With a claimed weight under 700g with disc brakes, Factor’s newest O2 VAM makes climbing mountains easier and takes lightweight carbon road bikes one step further – especially for light disc brake bikes. Factor’s lightest production model yet, the new VAM optimizes their original O2 pro race bike, improving it in almost every way…
Factor O2 VAM ultralight <700g disc brake road bike frame
Named for Velocità Ascensionale Media (translation: mean speed of ascent) used to compare how fast a cyclist can climb, the O2 VAM is definitely a light road bike. But Factor touts the low-mass VAM as a comfortable all-rounder road bike, both up and down the sides of mountains. That might also make it Factor’s most well-rounded road bike, delivering the precise handling and connected ride feel you expect from a premium race bike like the original WorldTour proven O2, the comfort of an endurance road bike like the ViSTA, but more a hundred grams lighter than either.
A lot of that uncompromising weight loss comes down to more refined carbon production methods on the O2 VAM with new compression molding techniques. Factor have developed more “intricately detailed internal mandrels” that allow more precise placement of the carbon material. And with “vastly more powerful compaction” they don’t use much excess resin or fiber, making for a lighter frame with better stiffness and an improved strength-to-weight ratio.
Inside, new TeXtreme, Nippon Graphite pitch & boron fibers are mixed in with more conventional carbon to balance high stiffness and the same rider comfort of their endurance bike.
Outside the O2 VAM looks to share the same basic shaping as the original O2, with an oversized downtube paired with tiny seat stays & tapered fork legs. Plus, it shares the same road race-ready geometry.
Kinda the same, only better
Despite appearances, there are some small improvements tucked in there, like wider clearance for up to 30mm tires (born directly out of WorldTour racing). The VAM also gets improved internal cable routing, and better integration through the new Black Inc bar+stem.
The asymmetric bottom bracket got reshaped in the process too, for a bit of extra drivetrain stiffness, even around bigger tires.
And the seat tube and seatpost were lightened for more compliance under the rider.
Like the standard O2, it’s available for whichever braking style you prefer – rim brake bikes use direct mount brake calipers & QR wheels, while the disc brake model features flat mounts & 12mm thru-axles.
On top of a light frame itself, Factor have put together a complete chassis for the O2 VAM with a pretty standard set of components – nothing exotic or overly weight weenie here. Factor doesn’t sell complete bikes, but rather an extended frame kit that includes frame and fork, plus a CeramicSpeed internal headset & bottom bracket, their own Black Inc one-piece bar & stem combo, and a Black Inc. seatpost. Both frame kits are compatible with mechanical or electronic drivetrains, and have a bolt on front derailleur hanger.
Pricing & availability
Factor isn’t very clear if there are differences at all between the rim & disc brake bikes in terms of weight or geometry – listing one set of specs for both – less than 700g for either frame. The O2 VAM is all about shaving grams, so not a lot of paint here – the bike features a matte raw UD carbon finish, with just a touch of gloss black & red logos and detailing.