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).
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.
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.
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