Remember all those times when you said to yourself, “Man, if I could go back in time and start over knowing then what I know now?” Remember how you frequently told yourself “I wish I could just quit this job and work at a bike shop?”

Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen, the founders of Open Cycle, are living that dream.

But rather than dream big -- they’ve both been there and done that - Kessler and Vroomen launched Open Cycle in 2012 with a much more narrow vision than they had been part of in the past. Instead of creating another BMC or Cervelo, the friends set the goal of making the bikes they loved on a smaller scale and making those bikes as unique as they are exquisite.

Open Cycle boldly states they are “working hard to stay small.” While there are vendors and contractors, Open Cycle is still very much a two-man show with Andy and Gerard pouring over data and computer models to design the next best bicycle.

OPEN biking

After decades of building bikes for the masses, it became time to build the bike’s they’d buy if those bikes existed. That meant they had an Open canvas to work with and boy, did they get to work.

First, Open released the Open O-1.0, which was an insanely lightweight, incredibly responsive and high performance hardtail mountain bike. At the time, it was the lightest hardtail mountain bike on the market. The duo followed that up with a trio of road and gravel inspired bikes in the Open U.P., the Open WI.DE. and the Open MIN.D. Each is very similar in many ways, but uniquely different in important ways.

Vroomen and Kessler could have made one all-road bike and called it good. But they didn’t. With the philosophy or building the bikes they want to ride themselves, the Open Cycle founders didn’t want to make different versions of the same bike. They wanted different bikes for different riding styles.

Riders riding open bikes

The U.P. stands for Unbeaten Path and opened the doors and trails to gravel and dirt road riding like never before. Fortunately, Kessler and Vroomen wanted to go farther off the unbeaten path and created the WI.DE. for winding detours. The Open WI.DE. has geometry and special touches that make it the perfect ride on singletrack trails that snake through forests or atop mountain ridges.

Of course, Vroomen and Kessler had road cycling in their blood - probably why they’ve concentrated on building drop-bar bikes - and it was only a matter of time before the Open MIN.D. was released. While being responsive and fast was important, so was remaining comfortable in the saddle. Short for MINimal Design, the MIN.D. isn’t a bike worried about complicated gimmicks or splashy tech. It’s quite simply a road bike the guys at Open would have wanted to ride if they were in charge of designing the bike and, what do you know, they were.

That said, to be a successful bike company, the bikes Andy and Gerard wanted to build for themselves also had to be bikes other people would ride. The high-performance bikes created by Open ultimately become the perfect bikes for every rider because the bikes are sold as framesets only. Each completed Open bike is built with personally selected components and features that make the bike precisely the bike each owner wants to ride.