First Look: Open Cycles’ U.P. gravel/adventure bike

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Industry veteran Gerard Vroomen made his name with the mega-successful brand Cervelo, which pushed the limit of carbon fiber technology in the road market for years. His latest venture is Open Cycles, a high-end boutique brand with tons of innovation and a minimalist aesthetic. Its first product was a superlight 29er mountain bike, but this week it unveiled its second model, the Unbeaten Path.

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As riders and racers in the “gravel” or adventure market are pushing for more and more performance, the U.P. delivers with an aggressive position and low weight. It doesn’t have the top-tier carbon layup of the mountain bike, but Open points out that using only the stiffest layup in every spot would be a bad idea. The U.P. is also made in China while some of the mountain bikes are hand-made in Germany.

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The most interesting feature is the generous tire clearance, which can fit not only a 700×40 tire but also a 27.5×2.1 mountain bike tire. Since the outer diameter is essentially the same between the two, only a bit more room needs to be made for the extra width. Open accomplished this by dropping the chainstay down rather than squeezing it between the tire and chairing.

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Other key features include the flat faces of the down tube which allow strips of high-modulus carbon to be used, a 27.2 seat tube designed for a non-setback post, Syntace rear thru-axle, and internal cable routing for a super clean look with double or single chainring drivetrains with cables or wires.

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The Unbeaten Path should go on sale this summer for $2,900 for a frame and 3T fork. As for the color options, you can actually help choose by visiting the Open Cycles website and leaving a comment. We vote for orange!

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