Cycleology: It's So Icy Factor O2

Posted by Alder Martz on 13th Nov 2019

Cycleology: It's So Icy Factor O2

Factor calls it Celestial Blue, perhaps alluding to the O2’s powers of ascension. But it would be unfair to pigeonhole the O2 as a ‘climbing only’ bike. It is balanced, stiff, and agile. Our rider wanted a superbike that was equally competent in the mountains as on a flat group ride and replicated the traditional look and feel of a bicycle. I don’t want to brag but, I think we aced it.

I have a friend who signed a contract to ride for AG2-R, then sponsored by Factor. I asked him what he thought of the O2 and his eyes lit up. “Everyone is talking about that bike”, he said. “Everyone wants to ride them”. The Factor O2 is quietly brilliant. Its flash is reserved for the ride, as opposed to the bike stand. And yet, it is supremely beautiful in its simplicity. Traditional geometry. Svelte forks and seat stays. A hidden seatpost clamp and a fork that sits perfectly flush with the headtube. It’s understated and it’s under 750 grams.

These subtleties carry into the paint. The glacier blue, similar to a sunrise, changes hue with each passing ray of sunlight. A discreet Union Jack sits where the top tube meets the bottom bracket and pays homage to Factor’s British roots.

Factor sells their frames as ‘chassis’ with sister company, Black Inc, which took care of the components. The chassis consists of a Black Inc seatpost, integrated cockpit, out front computer mount, and bar tape as well as a CeramicSpeed headset and BBRight bottom bracket. Presiding over it all, a Selle SMP saddle flies the tricolor.

A Campagnolo SuperRecord 12 speed groupset was selected because every superhero needs its theme music and the Italian grouppo has a magical power that can transform any frame into a love song. Every downshift of the mechanical thumb shifter, a call and every tick back to its resting position, a response. An 11-29 cassette with a 52x34 crank provides a wide range of gear options, from cruising uphill to flying down the other side.

The Campagnolo theme continues to the wheelset and eventually settled on a pair of Bora Dark Label WTO 45s for their ceramic bearings, shallower rims, yet very efficient aerodynamics. A pair of SuperRecord caliper brakes slows this beast down. We added 28mm Vittoria Corsa 2.0 tubeless tires because of their performance, durability and the splash of red that matches the SuperRecord brakes.

This build, while lacking in terms of flashy qualities like electronic shifting and hidden cables, relies on a nuanced approach. It exudes a quiet confidence that once the the wheels hit the road and the pedals turn, the true spirit of bike riding will shine bright, perhaps in a celestial way.

If you are looking for your perfect bike, reach out to us. A bespoke bike doesn’t have to be custom painted with a matching stem and rim decals. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Send us an email or give us a phone call, we would be excited to be involved.

     Factor O2 Celestial Blue              Campagnolo SuperRecord 12              Campagnolo Bora WTO 45