Drop Bars, Fat Tires and Good Times!

Written by Ed Kilbourn, on October 22, 2023

Part of what makes working at a bike shop great is the increased exposure to really cool bikes, and the opportunity to let your imagination run wild when doing your own builds. We have the unique and genuinely enjoyable job of helping our customers come up with their ideal rides, dialing in available options and sorting out challenges that come up along the way. Thinking outside the box is part of the fun and usually yields some great results. Our own Ed DeVincentis is the latest Contender family member to create a super cool, unique ride and we’re stoked to feature it in our latest edition of Beautiful Bicycle! Settle in and check out Ed’s drop-bar OPEN ONE+.Ed D is one of a small handful of Ed’s here at Contender and he mans the frontlines of the service department. As such, he’s seen it all and helped come up with solutions for all sorts of bike setup challenges. Ed is also the owner of N +11 bikes, so he’s definitely not of the “one-bike-for-everything” persuasion. His drop bar OPEN ONE+ is a testament to that.

The ONE+ evolved from OPEN’s original wicked-light hardtail, the O-1.0. Arguably one of the most versatile hardtail frames out there, the ONE+ can be fitted with 29” as well as 27.5”+ wheel options and was ahead of its time in terms of low weight and integrated cable routing. OPEN’s ONE+ offers itself up as somewhat of a blank slate, ready to provide the foundation for builds ranging from a flyweight XC racer, to a kitted-out bikepacking rig. Multiple wheel size capability serve to further increase the versatility of this cool frame. One can argue that the ONE+ was born into the status of “Cult Classic”!

As the owner of ….”several” bikes, Ed had a specific idea in mind when cooking up this build: He wanted a “singletrack-specific gravel machine”. In other words, a bike that is comfortable to ride on mixed surfaces, but capable of ripping fast, tight trails if desired. OPEN's ONE+ hardtail features a relatively long top tube and relaxed head angle, making it a stable and confident trail machine.

So why the drop bars? As Ed puts it, “I’ve had a couple surgeries on my hands, so having multiple hand positions on the bars is key. A wider drop bar gives me multiple options, whatever the terrain.” Given the slightly wider (for the bike size) bar width, even fast, technical descents are no problem for this ONE+. Ed is located just a few miles from the local trailheads too, so the drop bar setup also makes for an efficient riding position on the tarmac commute to the trail. Another really cool aspect of the drop bars relates to the dropper post employed in this build. Dropper posts on gravel-oriented bikes are nothing new, but the dropper setup on this ONE+ is a little unique. The SRAM Reverb AXS post combined with the SRAM Red AXS levers enables Ed to control the dropper post via the lever’s eTap controllers. This equals no additional, awkward dropper controller mounted on the bars, and of course no additional cable to route! Pressing both eTap buttons together actuates the dropper the same way the external AXS trigger control does on a standard MTB setup.In addition to the SRAM Red AXS levers and Reverb AXS dropper, the build consists of a SRAM GX Eagle AXS derailleur, crank, cassette and chain, 46cm Ritchey WCS carbon bars with Arundel Wraptor tape and a 50mm Salsa Guide Trail Stem. A Reynolds TR307 27.5" wheelset wrapped in a Maxxis Rekon and Ardent Race (2.60 and 2.35 F/R) with SRAM Red calipers and Centerline X rotors handle the rolling and stopping. A 100mm FOX 34 Stepcast fork is front and center, in high-vis orange. A Ti-railed Terry Fly saddle caps things off.Ed’s a low-key guy, but you won’t miss this one of a kind OPEN ONE+ coming at you! Do you have your own unique custom build in mind? Are you being told "it can't be done"? Give us a call or swing in to the shop and we'll help make it happen! 


1 comment

  • Beautiful build. Not to be a party pooper, but OPEN just announced they have discontinued the OPEN one+…..

    JE on

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