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Open Cycle

Pushing the Boundaries

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OPEN Cycle creates advanced bikes for riding dirt, gravel and rough roads. Their superlative U.P., U.P.P.E.R., and ONE+ frames are introducing riders to a new level of performance on rugged terrain. Each of these unique designs features the versatility to run multiple wheel sizes, while the ONE+ does so at less than 900 grams for a frame. To make all of this even better, OPEN Cycle frames maintain a superior ride quality through balancing expert engineering with thorough testing and proven construction. Contender Bicycles has been chosen to be one of the few dealers authorized to stock and sell this exciting new brand and we are happy to offer them to you.

The ONE+ Frame

More Tire, More Fun, More Speed

The goal of OPEN Cycle in making the OPEN ONE+ was “to build an extremely light but strong hardtail and ask ourselves ‘why shouldn’t we’ every step of the way”. This goal has been met and carried forward into their latest creation called the OPEN ONE+. Formerly with Cervelo and BMC, Gerard Vroomen and Andy Kessler are focused on pushing the envelope on what we think performance-oriented mountain and road bikes are capable of.

Though still a very small brand, OPEN Cycle benefits from being owned and operated by two individuals with decades of bike industry experience. Not only does it weigh in at less than 900 grams, the OPEN ONE+ is the lightest mountain bike frame on the market today that has passed the EFBE durability test. This superlight frame allows riders the unreal stability and traction of 27.5 x 3 inch wide tires without any weight penalty. Further, the OPEN ONE+ will easily accept 29 inch wheels to create a very fast, race-ready hardtail that can change its character on a whim.

When developing the ONE+, it was important to Gerard and Andy that the bike keep the feel and responsiveness of a cross country race mountain bike with the added ability to run a 3 inch wide tire. Once they decided to utilize the Boost platform – wider frame spacing to accommodate larger tires– they revisited every aspect of its design to make it the lightest plus size compatible frame on the market. The ONE+ frame allows the use of 29 x 2.4″ tires on a wide rim or up to 3 inch wide tires on a 27.5 inch rim (or 27.5 x 2.4″ and 26 x 3.0″ in size small), to give all of the advantages of bigger wheels without compromise in handling or performance. We have already helped many riders get out on the lightest, fastest mountain bike available in the form of a new OPEN ONE+ assembled to their specs.

OPEN Cycle made their ONE+ world-wide debut at our Salt Lake City headquarters. We built up a very special ONE+ for Andy Kessler for the launch, and have the build and images posted over on our blog. Preview: The OPEN ONE+ Mountain Bike.

The U.P. Frameset

Unbeaten Path

In much the same way that endurance road bikes changed the way riders view road bikes, OPEN Cycle has made a similar impact with the OPEN U.P. The U.P. (also known simply as the OPEN UP, Unbeaten Path, or the Classic UP), simply put, is the first production road bike frameset designed to function perfectly with either a 700c or 27.5 inch wheelset. Not just a road bike, however; it’s the first production Gravel Plus bike in production.

The U.P. is, by now, well-known for the ability to pound pavement or duel in the dirt, all with the comfort and control of your favorite road bike. Not limited to a traditional road or cross setup, we have built the U.P. frameset with a range of alternate setups, from 27.5 x 2.1” tires and XTR Di2, to dedicated 1×11 singletrack sleds, to flat bars and 700c CX wheels. These sought-after frames are proving that true versatility can exist without compromise, and they have put OPEN Cycle well on the map to the road less traveled.

Few bikes match the versatility of the Classic U.P. While the ability to pick different wheel sizes is novel, the frame backs it up with smart geometry. It features stack and reach numbers similar to that of a road bike, providing positioning on the bike that is fundamentally different than the prototypical cyclocross frame. This leads to a true sense of speed on road, but with more than enough confidence to take it off-road and find a true unbeaten path.

To get some ideas for your own Open U.P., check out our write-up over at It’s Time To OPEN U.P.

The U.P.P.E.R. Frameset

Relentless Simplicity

Upon first glance (and then some), it’s hard to tell the difference between the U.P. and the U.P.P.E.R. At first blush, they both have the distinctive dropped drive-side chainstay, allowing for massive 700 x 40c or 27.5 x 2.1” tires, as well as similar tube shaping and geometry. What sets the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. apart, besides the understated matte black paint, is weight – about 310 grams less, to be exact.

