This is a bike you may not be familiar with yet. It’s the new kid in class. He seems nice, and you might be intrigued, but you’re still wary. And rightfully so, because you don’t know anything about this kid. Well, let me introduce you. This is the Factor One, one of the fastest and most aerodynamic road bikes on the market.
Factor is an engineering nerd’s dream company. They began in 2007 as part of bf1systems, an engineering firm involved with brands like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and many F1, Moto GP, and WRC teams. They’ve also helped build bikes for other brands that have gone on to win the worlds biggest races, including the Tour de France. But they’ve since gone off on their own, and are now using their expertise in high-end carbon manufacturing to build some of the highest quality frames available.
What distinguishes Factor from many other bike brands is the fact that they own their own factory (many use contractors who build frames for multiple brands), giving them direct control over how their frames are developed and produced. This means they are completely free to innovate and experiment as they please. This innovation can be seen in the Factor One’s unique Twin Vane downtube. The downtube is split in two, which handles the aerodynamic wash off the front wheel more effectively than a single large downtube, while also increasing the lateral stiffness without adding weight.
Factor is also able to keep weight low and strength high by dictating which fibers, resins, and construction techniques are used at each location of the frame and fork, ensuring that there is no waste carbon anywhere in the frame, something often found in mass-produced frames manufactured using precut carbon fiber sheets.
The Factor One also utilizes a fully integrated front end, called the OTIS (One Total Integration System), which integrates the bar, stem, and fork into a smooth aero shape.
The whole assembly is also amazingly stiff, providing a direct steering feel that, to me, is actually the most enjoyable characteristic of the bike. Combined with a steep head angle and 43mm fork offset, it makes the front end bike feel ultra-precise and lightning fast, like riding a turbocharged pizza cutter through the pavement. Combined with the slippery shape, the One can’t help but always feel fast, no matter how hard you’re riding.
The frame is designed for electronic shifting only and uses Shimano’s newest Dura-Ace Di2 group.
It rolls on Black Inc. wheels, which is Factor’s sister component brand. The wheels are 50mm deep, and though they lack the bling factor of ENVEs or Zipps, they are well-engineered aero wheels that are impressively stiff and remain stable in crosswinds.
Factor claims the wheels have been engineered with the One chassis to be aerodynamically superior with tires between 25 and 28mm, taking advantage of the lower rolling resistance, improved traction and ride comfort of wider tires.
The Factor One is a serious contender for one of the fastest high-end machines available. It’s unique, cleverly engineered, and sure to impress. So maybe give the new kid a shot!
Check out this bike now available in the shop.
Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.