OPEN U.P. go-anywhere bike review

Could this versatile bike be an actual quiver killer?

Disc Road Bike
OPEN U.P. Review

The U.P. handles the downs just as well as the ups.

Lowdown: OPEN U.P.

If there ever was a true quiver killer this just might be it. The OPEN U.P. (as in unbeaten path) dares you to seek new less traveled routes, delivering on the promise of its name to broaden your riding horizons. Leave it to the creative genius behind Cervelo, Gerard Vroomen, to deliver a bike that takes cycling back to its roots, all the while maintaining the latest technological innovations. Learn more in our full review below.

OPEN U.P. Review

Spec highlights include 650b wheels/tires and a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain.

Stat Box
Frame: OPEN U.P. high mod carbon fiber Brakes: Shimano R785 hydraulic disc
Fork: 3T Luteus II w/ 15mm thru axle Bars: 3T Team Stealth Ergonova 44cm
Headtube angle: 71 degrees Stem: 3T Team Stealth 6 degree 110mm
Wheelbase: 1008mm Wheels: 3T Discus Team C35
Saddle: Fizik Antares 00 Braided Tires: WTB Horizon 47c slicks
Chainstay length: 420mm Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 Base price: $2,900 (frameset only)
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 Price as tested: $5600
Frame Weight: 1100g Rating: 5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 5 Chilis-out-of-5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Lightweight carbon frame
  • Expensive for spec level
  • Plush carbon ride feel
  • Hard to find
  • Disc brakes standard
  • Internal cable routing
  • Wide range of build options

Review: OPEN U.P.

One of the bests parts about living in Bend, Oregon, is the unrestricted access to so many different types of riding within a 90-minute drive of my home. I’ve long reveled in the ability to enjoy so many good ride options, either separately or all at once. I can set out for a long, fast-paced road ride down in the High Desert. I can choose to enjoy a crazy good mountain bike ride on 500+ miles of flowy singletrack right out my backdoor. I can get in the car for just long enough to finish my favorite new album only to get lost on my mountain bike in the lush, loamy side country of Oakridge. And afterwards, I can even squeeze in a few good ski turns on the spring corn just up the road at Mt. Bachelor.

OPEN U.P. Review

Clean lines and a bright paint job make this bike a real looker.

Unfortunately, I’ve often been intrigued but subsequently let down, by countless manufacturers claiming to have built the bike that can do it all – the quiver killer. It wasn’t until now that I’ve actually opened my eyes to the reality of that idea coming to fruition. The bicycle that changed my mind is the OPEN U.P.

This bike is built with the end goal of allowing for almost unlimited parts specs and application. From drivetrain compatibility, to tire clearance and wheel spacing, the OPEN U.P. allows for just about anything you want to build it up with. You can add slim profile knobbies to turn this machine into a weekend cross racer or gravel bike. It accommodates fatter options as well, offering clearance for up to 2.1” tires on a 27.5 wheelset, further expanding off road capabilities. But more important than that flexibility alone, is the accessibility of the single form do-it-all bicycle.

OPEN U.P. Review

Subtle branding and a unique parts spec.

Build Highlights

The OPEN U.P. RoadBikeReview tested was spec’d with tubeless WTB Horizon 47c slicks. It looked a bit like a beach cruiser, but it was as light as any other bicycle I’d ridden in the $5000-$6000 price range. And the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes were powerful enough to offer good stopping power, combined with good modulation for road or trail use. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain was superb, allowing the rider to focus on the riding and leave shifting concerns to the simple press of a button.

On the Road and Trail

The afternoon this bike arrived happened to be the same day as the local hammerfest group road ride. So, as I do with any performance road bike I’m testing, I tested it in a high speed scenario. First, though, came a few hours on singletrack — with the exact same set-up.

On the dirt the large tires rolled over most obstacles with no issues. But because they’re slicks, they’d tend to go out from beneath me in high speed corners. But it offered a bit of extra challenge to the flowy singletrack that would otherwise be a bore on a mountain bike.

OPEN U.P. Review

A bike that rails singletrack doesn’t often ask for some time on the tarmac, but the U.P. surprises in almost every setting.

Next came the road ride. I got some laughs for my beach cruiser setup. But once rolling the 27.5 wheels spun just like a 700c with those massive tires, and the huge slicks actually rolled really well at speed. Pretty soon I was experiencing that same feeling I got on the trail, but on the road. Taking a bike that was slightly underbuilt for the application and pushing boundaries. I ripped some legs off that night in the sprints, taking particular pleasure in the lightweight bike’s ability to accelerate up steep climbs with all that contact area under the rear tire. I felt like a drag racer.

Bottom Line

Since that initial ride, I’ve reveled in expanding options to more and more variable-terrain scenarios. This bike is the perfect companion for Bend. It can roll to the coffee shop or to the grocery store. Take on the local group ride, or shred mellow singletrack.

OPEN U.P. Review

That about sums it up.

I wouldn’t recommend ditching your mountain bike, because the U.P. is definitely not a full-suspension pinner. It’s also not built for flat out speed on the road. But the OPEN U.P. can tackle absolutely anything in between with a bit of flair. And really, that’s about the coolest thing you could ever say about a bike. It’s fun to ride. Anywhere.

For more information visit opencycle.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Dillon Caldwell

Dillon Caldwell is a native of Bend, Oregon with a big heart for the sport of cycling. He grew up to be a successful junior cross-country racer but got hooked on road racing during his time at the University of Oregon, where he ran the school's club cycling team for several years. He now spends the majority of his time as a road racer for both the Audi and the Canyon Bicycles - Shimano racing teams on the regional and the national scales, respectively. On the side, he is a mountain bike tour guide for Cog Wild, a cycling coach for Wenzel Coaching, a member of the board of directors for the Tour des Chutes cancer charity, and a passionate writer.



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  • dddd says:

    One of the most important considerations for riding off road, particularly technical terrain it whether the reach to the bar grip positions is short enough for the rider to get their weight back.
    So I see it as a major deficiency of these bikes with hydraulic road levers that it is not possible to fit any kind of auxiliary levers, so that the rider can descend while gripping the upper part of the handlebar.
    How soon before this is addressed, I wonder.
    The auxiliary brake levers offer the rider the equivalent of a much shorter stem extension which improves descending capability greatly, even more so when combined with a dropper post.

    • rob stephenson says:

      With drop bars aux brake levers would put your hands too close together to give any control on technical descents. With correct set up you should be able to brake from the road levers.

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