One of the most interesting drop bar bikes we spotted at the Sea Otter Classic was the U.P. (Unbeaten Path) from Open Cycle, a bike loosely defined as “gravel plus.”
But the Open U.P. is more than a gravel bike. Not only does it sport attractive lines thanks to a nicely executed monocoque composite frame and fork, but the bright orange rig is extremely versatile, able to run 700x28c road wheels, a 40c cyclocross tire, or even 2.1” mountain bike tires on 27.5” wheels with either traditional 135mm or 142×12 through axle hub spacing.
To keep handling tight, the U.P. sports short 420mm chainstays, making its tire size versatility even more impressive. Many comparable gravel and cross bikes have longer chainstays that can’t nearly fit as wide of a tire as the U.P.
A dropped driveside chainstay helps clear cyclocross and road cranksets with a narrow Q-factor while still being able to run the 2.1” wide mountain bike tires. Full internal cable routing keeps the frame’s appearance clean, while a multi-stop design allows for 1x, 2x, and Di2 shifting setups. Four sets of rivet nuts (two inside the front triangle, one on the top tube and one under the down tube) allow for multiple water bottle mounts and anything else for big adventures.
Bottom line, upon first impression the Open Cycle U.P. is an extremely well thought out bike, and for those in search of a single drop bar bike that can do many things well, it’s definitely worth a look. Frame and fork retail for $2900. It’s available in S, M, L and XL.
More information at opencycle.com/up.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview’s coverage of the 2016 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.