Chris Froome's Factor Ostro VAM – first look

Chris Froome Factor Ostro VAM
Chris Froome's Factor Ostro VAM (Image credit: Veloimages/Israel Start-Up Nation)

For Chris Froome, 2021 brings a welcome fresh start and an opportunity to put the difficulties and setbacks of the last year behind him. Like many, 2020 is probably a year that Froome will likely choose to forget.

With a disrupted race calendar and a difficult recovery from a career-threatening crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, he was unable to display the performance that we have seen in previous years from the four-time Tour de France winner. 

Last summer it was announced that Froome would be leaving the Ineos Grenadiers, the team that he had ridden with for the last 11 years and repeatedly achieved some of the highest accolades in cycling. The 35-year-old signed a long-term contract with Israel Start-Up Nation and is set to lead the ISN 2021 Tour de France campaign and, if successful, a fifth victory.   

A new chapter with a new team also means a new bike. Froome has raced Pinarello's for the last 11 years of his career in which he has achieved seven Grand Tour victories. For the next two years, he will be riding Factor Bikes who signed a three-year contract with Israel Start-Up Nation in 2020.

Factor Bikes, An English brand based in Norfolk, will supply the team with four bikes, OSTRO VAM, O2 VAM Disc, the ONE Disc aero road bike and the SLiCK Disc for Time Trials.

Froome will be riding Factor's new OSTRO VAM frame in a size 56cm. The OSTRO VAM is one of many do-it-all lightweight yet aero road bikes, designed to rule across all race scenarios. Notably, the frame features NACA tube shapes and dropped stays amongst other design features for better efficiency through the air.

Factor tube optimisation has meant that the OSTRO is claimed to almost match the ONE frameset in aerodynamics. This hasn't come at a weight penalty with the frame weighing in at a claimed 780g for a size 54cm and is able to be built to match the UCI weight limit. Froome will be racing on disc brakes as Factor doesn't offer any rim brake frame options.

Along with a new bike comes new components and kit sponsors as well. The team bikes will run Factor’s in-house brand Black Inc who will supply wheels, seatposts, bars and stems. Drivetrain is Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with 4iiii providing power metrics and CeramicSpeed bearings and OSPW for improved efficiency. The rest of the kit comes from Selle Italia Saddles, SwissStop Brake Pads and Maxxis tyres. The wheel and tyres available will give Froome the option to run tubeless however it's not confirmed what set up he will choose to race on.

Beyond the bike, ISN will be wearing team kit produced by Israeli company Jinga, warming up and training on Elite trainers and using Hammerhead Karoo 2 computers.

Froome is set to make his Israel Start-Up Nation debut aboard his new bike at the Volta ao Algarve in early February. His appearance at the five-day race in southern Portugal will be his first since 2012, with the summit finishes of the Alto da Fóia and Alto do Malhão lying in wait.

  • Frameset: Factor OSTRO VAM
  • Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace with Swissstop brake pads
  • Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace with Swissstop brake pads
  • Rotors: SwissStop Catalyst
  • Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace with CeramicSpeed OSPW
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 11-30
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace with 4iiii power meter Size:175
  • Chainrings: Oval chainrings
  • Bottom bracket: Ceramic Speed
  • Wheelset: Black Inc. 30 tubeless
  • Tyres: Maxxis High road 25mm
  • Handlebars: Black Inc Integrated Barstem 130 - 38
  • Handlebar tape: Black Inc
  • Stem: Black Inc Integrated Barstem
  • Computer mount: Black Inc/Hammerhead
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-R9100 
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Nuvos Boost Evo
  • Seat post: Factor (OSTRO)
  • Bottle cages: Elite Superleggero 2.0
  • Computer: Hammerhead Karoo 2
  • Seat height (from bottom bracket at centre): 79.4cm
  • Bike weight: TBC

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Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.