Bike check | Richard Branson's Space Trek

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Richard Branson is a keen cyclist. And rode his way to a truly historic event. (Photo: Virgin Galaxtic)
Richard Branson is a keen cyclist. And rode his way to a truly historic event. (Photo: Virgin Galaxtic)
  • Coverage of the recent Virgin Galactic launch showed Sir Richard Branson pedalling to the spaceport
  • If you want a bicycle to match your space plane, Trek will build it for you
  • Trek’s Project One custom programme offers limitless customisation options

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson and crewmates travelled to the edge of space in the inaugural flight of the Virgin Galactic space plane. 

This flight was an important milestone on the journey to commercial space travel.

Live coverage of the launch event was broadcast across the world. The broadcast had a strong entertainment focus and included elements such as a performance by musical guest Khalid. Viewers also watched Branson ride a custom Trek Domane to the spaceport.

space travel
Branson surveying the vehicle of destiny, for his space exploration. (Photo: Virgin Galaxtic)

A very special bike

While astronauts through the ages have used a variety of vehicles to transfer them to the launch site it is the first time that a bicycle was the transport of choice.

It turns out that the footage of Branson pedalling to the spaceport, where he was greeted by fellow astronauts, before changing into his space suit was pre-recorded as part of the build-up entertainment.

Nonetheless, the Trek Domane dubbed the Unity 22 Project One, inspired by the flight number VSS Unity 22 was custom made for Branson via Trek’s Project One customisation programme. 

The paintjob on Treks top of the range Domane resembles that of the design of the VSS Unity space plane. Finished in a chrome-to-white colourway it features the words Unity 22 on the seat tube as well as the Virgin Galactic logo on the fork.

space travel
Trek offer a deep level of customization with their bikes. And the Branson space frame, is no exception. (Photo: Virgin Glaxtic)

What about those pedals?

Branson’s Domane SLR is fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and Bontrager carbon-fibre disc brake wheels. While flat pedals are not normally found on high-end road bikes such as the Domane, they meant that Branson could comfortably ride while wearing his Under Armour takkies. 

Sports wear manufacturer Under Armour partnered with the Virgin Galactic programme, with the custom space suits adorned with the brands logos.

Trek’s Project One custom programme allows cyclists to order bicycles to their exact specification. 

Via an online configurator bikes can be completely customised with bespoke paint colours, personalised logos and branding. Every single component including the groupset, wheels and saddle can be chosen from a list of options, allowing cyclists to order the exact bike they want.

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