Factor have been rolling out more and more details of their unique, all-new Hanzo time trial bike, calling it the only current TT bike designed under the recently relaxed UCI aero regulations, and the first World Tour bike available reflecting the 2021 UCI rule shift. The new fully integrated carbon race bike blends together some of the deepest & thinnest aero tubes we’ve seen, plus an incredibly slim front-end profile that combines super wide-set fork legs and a headtube that’s just 15mm wide!
2022 Factor Hanzo carbon time trial bike
Factor assures us that the new Hanzo is coming soon, and you’ll likely be able to buy your own in just a couple of months. The new bike replaces the previous split-downtube concept of their SLiCK with a single super deep & skinny downtube that complies with the latest UCI rules. With smoother integration, almost infinitely customizable aerobar setup, and slippery aerodynamics, the already race-proven Hanzo will be the Israel Start-Up Nation team’s go-to for racing against the clock from the start of the 2022 racing season.
Alex Dowsett’s prototype Factor Hanzo Track bike
Two months ago we took a close look at a one-off customized version of the new Factor Hanzo time trial bike, as British pro Alex Dowsett rode a modified track iteration of the bike in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to reclaim the Hour Record.
While his track bike was modified with a unique 3D-printed Silca titanium rear end, Dowsett already raced the new bike in the team time trial race at the 2021 Flanders Road Worlds.
Curiously, the new bike has not yet received UCI approval for racing, still as of an updated list published today. But Factor had already assured us that it is ready-to-race, and the bikes we’ve seen all have a UCI sticker with code: FACT-HANZO.
Factor says the simple secret to making the bike faster is a move to ‘true airfoil’ shapes that now fit within the relaxed UCI rules that allow deeper and narrower shapes down to just 1cm wide. Thus, the key changes to the new Hanzo over the Slick boil down to the much narrower frontal profile of all of the completely revised tube shapes, and the newly wide-set fork legs & seatstays.
Put to the test in the Silverstone wind tunnel, Factor claims the new disc brake only Hanzo is faster than their rim brake triathlon Slick, across all yaw angles, exhibiting especially lower drag figures straight into a headwind or in stronger crosswinds.
Thanks to the move to disc brakes allowing more space around the spinning wheels, the new Hanzo offers more free air movement over modern wide aero wheel and up to 28mm tire combinations.
Besides reducing the width of the headtube down to just 15mm across, the entire front-end becomes even more integrated. There is a somewhat conventional steerer at the headset, but the fork actually extends up in front of the headtube as well as an external steerer becoming an integrated fork mast / mono-riser to mount a set of aero bar extensions and armrests.
The design ultimately allows for a combined 160mm deep x 15mm wide airfoil at the front of the bike (Plus, cables can be easily routed inside that hollow mast.)
The basebar and stem are a single piece, which slides over the extended ‘fork mast’ to clamp the fork & headset. Then, riders can cut the fork mast to size, and clamp the secondary stem with extensions & armrests on top.
Factor says this design allows them to offer huge vertical fit adjustment range (measure twice, cut once!) with no compromise of performance.
Factor hasn’t shared stiffness figures, but says the one-piece molded fork & mast design with its internal rib makes for an even stiffer front end, even as thin as it is. The same is said for the wide fork, rear stays, and as the deep downtube widens and transitions to an appropriately massive bottom bracket cluster.
The new bike of course gets completely integrated, fully-internal cable routing, presumably limited to electronic groupsets. It features flat-mount disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles, and uses a deep aero seatpost with wide offset adjustability.
Updated, more aggressive geometry
The new Hanzo features updated geometry from Factor’s previous TT bike, still offered in four sizes (S-XL). The new bike effectively keeps the same angles, but takes a forward shift in weight balance with 5mm longer chainstays but more than 1cm shorter front centers across most sizes. Curiously with how the new cockpit is configured/measured, frame Reach figures look mostly unchanged, but Stack figures decrease between 35-61mm so you can now get super low.
But don’t worry, the adaptability of the new integrated aerobar mast means there is no real aerodynamic, weight, or performance compromise to a more upright position of your aero bar extensions. In fact, Factor now recommends that you pick “the smallest bike you can because the side area stays the same and you basically get no penalty for that increase in stack”.
2022 Factor Hanzo TT bike – Pricing & availability
While some small details remain undefined, especially in the stock cockpit options, Factor has shared that they are targeting March deliveries for the new Hanzo. The new frames were already in production last in 2021, with Factor finishing up some accessories at the start of this year.
Interestingly, pricing for the completely new frameset cost will be the same as the current SLiCK, “no upcharges at Factor for the past 2 years”. That means pricing for a 2022 Factor Hanzo TT frame kit will start at $6300, including frame, fork, headset, seatpost, basebar, and standard aero bar extensions. Kit upgrade options will allow you to add a set of Black Inc wheels at discount. And complete bike builds will also be available