If you have any doubts about the scope of Factor Bikes' ambitions in the industry, the quality of build kit on the unconventional One-S Dura-Ace Di2 Complete Road Bike should dispel them immediately. Dura-Ace Di2, Mavic's new Cosmic Pro Carbon SL, and a Black Inc. cockpit mean that the One-S is built-up with the kind of kit we daydream about. Despite the no-compromise bling on the spec sheet, the frameset itself remains the most stunningly innovative element. This is only appropriate given Factor's stated goal of being to luxury bikes as luxury bikes are to entry-level noodlers.
The word "innovative" gets thrown around with careless frequency in the cycling world, but the One-S's Twin Vane down tube actually warrants the label. The down tube is bisected by a lengthwise cutout that Factor credits with a 100g reduction in air resistance forces because it gathers and manages the unruly turbulence rolling off of the front wheel. Factor's willingness to inflict violence on industry axioms isn't a case of iconoclastic vandals breaking things just for the sake of breaking things. Rather, the unconventional design elements of the One-S are the result of a collaboration between some big names in the cycling industry and a big name in automotive aerodynamics.
Factor Bikes is led by green jersey-winner Baden Cooke and Rob Gitelis, the carbon manufacturing guru who has been the materials guy behind several of the world's most fetishized boutique brands. The pair acquired Factor from bf1systems in order to adapt the erstwhile non-race-legal technology of models like the Vis Vires and 001 into race-legal designs. Bf1systems itself is a powerhouse of aerodynamics and the brains behind many of Europe's biggest auto-racing names. The auto/bicycle brand partnership has become all the rage in the industry, but—as Cooke himself quips—Factor remains the only brand where the aerodynamics and engineering of the motorsport world are the bike's starting point, not just a decal added to the top tube before the clear coat is applied.
Aside from the Twin Vane down tube discussed above, the frameset's aerodynamic features include the bullet-nose face and truncated tailing edge that have come to define top-end tube shapes. The shape babysits airflow from the point the frame encounters it till long after it's detached and dissipated into wake. The abbreviated rear face is especially important as it reduces the negative vacuum of trailing drag that traditional tube shapes produce, but it doesn't turn into a destabilizing parachute when crosswinds and road conditions shift the yaw angle outside of a NACA profile's near-zero comfort zone.
The aerodynamic features extend to such subtleties as a hidden seatpost clamp, direct-mount rear brake caliper, tucked-away seatstays, internal cable routing, a Di2 junction box, and the inclusion of an integrated stem/bar unit that's designed to work as part of a drag-reduction system with frame and rider. Frankly, we expect this roster of wind-cheating features from high-end aerodynamic road frames. And given Factor's penchant for going above and beyond what's expected, it's no surprise that they're all represented here.
What is a surprise is that the aerodynamics don't come at the cost of comfort. The One-S isn't as buttery smooth as a classic, lugged steel frame or a heavy, carbon cobbles machine, but it does transmit a lot less harshness than the non-traditional tube shapes and seatpost would suggest. Maybe this is because of the low chainstay juncture and shape, or maybe it has something to do with the carbon lay-up. Given co-owner Gitelis' 15+ years in manufacturing, we suspect the latter might play a significant role.
The frame's contradictory balance of aerodynamics, efficient power transfer, and comfort is equal parts tube design and carbon lay-up. Factor builds the One-S with three different carbon moduli, balancing the vibration damping and compliant durability of lower and middle moduli with the unyielding stiffness of Pitch Fibre, a material that is as unabashedly stiff and light as its name is unabashedly British.
Factor isn't shy about claiming that Pitch Fibre is the lightest, stiffest material that can be shaped into a bike frame, so you might assume three things here: 1) Pitch Fibre is extremely difficult to work with, 2) it's very expensive, and 3) Factor jealously guards the exact details of its lay-up schedule. You'd be correct on all fronts. The one insight Factor gives into its process is the use of a program called Fibersim, which Factor uses to "ensure that we put the waste into the garbage can and not into the frame." Fibersim helps the brand keep material to a minimum, resulting in fabric cuts and construction so discerningly meticulous that the process rates at the tippy-top end of luxury, a theme that's also reflected in finishing details like a Ceramic Speed bottom bracket.
- A road race bike that makes no compromises
- Aerodynamic engineering with a motorsport pedigree
- Twin Vane down tube manages airflow coming off front wheel
- Modified NACA tube shapes are faster and more stable
- Meticulous carbon lay-up capitalizes weight loss and stiffness
- Features the latest top components from Shimano and Mavic
- Factor Bikes isn't afraid to completely change the rules
More One-S builds
View more Pre-Configured Road Bikes
One-S size by rider height
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop
Reviews & Community
The first thing that stood out to me about this bike is the way it looked. I had never seen anything like it and I immediately knew I was going to spend my spring working in as many rides on this thing as I could.
I had never thought of the resistance caused by air that's deflected off of the down tube... but Factor did! So, they split the down tube, allowing for air to pass through without any additional resistance. I assume it's not only the split down tube that makes this bike fast (the entire bike is designed with aerodynamics in mind), but I must also assume that it certainly doesn't hurt.
This bike performed amazingly while pedaling, but one of my favorite things to do on this bike was to find a steep, straight descent, drop down and just watch my speed increase without the need for pedaling. This bike is seriously fast! I believe this is the fastest bike I've ridden all year.
With such a unique design I was obviously skeptical about the feel. I figured that a split down tube must have some sort of flex. However, I did plenty of rides on this bike that tested its ability to climb and I'm very impressed with the stiffness in this frame.
The geometry is race oriented, the structure is strong and the bike is just plain fast. I had a blast riding this bike and I would highly recommend this bike for anyone who is for a performance oriented bike with an impeccable design.
Please feel free to hit me up to discuss my experience on the bike, sizing or fit!
Great bike for a number of factors
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fac who? Pretty new to the scene, Factor originated as an off-shoot of a high-tech engineering company. With the purpose of making marvelous super-bikes. The official ride of AG2R-La Mondiale for 2017; these are set to help produce some podium spots.
I was able to take this beauty out for several rides; it was nice to get a good idea of what this was all about. The bike rides like you would expect in a high end aero frame. It feels fast. Geo is racey- (make sure you have a core) Puts the power down. I think they look fantastic, and the downtube is quite the conversation piece. I wasn't a huge fan of integrated bar/stem; but other than that a very fast bike that is filled with innovation, technology, and beautiful craftsmanship.
Let me know if you have any questions, or want to get the wheels rolling on an order. My direct line is 801-204-4588.