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When it comes to versatility, Gerard Vroomen and Andy Kessler of Open Cycle may just have everyone beat. We recently unboxed an XL Open U.P. for long term test. U.P. stands for Unbeaten Path and Open calls it a ‘Gravel Plus’ bike. The name refers not only to the unbeaten paths you can tackle on the bike, but the nature of the engineering solutions it employs.
What at first glance seemed like just another take on the exploding gravel, or mixed surface, scene is quite possibly the most versatile bike currently on offer. We expected a light carbon platform from Open, the company launched on the back of the lightest MTB ever made, the Open O-1.0, but a few things make the Open U.P. standout even more.
The bike is designed around not just 700c wheels with 40mm gravel tires, but should perform well with 28c road tires and can even accept 650b wheels with 2.1” MTB tires, all with good mud clearance. With all three wheels offering almost the exact same roll-out this versatility does essentially nothing to alter the bike’s geometry. Open also blessed the bike with incredibly short chain stays for a Gravel bike, 420mm. Combined with Open’s undisputed carbon know-how the bike should be a nimble rocket ship in any configuration. Open managed to keep the rear end tight thanks in part to a dropped drive side chain stay, which created the needed real estate at the crowded bottom bracket.
There is much, much more going on with this bicycle that we will bring you in the pages of peloton soon, including a full ride report. Stay Tuned.
$2900 (frame set) 18.2lbs w/o pedals or cages.
SRAM Force 1 with hydraulic disc braking, 3T ErgoTerra bar, ARX II Team stem and seat post. FIZIK Antares saddle, 3T Discus C60 clinchers, WTB Nano 40mm tires.