Dom Dymond of Velosport gets out to test the Factor O2. Here is his review of how it performs.
Route: 90km Windsor Loop
Weather: Cloudy with touches of sunshine
Bike: Factor O2 with Dura Ace Di2 groupset, Blackinc finishing kit and fifty wheels
Originating in the beautiful lands of Norfolk, Factor began its journey into the cycling world in 2007 bringing with them a background of design working with some of the fastest and most prestigious brands in the world including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and many F1, Moto GP and WRC teams. In 2012 they teamed up with Aston Martin and created a Hyper Bike……..yes that’s right, a hyper bike, the Factor ONE-77 coming in at £25,000. Soooooooo much bike!
Now, Factor have their bikes ridden in The Tour de France and pretty much any bike race out there. Today’s Factor O2 is beautifully equipped to get climbing or getting some sprinting done, luckily, I had the chance to check out this amazing piece of engineering.
Stepping over the top tube, clipping my left foot in and grabbing hold of the Dura Ace Di2 shifter I immediately felt the need to stamp my foot down and get pedalling. The position of the O2 is comfortable yet feels as ‘sprinty’ as a track bike and has the look of a traditional style pedal machine used on the road. This for me was great, coming from a track bike background, I felt getting into position was natural and effortless. The first thing you’ll notice on the O2 is how natural it feels, I was struggling to find any flaws to work against and tried quiet hard to throw it around…..it’s a tough bike!
Coming through Richmond Park I got a little taster of what the Factor Rep mentioned, it feels like nothing else, at high speed. Dropping my hands down on the bars and cranking back the pedals I pushed forward and instantly felt like I’m on an electric bike. When you start to spin the O2 seems to give you a little nudge forward on every rotation, this will come down to the stiffness of the frameset. Factor mention that rather than using one steerer dimension for all sizes they use size-specific tubes and layups so there will be no loss in quality, which you find with some brands. Now I won’t lie, hills are not my favourite (sorry climbers), so when I was faced with some sharp, steep hills I would normally get enough speed to get much of it done, get up and then slug it out. This didn’t happen on the O2, I would get the speed up and then maintain seated pretty much at the same speed. It handles hills fantastically and feels like you have no resistance from the bike when you start to tire. One of the factors of this will be down to the weight of the bike, the frame comes in at a tidy 740grams, which is pretty damn light and then the geometry of the set up.
As some of you will know, there are some cheeky stretches on the Windsor Loop where you can really get some adrenaline pumping. On most bikes I have ridden hitting the 49 – 55km mark feels quick and pretty unnerving, on this I felt incredibly comfortable and didn’t feel the need to lift off the pedal, so I managed to get to 70km nice and smooth. The bike is pretty low and that plays a massive role in keeping the handling so perfect.
The Factor O2 is possibly the best bike I have ridden for being an amazing all-rounder. The Factor ONE was a beautiful piece of machinery to ride, take out some of the crazy innovative aerodynamics of the ONE, sprinkle some climbing power and the O2 will appear. If you get the chance, come and test out one of these beauties, you will not be disappointed! 5 out 5 on the Velosport Chart!