Wow! We show you a lot of cool-looking finishes in the road.cc Bike at Bedtime slot but this Factor Ostro that Vires Velo has put together for Bradley Wiggins… well, it's an absolute peach.
2012 was a hell of a year for Bradley Wiggins. He won the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie, Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Olympic time trial. Oh, and he became the first Briton ever to win the Tour de France. He was unstoppable that year.
To mark the 10th anniversary, Wiggo commissioned Vires Velo to build him a special bike and this is the result.
At the heart of things is a Factor Ostro VAM. When we reviewed this bike, our man Liam Cahill said it was “addictively fast with brilliant handling at speed; one of the best race bikes out there.”
Fast, light, pretty comfortable, the Ostro VAM really doesn’t have a weakness. However, it’s just the start of this project.
“Wiggins had a clear idea of what he wanted the bike to represent and we turned to Karl Kopinski to help bring the vision to life,” says Vires Velo.
Nottingham-based Kopinski is a cycling fan who has worked with Vires Velo, Factor and Wiggins on various projects in the past.
Pic ⓒ Gareth Winter
“Once the frameset had been given a pearl-white base coat, it was sent to Kopinski’s studio for him to work his magic,” says Vires Velo.
“After completing watercolour sketches of the concept for the butterflies and getting the nod, Kopinski turned his hand to the frame. He used liquid acrylic paints to achieve a watercolour effect and allow for the colours to run into each other, giving the butterflies energy and a sense of movement.”
Kopinski hand-drew 33 butterflies on the frame and fork, one for each of the days that Wiggins led the races mentioned above in 2012.
Then there’s one gold butterfly on the integrated handlebar/stem to represent Wiggins’ Olympic gold in the individual time trial. You remember him sitting on the throne in front of Hampton Court Palace, right?
Vires Velo says that the painting took weeks to complete. Looking at the detail, we can certainly believe it. Once finished, a protective coating was applied in the paint shop before the bike was built up at Vires Velo’s Norfolk HQ.
“Black Inc’s FIVE spoke wheels were specially requested by Wiggins for the build and we fitted them with white tyres to match the bike,” says Vires Velo.
They’re Schwalbe Pro One x Spartacus tyres released earlier this year.
“It was fortunate that CeramicSpeed launched a Gold OSPW (Oversized Pulley Wheel System) earlier this year which made for a fitting upgrade on the drivetrain,” says Vires Velo.
The bike is fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 12-speed groupset with 175mm cranks.
The saddle is a white Fizik Arione R3 and the handlebar tape matches.
This isn’t the first butterfly bike that we’ve covered on road.cc. Back in the early days of the site, we featured the famous Damien Hirst-designed Trek Madone ridden by Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France. It was eventually auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York for half a million dollars.
Pic ⓒ Gareth Winter
The overall result of the Vires Velo bike is spectacular although, with all that white, we hope that Wiggins doesn't mind putting a shift in with the cleaning products.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.