Gerard Vroomen is no stranger to high-end, highly-optimized frames. His OPEN Cycle brand is hitting the market with frames that are lightweight, versatile and decidedly built with a rider-first mentality. As the co-founder of Cervélo, Vroomen turned aero bikes into the norm and pushed the envelope in frame technology and performance. That passion is impossible to miss as he and Andy Kessler are putting their unique stamp on performance gravel and plus-sized mountain bikes.

While the OPEN U.P. was unique in its own right, the new OPEN U.P.P.E.R. retains the unique features of the first-generation design, but kicks things up a notch in terms of light weight, stiffness and simplicity. And, one of the great things about it is that the U.P.P.E.R. looks like (and rides like) a proper road bike. I spent some time aboard Vroomen’s other gravel bike, the 3T Exploro, and loved it — the U.P.P.E.R. looks to step that up a notch further.

Some of the key features of the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. include:

  • Optimized layup that’s not just higher-modulus-er than the U.P., but strategically selected carbon in the right spot, or TRCinTRS™
  • Lightweight frame comes in at 870g (230g lighter than U.P.) with a 375g fork
  • Tire clearance remains astounding with up to 2.1″ MTB tire compatibility using 650b wheels
  • Dropped chainstay allows for 420mm stays (unheard of for such tire clearance)
  • ThruThread rear dropout for direct-mounted derailleur and a stiffer/lighter system
  • Flat mount brakes front/rear with adapter-less U-Turn front mount that’s 160mm only (no adapters)
  • MSRP: $4500

The U.P.P.E.R. is one sexy and versatile all-road machine.

OPEN Cycle UPPER U-Turn Fork

The U-Turn fork drops weight and increases tire clearance.

OPEN Cycle U-Turn Fork

The U-Turn fork provides natural 160mm rotor use without adapters.


The Wire Stays provide lateral stiffness with vertical compliance (of course).

More Info: Visit | Read Our Open UPPER Review


About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Other than tire clearance and ability to run 650b, how does the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. (or U.P.) compare to the Santa Cruz Stigmata CC?

    • Henrik… thanks for the comment. I have ridden the 3T Exploro, but not the OPEN UP or UPPER. The Exploro is (surprisingly) even more road-friendly than the Stigmata. I imagine that the UP and UPPER will perform just as happily on the road as they will on the dirt.

      That said, the Stigmata CC is one awesome bike. You nailed it… no 650b compatibility, but it is an awesome bike.

      The OPEN UP was just tweaked to switch to flat mount brakes for 2018, fyi.

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