Like so many other products at the fall shows, the Open U.P. (Unbeaten Path) gravel/cyclocross bike was first shown at Sea Otter. Since then, it’s seen a few minor tweaks and headed into production. Claiming to be an all purpose bike capable of running wide gravel tires, aggressive CX tires and even mountain bike knobbies when fitted to a 650B wheelset, the lightweight frame aims to be your all-purpose drop bar bike…
The production bikes look virtually identical to the prototype shown at Sea Otter. The top-tube bento box mounts remain,
but the bright orange paint scheme unfortunately didn’t and the bright orange paint scheme is shipping now. This brown color will be available in limited quantities later this year.
The U.P. boasts clearance for 27.5 x 2.25, which they demonstrated here. That clearance comes with a caveat, though, that some tires may run wide for the stated size and not really be the best choice. Case in point: The Onza Canis, which barely has 1.5mm left between it and the chainstay.
Still, though, it’s impressive that they are able to make that fit. To do so, the bottom bracket is a very wide 386 EVO, and the driveside chainstay is dropped much lower than the non-drive side. That lets them keep it close in at the front to clear the chainrings and spread it out before it hits the tire. The layup was changed here a bit since they showed us the first ones to improve lateral stiffness.
Both sets of stays are flattened to provide vertical compliance. Those combine with a straight 27.2 seatpost to maximize the amount of bumps the bike can absorb. The dropout is a fine example of co-founder Gerard Vroomen’s engineering. Usually, thru axle systems add a bit of weight to a bike compared to QR, but they’re stiffer. Their solution was to build the derailleur hanger directly into the threading for the axle, which saves weight and looks impeccable. They recommend the Syntace X12 tooled thru axle, but any compatible thread pitch will work.
UPDATE: Frameset is $2,900, frame weight is 1,150g.