Factor Bikes' ONE Road Frameset has evolved. Already one of the quickest bikes we've ridden, the brand has pushed the boundaries to create an even more stiff, responsive handling, and aerodynamic frame, often thinking outside the box in the quest to achieve these gains. Factor isn't afraid to push these limits because, well for one it's a road racing brand with its sole intent of creating fast bikes for the tarmac, and with a lot of its experience coming from Formula One, it tirelessly pours R&D into its products ensuring that it helps achieves more speed in real-world applications on the road and in races.
With the new Factor ONE, the brand set its target on creating the fastest road bike ever. The aerodynamic technology and frame construction were heavily influenced by the outgoing ONE with its unique One Total Integration System (OTIS) front end carrying over to this newer model. OTIS enjoys the obvious benefits of presenting a minimal face to the wind (it's practically two-dimensional head-on) and with the inclusion of an external fairing that rotates with the fork and bars, it disturbs the air as little as possible. These features are designed to work in cahoots with the bifurcated downtube in order to take full advantage of the peculiar design, and without both elements, the significant claims of reduction in air resistance are void. OTIS's Evo aero bar/stem combo also does its part, helping to increase stiffness while boosting the frame's aerodynamic benefits.
The other benefit to the OTIS's design is how well it improves the handling on the front end. The responsiveness allows the ONE to gracefully arc through sweeping descents while still apt to dive for the inside line on a 90-degree crit corner on the last lap. It's simply unflappable and feels positive and snappy on mad dashes to the line and on out of the saddle, short steep climbs. By pairing this impressive stiffness with its refined geometry, the handling is nearly telepathic. A slightly lower stack, a longer reach, and a steeper seat tube angle help the pros at AG2R La Mondiale go about their jobs in total confidence that the bike can handle anything they will face in grand tours and one-day classics. These geometry changes situate the rider more forward on the bike, placing you on top of the pedal stroke and increasing your power output while putting you in a more aerodynamic position helping you scrap for placement in a crit or burying yourself during an all-day breakaway.
Great handling only gets you so far in cycling though, and with newer road bikes, more and more emphasis is being placed on aerodynamics. The ONE's immediately aero feature is the tube shaping, which incorporates a rounded face with a truncated trailing edge that is popular on many of the road frames populating the peloton today. The shape manipulates the airflow from the point of contact and tricks it into believing the tube shapes are deeper so it stays attached for longer. This reduces turbulence and the negative vacuum created by trailing drag that traditional tube shapes produce, but it doesn't turn into a destabilizing parachute when crosswinds shift the yaw angle away from its comfort zone. The tube shapes are accompanied by a handful of classic aerodynamic features, including fork integration, an integrated seatpost clamp, direct-mount brakes, and internal, electronic only, cable routing.
Those features aren't completely unique among top-end frames these days, but features like the before mentioned OTIS front end and the Twin Vane down tube are. The down tube features a lengthwise cutout that allows air to pass through while also increasing the stiffness at the bottom bracket and headset. While we've seen similar structures in forks, and on the downtube of Colnago's iconic Bi-titan, Factor is the first manufacturer that utilizes it to increase aerodynamics while adding stiffness. Further contributing to this aero yet plenty stiff formula is the wide stance aero seatstays and proprietary seatpost.
The stiffness afforded by the OTIS fork continues through the bike with the down tube, bottom bracket, and built-up chainstays demonstrating similar efficiency. The down tube flows continuously through the BBright shell and chainstays to improve power transfer by reducing energy loss. The appropriately stiff stem/handlebar combination integrates as part of the OTIS system to further reduce drag and refuses to yield to even the strongest sprint induced torque. And while this frame isn't anywhere close to what we would call harsh, it is racing firm. The tire clearance increases to 28mm on the new ONE which should help out in the comfort department.
Of course, we couldn't talk about the stiffness and tube shapes without mentioning the carbon lay-up. Factor uses a unique three-modulus blend including the ultra-rare Pitch Fibre. What makes it so unique is that it’s the lightest, stiffest, and thus, most difficult material that can be shaped into bicycle tubing. Factor is one of the few to use it since it actually knows how to use it, and it's generally cost prohibitive.
Included with this frameset is a Ceramic Speed bottom bracket with Wheels Mfg. 24mm adaptors as well as a spare derailleur hanger, headset spacers, and a Garmin mount, so you'll have all the ancillary items you need for the build.