Formula One Cycles Vintage Mountain Bike History
Formula 1 Cycles was the brainchild of David Price and Phil Sharp who are both motorsport experts in their own right, and who in 1987 founded DPS Composites, early pioneers of advanced (carbon) composites. Phil Sharp whilst working at McLaren helped build the world’s first carbon fiber chassis, the Grand Prix winning McLaren MP4. DPS was known for plying their trade in the world of motorsports, supplying Formula 1 and sports car teams the world over. But, they also made expensive briefcases and pens amongst other things for boutique brands due to their knowledge of carbon fiber.
Dave Price was a mountain bike enthusiast and with his connections in the Formula 1 paddock and his companies’ knowledge of carbon fiber, he set about creating an exciting British made mountain bike brand at the beginning of the nineties.
From their website:
“F1 Bikes: Composite frame full suspension mountain bikes. When David Price saw a way to improve the mountain bike design that was available on the market he turned to his own design team to find a solution. Along with designing and producing the carbon frame mountain bike, DPS Composites and F1 Bikes also ran a team in the British cross-country and downhill circuit, proving the successful design of the bikes.”
They also manufactured the road bike version of Chris Boardman's Olympic Gold track bike on behalf of Lotus Bikes. The bike went into production within 4-months!
F1 Cycles produced 3 models, a hardtail model, a full-suspension model, and an elusive road bike and made around 39 bikes in total. There were several variations of the frame design, which, I’ll try to establish later. Notable customers included Patrick Head, Tom Walkinshaw, and Damon Hill.
I’m extremely lucky to own the late Tom Walkinshaw’s F1 bike and 1 of 3 full-suspension bikes they made. The Walkinshaw mountain bike is chassis number 010 and was completed on 14/12/1991 and weighed a respectable 24.2 lbs.
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