DREAM BIKES: Factor O2 Disc
Factor RGi carbon
Factor Svelte RGi carbon, tapered
Black Inc carbon
Up to you
As far as out-and-out race bikes go, the Factor 02 must be one of the best-looking on the road.
The British brand, helmed by retired pro riders Baden Cooke and David Millar, has soared in popularity since their 2017 sponsorship of Grand Tour team AG2R La Mondiale. Romain Bardet got onto the podium at the Tour de France that year, and everyone saw which bike he was riding…
There’s a beguiling interplay going on with the design of the frame: it’s no-nonsense but beautiful, practical but desirable, a bit like an Aston Martin. The two stock colours on offer – Celestial Blue and Dolphin Grey – are classy as hell, but you can also choose to have the frame painted a more funky colour scheme using Factor’s online Prisma Studio.
In terms of performance it’s a thrilling bike to ride, with racy geometry that gets you down and forward over the bars. The handling is sprightly and super-precise, thanks to the short wheelbase, and the combination of medium- and high-modulus carbon gives the bike a light, stiff character.
The internal routing for the brake cables is impeccably neat, as is the hidden seat post wedge at the join of the top tube and down tube. To put anything less than SRAM’s wireless Red eTap AXS groupset on this bike would be borderline sacrilegious. (In fact, the disc-brake version of the frame is only compatible with an electronic drivetrain.)
Factor also makes a range of in-house carbon parts, under the Black Inc moniker. Frames ship with an integrated Black Inc bar and stem, a Black Inc seatpost, Factor bar tape and a Garmin or Wahoo mount. You also get a Ceramic Speed bottom bracket and headset. You can order Black Inc wheels too, in all-rounder 35mm or aero 50mm depths.
Get this bike. Then start saving for a trip to the Alps…
PRICE: R79 900 (frameset and wheels)
GET IT NOW: firstname.lastname@example.org