I recently bought a Factor VAM 02 as an upgrade to my S Works SL5. I’ve been on the hunt for a new bike for awhile, patiently waiting until the right bike came at the right time. The Factor VAM 02 was that bike, and I’m happy to say that I fell in love with this bike on my first test ride, she’s light, responsive, climbs like a beast and super comfortable to descend on.
Choosing the Factor O2 VAM
I’d been looking for a new bike for awhile, knowing I couldn’t upgrade to another S Works, I was looking for a bike that was in budget, preferably a second hand or an ex-rental to be more eco-conscious and cost effective, and also wanted a pure climbing bike. The Factor VAM 02 fit my criteria, she’s an ex-rental frame from Eat Sleep Cycle in perfect condition, a pure climbing bike, and was in budget!I took her for a test ride and by the end of the ride had completely fallen in love with how she felt on the road, so I decided there and then this was the one for me.It’s not often we really take into consideration the environmental impact of new bikes and bike parts, and so for me, buying what I could for my new bike second hand, and utilising what I already had was really important. Eat Sleep Cycle were so supportive with this and do offer their ex-rental fleets at a superb price after the rental season, they also have a bike exchange programme and sell on the second hand bikes! All of which are professionally checked before hand. I really rate this initiative.
Factor o2 VAM Ride Style
The biggest noticeable difference for me is actually my confidence when descending. My previous bike had very narrow handlebars which was suitable for the races I had been doing, but I now I have 38cm wide handlebars and feel like I have a lot more control when descending. I have been able to push my skills so much further so going for the Factor VAM 02 has definitely changed my riding style.
It’s also helped my climbing ability and over the past few months of riding this bike my climbing style has changed and become so much more efficient.
Factor O2 VAM vs Factor Ostro
There are so many things I love about my new bike, and that I changed from my old S Works. I am also now on disc brakes, mainly because this was the option that was available rather than a conscious choice to opt for disc brakes, but I really am getting on well with them and have to say I’m definitely a convert.
The Factor VAM 02 is comfortable, light, and responsive. She’s at home in the mountains and hilly terrain and is so perfect for a place like Girona. My partner recently bought a Factor Ostro which is stiffer and more race ready, having given that a little spin I’m glad I went for the VAM 02!
You can read Ciarán’s blog on his Factor Ostro VAM here.
Living in Girona: Making the Move from the UK
My partner started working for Israel Start-Up Nation as a coach and they have a heavy presence in Girona, he was keen to make the move and live closer to the team having spent the last few years away from his teams due to my work. We decided to take the leap to starting a new life in a new country, its been a dream of ours to do this for a long time!
Best Road Cycling Route in Girona
Its a route I created, an amalgamation of two routes I love. Its a mix between the “Coast Loop” and “Romanyà de la Selva Loop”. You head out from Girona to Tossa de Mar and follow the coast road until you hit the beginning of the Sant Grau climb. This is one of my favourite climbs in Girona as the views are amazing! You then head back down into Llagostera, but take a right at the roundabout rather than following the road you came in on. Follow this up to Romanyà de la Selva, where you then head back down passing Calonge, up another climb and onwards to Madremanya. There is another road you could take which is a little nicer, but far more busy, so I stick to my quiet roads. You end this route by heading up the backside of Els Angels, back down the longer side, and finally rolling home into Girona and to a café for some sustenance. The route is 132km and over 2,000m of climbing.
Rocket’s Custom Factor VAM 02 Build:
Frame: 49cm Factor VAM 02 Black and Red (Ex-Rental)
Handlebars: Black Inc integrated handlebar and stem, 38cm by 120mm
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 (Ex-Rental)
Cranks & Power Meter: Quarq (Second Hand)
Wheelset: Black Inc Twenties
Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Controls
You can watch my full review here.
Want to learn more about Factor Bikes custom builds at Eat Sleep Cycle?
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