Alex Dowsett's Factor O2 VAM Disc - Gallery
A look at the Briton's lightweight race bike
With racing suspended due to the current Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Alex Dowsett - along with his Israel Start-Up Nation teammates and the wider pro peloton - is left with a window of training with an uncertain target.
The uncertainty around how long the pandemic will last means riders cannot target specific race dates.
"My life currently consists of aero testing and training, or talking on the phone about aero testing and training. I guess we're not entirely sure what exactly we are training or aero testing for currently but got to keep on it like nothing is changing," Dowsett posted on Instagram recently, after returning to Britain last week from a training camp in Spain.
Dowsett has long been active on social media. He and partner Chanel run a YouTube vlog called Thighs Club, and this period of uncertainty is no different. Dowsett took to Instagram Stories to explain his recent quarantine situation at the UAE Tour, and even creating a new Instagram page called support local bike business, to help local businesses in the cycling industry that are at risk due to the lower footfall that will result from the necessary social distancing measures.
Following the demise of the Katusha Alpecin team at the end of the 2019 season, Alex Dowsett has seen near-wholesome equipment change for 2020 after his move to Israel Start-Up nation.
Whereas in 2019 he was aboard a Sram-equipped Canyon Ultimate, complete with Zipp wheels, for 2020, Dowsett will be aboard Factor bikes.
The best lightweight bike at Dowsett's disposal in 2020 is the Factor O2 VAM, complete with a Shimano groupset, along with wheels and finishing kit from Black Inc. However, while Dowsett is sporting different team colours, but the clothing brand behind his team kit remains the Katusha cycling clothing brand borne out of the WorldTour team.
Following the 2020 trend of disc brakes in the pro peloton, Dowsett's Factor is fitted with Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 disc brake groupset.
Israel Start-Up Nation's direct sponsorship with SwissStop means they are not matching rotors and brake pads to their groupset, running SwissStop Catalyst Rotors and the brand's Disc 34 RS brake pads.
Wheels come from Factor's components subsidiary Black Inc; with the Black Sixty carbon wheels spinning on CeramicSpeed bearings and shod with 25c Maxxis Tubular tyres.
- Frameset: Factor O2 VAM
- Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc caliper
- Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc caliper
- Rotors: SwissStop Catalyst
- Brake pads: SwissStop 34 RS
- Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 Hydraulic Disc Brake Dual Control Lever
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 with CeramicSpeed pulleys
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 11-30T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P w/ Dual-sided power
- Bottom bracket: Ceramic Speed
- Wheelset: Black Inc Black Sixty
- Tyres: Maxxis Campione
- Handlebars: Black Inc Integrated Barstem
- Handlebar tape: Factor
- Stem: Black Inc Integrated Barstem
- Pedals: Speedplay Zero Aero
- Saddle: Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Superflow
- Seat post: Black Inc seatpost
- Bottle cages: Elite Cannibal XC
- Computer: Bryton Rider 430
- Rider height: 1.82m
- Weight: 7.23kg
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As the Tech Editor here at Cyclingnews, Josh leads on content relating to all-things tech, including bikes, kit and components in order to cover product launches and curate our world-class buying guides, reviews and deals. Alongside this, his love for WorldTour racing and eagle eyes mean he's often breaking tech stories from the pro peloton too.
On the bike, 30-year-old Josh has been riding and racing since his early teens. He started out racing cross country when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s and has never looked back. He's always training for the next big event and is keen to get his hands on the newest tech to help. He enjoys a good long ride on road or gravel, but he's most alive when he's elbow-to-elbow in a local criterium.