Beautiful Bicycle - An OPEN UP Built for a (Chris) King
We’re proud to announce our submission for the Chris King Open House 2022, a custom-built OPEN UP gravel bike. Chris King has done an open house yearly with a brief intermission in 2020, inviting some of the most talented international builders from around the world. This year they’ve sought to include a select range of bike shops across the country, and we’re fortunate to help out.
The design prompt? Submit a show bike using a smattering of Chris King components using their latest color: Matte Midnight. Of course, we put our finest minds together for a fun build with a rare Shimano GRX polished groupset, Chris King Matte Midnight components, and our favorite finishing kit.
Want a set of the new Chris King Matte Midnight components or a Shimano GRX Limited Groupset? Contact us; we have limited availability for each.
The base of the build is the OPEN UP, a bike we’ve become quite familiar with over the years. We have a close relationship with OPEN, and the UP ticks just about every box one could want for a gravel bike: low weight, plenty of tire clearance, and just enough mounts for any single-day ride one might want to do. What is perhaps most surprising about the UP is just how good it is through rough, high-vibration gravel roads. UP is a smooth, willing accomplice across an array of terrain types.
Some folks choose a drivetrain for practical reasons, like gearing or consumables replacement costs. Others choose drivetrains because they’re cool. The choice to use the new Shimano GRX Limited drivetrain falls squarely in the latter category. Standard GRX drivetrain parts come with a satin grey finish, but this version goes for a high-polish look that is distinctive in a sea of greys and carbon finishes. And while this Limited drivetrain was a very limited release, we were fortunate to get a set for ourselves for this build.And now to the Chris King bits. As mentioned earlier, this build wouldn’t be possible without the 2022 Chris King Open House and the new colorway commemorating the event: Matte Midnight. These Matte Midnight bits are found at the headset, hubs, and with a matching decal set for the wheels. A King headset is a bit of bling to match the hubs, but the quality and serviceability are quite high. The King R45 hubs promise great excellent build quality and durability. The R45D hubs don’t buzz like a bottled batch of angry bees, but still have quick engagement and responsiveness.All the Chris King bits here are about as top-shelf as they come, and the new wheels are a pleasant surprise too. The rims are made from a thermoplastic carbon fiber manufactured for Chris King by CSS Composites in Central Utah. According to Chris King, thermoplastic carbon fiber allowed for a more forgiving, vibration-damping rim without being too heavy. Best of all, thermoplastic carbon fiber is recyclable; if you damage your rim, they will take it back to make the rim into more carbon fiber.
Last note here: the handlebar, stem, and seatpost come from Beast Components. These award-winning parts look good, function great, and have a high level of finish that is befitting a bike decked out with Chris King parts. They’re made in Germany too, if that’s your jam.Without further ado, here are the build specifications:
|Frameset||OPEN UP Frameset - Size M - Orange|
|Headset||Chris King - Matte Midnight|
|Groupset||Shimano GRX Limited Polished|
|Gearing||172.5mm crank, 42T chainring, 11-46t cassette|
|Wheelset||Chris King GRD23 - Matte Midnight color, Shimano HG freehub, ceramic bearing upgrade|
|Tires||Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H - 700c x 45mm - black sidewall|
|Handlebar||Beast Ultrabar - UD finish - 44cm tops/55cm drops|
|Stem||Beast Road Stem - UD Finish - 110mm|
|Handlebar Tape||Supacaz Super Sticky Kush - Oil Slick w Oil Slick Plugs|
|Saddle||Brooks Cambium C13 - 145mm - Crivets C13 Orange Rivets|
|Seatpost||Beast Straight Seatpost - UD Finish - 27.2mm|
Want to build an OPEN UP for yourself? Get started with our complete custom bike builder options, or contact us to get started.