First Look | Open U.P. Gravel Frame

Price: $4,499 Available From: Pushys Weight: 1430 grams (frame and fork)

After well and truly catching the gravel bug, Jono has decided to jump in head first with a custom build using Open’s U.P. frame. Open Cycle hail from Switzerland, and their current range focuses on the gravel and road categories. Although they don’t have a huge presence in Australia, Open was one of the first to jump on board the gravel trend that’s sweeping through the bike industry, with the former CEO of BMC and a former Cervelo engineer running the show.

U.P. stands for unbeaten path, and the frame has room for 40c tyres between the stays, thanks to the dropped drive-side chainstay. This is a common tactic on gravel bikes to increase the real estate for larger tyres and chainrings but was pioneered by Open.

The first version of the U.P. was released in 2015, this is the second generation frame, that was launched in 2019. The world of gravel doesn’t tend to move quite as fast as mountain biking when it comes to geometry, with our U.P. still being very relevant by today’s standards. With most modern gravel bikes featuring a chainstay length somewhere in the ballpark of 420-435mm, the U.P. is on the shorter side of things coming in at 420mm. Overall the geometry numbers are very similar to the Specialized Crux in Mick’s fleet, although the headtube angle comes in marginally steeper.

The latest iteration of the U.P. shifted to flat mount brake calipers, 12mm axles all round and managed to shave off about 100g. The frame features eight mount bolts for bottles and bags, though a notable omission is the fork legs.

The frame and fork are available in two versions, the U.P. and the U.P.P.E.R. The latter is made from a higher modulus carbon, shaving about 180g off the frame weight, however, the geometry is identical to the more budget-friendly version we have in the workshop. Open have left a tiny hole in the seatube so you can be sure that your seatpost has been installed to minimum insertion.

Jono has only just pulled the frame out of the box to be built up, as his first proper step into the world of gravel he’s suitably pumped to get this sucker rolling! First up before the build gets underway was the installation of a tailored RideWrap kit to protect from scratches and stone chips.

Applying a tailored frame protection takes a lot of time and patience, but will hopefully keep this build looking prettier for longer.

Stay tuned for more as the build of this trendy Swiss gravel rig comes together!

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