Chris Froome Factor Ostro Vam Review

It was refreshing to listening to Chris because unlike many industry reviews that only seem to state how amazing everything was, I thought he painted an honest picture of the bike. While a quality bike…some areas need work (bar stiffness, overall weight and disc brakes).

IDK just thought it was interesting a highly paid pro sponsored by Factor said what other reviewers not paid by Factor wouldn’t or couldn’t say. Perhaps that’s it. Most reviews are poor because the reviewers don’t know what they are feeling, how to ride, or just too new to the sport to have an context.

Chapeau Chris.


I was a bit surprised to hear what he had to say on disc brakes.

Funny I noticed some rubbing the other day on my own bike, but the aspect of overheating and warping and issues with long descents, I thought Disc brakes were much better when going down hill?


I find it funny he’s knocking disc brakes while training in malibu of all places. Somewhere that you can actually delam a regular carbon wheel on standard rim brake setup due to the length and steepness of the canyon descents.


Superb ad placement in the bottom :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


It’s nice to hear some honest thoughts from a pro but I understand why many don’t speak up.

The rotor’s fitted to his bike are clearly to save weight than performance so that’s not helping.


Overheating is pretty easily fixed at minimal weight with some finned rotors and a larger disc.

There’s going to be ~10g extra using an 160 xtr over 140 Dura ace.Won’t fix his other complaints but overheating is easy win.


Having ridden a Factor for a couple years with the same BlackInc bar/stem I was surprised to hear him comment how much they flexed! Perhaps he has a different/lighter bar…IDK just surprised to hear.

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To me, the disc brake debate is way more polarized than it needs to be. Seems like you either have to be all in for team rim or disc and completely ignore the drawbacks of each.

Froome had a very balanced take, and while I am a proponent of disc brakes, I agree with many of the points he made. I have had consistent issues with rotor rub particularly in the front. Hydraulic in particular is a PITA to work on and much less efficient than just adjusting some cable rim brakes. For the average person, the cost of the gorupsets and wheels are higher. That said, I would not want to go back to rim on the road bike. The consistency of braking is so much better on long technical descents we have in the NC mountains. They may howl but they do work in the rain. My opinion might be different if I were a pro racing on closed roads needing to save every gram.

Now that said, I still have a rim brake TT bike and am very much on the fence about eventually upgrading to discs. I see no need to for 95% of TT applications- but it would be nice to consolidate down on my wheelsets and components. Sure you don’t need brakes most of the time on a TT bike, but usually when you need them, you REALLY need to stop. The rim brakes on most TT bikes are frankly frightening in those scenarios.


Just ran across this:


Based on the toothpicks sticking out of his t-shirt, I find it hard to believe he is causing much noticeable flex in the bars…

As for his comments about discs, he is mixing thrid-party parts into standard Shimano calipers. When you start mixing non-proprietary parts into the mix (with already very tight tolerances), it is hard to blame the overall product vs. the equipment choices.


ok just a sidenote: I did not find Shimano on the list of official sponsors. So maybe I’m just blind, or people are a bit to quick for praising Froome for being honest about sponsored products

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yeah, i like peak torque’s youtube channel quite a bit, although in this video i think he’s deliberately ignoring some nuance. I’ve watched a few videos recently talking about disc brakes vs caliper brakes and the concept of rider safety gets a brief acknowledgement and dismissal so people can talk about the (very real) downsides of disc brakes. Almost every cyclist in the world isn’t a professional and rides their bike in the real world, where weather and conditions are variable and the ability to stop quickly and under control really can’t be overstated. I know it’s costing me 5-8 watts and 200 grams, but i’ll gladly trade that for the ability to stop whenever i need to in order to remain safe

also i like that disc brakes allow me to run carbon wheels whenever i want to and i don’t have to relegate nice wheels for race day only anymore because i’m worried about them wearing down! you probably gain a few watts back from that too tbh


This is what puts me in the disc camp. I maintain my own bikes and the lighter weight, lower cost, and greater simplicity/ease of maintenance of rim brakes are very real draws. But ultimately I want to run carbon wheels, and as I live in the UK, wet weather has to be taken into consideration. And rim brakes on carbon rims in the wet is not a braking compromise I’m willing to make, given I live in an area with plenty of short, steep technical descents and am an average descender on a good day). I know someone will say ‘but X pad on Y wheel is fine for me’, and it may well be, but the extra confidence I get from discs is worth it to me.


Okay, this makes more sense.

So they are using swiss stop instead of Shimano? O noticed the Shimano rotors seemed to have a lot less material on them than the Ultregra rotors.

True, it’s pretty clear you can have fun on a bike equipped with either type of brakes and there are pluses and minuses.

My old mountain bike with cantilevers was fun (though they could sound like turkey calls) as is my current road bike with disks.

Just found it weird that the two negatives were in areas where I would think discs would generally work better.

His FTP is like 420w, I’m pretty sure he can put down some decent short power when he needs to.


He puts the power down with his legs, not his arms.


Therefore no handlebar in the world can be flexed by a human riding a bike? Nobody rides a VAM with their arms…

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Of course they can but his FTP has got nothing to do with it.

I fully concur with his take on disc breaks. No way I would ever go back to rim breaks but there is still a lot of room for improvement from a install-and-forget perspective.