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From frameset to complete bike, here's a first look at the Open UP that we're currently testing

I introduced the Open UP to you the other week in this short video and since then I've rummaged around in the parts bin at the back of the office and got it built up and ready to ride. 

To recap on the short run-through in the video above, I've gone with a SRAM Rival 1x11 groupset, the same that I previously had on the Bowman Pilgrims. It's a good choice I reckon and fits the intended adventure/gravel riding nature of the UP, with plenty of clearance around the chainset for mud and the clutch-style rear mech doing a good job of keeping the chain from derailing on rough ground. The hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors fit on the frame and fork with no adapters which is nice. 

To start with I'm using the 3T C35 carbon wheels with Zipp 28mm slick tyres because I want to start this long-term test by seeing how it performs as a road bike. A big part of the appeal of these adventure bikes is the ability to have two, or even three, bikes in one, with just a change of tyres and/or wheels to transform it from being road to off-road capable. So slick tyres to start with, but I've got a new set of wide profile wheels coming from Spin Industries soon and some new Hutchinson gravel tyres that I'm going to sling on soon and take the UP off into the wilderness. Well, the local bridleways and woodland trails at least.

 

Got the OPEN UP built and ready to ride, quite please with how it's turned out

A post shared by David J Arthur (@davidjarthur) on

 

Other parts of notable interest include the new Bontrager IsoCore handlebar. It's a carbon construction with an elastomer material sandwiched in its layup, so should provide a bit of front-end vibration damping. I've ridden this handlebar on the new Domane SLR already and been impressed. Out back is a new carbon inline seatpost from Reilly Cycleworks, topped off with a tatty Fizik Arione saddle and matching bar tape. The white tape and saddle might get swapped for a more practical black saddle and tape before too long. Can't see the white staying pristine for long at all especially when I get it offroad. 

So there you have it. What else? Oh the weight, you probably want to know that. On the scales it comes in at 7.58 kg which is pretty impressive for the bike, despite Rival not being particularly light though the wheels do certainly help. 

Stay tuned for my next update when I'll let you know how it rides and what it's like with some knobbly tyres on. You can also follow my progress over on my Instagram page too. 

- 16 of the best 2017 gravel & adventure bikes — super-versatile bikes that are at home on lanes, potholed streets and dirt roads

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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unconstituted [2355 posts] 4 months ago
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Really want to see this bike set up as a full on fast-tourer to handle ultra-distance events (pretty much close to as set up right now) and as a full on cross bike. If I was to jump on this frame I'd want it to be both those bikes and be both those bikes brilliantly.