Open U.P.P.E.R.: A Modern Classic
Written by Sam Berglund, on August 20 2020
We’ve been carrying Open since day one. When Bob met Gerard Vroomen at an industry trade show he knew that Open wasn’t going to be just a flash in the pan. A bike that could accommodate 700c and 650b wheel sizes, while also maintaining a lightweight, stiff, and elegant frame was unheard of at the time. What Gerard had created was a gravel bike that would become the gold standard in gravel bikes for years to come.
That was 6 years ago, and since then we’ve sent countless Opens out the door, every one of them as unique as the folks riding them. Opens are only available to purchase as a frameset, so your options for building one are limitless, as you get a say in every aspect of the build process.
One of the best ways to stand out with your Open is to buy your frameset RTP (ready to paint). We’ve worked with a few artists to help riders design their dream bike, and recently we’ve been blown away with the work of our local friend at Dirt Designs Graphic. Brad’s company of one has experience working in the auto and motorcycle industry doing everything from touch up paint to fully custom hand painted works of art. He’s also an avid cyclist and has picked up more jobs painting frames and his work speaks for itself. You may recall a custom painted Salsa Warbird we did a few months back with reflective accents. That was courtesy of Brad and his chromatic genius.
This bike goes for a classic aesthetic, with a creamy white finish that lights up in the sunlight and burnt red logos. The silver accents on the stays and fork are a finish that you don’t see all too often, and one that really makes this paint job stand out.
Our shop is a big fan of Shimano drivetrains. They’re lightweight, clean, and oh so reliable, so it’s only natural that this bike be outfitted with an Ultegra Di2 groupset. The beauty of electronic shifting is that there’s no housing to compress, so no need for adjustments. Once our mechanics dial in the shifting you can expect perfect shifts for the life of the bike. Every. Single. Time.
The transition from road riding to gravel is an undeniable trend right now, but the road still beckons to some, so why not have a bike that handles both? We’ve had a lot of folks trade in their road bike for an Open with two wheelsets. It’s hard not to take advantage of Gerard’s genius engineering of the dropped chainstay to achieve maximum tire clearance for both 700c x 40mm and 650b x 47mm (2.1”). For the lightest weight and best performance there is no better choice than Enve’s SES 3.4 road and G27 gravel wheelsets. These wheels provide maximum comfort, stiffness, and aerodynamic efficiency.
This build is sure to enjoy many miles of midwest gravel and beyond, and it's been our pleasure to be a part of the custom build process from inception to completion. If you've ever been curious about the custom build process and want to pick our brains for new ideas please come see us, our passion is turning your cycling dream into reality.