The Open Up is the Go-To Bike for all those who like off-road gravel and road biking. The Open Up is the bike I currently like to ride most. No matter if adventure rides like the Dirty Kanzelled or rides at racing speed. In 2020 I have accumulated more than 10.000 kilometers with this bike and I have more than enjoyed every single one of them.
About a year ago I was faced with the same decision again and again. What kind of bike do I want to ride next. My Müsing Aviator Carbon was already two years old. Even though I didn't ride it very much, I at least wanted to have the latest technology. It should have disc brakes and at least 28mm wide tires I wanted to ride. It should be sporty enough for fast laps on the road and also convince me visually (that was probably the hardest part). At the same time I got more and more wind of the gravel trend. Especially in my training region with the Belgian Ardennes, the Dutch Mergelland and the German Eifel in front of my door, this was very tempting. Even though I played with the idea for some time, in the end it wasn't supposed to be two wheels, but a versatile one.
I quickly became enthusiastic about the Swiss Open Team around Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen. It was immediately clear to me that these two build exactly the bike I was looking for. A high quality carbon frame designed for use with disc brakes and plenty of tyre clearance. The Open Up is available in two basic configurations. The Standard Up, available in green, blue or individual paint, which with its high-quality carbon frame probably already puts most bikes in the shade, and the Open Upper. The Open Upper is almost 180 grams lighter and offers no restrictions in comparison, but is also considerably more expensive. The Open Upper is available in matt black or individual paint.
With the classic form language and lines I liked the design immediately. Looking for something individual I decided to go for the RTP (Ready-to Paint) version and a grey colour.
The structure of my Open Up
For the components for my Open Up I could decide quickly.
- Open Up Custom Paint Frame (L)
- SRAM Force 1 Switching/brake group
- Easton EA90 Cinch crank
- Easton Cinch Direct Mount chainring (46T)
- Zipp 30 Course wheels with Conti GP5000 in 28mm for the road
- Hope Tech XC 27.5 Wheels with WTB Byway 47mm for Gravel
- Zipp Service Course handlebars, stem and CX handlebar tape
- Thomson seat post
- Favero Assioma Duo Pedal Powermeter
As headunit I use the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bike computer in combination with the K-Edge Pro Combo Mount. In my opinion, it looks much better than the plastic handlebar mounts supplied by the manufacturer (no matter if you use Wahoo or Garmin) and is quite practical for that purpose. Below the bike computer there is an additional GoPro mount. This makes it possible to mount not only a camera but also a lamp when it gets dark. So the cockpit keeps a clean and clear look, nice and tidy.
Next to it I have added a black Knog Oi bell. As you know, many sportsmen and sportswomen do not fit a bell, but this model convinced me. It is inconspicuously designed and does not destroy the overall look of my bike. But especially on gravel tours, when you are on the Belgian Ravel paths or the Vennbahn route, you often meet walkers who often prefer the bell to a loud "Platz da!" or a friendly "Entschuldigung?
Knog Oi Classic bicycle bell
I have been very satisfied with the SRAM Force 1 shifting group over the last year. The classic XX1 11-speed cassette from SRAM has 10-42 teeth, and offers me, even with the 46 tooth chainring, enough gear ratio variety for long gravel tours. I can climb even steep climbs quite well and have more than enough traction to push a high speed on flat and sloping passages. Of course it always depends on your own fitness, which you can handle well.
My road wheelset has sprockets with 11-36 teeth. In my opinion this is ideal for touring, winter training and relaxed group rides, as it is very easy to maintain. Uphill you can reach your own limits with this bike. Especially in Aachen's surrounding area, which includes the Ardennes from Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Mergelland with the climbs of the Amstel Gold Race, it is mostly uphill or downhill. Therefore I would advise most people to use a smaller chainring with only 44, 42 or even 40 teeth. Alternatively you can use the same cassette as for graveling.
For the coming season I will probably convert the bike to a 2-speed drive again. My main concern here is to make even better use of the bike as a road bike even on fast rides. Recommendations can be left in the comments.
Performance measurement on my Open Up
At Powermeter I decided to go with the Favero Assioma. For sure a compromise on this bike. Because the Look Keo pedal system is not my biggest friend, especially on Gravel tours, where you have to get off the bike. For the future I will definitely talk about an upgrade to the SRM X-Power think.
Personal setup of the Open UP
I currently ride my Open Up with a 110mm stem and 170mm crank length. Under the stem is a spacer. But I still optimize the seating position from time to time.
I chose the handlebars with a view of the road kilometres without much flair. If you mainly ride on gravel roads, you would certainly choose a somewhat wider and therefore more controllable cockpit. The Zipp Service Course CX handlebar tape is my favourite for grip, comfort and durability. It is slightly perforated, not too thin and therefore just right for my purposes.
The bottle holders are made of King Cage stainless steel. So I haven't lost a bottle on the cobblestone pavement and it doesn't leave any unsightly marks on the bottles.
Depending on the wheel set, this gives me a weight of 8.0 kg in the Road Setup or 8.75 kg in the Gravel Setup (including pedals, bottle cage and handlebar mount).
What is the Open Up?
The Open Up is a versatile bicycle. Depending on the tyres, it is suitable for road, cross or gravel use. The tyre compatibility ranges from narrow racing bike tyres (23mm) to allroad and gravel tyres in 40mm, on 28 inch wheels. The Open is also designed to be used with 650B wheels and tyres. The compatibility there reaches up to a width of 55 mm.
The geometry offers an ideal compromise. It is just as comfortable as it needs to be for long road cycling or gravel tours of 200 kilometres or more. The stiff carbon frame remains sporty and agile. Sprints and fast descents are therefore equally fun and can be completed safely.