As a company widely renowned for producing some of the best road bikes, Factor has today announced the launch of its mountain bike platform, the Lando XC and HT. With a line-up that already comprises a brace of off-road-specific models - the Factor Vista and LS gravel bike - the Lando represented the next logical step for the brand.
According to founder, Rob Gitelis, Factor has always been about creating premium bicycles and not defined by a particular bike or discipline, and the Lando signifies that rhetoric. In fact, Gitelis is no stranger to the mountain bike design process and the brand can trace its roots back to its original design manufacturer days when it built bikes for Cervelo, Santa Cruz and Rocky Mountain.
As its nomenclatures alludes to, the Factor Lando XC and HT have been designed to deal with the technical terrain features of contemporary cross-country mountain biking as well as marathon stage races. In fact, the Lando made its debut at this year's Absa Cape Epic where Nancy Akinyi Debe and Jordan Schleck Ssekanwagi of Team Amani Racing put it to the test across some of the harshest terrain on the planet.
The Lando aims to not only appeal to Factor patrons but riders looking for a premium option that goes against the current perennials dominating the best mountain bike segment. As a result, it benefits from Factor's extensive knowledge of carbon fibre while adhering to the geometry and suspension kinematics of contemporary mountain bike design.
The Lando will be available in both full suspension and hardtail guises, sporting the XC and HT nameplates respectively.
Factor Lando XC and HT, the numbers
The XC is Factor's most capable offering featuring a single-pivot frame that weighs just 2.1kg. Built around a 100-120mm front/115mm rear suspension configuration, the Lando XC's suspension kinematics have been tuned to balance traction, speed and comfort.
In terms of geometry, a 67-degree head angle and a virtual 75.5-degree seat angle are consistent across all bike sizes, of which there are four. The progressive geometry places the rider over the bottom bracket which helps with power delivery and modulation, not to mention boosting the frame's resistance to squat or pedal bob.
The frame’s split seat tube enables the use of a monobox chainstay connection for extra torsional stiffness without the need for additional pivots. This single-link shock design also prevent stiction and premature shock wear. The long top tube and short stem arrangement has been implemented to navigate tight and tricky singletrack where fast-reacting steering is a necessity.
Cables can be routed externally or internally. The Lando is available in 1x only and comes with a super-handy threaded T47 bottom bracket. Developed in collaboration with CeramicSpeed, it provides a painless fitting solution and is natively compatible with DUB and Shimano 55mm chain lines.
As the name suggests, the Lando HT uses classic hardtail styling cues, and builds on the learnings from the brand's road and gravel line-up with dropped seatstays taking centre stage. Despite sharing certain cues with the Vista and Ostro VAM, the HT is a mountain bike at heart and features the same 67-degree head angle as its XC sibling.
While bereft of rear suspension, the flat top tube provides some semblance of flex under load, while the dropped stays help with compliance on bumpier terrain. The use of boost 1x spacing coupled with the 88.5 axle standard has resulted in a wider downtube, not to mention increased clearance for tyres of up to 2.4-inches. It can also be specced with a fully rigid Black Inc fork if that's your cup of tea.
There's plenty of storage options on both models with bottle cage bosses on the downtube and underside of the top tube. Looking at colourways, four distinct visual packages are available - vintage blue (pictured here), crystal green, stealth and naked carbon.
Fully loaded spec level
The Lando XC and HT are both built around a 34, 10-52T SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS groupset, complete with SRAM Level Ultimate brakes. As expected, Black Inc's suite of high-end carbon componentry is used liberally and comprises the bar-stem, seatpost and wheels. The Black Inc 27 wheels are laced up using CeramicSpeed hubs with five-pawl engagement and chrome-nickel DT Swiss axles - they also feature a wide internal hookless rim profile. Tyres will depend on global stock levels but all Landos should come standard with either Goodyear Peak or Maxxis Aspen.
At launch, both bikes will be specced with DT Swiss suspension: a shared DT Swiss FT232 One fork (differing in travel) while the XC gains a DT Swiss R232 One shock. Touchpoints come compliments of SRAM (grips) while the saddle is Selle Italia's SLR Boost Superflow X-Cross TI (145mm).
The Lando XC and HT are priced from $9,199 / €8,399 / £6,999 and $7,099 / €6499 / £5,399 respectively. Each bike is also available as a frameset option, while the Lando HT can be specced from factory with a Black Inc rigid fork, making it the cheapest mountain bike option in the range at $6,599.
The full trail test of the Factor Lando XC will be available on sister site, Bike Perfect, in the next few weeks.
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Aaron is Cyclingnews' tech editor. Born and raised in South Africa he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former gear and digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's been writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 16 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic and completed the Haute Route Alps. When not riding, racing or testing bicycles in and around the UK's Surrey Hills where he now lives, he's writing about them for Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect.
Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB