Beautiful Bicycle - An Elevated OPEN MIND California

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on July 08, 2022

The OPEN MIND bike is one of our favorite road bikes. In many ways, it is what we like about road bikes distilled: composed handling, smooth ride quality, and direct feel that makes the rider want to pedal just a little more. But what if those qualities we loved so much were turned up to 11? Then you’d get the OPEN MIND California, and specifically, this custom OPEN MIND California road bike. 

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We’ve gone in-depth about what makes the OPEN MIND California so special previously, as well as why OPEN designed and built the MIND road bike in the first place. But here’s the gist of it: OPEN loved the classic road bike aesthetic. They also loved the feel of a high-performance road bike frame but wanted the comfort that modern bikes might offer. And thus came the MIND, which stands for MINimal Design. The MIND California, however, takes it up a notch. Thanks to its made-in-California construction, this one cuts weight and adds a more communicative ride profile as well as a whole other level of craftsmanship. MIND California isn’t for everyone, but it is certainly a unique proposition and one we’re excited by. 

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MIND California frames come to Contender unpainted, which leaves the rider the option to ride it as raw carbon or work with our in-house painter to paint the MIND in whatever way they want. For this version, the rider in question ended up choosing a lightweight gloss clearcoat over carbon. As a result, the bike looks awfully stealthy from a distance, just a classically-designed road bike that eschews the aero frame design du jour. But up close? You can see all the little bits of carbon layup, the bits of carbon weave that are hidden in normal construction, and the subtle curves and angles that make the MIND a unique proposition.

This specific example is built as a premium road bike should be. The SRAM RED eTap AXS drivetrain is smart, effective, and continues to impress. Then there are the Zipp 353 NSW wheels, featuring a sawtooth rim profile (maybe its more of a wave) that come in at a featherweight 1250g as a pair. We are particularly partial to the new Fizik Vento Argo Adaptive saddle, which has a 3D design that might trigger trypophobia for cyclists around the world. Good thing it's a saddle so you don’t need to look at it while you’re riding. Or maybe the bike’s new owner will want to look lovingly at the saddle while they’re standing up pedaling, it is that cool.

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All in, the MIND California is a unique proposition. Not many of these frames will be made, and those that are made are likely to fly under the radar, especially ones with minimalistic paint schemes like this one. But if you find one, cherish it, because they’re really cool. Or, just come to Contender. We can show you what they’re all about.

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Without further ado, here’s the build sheet:

Frameset OPEN MIND California - Size L
Groupset SRAM RED eTap AXS
Gearing 170mm crank, 43/30t chainrings, 10-36t cassette
Wheelset Zipp 353 NSW
Tires Challenge Strada Bianca Pro TLR - 700 x 30mm
Handlebar ENVE Road Handlebar
Stem ENVE Road Stem - 120mm
Handlebar Tape LIzardskins DSP V2 2.5mm - Jet Black
Saddle Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive - 146mm
Seatpost Integrated OPEN MIND seatmast

Have any questions about the OPEN MIND bike or want to build one for yourself? Contact us any time to get started.

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open mind california sram red drivetrain contender bicycles


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