Beautiful Bicycle - A Subtly-Finished Custom OPEN WIDE

Beautiful Bicycle - A Subtly-Finished Custom OPEN WIDE

Written by Contender Bicycles, on October 27, 2021

The dropped chainstay on the OPEN UP are one of the most-copied features on any gravel bike on the market. They're for good reason; they add tire clearance without compromising on chainstay length or overall performance. But what if you want even wider tires without compromising on chainstay length? Then you drop both chainstays, as we see here on this beautiful custom OPEN WIDE gravel bike.

open wide ready to paint custom at contender bicycles

Custom paint is often a bit of a double-edged sword, especially if you're doing it on your own. Fortunately, our in-house painter makes things easy, working side by side to figure out a concept and goals with a custom paint scheme. This client went for something fairly straightforward: a light grey that draws little attention from a distance, but up close reveals a bit of shimmer. Learn more about Contender Ready to Paint Bicycles.

Is metallic shimmer for everyone? Perhaps not, but the stealth glitter look evokes Japanese track bikes that really set the heart aflutter. Better yet, the OPEN WIDE has the simple profile with uncomplicated tube shapes that allow a paint scheme like this to really shine... or sparkle..

OPEN WIDE custom gravel bike at contender bicycles

That is, until you get to those chainstays. The UP has one dropped chainstay, but the WIDE has two of them. This makes for a large, boxy profile that adds strength to an otherwise lightweight frame. it's also rather striking, especially the more closely you look at it.

OPEN says that dropping both chainstays  allows for even more tire clearance, and in this case you can fit up to a 700c x 46mm tire or a 27.5 x 2.4" tire, conservatively. Other gravel bikes might have wide tire clearance to do this, but few - if any - do it while maintaining the geometry and ride quality the OPEN WIDE offers.

Besides that, the rest of the build is relatively low-key. Normally flashy, these Chris King R45D hubs are set in a matte black finish that draws little attention to itself - at least, until you stop pedaling. ENVE's black on black finish keeps things low-key, while SRAM Force can reasonably blend into the rest of the bike at a distance. This was a bike that had to wait a bit for SRAM Force AXS, but now that we have it in stock again the build came together quite nicely.

This OPEN WIDE is built more as an all-road variant, aiming for ride quality on dirt roads and choppy pavement rather than as a mountain bike stand-in. But if the rider decides, knobby mountain bike tires are available with little adjustment.

open wide ready to paint custom at contender bicycles

Here are the build specs of the bike:

Components Spec

Frameset OPEN WIDE - Ready to Paint - Size L
Shifter SRAM Force eTap AXS
Derailleur SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
Crankset SRAM Force AXS w/ Power Meter
Bottom Bracket Wheels Manufacturing BB386 Thread-Together - DUB
Gearing 175mm, 44t chainring, 10-50t cassette.
Wheelset ENVE G23 rims, Chris King R45 Disc hubs
Tires Schwalbe G-One Allround - 700c x 38mm
ENVE Gravel Handlebar - 44cm
Stem ENVE Road - 100mm
Seatpost ENVE 0mm offset - 300mm
Handlebar Tape Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm - Black
Saddle Fizik Aliante R7 - Regular
Water Bottle Cages Arundel Mandible Cages - Matte Finish

Have any questions about OPEN bikes, or want to find a OPEN gravel bike or road bikefor yourself? Contact us during business hours or any time to

open wide ready to paint at contender bicyclesOPEN WIDE custom gravel bike at contender bicycles

OPEN WIDE custom gravel bike at contender bicycles

OPEN WIDE custom gravel bike at contender bicycles

open wide ready to paint custom at contender bicycles


  • Thanks, Scott. Can’t take all the credit for this one, the client made some great decisions for this bike.

    Alvin - Contender Bicycles on

  • Beautiful bike. You folks always do things right!

    Scott on

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