On Saturday, Factor unveiled the Slick time trial bike to be used by AG2R La Mondiale for 2017. Developed closely with former rider David Millar, the bike will be raced for the first time during Wednesday's 14.5-km individual time trial, on stage 4 of Paris-Nice. The bike was tested over the winter by Romain Bardet, but the Frenchman will not be using it after his disqualification following stage 1.
The radical Twin Vane Evo down tube on the bike is an updated version of the Twin Vane design that features on the Factor ONE aero road model. The design, engineered by Factor, claims to combine ‘aerodynamic efficiency and maximum frame stiffness'. The split down tube allows air to flow through the frame itself and this concept is complemented by the wider fork and seat stays. The 'wide stance' fork and stays also result in large tyre clearances, allowing up to 28mm tyre width on the bike.
The bulky head tube area and wide bottom bracket contribute to the overall frame stiffness and power transfer.
The Factor Slick has a hinged fork and an integrated stem, available in two size options, contributing to front-end stiffness. The wide stance forks feature housing for the hidden front brake, decreasing any of the usual air turbulence produced from the brake caliper. The cover of the brake can be removed for any adjustments and maintenance, while the rear brake is also positioned out of the wind underneath the bottom bracket.
The cockpit is produced via collaboration between Factor and American brand 51 Speedshop. Constructed from stainless steel and carbon fibre, the cockpit is fully adjustable. The stack, angulation, reach, arm pad width and extension shape can all be adapted to suit the rider, with each AG2R La Mondiale rider having a different setup. The seat post is also offered with zero to 27mm offset to further improve bike fit, and four frame sizes are available.