Factor ventures into mountain biking with the Lando cross-country range 

New bikes have full-suspension and hardtail options

Factor Lando cross-country mountain bike

Factor has launched the Lando, the brand’s first dedicated mountain bike range, with two frames on offer.

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The Lando XC is a full-suspension cross-country mountain bike sporting 120mm of suspension travel at the front and 115mm at the back.

The Lando HT is a hardtail with a 110mm fork up front.

There are also new wheels and finishing kit to complement the frames from Factor’s in-house parts brand, Black Inc.

The bikes made their racing debut at Cape Epic with Team Amani.

Factor has hinted that we will see further entries into its off-road line.

The Lando XC and HT are available from 2 April and will retail from £6,999 / $9,199 / €8,399 and £5,399 / $7,099 / €6499 respectively. Australian pricing is to be confirmed.

Six key features of the Factor Lando 

  • Two new framesets that occupy the cross-country genre
  • A single-link arrangement with FlexStays
  • Factor has paid attention to reducing the weight of the frame
  • New T47 bottom bracket standard developed with CeramicSpeed
  • You can run the Lando with conventional internal cable-routing kit or fully integrated
  • New Black Inc wheels, rigid fork and finishing kit that are specced on the Lando

Frame development

Factor is the latest road brand to branch into mountain biking.
Factor

Developed in Taiwan, Factor is one of a small number of brands that has its own carbon manufacturing facility, therefore it can manage the process directly.

Although the Lando represents the first time Factor has been written on the down tube of a mountain bike frame, the brand is no stranger to the sport, having previously acted in a designing capacity and as a manufacturer for other brands’ mountain bikes.

Factor says over half of its riders ride off-road, and branching into mountain bikes was the logical next step in its brand development.

Rather than appeal to the broadest possible audience, Factor has targeted the Lando range at cross-country racing and fast, extended off-road epics.

Factor says the frames are designed to be typically lightweight with “best in-class riding dynamics”.

Kinematic narrative and geometry

The suspension platform is designed for cross-country efficiency.
Factor

The Lando XC utilises a single swingarm pivot, single-link arrangement with FlexStays. Many brands are using FlexStays on the latest generation of cross-country bikes, with the Lando’s rear triangle a single piece, thus alleviating the need for any pivot points.

The rear shock is vertically oriented, with Factor explaining this is to ensure the forces are concentrated in the bottom-bracket area so weight can be shed elsewhere.

The rocker link is also moulded from a single piece, the brand saying this minimises weight and maximises stiffness.

The Lando XC frame has been designed around a flat anti-squat curve across its gear ratios, with the brand saying this is to deliver predictable traction during seated efforts across the cassette range.

The anti-squat is between 90 and 100 per cent, and Factor is targeting a 27 per cent sag. As both the Lando XC and HT are aimed at racing, they feature a remote lock-out.

Factor says the Lando XC features modern geometry, with a longer top tube and shorter stem than cross-country bikes of old.

The Lando XC features a 67-degree head tube angle and 75.5-degree seat tube angle. These measurements are relevant when running a 120mm fork with a 51mm offset, coupled with a zero-offset seatpost. The reach is 430mm on a size medium and Factor says riders are free to spec their desired stem length when ordering.

The brand says that fitting a 100mm fork would sharpen up the head tube angle by half a degree.

Frame (based on 120mm fork)SMLXL
Head tube angle (degrees)67676767
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.575.575.575.5
Wheelbase (mm)1,1281,1501,1841,218
Chainstay length (mm)435435435435
Bottom bracket drop (mm)40404040
Reach (mm)410430460490
Stack (mm)594599608619

Lando HT

The Factor Lando HT looks fast standing stationary.
Factor

The Lando HT is the hardtail offering, its frame weighing in at a claimed 850g, although Factor has not specified which size.

It sports 110mm of suspension travel, again with 51-degree offset fork. Factor says the frame can take a fork with between 100mm and 140mm of travel.

The brand has designed the Lando HT as a minimalist, ultra-light frame that takes its cues from its road and gravel products.

Factor claims the kinked seatstays boost compliance.
Factor

The tube shaping shares several attributes with the OSTRO VAM and the dropped seatstays, with a kinked design, are not dissimilar to those found on its ViSTA gravel bike.

Factor says the dropped seatstays promote vertical compliance, however it’s important to note that the seat tube is a more critical tube in terms of rider comfort because the seatstays are designed to push back (therefore stay) the over-flexing seat tube.

The Lando HT sports a 68.5-degree head tube angle and 73.5-degree seat tube angle. The reach is 445mm on a size medium.

FrameXSSML
Head tube angle (degrees)68.568.568.568.5
Seat tube angle (degrees)74.57473.573.5
Wheelbase (mm)1,0921,1151,1471,184
Chainstay length (mm)430430430430
Bottom bracket drop (mm)56.556.554.554.5
Reach (mm)394415445476
Stack (mm)609613.5618.5633

The brand says the frame can be run with a rigid fork, with a Black Inc option, and the frame can even be run with drop handlebars.

It’s all in the detail

Rubber protection and mounts galore.
Factor

Factor is quoting a 2.1kg weight for the Lando XC, including shock and hardware, and 1,900g without the shock, although it has not specified the size of bike this refers to.

