The 2017 season is all about change for AG2R-La Mondiale, at least in terms of the team’s equipment suppliers. Aboard Focus bikes during 2016, the team switches to arguably one of the more boutique brands on the market today, Factor Bikes. Previously spotted under the riders of the professional-continental team, One Pro Cycling, the influence of former Tour De France green jersey winner and company co-owner Baden Cooke, may have had something to do with the change in AG2R’s bike lineup.
This example of the Factor 02 is assigned to Jan Bakelants, a Belgian rider who joined the team in 2015 on a two-year contract. He has a nicely stacked palmarès, including a win at Stage 2 of the 2013 Tour De France and two stages in the Yellow Jersey in the same Tour. Click on for more of Jan’s Factor 02 race bike…
Factor tout the O2 as their “beautiful chameleon”; this nomenclature makes light of the O2’s versatility and minimalism, combined with exceptional performance. The Factor O2 frame tips the scales at a paltry 740 grams, and is designed for the rigors of riding in the big European mountains, or across the brutal pavé of Belgium and France.
Factor insist the O2 is a peerless combination of master craftsmanship featuring the finest of materials, innovative engineering and manufacturing processes all brought together with the highest level of finishing and attention to detail in their wholly-owned factory.
With more than 20 years of cutting edge expertise, Factor believe their O2 frame is the pinnacle in carbon frame building mastery.
Another big change for AG2R-La Mondiale is the team’s component supplier. Heavily involved in the development of SRAM’s revolutionary Etap wireless shifting system, the team switches to the biggest groupset name in the WorldTour – Shimano and their electronic Dura-Ace Di2 system.
Black Inc. is the component house brand for Factor Bikes and they supply the team’s cockpit parts. The stem of Bakelant’s bike isn’t completely slammed; a spacer top and bottom provides some room to move, and a nice steerer mounted adapter on which the Di2 Junction A box is hung.
Ceramic Speed bearings, even in the headset.
The AG2R mechanics adopt a simple approach to keeping their Di2 wiring clean and reasonably well hidden – black electrical tape evenly spaced out.
Naturally, Ceramic Speed bearings find a home in the Factor 02’s PF30 bottom bracket.
At the time of these photos, AG2R’s Factor 02 bikes were kitted out with the SRM Dura-Ace 9000 series power meter. However, they will soon be switching to the ultralight SRM carbon power meter during the season, as spotted on the bikes of Bahrain Merida.
Look Keo pedals for Bakelants, but he chooses the Chromoly spindle version.
Shimano’s venerable Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 rear derailleur.
The Factor 02 supports internalized wired electronic and mechanical shifting, as evidenced by the ports behind the head tube.
Mavic is the other big change for AG2R-La Mondiale – gone are Zipp wheels, replaced by Mavic for 2017. Continental provide the team’s Pro-only Competition PRO LTD tubular tires.
Black Inc. seatpost of the Factor 02.
Traditional Dura-Ace 9000 series calipers with Mavic’s yellow compound brake pads perform the duties of stopping the AG2R Factor 02.
The Black Inc seatpost provides approximately 20mm of setback.
Bakelants prefers the carbon railed version of the Fizik Antares saddle, nicely kitted out in AG2R livery.
Elite Cannibal bottle cages keep Jan Bakelant’s water bottles securely in place.
Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.