matter how reliable) when you can design and build (at GREAT COST) completly NEW and UNTESTED stuff! Factor 001 (or as originally designed, the F001), F117…HELLOOOOO! Military grade bike..built BEFORE the fighter, proving the technology! SWEET!!!! (uh..where are the other 16 versions is what I want to know…maybe a stealth trike? Wheelchair? Mt bike? RECUMBENT?? THAT MUST BE IT!

    Uh-oh…wait a sec…some guys with dark suits knocking on my door..and lots of black suburbans out front. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to figure this out.

    Never mind. My bad.

  38. Comment by MattC | 05.27.2009 | 11:08 pm

    Before they haul me away, I can’t help but asking: Does purchasing this bike guarantee you a “Luxury body”??

  39. Comment by Dr. Michael Mfwamba-Lamller | 05.27.2009 | 11:10 pm

    hello fatguy,

    I write to you because recent comments in my country upsets me and all the people I have shown it to. My english is not perfect but I hope your comedian mastermind this time around might actually get the point. I need 35000(THIRT-FIVE USD) I can get so for a luxury body gear and for making some glamour in my life. I have 2500000(TWENTYFIVEMILION USDs in a government account for banking and I am liking to offer 15% commission to your troubles.

    God Bless old friend,

    Dr. Lamller

  40. Comment by Ingrid | 05.27.2009 | 11:43 pm

    Where is the triple? For 30k and an extra pound shouldn’t it have triple?

  41. Comment by little1 | 05.28.2009 | 12:01 am

    Hey All fans of Susan and supports of LAF, just for those of you not on the up (sure you all are but just in case you’ve been under a rock) Please go to twitter and follow Doug Ulman CEO LiveStrong, when he gets 25 000 followers an anonymous donor will donate $25 000 to LAF – RT @philhills: Anonymous donor just made a challenge to give LAF $25k when @LIVESTRONGCEO hits 25K followers. Deadline is May 29. Game on!

    Go to http://twitter.com/LIVESTRONGCEO and FOLLOW!!!!

  42. Comment by George | 05.28.2009 | 4:34 am

    I’d like to really see you buy the Ascent. Could you please post a video of you cleaning the frame after a really messy ride. That would be very great of you. Thanx!

  43. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 05.28.2009 | 5:10 am

    I read this post before going out grocery shopping this afternoon. There was a sense of dejavu as I was reading. When I got to the shops it clicked. Right out the front of the shops was the answer to the whole dejavu… the wobbly wheeled shopping trolleys have the exact same steering setup. And the pimply kid in the fruit and vege department was whinging about someone stealing the tuffs from his BMX.

    But despite the obvious theft of both ideas and raw materials I find myself oddly drawn to the Ascend. It’s a shame that it comes in 50 and 54cm and I ride a 53 otherwise I’d have already mailed the cheque by now.

  44. Comment by Jeff | 05.28.2009 | 5:29 am

    Can you ride it in the rain? Or will you get electrocuted?

  45. Comment by Rick | 05.28.2009 | 6:41 am

    I have a question about the ass-end … oops, the Ascend. Does anyone have an idea about where to attach the water bottle cage? How about my downtube shifters?

  46. Comment by Linda | 05.28.2009 | 7:28 am

    $30,000.00///you are kidding me….more giveaways please. Share your wealth with your constituents. I kinda think you are kidding but probably not, huh? I am jealous. I just need a new fork for my bike.

  47. Comment by spiKe | 05.28.2009 | 11:54 am

    Fatty…I know you are having fun, but don’t turn into a whore.

  48. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 05.28.2009 | 3:55 pm

    I so love it when you mock marketing hype! You rock.

  49. Comment by not a cyclist...... | 05.28.2009 | 5:12 pm

    My personal favorite is that it appears the handle bars, fork, and cross bar were attached by what looks much like plastic brackets and zip ties. And here I thought “serious” athletes rode only monocoque…..

  50. Comment by Dr. J | 05.28.2009 | 9:27 pm

    Ok Rick,
    I figured the water bottle thing out. The frame itself is an insulated water bottle. You just unscrew the cap on the handle bars and pour in your beverage of choice, then you put a TT bottle straw (included in the upgraded version) through the patented airtight one way cap valve, and bingo, they have solved the century old problem of where to put the water bottle cages on a $30,000 bike. (Did they have $30,000 bikes a century ago?)

  51. Comment by Lissee (formerly known as Bitter) | 05.29.2009 | 12:53 am

    I’m thinking it’s time to buy some new Rock Racing and Assos gear. :)

  52. Comment by Harry Goldstein | 05.29.2009 | 6:47 pm

    Fatty, I’m an editor at a tech magazine who reads your blog regularly and if you want to review this for us, I will try to arrange a test ride (only if I get to come along, of course, chugging behind in a Veyron)…hg

  53. Comment by Absolute Titanium Design Company | 07.8.2009 | 10:23 pm

    Thats good and i like this blog. Thanks for the information and advise.

  54. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Questions That Occurred to Me While Looking at a Bike Display in Walmart | 09.24.2010 | 7:21 am

    [...] with anything, the law of diminishing returns applies to bicycle purchases; a $30,000 bike is (probably?) not going to be three times as awesome as a $10,000 bike. But does that law apply in [...]


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