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Factor teams up with pro skateboarder Chico Brenes for the Ostro Gravel Chico Edition

The collab tells the story of how cycling saved the career of pro skateboarder Chico Brenes – but what has that to do with the turquoise-browed motmot, the national bird of Nicaragua? All will be revealed…

Factor Bikes has presented us with its colourful new collaboration with professional skateboarder Chico Brenes, showcasing a limited edition Ostro Gravel Chico Edition. The collab, which might strike you as an odd one at first, draws inspiration from Brenes' passion for both sports and his life story.

Sometimes, seeing the collaborations that big bike brands release (we featured the DJ Spoony x Ribble recently, and this Festka + Ondrash & Kasparek last year), you wonder how they even come about. Luckily, with this one, we've got the answer.

OSTRO-Gravel-Chico riding

"The connection to Factor came about really organically, through Factor Bikes Chief Operating Officer Calvin Chan and his offspring," Brenes says. "Calvin’s kids skate, and so does Jay [Gundzik, Creative Director]. They reached out to me because they liked what I was doing, and that’s how it got started. Calvin sent me some videos of his kids skateboarding in Taiwan and I couldn’t believe how good they are." 

The bike the British brand and the pro skateboarder have created together will not be collecting dust on a wall, it's actually going to take Brenes on a trip south from San Francisco, US, to Tijuana, Mexico. The route is a meaningful one for Brenes, as it's a reversal of his journey into America as a child.


You might be wondering, though, how cycling and skateboarding even go together at all. It turns out quite a lot of skateboarders enjoy both sports - take, for example, John Cardiel, Steve Caballero or Charles Ouimet.

“Yeah, I was kinda surprised that I enjoyed it so much," says Brenes. "I just wanted to see how far I could go. I want to be able to skate for as long as I can, and the way to do that is to be fit. There’s a bunch of guys who ride a lot, way more than I realised," he says.

Brenes discovered cycling after a really bad fall which left the then-38-year-old thinking he'd never pick up the skateboard again. The thing that helped him the most in recovery was cycling, so he simply "started riding a lot". 


There is one sentence on the bike that concisely summarises why cycling means a lot to Brenes: "Skateboarding saved my life. Now cycling has saved my skateboarding." 

Of course, we've seen skateboarding and cycling design merge before, perhaps most recently with the Rapha + Palace collection which drove everyone to a frenzy. But unlike focusing on pink Crocs, the Factor and Brenes collab's narrative is a little deeper homage to Brenes' life journey, from being born amid the Nicaraguan civil war to emigrating to the US and finding skateboarding.

The visual design of the collaboration integrates elements from the worlds of cycling and skating; the lettering is crafted from circles and semicircles, symbolising the wheels of both a bicycle and a skateboard, and you can also spot iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and nods to Brenes' Nicaraguan heritage. The colour palette takes cues from the turquoise-browed motmot, the national bird of Nicaragua. Every day's a school day, isn't it?


All of this adorns Factor's flagship gravel bike, the Ostro Gravel, which is designed to combine the light weight and handling of the Ostro VAM road bike with 45mm tyre clearance. 

Introduced to the brand's lineup in 2022, the Ostro Gravel is an aero-optimised gravel machine with a geometry that's slightly more relaxed than that of the Ostro VAM. For instance, the size 56 Ostro Gravel has 15mm more stack and 10mm longer reach than a similarly sized Ostro VAM. Its head angle is also a degree slacker at 72.3 degrees. You also get aero-friendly tube shapes and, of course, an integrated one-piece bar and stem combo. 

OSTRO-Gravel-Chico-handlebar cockpit

The Chico Edition Ostro Gravel frameset retails for $5,499 (£4,300) and full builds start at $7,499 (£5,900) with a SRAM Force groupset and power meter. These prices are the same as you would pay for the standard Ostro Gravel; there's no extra for the finish. If neither the Chico Edition nor the stock black and white colourways do it for you, Factor did recently announce it's expanded the offerings in its 'PRISMA STUDIO+' in-house custom paint facility. 

The Chico collection extends beyond the bike into a capsule collection, featuring special edition T-shirts, hoodies, and bespoke skate decks, if those are your thing. 

Let us know what you think of this collaboration, the bike, and the rest of it – and make sure to check out our other Bike at Bedtime features, as well!

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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