A week before the annual PressCamp, I got an email invitation to reserve a Factor for a test ride.
Heck yea. Reservation booked.
Up until that point, I have only heard of Factor. I knew they dropped a ton of money sponsoring a UCI WorldTour team before even selling a bike to the public and that they have a special edition bike, 51 actually, with ex-pro David Millar… But that’s about it.
As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen one out in the wild here in the Bay Area, a place where you can see all sorts of fancy bikes on the road. Thanks Silicon Valley.
Tuesday finally came and there I was walking over to the Factor booth to pick up my bike; all the while hoping my scheduled meeting with them would come sooner.
A medium wasn’t available so I was handed a large in bright sparkly orange O2 disc adorned with the new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes and Black Inc, a house brand of Factor, took care of the rest of the components. All that was left to do was to install my personal pedals and the mount for my computer.
Plenty of room for bigger tires. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly
Flat-mounted disc and 12x142 axles Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly
It's a bit difficult to see here but every Factor comes with a ceramic bottom bracket from CeramicSpeed. Photo: Stephen Lam/ element.ly
I should be able to remember my saddle height now that it’s my third time attending PressCamp but I left all my paperwork at home. What a noob.
But at least I showed up to the ride on time and put on plenty of sunblock.
Alas, we were ready to go. We rolled by downtown Park City, onto some bike paths, got out of town and boom, the first roller. It was a such a gentle, unassuming rolling curve, but hello altitude.
I live 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean and any climbing in this 7,000+ feet altitude is like a punch in the face. My legs felt great, but my heart was pounding. Where you at oxygen.
Thank goodness we quickly regrouped on the other side before crossing highway 248 to continue our little climb on Brown’s Canyon Road. My heart had settled somewhat and instead of paying attention to the bike I was riding, I realized I’ve been focusing on keeping up with the group. This orange O2 seems to have disappeared beneath me, quietly chugging away. Wonderful.
We were soon treated with about 5 miles of mostly descents. The O2 felt snappy yet very well-mannered.
As the group turned around in Oakley, through the town of Peoa and proceeded to climb the same descent we stormed down earlier, it dawned on me that perhaps the biggest limiting factor for this Factor O2 is my oxygen-deprived self. I wanted to chill but this bike just kept nudging me to go faster, to put in a few more pedal strokes. Wow this is a fun bike.