‘There is no compromise on aerodynamics’ - Israel-Premier Tech’s Paris-Roubaix Factor Ostro Gravel

The team is going against a growing trend of riders using more standardised set-ups in the Hell of the North by opting for a gravel bike on Sunday

Paris-Roubaix once was a hot-bed for radical new technology that would help riders be more comfortable over bone-shattering cobbles – and ensure their bikes could handle it too – but things have been changing in recent years. Gone are the days of riders using Roubaix-specific builds or suspension, it’s now becoming more common to simply see double wrapped bar tape and wider tyres in the Hell of the North. That was, until Israel-Premier Tech unveiled the bike that they have chosen to help them over the treacherous cobbles of Northern France this year.

The team have unveiled that they will use the Factor Ostro Gravel on Sunday, with Israel-Premier Tech’s equipment manager, Gary Blem, commenting: “We did quite a lot of testing on the cobbles after Opening Weekend with Tom Van Asbroeck and Riley Sheehan, comparing the new Ostro VAM with the Ostro Gravel and the overwhelming consensus was that the Ostro Gravel would be the best choice for Paris-Roubaix.”

“The Ostro Gravel has a longer wheelbase so it tracks slower which is perfect for a race like Paris-Roubaix as it gives the riders more time to react, and the increased tyre clearance allows us to run 32mm tires,” Blem continued. “The Ostro Gravel is a bike built for comfort and direct feedback from our riders was that they would opt for comfort over aerodynamics. Fortunately, given it is an incredibly aero gravel bike, there is no compromise on aerodynamics and having just completed our recon ride, we are confident this is the best Factor bike for our team this Sunday."

With its deep tube shapes and the fact that the Factor Ostro Gravel is within the UCI regulations for road racing, it’s fair to say that this is almost as close as you can get to a road bike with it still fitting in the ‘gravel’ category. Despite the extra tyre clearance and even bolts for a top tube bag, the Ostro Gravel still looks very similar to its road sibling, the Ostro VAM.

The bike Israel-Premier Tech are using looks to be built with a Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 drivetrain and the cranks are FSA Black Box power meter cranks with an FSA-branded Power2Max spider-based power meter. The wheels are Black Inc Forty-Five with Continental GP5000 tyres.

If Israel-Premier Tech have the race they are hoping for on Sunday, they have the chance to make history with the first gravel bike ever to win Roubaix. If that happens, who is to say that we won’t start to see a new trend in the peloton of more teams opting for special Roubaix set-ups once again? Factor could be trendsetters if things go the way of their sponsored team in the Hell of the North.

Shop now