Factor is bike sponsor to the Ag2r-La Mondiale team of Romain Bardet and on Saturday officially launched the Slick time trial bike ahead of Paris-Nice.
It’s the latest addition to the team’s armoury and Factor says it’s been optimised for speed, aerodynamics and fit. It uses Factor’s Twin Vane split down tube, which Factor introduced on its original Vis Vires bike and also uses on the ONE aero bike.
In the Slick, it’s been developed further into the Twin Vane Evo. According to Factor’s design director Iñigo Gisbert: “We continued with the Twin Vane split downtube and improved the design further so the profile of both tubes are optimised. Obviously aerodynamics is important for a time trial bike, so the Factor SLICK has been designed with that in mind. To let the air flow, we created a bigger stance on the fork and seat stays so the air has room to move.”
Gisbert says that stiffness, geometry, weight and aerodynamics all need to synchronise and work together. So the Twin Vane Evo design is wide, for a broad contact area with the head tube and Bbright bottom bracket shell.
The bike has enough clearance for 28mm tyres, with the fork and seatstays placed wide for good aerodynamics. The front brake is kept out of the airflow, being integrated into the fork.
Factor says it’s used the time trial expertise of brand advisor and “test pilot” David Millar in developing the Slick. It’s also worked with Colorado-based bike fit specialist Mat Steinmetz on the development of the Slick’s aerobars, with three variants available to Ag2r to fit different riders’ positions.
Ag2r has already had Bardet on the Slick in a wind tunnel to test his fit and optimise his position and aerodynamics. The bike will be put to the test in Wednesday’s 14.5km Paris-Nice time trial stage, but not by Bardet, who was disqualified for drafting on Stage One.