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F5 XLR8R Custom: Alex

This is one of the first custom road bikes we ever built, and since then it's been all over the world. Alex has ridden this bike through Europe, Taiwan, South East Asia and across China. Made with the incredibly stiff and lightweight Columbus XLR8R tubing and full carbon fork, this bike absolutely kills. Athena Campagnolo shifters / derailleurs / cassette plus Miche full carbon Crankset and Miche wheelset, topped off with Oval stem / seatpost and full carbon bars. Stunning!

Rider Profile: Da Chao

Meet the latest member of Factory Five; a tall, mullet-growing and bike-loving rider named Da Chao. He's been fixing bikes himself before most of us knew how to ride!

Name: Da Chao 
Age: 23
Hometown: Shandong
Profession: Factory Five Satisfaction Engineer

Q: Tell us about your bike:

 A: I'm currently riding a '92 FELT SRD frame that I bought through Taobao. Most of the components are Bontrager, sturdy and good enough for me to ride through the city. My favorite part about the bike is my WTB saddle - my old boss gave this to me along with a Cannondale carbon seatpost. My ride is currently set up as a single speed thrasher, it takes me about 20 minutes to get from my home to F5!

Q: How did you get into cycling?

A: When I was 6 years old I needed to stay out of trouble and look cool, you know? Bunny hops, tricks, all that good stuff. While I was going to primary school I rode a mountain bike to school everyday - it was much faster than the bus and I felt totally young and free. Around 10 or 11 years old I learned how to fix my own bike, everything from the brakes to the drivetrain to the cockpit. During my second year of College I discovered fixed gear freestyle riding and I fell in love with it. Being able to ride backwards was the coolest thing ever - I rode with all the BMX guys at school as well. But, I had a really bad accident and hurt my back pretty badly, and that's why I switched to riding single speed / fixed gear bikes.

Q: What's it like for you to ride in Shanghai?

A: Shanghai is super huge and there's so many nice roads compared to my hometown. I've been working in bike shops ever since I graduated college, and cycling has always been the best way for me to meet people and explore the city. I love racing scooters!

Q: When you're not working on bikes or helping friends with their rides, what do you like to do?

A: Just hanging out with my friends, having a few beers, and visiting cool stores in town. My life pretty revolves around bicycles, I'm always working with them!

Q: Have you got any advice for new comers to the Shanghai cycling scene?

A: I think the most important thing is for new riders to choose a properly sized bike, with something that is comfortable to ride like a riser bar. This will make it much easier to learn and adapt to the city. From there you can think about upgrading your ride to something more aggressive - just take one step at a time.

Q: Now that you're part of the team, what do you think about F5?

A: To me F5 has always been a welcoming place with a really unique style. I've learned that the F5 crew is way more serious (in a good way) than I thought about bikes - they're damn passionate!

Factory Five Stockists

Ever wonder where you can pick up F5 products worldwide? This growing list of our stockists should help you out. If you are interested in becoming an F5 Stockist, then please e-mail [email protected] - if we have you forgotten you on the list, our sincerest apology and please let us know right away so we can add you in!

North America




Free Beer!

Yes, you read that title correctly. Between August 4th and August 11th we're offering a free pint of Asahi with every in store purchase over 100RMB. Beat the heat with an ice cold brew and some new kit on your bike. The shop is open from 10:30am to 9:00pm Tuesday through Friday, and 1:00pm to 7:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

F5 Sunday Ride: This Sunday 10h00


Join us on Sunday morning for a ride around this awesome city. We'll be hooking up some of Shanghai's finest routes for a whirlwind loop.

It all starts at 10h00 from Factory Five and the route will take us 2-3 or so hours. We'll be back, if we ride fast enough, around 13h00.

The pace will be brisk, reaching 30-35kmph when possible. It's open to fixed-gear, single-speeds and road bikes. Please wear a helmet. It's unsupported too, so tools and spares are necessary in case of roadside repairs.

The next ride is this Sunday the 5th. If you'd like to join - essential that you sign up by RSVP here or shoot us a [email protected]

Racing the Transcontinental: Day 1 & 2

Two hundred of us squeezed into the briefing room. We were handed our trackers and the instructions: hit the checkpoints as fast as we can and don't do anything that could be considered foul play. The atmosphere had an understandable edge of apprehension with plenty of silent characters. This would be the longest ride that most of us had ever done, times ten. It barely seemed worth getting to know anybody, in a few hours we would all be alone. 

The time came and we rolled together as a pack, looping the town and then away. It didn't really feel like the start of the race, more like a group of riders heading on home. We chugged in a loose group and the pack began to dissipate after a couple hours. As per race rules we were to keep our distance to avoid drafting or team strategies. I got my head down and settled in for a long night.

And that's when it hit me. On a roundabout in the wind and rain somewhere outside Reims, a car emerged through the gloom and rode straight into my back wheel. I hit the floor, took off a few layers of skin on my palms and ended up by the side of the road replacing spokes.

Fortunately the weather cleared and I caught a tailwind down towards Dijon. The temperature dropped to 5c and I took a chance to catch a few hours sleep and find a rhythm. Little did I know I'd be back on the road before long with a sleeping bag tucked into my jersey to try and keep warm.


Distance Covered: 445.1 Km

Hours of Riding: 17:20:42

After the excitement of the first day, Day 2 felt like a trudge across France. In truth it was. Because we all have different sleeping patterns, and pace, the field had spread by the time I was riding again, so I could only occasionally spot a couple of other riders on the horizons.

The route was a grind down through Belleville and Lyon with strong headwinds. I had energy but I could feel yesterdays distance on my mind so took a couple caffeine pills to focus on the road ahead. The result was me stopping every 10 minutes to pee. I'll not be doing that again.


Distance Covered: 355.1 Km

Hours of Riding: 14:48:48

F5 Pista Custom : Blue Lady

This little 48cm F5 Pista Custom is the perfect combination of elegant and timeless. A dark navy blue paint job is housed by chrome lugs, BROOKS finishings and a classic selection of high polished components. PAUL hubs, royal flush crankset and H Plus Son rims really bring it to the next level. Catch it in the streets of Shanghai!

F5 Pista Custom : Mellow Yellow

Chrome lugs and a vibrant yellow paint job make this one standout custom F5 Pista. Complete with a PAUL Royal Flush crankset, PAUL hubs, H Plus Son TB14 rims, BROOKS B17 Special saddle and a comfy set of riser bars. The rear coaster brake makes for awesome inner city cruising!

[For Sale] : NOS Fondriest Rebuild

This early 90's 56cm Fondriest road frame is in absolutely perfect condition, practically never ridden making it NOS (new old stock). It is made with Columbus Gara tubing, lugged and has a 1" chrome fork. All of the components and brand new, making it an absolutely beautiful ride. With top tube inner cable routing, front and rear brake it's perfect for city cruising or even long distance rides. Just 6,000RMB

The F5 Adventure

This F5 Touring / Road bike is another new venture for Factory Five. Built with Columbus Zona steel tubing it is incredibly strong and surprisingly lightweight. This is a 57cm frame that can handle quick downhills, long distance roads and a small to mid range touring load.

We’ve kept the geometry tight, with a horizontal top-tube to maintain the responsive feel that we love in track builds. It has a modern 1 1/8" headtube coupled with a classic looking lugged steel fork.

It’s built to explore. Rack mounts in the back and a pair of lightweight wheels around H+Son Archetype rims. We’ve built it up with a 1x10 SRAM crankset, Shimano Deore rear derailleur and Tektro hood levers. The microshift downtube shifters not only feel great but complete this classic steel touring feel.