Factor Rider Stories:

Stuart Clapp's Factor ViSTA

Stuart Clapp, Desire Editor of Rouleur magazine, writes about his journey of discovery with Factor Bikes

I remember the first time I saw a Factor. Not in a magazine, but actually in real life. It was at the Smithfield Nocturne. I remember the bike, the year less so. I’m going for 2010. I can’t recall the first time I saw many bikes.

As Desire editor at Rouleur magazine, I see a lot of them, but choosing one for myself was so hard. Pick a handful of them for the next issue, no problem. I wrote about my struggles in last year’s Desire special. I wanted something different. I’m not an aero bike guy, not anymore, neither am I ready for steel.

What I didn’t know was, until I rode one, was I wanted a Factor O2. I bought one in the end, one of the CHPT3 ONEMORELAP versions, which also quenched my (ahem) desire for having something a little different. It looks and feels custom. It feels special. Black Inc Thirty wheels. Dura Ace Di2. Rim brake (no, they’re not dead).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, so last year, I got invited to the unveiling of the ViSTA. I went out with Adam Blythe and David Millar into the New Forest and it was the most fun I’d had on a bike for ages – just a bunch of mates ragging it about in the woods. We weren’t chasing an average speed or looking at a power meter. Feels a bit odd saying it, and maybe a bit cliché, but sod it, isn’t this the reason we ride bikes? It’s childlike.

But, this is where it got interesting, and I confess, I didn’t actually consider it all that much at the time.

Millar put his hand up, “I’ve punctured. How far is it back to base?” I think the answer came back that it was about 5kms. “Who wants a game of race the puncture?” and with that Millar hopped onto the asphalt and shot off down the road like he’d been shot out of a cannon. This resulted in an impromptu team time trial to make it back before all the remaining air had gone from his front tyre.

I got back to meet the other press invitees and one of them was suggesting that you didn’t need an all-road bike, just a road bike and a mountain bike. This, I told him, was missing the point and explained the fun we’d just had off-road and on the way back. Penny dropped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I now have a ViSTA. I visited the Customer Experience Centre and had, believe it or not, my first proper bike fit. It turns out my saddle height was a little way off and I have freakishly long femurs. Cyclists would call it rangy. Non-cyclists would probably call it something less flattering.

After a year of coveting a Factor ViSTA, I now have one. Shimano GRX 1X. Black Inc. Thirty. It’s my n-2 (yes, minus 2).

We beat the puncture.

Stuart’s Factor ViSTA appears in Rouleur 20.1.

Photo by Benedict Campbell // Rouleur Magazine
Photo by Benedict Campbell // Rouleur Magazine

Read More Features

Israel Start-Up Nation at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Israel Start-Up Nation at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

The Classics season started in Belgium with Omloop Het Nieuswblad on February 29. It was the first cobbled classics of the 2020 season for Israel Start-Up Nation riding Factor Bikes.   Thank you to Jered Gruber for the photography.Discover more from Factor Bikes

Factor Bikes x Rocket Espresso x Fat Creations

Factor Bikes x Rocket Espresso x Fat Creations

A collaboration brewed organically, celebrating two of life's greatest pleasures, coffee and cycling.   This limited edition Factor O2 paint scheme has been developed in collaboration with Rocket Espresso and custom paint shop Fat Creations. Each bike will be...

Factor ViSTA x Karl Kopinski

Factor ViSTA x Karl Kopinski

One artist, one bike frame, both without limits   In a unique collaboration, we asked artist Karl Kopinski to take a Factor ViSTA and use it as a canvas for his art. The result, a one-off piece of cycling art that demonstrates Kopinski’s incredible talent as an...

Taiwan KOM Challenge 2019

Taiwan KOM Challenge 2019

At the end of October, 600 riders assembled in Hualien City, Taiwan to attempt one of the hardest cycling events in the world, the Taiwan KOM Challenge. A 105km road race which starts at sea level and then climbs almost non stop up to Taiwan’s highest road pass at a...

Laura Siddall’s KONA2019 Factor SLiCK

Laura Siddall’s KONA2019 Factor SLiCK

Ahead of the Iron Man World Championships in Kona, we spoke to British Triathlete and Factor Ambassador, Laura Siddall. Factor has delivered a brand new, custom painted SLiCK to Laura and Jan van Berkel ahead of the championship. The stunning Hawaii themed paintwork...