Factor has launched two new mountain bikes: the Lando XC and HT. It might be better known for its road bikes but the brand does possess a pretty capable off-road portfolio, spearheaded by the Vista and LS gravel bikes. Founder Rob Gitelis says Factor has never been defined by a particular discipline and that the new Lando XC and HT signified a logical step for the company.
Gitelis is no stranger to the off-road space and the design process that accompanies it, having designed mountain bikes for Cervelo, Santa Cruz and Rocky Mountain back when the firm was a premium original design manufacturer. Two years in development, Factor has used this extensive knowledge and carbon-fiber experience to craft the two mountain bikes you see here.
As cross-country mountain biking has become more technical and demanding, bikes have had to adapt in terms of capability. As a result, the Factor Lando XC and HT have been designed using modern, progressive geometry numbers to cope at the highest level of the sport. 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 through some the toughest terrain and weather conditions known for riding mountain bikes.
While Team Amani Racing were using the Lando XC full suspension, there's also a lighter hardtail version. Both bikes are available in four distinct colorways: vintage blue (pictured here), crystal green, stealth and naked carbon.
Factor Lando geometry
A 67-degree head angle and 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 anti-squat properties.
The Lando XC is the most accomplished of the two models, with a single-pivot frame that tips the scales at 2.1kg. Its suspension kinematics - featuring a 120mm front/115mm rear suspension configuration - have been tuned to balance traction, speed and comfort.
The frame’s split seat tube enables the use of a monobox chainstay connection for extra torsional stiffness without the need for additional pivots, something which also prevents stiction and premature shock wear. There's also a one-piece molded carbon rocker linkage, which keeps weight down while eliminating shock side loads.
Both bikes have provisions to route cables externally or internally. In terms of drivetrains, the Lando is 1x only and comes with a super-handy threaded bottom bracket. Developed in collaboration with CeramicSpeed, the T47 BB represents a pain-free solution to bike maintenance, and can natively accommodate both DUB and Shimano 55mm chain lines.
Looking at the Lando HT, it's evident that certain cues have been inspired by the Vista and Ostro VAM such as the dropped seat stays, all of which has culminated in a classic and clean hardtail frame blueprint. As a hardtail, there's no rear suspension to soak up bumps and ruts but Factor has engineered the top tube to provide some kind of flex under load, with the dropped stays helping ride quality at the rear.
There's plenty of bottle cage bosses on the downtube and underside of the top tube for on-bike storage and nutrition solutions as well.
Exclusive specification level
From launch, both bikes will feature DT Swiss suspension: a shared DT Swiss FT232 One fork (differing in travel) while the XC gains a DT Swiss R232 One shock. Other shared components include a 34T, 10-52T SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS groupset, complete with SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, a Black Inc bar-stem, seatpost and carbon wheels.
Touchpoints come complements of SRAM (grips) while the saddle is Selle Italia's SLR Boost Superflow X-Cross TI (145mm).
Pricing and availability
According to Factor, it believes the Lando XC will be the volume seller with a 60:40 split over the HT. Prices are naturally on the high side of the spectrum but frameset purchases are an option. A special Black Inc rigid fork hardtail can also be ordered at $6,599.
If you're after a full build, the Lando XC and HT come in at $9,199 / €8,399 / £6,999 and $7,099 / €6499 / £5,399 respectively.
We've currently got a Factor Lando XC on test and will putting it through its paces over the next several weeks. Be sure to check back for the full review soon.