CPO Used & New Factor Bikes: Shop the Factor ONE, O2 & More
Factor Bikes is the combination of a British F1 company and a dedicated frame building facility in Taiwan. The owner, Rob Gitelis, has been building in carbon-fiber in Taiwan since 1996, working for companies like Cervélo, ENVE, Santa Cruz, and Zipp. Since 2015, Factor and sister brand Black Inc. have been under one roof at the Taiwan factory, where Factors are imagined, conjured, designed, tested, and built. The company marries the F1 focus on aerodynamics, a weight-weenies belief in weight-saving, and an old-world focus on geometry.
Factor gained notoriety when Tour de France champ, Chris Froome, joined the Israel-Premier Tech cycling team and started riding Factor bikes.
Factor is selective in what they build. They have a relatively small line, but they dial in all their bikes to 11. They make for MTB, gravel, triathlon/time trial, and road bikes.
Factor Road Bikes
While Factor first made its name with ultra-light, ultra-stiff road bikes, they’ve been able to expand and improve their offerings in all directions. They now offer a super aero road platform, the One, a super-light climbing platform, the O2, and one that equally balances lightweight and aerodynamics, the Ostro. The Ostro is so named for how it tames that brutal Mediterranean wind.
If you’re looking for the lightest Factor frameset, the O2 VAM is it. Even in a size large rotor disc frame fully built up, the bike can weigh in at 6.78kg. To get there, Factor matches an oversize downtube to skinny stays and a traditional round seatpost.
The One has two unusual design features. The first thing everyone notices is the bayonet fork. This improves the aerodynamics of the leading edge of the bike. A closer inspection shows they also have a unique Twin Vane downtube--it’s split down the middle, to further the aerodynamics after wind passes by the front wheel. The bike is super slippery in the wind and great to ride.
Factor Gravel Bikes
Factor currently offers two different gravel bikes for sale. Since gravel contains multitudes, it makes sense that there are different kinds of gravel bikes. The LS, named in tribute to one Larry Shivaz, is optimized around riding 40-43mm wide tires, though people can install narrower tires. The Factor Vista is considered more of an “all-road” gravel bike, meaning it is built around rolling 30-35mm tires. If you aren’t racing, rolling on 30mm tires offer lots of comfort; it seems to be where endurance bikes are going these days.