Factor certainly comes with a very polished website and brand profile. But away from all the glamour, how would the Factor ONE superbike perform in the real world of 'characterful' Peak District and Cheshire roads?
First impressions were excitement and trepidation in equal measures. The ONE is certainly a looker, from the unique twin vane frameset to the Factor one-piece bars/stem. But the low front end, over 40mm lower than my regular bike, 23mm tyres (remember those??) and 39T/25T bottom gear promised an uncompromising test experience.
First ride out with the Thursday night crew, fairly frazzled from a 12 hour shift on the shopfloor at PEAK cyclesport, the last thing I was looking for was a beating up from the Factor. In the end, it was OK, 28km/h in the hills, 2000 ft of climbing over 80 minutes. Next up, my regular ride into the Peaks, 5000 ft of climbing. Not much faster on the climbs but very rapid with lightning fast handling on the descents.
Next ride, and here's where it gets interesting, was a dream. It always takes a ride or two to dial in position on any new bike, but I really felt good on the ONE, which came as a real surprise as I expected to be in pieces from what would appear to be an uncompromising superbike. No aches or pains, no prolapsed disc flair ups, nothing.
Then, after 3 lumpy rides, it was a blast across Cheshire, 2km/h faster than usual. Would have been interesting to have fitted the Stages powermeter to see if the extra speed was at the same power, I suspect so.
Verdict: great in the real world, comfortable, fast...and exclusive
For more information, checkout the Factor Bikes website