Michael Woods made Israel-Premier Tech’s Tour de France when he took a victory on stage nine ahead on the iconic Puy de Dôme climb, catching Movistar’s Matteo Jorgenson on the final slopes to cross the line alone. His ascent of the Puy was well-measured – Woods timed his effort to perfection to ensure he still had enough left in the tank to produce that impressive final turn of speed when it really mattered. He did so aboard Factor’s Ostro Vam, a bike that is said to be the brand’s ‘everything bike’, made to go fast uphill, downhill and on the flat.
Interestingly, Factor has just released its Ostro O2 Vam, billed as “the world’s fastest climbing bike with unrivalled lightness and aero”. The brand explained that the O2 Vam had been developed in conjunction with the riders on Israel-Premier Tech, so many would have expected Woods to be riding it in this year’s Tour. His reasons for sticking to the older model aren’t clear, but it could be that he wanted to keep a bike he is familiar with and has spent more time on for comfort reasons. The Ostro Vam that Woods was riding has frame profiles derived from NACA airfoil shapes, with aggressive truncation. This can be seen clearly in the fork, for example, where Factor has placed a channel under the fork crown which is supposed to stop stagnant air stalling behind it, giving the bike additional aerodynamic advantages. The curved seatstays should also lower drag in the rear triangle.
Woods’ bike specifically had a relatively high stack height compared to some of the low, more aerodynamic positions that are often seen in today’s peloton. This is likely to increase his comfort on the long climbs that the Canadian rider excels on. The bike is painted in a plain black colour with silver decals and Mike Woods had his name sticker neatly on the top of the seat tube. The bottle cages are the super lightweight Elite T-Race Carbon bottle.
Woods was not using the standard seat post used by most of his teammates, instead using a Darimo T1 Loop Aero seat post, perhaps in order to save weight and also increase comfort. The brand’s website states that the seat post is made of carbon fibre using bidirectional and unidirectional fabrics to achieve the optimum combination of minimum weight and maximum of resistance. Atop the unique seat post, Woods looks to be using a Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow Flow saddle with the brand’s Pro Team finishing kit. The number mount on the seat post is made by K3 Pro Cycling and the device on the back of the saddle is an NTT device, used for capturing rider data to provide real-time updates in partnership with Tour de France organisers, ASO.
At the front of the bike, Factor was using Black Inc’s Integrated Aero Barstem which was specifically developed for the Ostro Vam. The handlebars have an interesting, flared shape which should give riders a more aerodynamic position without compromising on handling or control when on the drops. Woods’ hoods were set parallel rather than turned in as some riders prefer – it seems like the Canadian rider has focused on weight and comfort on this bike ahead of making every aerodynamic gain. Woods also looked to be using a Hammerhead mount that is custom to fit with the Black Inc cockpit.
The wheels on Woods’ bikes were the Black Inc 28//33 wheelset which the brand describes as an all-rounder wheelset, durable enough for rough terrain, good for climbing and able to slice efficiently through the wind. They have Black Inc hubs with CeramicSpeed bearings. Woods was definitely not using sponsor correct tyres, it’s clear to see where the team has attempted to cover up the Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR logo.
Woods Factor Ostro Vam had a FSA Powerbox K-Force Team carbon crankset with a Power2Max spider-based power meter and FSA 54/40T chainrings. This is accompanied by a Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain and Shimano SPD-SL pedals, the Ostro Vam has a direct-mount derailleur hanger. The sticker underneath the frame is so that mechanics can see which rider's bike they are taking off the roof of the car quickly should they need to make any changes during the race. Woods' bike had a blue CeramicSpeed bottom bracket.