The most hyped segment in cycling at the moment is gravel riding, and almost every major manufacturer and a litany of boutique brands make bikes specifically labeled as gravel bikes. A host of “gravel-grinding” races have also cropped up, including the Grinduro, a cross between a road race, gravel race and a mountain bike enduro race. The sector will likely continue to gain popularity as long as sports like professional cyclocross continue to build a following here in the US. Many of these gravel bikes are more or less road frames kitted with slightly knobbier tires and a wider fork. Open Cycle thought that a poor way of approaching gravel riding and chose to design a bike from the ground up, exclusively for the growing sport.
The resulting bike is the U.P., which stands for unbeaten path. The frame takes the geometry of aggressive road riding frames and optimizes it for gravel crushing, slackening the head-tube angle by a degree and keeping the rear chainstays short, while still allowing for mountain bike tires up to 2.1 inches wide on a 650b rim, a 40mm cross tire or a 28mm road tire on a 700c rim. The U.P. is currently the only gravel bike that can fit 2.1-inch mountain bike tires, making it an attractive option for races like Grinduro. The bottom bracket is also slightly higher off the ground to allow for extra clearance over obstacles. Taking hints from mountain bike technology, all of its cables are internally routed to keep your brake and shift lines clean and clear of gunk as well as sheltered from any potential damage.
If you are hopping on the gravel-grinder train and are looking for a dedicated bike that is best in class and unmatched in versatility, the Open U.P. is the best available. While it might not beat out a road bike on a road ride or a mountain bike on a mountain bike ride, it can float easily to either end of the spectrum without skipping a beat and will crush most any other bike where the U.P. feels most at home: gravel roads.
Frame Weight: 1150g
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Bottom Bracket Standard: BB386EVO
Headset Standard: Integrated tapered IS42/28.6