A rich heritage of motorsports, engineering and cycling runs through the Vires Velo team. Find out a bit more about the people behind our business:
In 2007, John was running Bf1 Systems, a successful engineering company that produced bespoke F1-level carbon fibre and electronics components for the motorsports and aerospace industries. Never one to sit still and keen to showcase his company’s engineering prowess, he challenged his team to develop a bicycle from the ground up, throwing the rule book and convention out the window. This was the birth of Factor Bikes.
John is now the Managing Director of Vires Velo, after returning to the fold in 2019 to run the distribution of Factor in the UK. His history with the brand and connection with the highest level of motorsports drives the UK business forward, ensuring Vires Velo delivers the best possible service, experience and product for our loyal customers.
“I’m currently riding a Ducati Panigale, but when I have to choose a bike without an engine you’ll find me on the Factor ViSTA at weekends, usually parked up outside a local pub or cafe. For real efforts and training, I ride the Factor ONE which is the ideal weapon for Norfolk's roads and terrain. It is a close relative to my originally designed Vis Vires - my first and last production bike before handing over the reins to Rob Gitelis the now Factor owner and CEO.”
Rob looks after all things operations at Vires Velo and is responsible for making your journey with us as smooth as possible. When he’s not sourcing components, he’s overseeing the workshop team and in-charge of maintaining the highest quality standards for all new bikes before they leave. He’s also been certified as the best barista in the office.
Rob was formerly an employee of Bf1 Systems and part of the team responsible for creating the first wave Factor bikes. As a result, he is very passionate about Factor and proud to be part of the journey at Vires Velo.
"I was lucky enough to ride the original Factors (001 & Vis Vires pictured) and owned an 02 rim brake before joining Vires Velo which was a great bike. Nowadays it has to be the Ostro VAM, an amazing all-round bike which just holds speed, punches through the air and feels so solid under the wide stance fork. Switching to disc brakes was a revelation for someone who likes to descend fast."
Sports Scientist / Bike Fitter
Hayden is a qualified Sports Scientist with a Masters in Sports and Exercise Science. He runs the Physiology Studio at Vires Velo which includes the idmatch bike fitting system and our performance analysis tools. Hayden’s deep understanding of human physiology and biomechanics paired with the advanced idmatch bike fitting technology help you to find your perfect position on the bike, with the best component set up for you. This is an essential part of the experience at Vires Velo.
Hayden also heads up the Sports Science facilities in the Physiology Studio and works with riders of all abilities to help gain a better understanding of their own physiology. He believes that cycling is for everyone and we can all benefit from a better-informed approach to training and exercise
“The Factor One is my bike of choice, built for all-out speed it is the perfect training partner. The One combined with tailored training plan leaves no excuses for not riding faster.”
You'll find Ben in the workshop building bikes during the week and out racing them at weekends. He’s built hundreds of Factors since joining and has an in-depth understanding of each bike. Ben has worked as a mechanic for 5 years and takes real pleasure in building customers’ dream bikes. His work highlights include building a certain Butterfly bike for Sir Bradley Wiggins.
"Factor One - I love the history behind the One, it being the distant relative of the 001 and Vis Vires. It’s not afraid of being a little unconventional, it’s undeniably fast, super stuff and for mostly flat races around East Anglia you’d be hard-pushed to find a better bike."
Rich is a vastly experienced mechanic and bike builder for Vires Velo. When he’s not working on Factor bikes, he works as technical support for a number cycling events including London - Paris and Lejog, assisting riders along the way.
He’s a keen club rider and is always the fastest person in the bunch, to fix a puncture... Rich can always be relied upon to source those hard-to-find components and has invaluable knowledge across a diverse range of bikes.
“Ostro VAM Chrome Edition - Having had the pleasure of riding the ONE, O2 and now the Ostro I’m blown away by the Ostro. As far as all-rounders go, it ticks every box and is the perfect balance of weight and aero.”
Tom looks after all things marketing at Vires Velo and joined the business in 2019. Amongst many things, he looks after the Vires Velo digital channels and is tasked with the enviable task of photographing the beautiful customer bikes that roll through our workshop. He’s an experienced digital marketeer and keen cyclist so some would say has found his calling.
Tom is proud to be part of the continued growth at Vires Velo and enjoys telling and sharing our story with our audience across our channels.
“It’s a toss up between the Ostro and LS but having put more miles into the LS on both Gravel and Road i’ll choose the LS. If you are limited to one bike in the arsenal then the LS is a great choice, rapid on the rough stuff but a very competent road bike with a set of 32s. It’s just a really fun bike to ride everywhere.”
Connor is a placement student at Vires Velo and offers all-round workshop and admin support for the team. He’s a keen club rider and races road and cyclocross around the UK. Connor is keen to pursue a career in the cycling industry and living locally Vires Velo presented an opportunity to get some valuable industry experience under his belt.
“As a club racer, the Ostro is my dream bike, an absolute weapon on all terrains!”