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