Paul Smith + Factor Bikes

For years, Paul’s famous love of cycling has manifested in many specially designed products: helmets, jerseys, lights, locks, tools, and – on the odd occasion – bikes. Our latest collaboration speeds thrillingly into that latter category: our very first pro-grade racing bike.

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The walls of Paul Smith’s London HQ are densely packed with all manner of art and ephemera from Paul’s personal collection. So much so that even the longest serving members of staff would be hard pressed to tell you what colour the walls are. Framed photos of iconic musicians wearing Paul Smith sit cheek by jowl with archival design sketches, handwritten notes from fans and customers, paintings of dogs, reproductions of classical Japanese landscapes. Suffice it to say, it’s an eclectic hang. In our first-floor stairwell is a small, easy to miss piece of text art, which – in block capitals – offers this sage mantra:




Paul’s love of cycling is well documented, so it’s no surprise that his time spent on two wheels should influence the way his inner wheels turn. And with the launch of our latest collaboration, both inner and outer wheels have been spinning furiously. We teamed with Factor, designers and makers of truly extraordinary racing bikes, to develop a very special project: the Paul Smith + Factor OSTRO VAM. A professional grade world tour racing bike – a first for us – it’s constructed from ultra-lightweight carbon fibre with a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and Black Inc. accessories. ‘IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR BALANCE, YOU MUST KEEP MOVING’ becomes especially true when you’re clipped into this thing, a bike which its makers designed for those who race ‘with the knife between [their] teeth.’ Yikes.

With their space-age aerodynamic frames and stealth bomber aesthetics, lightweight racing bikes can sometimes be a somewhat severe and intimidating visual proposition, so with that in mind we’ve tried to soften things up a bit by implementing a familiar palette of bold, playful colours. It’s a bike that looks friendly and approachable, but will very much leave the competition in the dust.

“I used to be a cyclist as a young man, and I’ve stayed close to the whole world of cycling,” says Paul. “Factor is a company whose technological approach to their bike making has been really impressive, and so it’s with great pleasure that I’ve customised one of their new bikes. I hope you like it."

The visual design of the bike was inspired by a similarity between the way carbon fibre sheets are cut, and the way clothes are made. When a bike such as this is manufactured, dozens and dozens of carbon fibre sheets are cut into highly specific shapes before being pieced together into the final form. In this way, bike making is akin to pattern cutting, wherein the various parts of a garment are cut separately, then sewn together to create a wearable item. A pleasingly coincidental link between Paul’s two great passions.

As a nod to team sponsor logos on pro racing bikes, we’ve added an eye-catching, scaled up Paul Smith logo to the frame. Any smaller and the adoring crowds wouldn’t be able to read it as you zoom past at record speeds. In fact, little Paul Smith touches can be found all over the bike, including signature stripe details on the seat post and bar stem, and logo-embossed tape on the handlebars.

A technical marvel and a beautiful piece of design, no other bike combines form and function so thrillingly.

For more information on how to order your Paul Smith + Factor bike, please contact customer services.

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Our new men’s and women’s collaboration with the iconic cycling brand is based on friendships both on and off the bike, as well as a shared passion for vintage cycling jerseys.



Office Sundays: Paul’s Cycling Jerseys Collection

Discover the story behind Paul’s personal collection of cycling jerseys, which includes Tour de France jerseys, green jerseys and maglia rosa from the likes of Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and more.


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Published: 11.23

Words: Nathan Sharp