Factor will be a familiar name for those in the world of road riding. But now, the premium brand is ready to make its presnce felt in the dirt as they released their first-ever mountain bike range. The Lando and Lando HT are designed for XC, marathons, stage racing and fast, extended off-road adventures. The full-suspension and hardtail bikes are high end, full carbon bikes designed for racing.

The Lando made a sneaky appearance at the 2022 Cape Epic, a suitable testing ground for the full-suspension frame. It was ridden by the Amani Racing Team, who create opportunities for racers in East Africa with gateways to international racing.

Who are Factor anyway?

Factor may not be a common name to mountain bikers, but they have been the manufacturing partner for many mountain bike brands. Many mountain bike frame designs have come to fruition thanks to the work of those in the factor design team. And that depth of experience in composites and suspension design and kinematics means the Lando is ready to hit the trail. Factor have been planning their entry into the mountain bike world for 6 years - and now they are here.

The Lando is the first mountain bike to be made under the Factor brand, but the plan is to expand towards more models in time, with longer travel bikes and a pro team on the cards. But for now, the Lando is the logical step for Factor's customers in the road, triathlon and gravel markets. Racing is core to the brand, so cross-country, marathon and endurance riding is the best fit to start.

Tell me about the Lando

Ok, well the Lando is actually two bikes. A full-suspension bike and a hardtail, under the one Lando name. The full-suspension bike is probably the one that will grab the most attention.

It is a 29er, full carbon frame, with progressive cross-country geometry. That means a 67 degree head angle and a 75.5 degree seat angle. The frame can be run with 100mm or 115mm rear travel, depending on the shock stroke length (40 or 45mm). And those can be matched with 100mm or 120mm forks.

The frame is a linkage driven single pivot with a flex stay - and Factor really focused on pivot location to keep a very flat antisquat. The very forward pivot means the antisquat stays similar across the whole gear range, and is optimised for a 32 or 34t chain ring. A 36t chain ring fits fine for those with the legs to push it.

The frame has clearance for 2.4" tyres on wide rims, and is 1x only. It is routed for internal droppers and uses a T47 threaded bottom bracket, as well as the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH). The reach is long, at 476mm in a large, and the bikes are designed to be setup with short stems for an aggressive stance.

The frame has good standover height, and there is an accessory mount under the top tube - but one traditional bottle mount inside the mainframe. 

Maintaining torsional stiffness and low overall frame weight was also a crucial consideration in the bike’s design. A vertically-oriented shock ensures forces are concentrated in the strong bottom bracket area, allowing for weight savings elsewhere. Equally, the frame’s split seat tube enables the use of a monobox chainstay connection for extra torsional stiffness and reduced weight, while its flexible seat stays provide four bar performance without the need for additional pivot points.

The use of a shared shock and lower swing arm pivot, mounted as wide as possible, ensures the simplest, lightest and strongest use of available frame material. Lando's one-piece moulded carbon rocker complements its one-piece rear triangle, also minimising weight and maximising stiffness, while eliminating shock side loads or binding. 

All about the Lando HT

The Lando HT hits the ground as a 850g frame designed around a 110mm fork. It is also available with a Black Inc fully rigid fork for further setup flexibility. The hardtail frame draws from design cues seen on Factor’s successful road and gravel frames. 

Like the full suspension Lando, Factor have made the hardtail all about the ride. The top tube is wide and flat, allowing for flex under the very high loads experienced when landing a jump to flat, or a severe frontal impact. The bike’s CeramicSpeed T47-88.5 bottom bracket, also seen on the full suspension model, is one of the first to be specced on a production hardtail bike. The use of boost 1x spacing and the 88.5 standard enables a wider and stronger downtube, and an excellent tyre clearance of 2.4”.

The hardtail geometry has a 68.5 degree head tube and a 73.5 degree seat angle, making it a little more suited to the ultra distance events.

Bike builds and spec

Both bikes are available with Black Inc Components parts, including 27mm internal rims, and one-piece bar and stem

Lando Full Suspension

100/120mm front travel / 100-115mm rear travel
DT Swiss F232 One fork / DT Swiss R232 One shock
2.1kg frame, including shock weight & hardware
Internal cable routing, 1x only, 2.4” tire clearance
SRAM XX1 groupset with 32/34T chainring and 10/52 cassette
CeramicSpeed headset and T47 bottom bracket
Black Inc 27 Wheels
Black Inc Barstem
Black Inc 31.6mm Seatpost
Tires: Goodyear Peak, 29x2.25
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow X-Cross TI 145mm 

Pricing: From $USD4499 for frame, bar, stem, post, headset, bottom bracket
From: Factor Bikes

Lando HT 

110mm front travel
DT Swiss FT232 One fork 
850g frame
Internal cable routing, 1x only, 2.4” tire clearance
SRAM XX1 groupset with 32/34T chainring and 10/52 cassette
CeramicSpeed headset and T47 bottom bracket
Black Inc 27 Wheels
Black Inc Barstem
Black Inc 31.6mm Seatpost
Tires: Goodyear Peak, 29x2.25
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow X-Cross TI 145mm 

Pricing: From $USD3299 for frame, bar, stem, post, headset, bottom bracket
From: Factor Bikes

Our take

This is an interesting entry into the cross-country and marathon realm. While it's easy to sit back and say that not many people ride XC... actually lots of people do. And the global mountain bike events industry is primarily driven by those who ride cross-country style bikes and events.

And Factor have delivered a very cool bike with the Lando XC. The suspensions kinematics sound good, as does the frame clearance and overall weight. The pricing is premium but that's no surprise. Should Factor have built a bike around an easy second bottle mount? Maybe. Should there be scope for a small chain guide? Probably.

The thing is, Factor make their own bikes. They can change their designs very quickly, and are likely to listen to market feedback. There's a chance we will get a test bike and I hope we do. It's great to see a road brand push into the booming mountain bike market.

The Lando and Lando HT are available as whole bikes direct from Factor, or as frame kits from local importers.