A bike so good, the owner took a 2600km round trip to buy it
Patrick wanted to build the ultimate all-road bike.
After doing some research, he came across Open, and discovered we were one of the dealers**. Even though he lives in NSW, Patrick was more than happy to allow us to design and build his new machine.
He had very specific requirements regarding the gearing range. The bike also not only needed to work off-road but also perform like a road bike when called for.
He then left the rest up to our expertise *flexes fingers* in making his dream bike come to life.
We started with the Open U.P. frame because 1) it was the frame Patrick wanted and 2) why wouldn't you use the absolute best gravel frame available?
The gear range took a lot of thought.
Because the U.P. is a drop-bar bike, trying to incorporate a traditional mountain bike drive train would be almost impossible. There are many third-party component makers who produce parts to try to create a hybrid drive train but we're always very reluctant to go down that path; they almost never work as perfectly or as reliably as we'd like, and when we're talking about a bike of this calibre, anything less than perfect is simply unacceptable.
When we initially discussed with Patrick the idea of using a wireless hybrid system, SRAM's AXS groupsets had been released but the sale of individual components was prohibited.
So we simply had to wait.......
(At this point, we would like to say thanks to Patrick for his unbelievable patience with us -- and SRAM. Although he desperately wanted his new bike, he understood that what we would ultimately build would be far better than anything we could cobble together using a mechanical or Di2 system, so he was willing to wait with us. Thank you so much, Patrick!)
The end result was a hybrid system using SRAM Red AXS shift/brake levers with an XX1 Eagle AXS rear derailleur. This enabled us to use the massive range offered by the SRAM Eagle 12-speed cassette which, when mated with a 34T chain ring, gave Patrick the gear range he needed.
The reason for not using an AXS-specific crankset is because SRAM simply don't make a 34T option for road bikes. Although we could have technically used an MTB crankset, it would have led to many other issues which we weren't willing to accept.
How do you complement a gravel hyper-bike? With a Tune wheelset, which offers incredible performance.
The wheels were matched with Panaracer Gravel King tubeless tyres, which roll quickly but still offer a high level of off-road grip.
The handlebars, stem and seat post are Syntace, due to their ergonomics (in regards to the bars) and their excellent quality, a brilliant choice for a bike like this.
Patrick had used many different saddles in the past and found that SMP worked well for him, so that's what the U.P. was given. (As many riders know, once you've found your perfect saddle, you don't mess with it.)
The final touch was to find a tape to match the frame colour, and Fizik delivered.
All custom bikes are special, but because of the difficulty with the initial design requirements plus the unexpected (and very extended) delay in component availability, Patrick's Open U.P. was a truly exceptional project.
Want your own custom exceptional project bike? Get in touch.
** Please note: as of September 2022, BMCR is no longer a dealer for Open Cycles.