The new Factor LS gravel bike goes all-in on lightweight, fast mixed-surface racing after years of their sponsored riders, successfully squeezing fat enough gravel tires into their aero all-road Vista. The all-new ultralight carbon gravel bike carries over lessons learned on the all-road, but it’s a truly gravel race specific solution with big – but not huge – tire clearance, enough mounts to make it versatile, and race-ready geometry…
Factor LS lightweight carbon gravel race bike
Factor’s first true foray in the gravel scene still leans heavily on the time they spent pushing their aero all-road bike to its limits. This is not some adventure bikepacking bike. This is “an ultralight pure gravel racer”, built for speed with a priority first on optimal stiffness and quick handling.
It takes cues from modern aero road & all-road bikes’ subtle aerodynamic choices like the smoothed fork crown into the downtube, an almost horizontal toptube, dropped seatstays, and deep downtube with a curved leading edge & chopped off tail to shield your water bottle. But those same tiny dropped seatstays and a healthy dose of small diameter seatpost extension promise to catch some of the gravel vibration before it makes it to the rider.
Gravel race geometry
UPDATE: Factor originally provided incorrect geometry data, notes have been updated.
The LS commits fully to its race-focus, with geometry that’s probably as steep & snappy as you’ll find on most gravel bikes. In fact, comparing it to their aero all-road Vista, the new LS gravel race bike gets the same low stack heights, longer reach, and almost as steep head angle. This is a bike that’s meant to go fast, but Factor says its ready to take the rough stuff, too.
So fast handling, but also lightweight to boot – said to weigh just 950g for the frame (medium 54cm). That again leverages Factor’s work building carbon super bikes on the road. The light LS frame’s layup is said to offer the kind of drivetrain & handling stiffness called for in race day accelerations and sustained climbing.
Factor LS – Tech details
Factor didn’t forget that it’s a gravel bike, likely to spend a long time out on its own. Much like the new wider gravel race-specific 3T, this new Factor LS designed for a narrow range of 40-43mm wide/tall gravel tires (shown with 40c tires here, with plenty of clearance) to optimize its race-ready handling – although gravel tire aerodynamics doesn’t seem to be a major consideration in the design. (Eds. clarification) It does however stick to 700c wheels only, and does not have generous wide clearance for those hoping to switch to smaller diameter, higher-volume 650b wheels for rougher riding.
The LS also gets three sets of water bottle bosses, plus top tube bento box/bag mounts to haul everything you’ll need for the longest races. The mostly horizontal toptube lends plenty of space inside for a partial frame bag too.
The LS keeps the front end from going too wide, with a 1 1/8″-1 3/8″ tapered carbon steerer on the fork, and a CeramicSpeed internal headset neatly tucked into the frame. Shedding weight means full carbon bearing seats, also for the press fit BBright bottom bracket.
The gravel bike sticks with a 27.2mm round seatpost for comfort, and slides a wedge-style seatpost clamp into the underside of the toptube to seattube web. There are even hidden fender mounts in the backside of the seatstays & fork blades to further the 4-season versatility of the new LS for race training.
The LS is compatible with both 1x and 2x electronic and mechanical shifting, using a removable braze-on front derailleur mount and full internal cable routing. It is of course disc brake only, with 12×100 & 12x142mm bolt-on thru-axles & flat mount brakes for 140 or 160mm rotors
The bike is available in a single paint job / finish option, combining a large dose of bare UD carbon and limited shades of gray/white for a light, low-key look. The new bike builds on the race successes of the Panaracer/Factor Gravel team who have DK and Gravel Worlds wins racing the previous Vista, and had originally been set to debut this new race bike at this year’s Dirty Kanza.
Factor LS – gravel options, pricing & availability
The new bike is available now to order online, consumer-direct or through Factor’s dealer network, with a limited lifetime warranty for original buyers. The new Factor LS is available as a frameset for $2,700 / £2,650 including frame, fork & headset.
Or you can order complete bikes, with a premium SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x build with Black Inc Thirty carbon wheels, Black Inc one-piece bar+stem and more from $7,000 / £7,000.
Factor tells us the new LS bikes are being delivered to international distribution channels now, with the first customer bikes expected to ship out in the next two weeks.