The Australian Cycling Team has announced a new partnership with Factor Bikes with the pursuit bike for the Paris Olympics unveiled at a function in Adelaide on Thursday evening.


– Words and photos by Rob Arnold


“We’re pushing the boundaries together to create not just a bike, but a legacy.”

Rob Gitelis, the CEO of Factor Bikes, has been busy during his visit to Adelaide this week. Most of the equipment on display as part of the Festival of Cycling at the Tour Down Under relates to road racing, including a new range from Factor that will be raced by the Israel-Premier Tech and Human Powered Health teams.

Still, when it’s an Olympic year, we can expect to see plenty of new products being launched in the coming months. Factor has got in early by revealing an innovative Hanzo track bike that will be raced by Australia’s pursuit teams at the Paris Games. (The track cycling events of the next Olympics will be contested from 5-11 August 2024.)

There will be 12 medal events on the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome near Paris and, as per usual, a focus of Australia’s cycling campaign will be the team pursuits.

The Factor Hanzo appears to borrow plenty of design cues from the radical Lotus / Hope creations that have been raced by Team GB in recent years.

Australia’s new pursuit bike was unveiled at a function in Adelaide attended by Gitelis, AusCycling CEO Marne Fechner, former Olympic gold medallist Scott McGrory, and cycling enthusiast Scott Farquhar (the CEO of Atlassian, who is also an investor in the Factor brand).

“The fastest bike in the world”

The function hosted by AusCycling and Factor at the Adelaide Hilton took place at the same time that the women’s peloton was looping around Victoria Park in the Down Under Criterium, the final event on the elite women’s race program at #TDU2024. Meanwhile, McGrory was the MC at the event where the Hanzo was unveiled.

When asked for some details about the funky new design of the pursuit bike, McGrory kept things simple: “You can report that it’s ‘the fastest bike in the world’,” he quipped. “There will be a more formal explanation about the new frame later in the year, but the focus this week was to announce the partnership between Factor and AusCycling.”

Scroll down the page to see more of the Hanzo, complete with extreme forks, customised 3D printed titanium aerobars, and proprietary wheels that are part of the Factor track bike package.

There were two Factor Hanzo bikes on display: one featuring the name ‘Samuel Welsford’ on the top tube, the other with a ‘Georgia Baker’ decal.

Welsford has won two of the three stages of this year’s TDU and worn the ochre leader’s jersey for a day. And Baker finished second in the Down Under Criterium around the time Fechner was talking about the new collaboration with Factor.

Rob Gitelis, Factor’s CEO, and Scott Farquhar inspect the new Factor Hanzo track bike.

Both riders have won world championship gold medals in the team pursuit in the past and, in 2024, they have made it clear that their ambitions also include the quest for Olympic gold.

The most recent victory by an Australian pursuit team at the Olympic Games was almost 20 years ago when the gold medal was won in world record time on the Athens velodrome in 2004. That was when BT was the bike supplier and Australian cycling was riding through a halcyon time, winning a total of six gold medals in a stunning Olympic campaign.

Bike’s racing debut due soon

The Factor Hanzo will be raced at the Nations Cup (Adelaide Super-Drome 2-4 February 2024). It will be the first major international competition for Australian riders on a bike that has been created in collaboration with the national team… but AusCycling will be transitioning to the new bike partnership while still working with the previous sponsor, Argon 18.

It’s worth noting that the new partnership between AusCycling and Factor does not include bikes for all riders, not even all those competing on the track.

The Hanzo is, as stated earlier, a pursuit-specific bike but the sprint group will continue to ride Argon 18 bikes for upcoming competitions, including the Paris Olympics.

The Hanzo featured here is a pursuit-specific bike, with handlebars that have apparently taken into consideration the many recommendations that came from a long and expensive formal review of product supply for the Australian Cycling Team following the curious circumstances witnessed on the boards of the Tokyo Velodrome a few years ago.

The crash by men’s team pursuit starter Alex Porter shortly after he burst out of the gate at the Tokyo Olympics earned AusCycling plenty of attention because of the federation’s equipment selection… but it was far from the kind of coverage any brand would covet. Not only did the handlebars break but Porter sustained cuts and abrasions from the fall, and the team’s bid for gold was severely hindered by the fall-out resulting from faulty equipment.

And while the aerobars on the Hanzo appear to be similar to what was used in Tokyo in 2021, they are not from the same manufacturer. Still, 3D printed titanium – as was used by Australian pursuiters in Japan almost three years ago – remains the material of choice.

Created by Sync Ergonomics, the aerobars have been individually printed to match the specifics of each rider’s particular position on the bike.

Sync Ergonomics is a Melbourne-based company established in 2015 that has created 3D printed titanium handlebars for riders from the Jayco-AlUla team (and a host of other partners).


Stay tuned for a gallery of the bike on RIDE Media’s YouTube channel in the coming days.