Both XC and HT frames have multiple mounting points to attach bags or a tool caddy, under or on top of the top tube.

SRAM’s UDH is quickly becoming ubiquitous on the latest mountain bike frames.
Factor

They both also use SRAM’s universal derailleur hanger (UDH) standard and are compatible with 1x drivetrains only.

Rubber protection on the driveside chainstay is fitted as standard, and the protector is ribbed on the Lando XC. Both feature protection covering the lower two thirds of the down tube, and the Lando XC also features a mechanically mounted anti-rotation rubber guard on the top of the down tube, to protect the tube from carbon damage if the fork were to be over-steered.

The Lando XC can accept a water bottle on the down tube and the HT can take an additional bottle on the seat tube.

Attention to detail has further been paid with the shape-matched seat clamp that clamps the 31.6mm-diameter seatpost.

T47 bottom bracket

The SRAM XX1 Eagle chainset spins on a T47 bottom bracket.
Factor

The T47 bottom bracket is a particularly interesting choice, which Factor says it developed with the input of CeramicSpeed. Factor had previously specced the system on the OSTRO VAM.

Launched back in 2015 as a collaboration between Chris King and Argonaut Cycles, the T47 standard is essentially an oversized BSA threaded bottom bracket.

BikeRadar believes it to be the first time this standard has been used on a mountain bike.

There are a surprising number of permutations of the T47 standard and Factor has opted for an 88.5mm variety.

Factor says it has used this particular variant, which is based on PF92, to enable a wider and stronger down tube, as well as to increase tyre clearance, which is up to 2.4in.

A choice of cable routing and a supposedly unkillable headset

On this Cape Epic Lando XC, Focus chooses the easier internal-routing path rather than fully integrating the cables.
Factor

Factor has given riders the choice of cable routing on the Lando.

Both Lando frames feature internal cable routing, with the cables and hoses routing through a series of ports on the head tube and through the frame.

However, if you’re a proponent of integration that some of the latest cross-country mountain bikes are utilising, Factor also has you covered.

The cables and hoses can be run through a split ring alongside the steerer tube and through the CeramicSpeed headset to conceal them. Factor includes two dust cover assemblies, which are shipped with each frame.

Factor specs CeramicSpeed SLT (Solid Lubrication Technology) headset bearings, which come with a lifetime warranty. Although they are new to the market, CeramicSpeed claims they will have a very low-maintenance cycle and won’t wear out.

The cost of integration means you need to undo your brake lines whenever you want to change a headset bearing, so could this headset provide the ultimate (but expensive) solution for integrated systems?

New Black Inc kit

Black Inc is Factor’s sister component brand that offers wheels and finishing kit. It can also be found on other brands of bike, such as Allied Cycle Works.

Wheels

The Black Inc Twenty Seven is a 29in wheel with a 27mm internal rim width and rim depth. The rim is hookless and the brand claims they come in at 1,459g per pair.

They feature Sapim straight-pull CX-Ray and CX-Sprint spokes and run on custom CeramicSpeed hub bearings, which are the brand’s own.

Rigid fork

The Factor Lando HT in ‘Rigid Fork’ mode.
Factor

There is also a fully rigid Black Inc fork that has been designed for the Lando HT, coming in at a claimed 720g. It will slacken the frame’s head tube angle because the axle-to-crown spacing is 50.5cm.

It is possible to fully route the front brake hose internally via a moulded hole in the steerer if you spec this option.

Factor says it is looking to continue working with smaller frame builders in the future, and this would provide a complete ecosystem for internal routing on both road and off-road platforms, hence the speccing of relatively standard 1 ⅛ and 1.5 headset bearings on the Lando.

Finishing kit

Factor’s aptly named ‘Barstem’ screams speed.
Factor

The key product announced is the ‘Barstem’, which is available in 60 to 90mm lengths with an eight-degree backsweep. It is claimed to come in at 320g and has a 760mm width, trimmable for cross-country racers should they want to go narrower with a suitable cutting guide and carbon-cutting blade.

Factor includes an out-front GoPro-style computer mount, with a double- or single-mount interface should you want to run it with a computer or lights.

Finally, Black Inc has also announced a new rigid, two-bolt 31.8mm carbon seatpost.

Extra points for Black Inc and its choice to spec a two-bolt system.
Factor

Range details

All models will ship initially with DT Swiss suspension. Factor says there should be some RockShox and Fox options coming in the future.

As well as full bikes, there will be what Factor dubs “rolling chassis” options. This consists of a frame, fork and Black Inc equipment.

The brand says because it’s a small company, it may be able to offer flexibility on specs, so contact Factor directly if you have any specific needs.

Factor Lando XC

  • Fork: DT Swiss FT232 One fork, 100-120mm travel
  • Shock: DT Swiss R232 One shock, 100-115mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle with 32/34t chainring and 10-52 cassette
  • Wheelset: Black Inc 27
  • Tyres: Goodyear Peak, 29×2.25in
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Factor Lando HT

  • Fork: DT Swiss FT232 One fork, 110mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle with 32/34t chainring and 10-52 cassette
  • Wheelset: Black Inc 27
  • Tyres: Goodyear Peak, 29×2.25in