Factor LS Gravel Frameset 2020
Factor's success with the O2 and Vista series bikes has been built on the company's focus on pro-level quality and performance, while being underpinned exceptional carbon construction expertise and frame development. The exciting LS Gravel Frameset is their true leap into the gravel race zone with the desire to build a lightweight frameset with perfectly balanced geometry, stiffness to deliver voracious acceleration and climbing performance, while diverging from more of the do-it-all options and quasi-race designs. The balance of comfort and performance being crucial to gravel success, LS offers the correct stiffness for aggressive riding on harsh terrain to break free from the pack without beating on the rider. The LS has been optimized around 40-43 mm tires (43 max). This is a pro-level gravel race frameset for those who prize speed and podiums over satisfaction of a long grind. By working alongside the highest level of cycling professionals, Factor specializes in making performance-oriented machines based on the exacting needs of racers.
Each size of the LS Gravel has its own specific lay-up and definitive tube sizes. Factor has mastered the processes of Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and frame laminate design with it's Fibersim optimization program, using the only the absolutely necessary types and amounts of carbon fiber and resin for each frame. Each LS is built with Factor's EM2 RGicarbon system, employs various amounts of three carbon fiber types: Standard Modulus, Medium Modulus, and the costly and difficult to work with High Modulus Pitch Fiber. Each is applied to it's greatest effect, in accordance with the desired properties of each frame section or tube. Due to the challenges and costs, Pitch fiber is rarely used except at the top-end of the bike world. Factor knows the process and material well, and uses Pitch fiber to it's greatest effect. That exacting process, zero waste, highly informed engineering, and optimal materials combine to deliver a 950 gram gravel race frame that responds like nothing else.
Avoiding trade-offs associated with accommodating the larger tire sizes needed by gravel racers, the geometry of the LS is optimized to ensure exceptionally reactive handling. A 420mm chainstay length is the sweet spot for gravel race bikes, and Factor has managed this while keeping more road-style seattube angles per size. The fork trail varies slightly by size but is between 59-61mm, with all sizes utilizing a 50mm fork offset Headtube angles are only slightly slacker than road norms. The slight triangle cut out offers more space in the rear for the tires, while the frameset itself maintains the O2 style sloping toptube. A 76mm BB drop reflects the added height of the tires. Conceptually, the downtube has a little more curve off the headtube, increasing the clearance there. The end result is a quicker handling bike that retains some stability, but reflects the true race nature of the LS Gravel Frameset design.
Many other frame features that Factor believes strongly in have moved from the O2 to the LS. You'll find the asymmetric bottom bracket system and vertically oversized chainstays. Their pencil shaped chainstays- so effective at mitigating frame buzz from the rear dropouts, have a kinked design that accommodates the tire size, and adds a bit more lateral stiffness along with vertical compliance. Factor's cable integration system for internal routing is simple and reliable for 1x/2x, mechanical or electronic, along with hydraulic disc hoses. The sleek 1-1/8" - 1-3/8" tapered fork is specific to the LS, with a wider crown to leg transition and more clearance from axle to crown (395mm) without adding much overall fork/headtube height- again the racer's preference. On the rear dropouts, just above and behind the axle, hidden lower fender mounts have been added for those times you need one. Along with the inner triangle down and seat tube bottle cage bosses, a third was added under the downtube- which can carry water, but is also great place for a bottle-type tool kit. A set of toptube Bento-box style bosses sit behind the headtube.
As expected the disc brake frameset features the Flat Mount standard for the disc calipers (140-160mm rotors), 12/100mm front and 12/142mm rear threaded thru-axles, an integrated chainsuck guard, removable braze-on style front derailleur mount, Factor's hidden and reliable integrated seatpost fastening wedge system for a 27.2mm diameter round seatpost. The 54cm bare frame weighs in at 950 grams, and features a clear-coat UD carbon finish with grey and white complements. Factor includes a headset spacer kit that offers options and is one of the best found with any frameset. A standard headset for the tapered fork/headtube is included, as are the thru-axles, and replaceable rear dropout. The frame can accommodate several types of slim/sleek strap-down bike bags for long, isolated events or rides without feeling unbalanced.
The LS Gravel delivers a gravel racing experience road racers will gravitate to. Even some of the best gravel race options tend to feel too stable, without the handling capabilities desired by many. There is a balance needed there, and for Factor they came down on the more reactive side without going too far. It becomes easier to track in straight lines off the rear wheel, while allowing the front to lift and ride over loose or rocky material. Watch a few older clips of Johan Museeuw at Roubaix to get the idea. Plus, when the track is smoother, or you hit pavement, the LS will handle more like a road bike, making it an ideal attacking or descending machine on more favorable terrain. A very capable gravel bike, but one definitively built for racing, the Factor LS Gravel will thrill and change your expectations once you leave the pavement.
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.627.6664 to discuss questions, build options.
- Race-grade Gravel frameset design built by carbon experts, informed by pro-level cyclists testing
- Geometry more similar to road designs, with 43mm max tire clearance, and responsive acceleration
- Slight seattube cutout and downtube curving off headtube afford more tire clearance without adding overall length
- Shorter seatstays and refined steering trail allow racers the ability to react and take advantage
- Carbon construction with three distinct materials and design specific lay-up/resin use
- Sloping design that exposes more of a 27.2 round seatpost and kinked pencil stays add comfort
- Sleek tube shapes and junctions offer stiffness, strength and resilience while maintaining compliance
- Tapered headtube/carbon fork steerer (1⅛ - 1⅜") and headset
- Seatpost wedge system is hidden- under TT/ST junction, uses effective, integrated wedge (see torque spec)
- Frame/fork/geometry optimized around 40-43 mm tires
- Asymmetric BB junction for maximum stiffness (79mm PF or Thread Together BBright)
- Internal routing for mechanical & electric shifting for 1x or 2x drivetrains with hydraulic disc brakes
- 12/100mm fork and 12/142mm rear threaded thru-axles; Flat Mount disc (140-160mm rotor)
- Requires: braze-on type front derailleur, 27.2mm seatpost (350+ mm depending on size/fit)
- Replaceable rear derailleur, removable FD tab for 1x use, hidden lower fender mounts
- TT bento box mount and three options for bottle cages (inner triangle DT/ST, under DT)
- Sleek strap-style frame bag compatibility
- Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 cm
- Finish: UD Carbon/Grey w/clear coat
- Weight: 950 grams (54cm bare frame - claimed, 972g- actual)
|Factor LS Gravel|
|Top Tube Length||519mm||535mm||550mm||566mm||580mm|
|Bottom Bracket Drop||76mm||76mm||76mm||76mm||76mm|