FACTOR O2 VAM
Achieving the Perfect Balance: Lightweight and Aero Synergy
One of the most highly anticipated road bikes of 2023 is the new O2 VAM, designed to be one of the lightest while offering all the advantages of aerodynamics and stiffness. Why design a climbing bike to be aerodynamic? The idea is simple: professional cyclists in the peloton climb at such high speeds that aerodynamics become a significant advantage. Additionally, for non-professional cyclists, climbing is just one part of the ride, and we can still benefit from aerodynamics in other sections. The O2 VAM is constructed using a special grade of carbon to achieve its lightweight and aerodynamic tubing. The bike’s shape has been optimized using computer modeling, and the manufacturing process is distinct from any previous Factor bike. In fact, a dedicated factory was established specifically for the production of the O2 VAM. Furthermore, the O2 VAM demonstrates exceptional speed in certain conditions, particularly when faced with a slight headwind or crosswind. This is attributed to the engineers’ ability to manipulate the formation of the ‘laminar separation bubble’ and reattach the airflow, thereby reducing overall drag.
When comparing its aerodynamics to its older sibling, the Ostro, the O2 VAM falls just 5 watts behind. The Ostro, known for its success in the pro peloton, has set a high standard. However, the O2 VAM stands out in its own right with the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 12-Speed groupset, right out of the box, weighing only 6.4 kg for a size 54 frame.
Enhanced Stiffness and Exceptional Handling: The Perfect Combination
The new O2 VAM is not simply designed for aerodynamic benefits, but also improved stiffness and handling compared to its predecessor. When comparing it to its older sibling, the OSTRO VAM, the new O2 VAM boasts an equivalent level of stiffness. Additionally, it shares the same geometry as the OSTRO VAM, instilling confidence in corners and ensuring stability at high speeds. Recognizing that a great bike should excel not only in climbing but also in descending, the O2 VAM delivers an equally enjoyable experience during descents.
What else is new? The Wheels, Bottom Bracket and rider position
Factor not only aimed to improve upon the previous O2 VAM but also collaborated with its sister company, Black Inc, to create a wheelset that perfectly complements the new O2 VAM. Just like the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly, the new Black Inc 28/33 wheelset is an ideal match for the O2 VAM. With a front depth of 28mm and a rear depth of 33mm, the wheelset optimizes aerodynamics and weight. Impressively, the entire wheelset weighs only 1,146g. How was this achieved? The answer is simple: by replacing steel spokes with lightweight carbon spokes. This not only reduces weight but also enhances responsiveness, acceleration, and reduces overall drag compared to the older Black Inc Thirty by 10g.
Furthermore, the bottom bracket has been upgraded to the superior T47a standard. Factor made this change based on the success demonstrated by their OSTRO VAM model, as T47a ensures a secure fit, easier maintenance, and overall improved power transfer.
The rider position has also been revised, with the new stack height increased by 10mm compared to the previous O2 VAM. However, there have been no changes to the reach. Factor made this adjustment after studying extensive riding data from both their athletes and consumers to determine the dimensions that would help most riders find their optimal fit.