Yes, it’s true: the U.P.P.E.R. shares quite a bit with the standard OPEN U.P., including substantial wheel/tire tire choices, and more than enough versatility to apply this bike to a myriad of riding situations. It’s road bike-worthy geometry remains intact as well. Compared to other bikes in the gravel and gravel plus genre, the U.P.P.E.R.’s geometry (with relatively short stack numbers and stubby 420mm chainstays) is much closer to that of a road racer than the typical tall stack and short reach of other bikes. It really does provide what many roadie-turned-dirt riders are looking for: road bike positioning, with fat tires to soak up imperfect surface on the road less-travelled.

About the cut in weight: it doesn’t change how the bike rides, except for the noticeable difference in how the bike accelerates and maneuvers. It steers, accelerates, and handles singletrack with aplomb, and feels plenty stable on the road. Any other difference in ride quality is mostly unnoticeable because of a wide tire. However, 310g (220g from the frame, 90g from the fork) is nothing to sneeze at, and chopping off a two-thirds of a pound off of an already-light bike is a difference maker over a long ride, and in how tossable the bike feels. The U-Turn fork is the lightest fork of it’s kind to fit a tire as wide as this. Further small changes include a swap to 12mm thru axles front and rear, as well as a swap to flat mount brakes to save further weight.

OPEN really hit the nail on the head with the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. With the open being as small as it is, it is clear that Gerard Vroomen and Andy Kessler had a hand in making this bike so special. It is the embodiment of their “Relentless Simplicity” mantra, combining the highest level of road bike performance with the sheer fun of going out and exploring. Few bikes do it like the U.P.P.E.R.

To get some ideas for your own Open U.P.P.E.R., check out our write-up over at It’s Time To OPEN U.P.

The New U.P.

Breaking New Ground

OPEN Cycle prides themselves on “working hard to stay small”. What does this mean? This allows founders Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen (of BMC and Cervelo frame respectively) to update their bikes when they want, and make specific bikes according to their needs and desires. With the desire and ability to change up frames however they want, it makes sense that they would introduce the OPEN New U.P. as the newest evolution of their genre-melding Gravel Plus road bike.

The New U.P. (also known as the 2018 OPEN UP) shares geometry with the revolutionary Classic U.P. This means that this frameset similarly manages to meld road racing geometry and handling with fat-tire capability in a way that is unlike few bikes on the market. Some bikes come close to handling this vaunted combination, but no other frameset on the market has the low weight and stubby 420mm chainstays that the U.P. does.

Changes to the New U.P. are minor overall. It receives a 60g deduction in weight (to 1040g, size medium), and a 70g weight reduction to the fork. This is thanks partially to a swap to the U-Turn fork originally fitted to the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. This fork necessitates a move to flat-mount disc brakes front and rear, as well as a swap to Syntace 12mm thru-axles front and rear previously seen on the U.P.P.E.R.

The OPEN U.P. is the best marriage we’ve seen yet of road riding sensibilities and the laid-back adventurous side of riding on dirt and gravel. It has changed the way many people see road riding, and has helped many others find new ways to enjoy the benefits of riding a bicycle.

To get some ideas for your own Open U.P., check out our write-up over at It’s Time To OPEN U.P.

Open One+ Eagle XX1 Complete Bike

The Open One+ is an exciting frame, offering flexibility to be run as a pure-bred race hardtail or as a still-ultra-light yet more stable 27.5″ Plus bike.  We’ve spent many hours on the One+, and even more building up dream builds for our customers. From our time riding the bikes, and hearing from others who have as well, we’ve hand-selected a semi-stock bike to offer to those who would rather be out on the trail than picking parts. Our OPEN One+ Eagle XX1 Complete Bike offers exceptional performance, extremely light weight, and the just a few options to tailor the ride specifically for you.

Check out our write up on Ryan’s personal OPEN One+ mountain bike on our blog.

Open U.P. Unbeaten Path Ultegra Complete Bike

Half the fun of the OPEN U.P. is hand-selecting each and every part, to make your new ride your new ride.  The other half is actually riding it.  Gravel and dirt roads, singletrack, early morning commutes, cyclocross races, Saturday morning group rides, the Open U.P. Unbeaten Path does it all.  For those who’d rather focus solely on riding their OPEN, we’ve curated our exclusive OPEN U.P. Unbeaten Path Ultegra Complete Bike with a sensible and versatile build, and options for either 700c wheels, or 650b.  We love the acronym KISS – keep it simple.  We believe our complete bike does just that – gives you a great, no-nonsense bike that’s ready to hit the road.

At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Everyone at Contender Bicycles has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. Ryan Littlefield is our resident Open Cycles expert and the owner of Contender Bicycles. If you have any questions regarding an OPEN or want to discuss build options, email him at ryan@contenderbicycles.com or by phone at Contact Us.

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