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So far it’s a solo ride.

Bike of the Week: A Climber's All-Terrain Open

Derek Yarra |

There are so many things we love about the Open gravel bikes. Their clean lines, scant weight, ample tire clearance... but if we had to name a single trait to pick as our favorite, it'd have to be their unmatched versatility. Take a look through our catalog of past builds, and you'll see we've built them every way imaginable. From ultra light gravel racers to full on mini mountain bikes, even bomber flat bar commuters too, there's really no limit to what you can do with them.

For this project, the task at hand was to build a light yet capable bike–spending most of its time on the road, with the ability to run bigger rubber for occasional excursions into the woods and onto dirt paths. The result is the all black U.P.P.E.R. you see here.  

Clean, light, and understated, the Open U.P.P.E.R. was the perfect platform to build this project around. These frames check in at under 900g, which is respectable for any bike, but add in the fact that they can clear massive dirt tires and are built to withstand off-road abuse, and that low weight is all the more impressive.

open upper dura ace frame details

Enve components make a prominent appearance on this build. The cockpit is made up of a 110mm classic carbon stem and a 42cm compact road bar. They're wrapped up in Fizik Vento tacky tape.  At the rear is an Enve setback post, which holds a carbon railed Prologo Nago Evo saddle. 

Open upper cockpit enve

The Enve party continues on to the wheels. We laced a pair of de-badged G23 rims to a set of Chris King R45 hubs. The G23 is the lightest 700c clincher rim in Enve's portfolio.  The weight alone made them a stand out choice, but their wide profile and gravel approved durability made them the perfect hoops for this build.

For now, the tires are a pair Schwalbe Pro Ones. Fast and supple for excellent performance on the road, but at 28c and set up tubeless, they're confident climbing up the dirt. 

open upper enve wheels

The drivetrain is full Shimano. Dura-Ace Di2 to be exact. The cranks have 170mm arms paired with 50/34t rings. At the back, the 9150 derailleur shifts across a 11-30t cassette. Tucked between the crank arms lies a Ceramicspeed coated bottom bracket. To match, the rear derailleur houses a set of titanium coated pulley wheels.

Open upper dura ace shimano drivetrain

Some of the final finishing bits are the Arundel Mandible bottle cages and Dura-Ace road pedals. Little things, but essentials that make the bike complete.

Open UPPER bottle cage pedals

Clean and mean, this bike met the challenge admirably, coming in at 15.3 lbs as you see it here. A resulting package that is equally light as it is capable, this Open U.P.P.E.R. is ready to take on and adapt to any adventure it faces. In this day and age, it's pretty incredible how performance and versatility can converge with seemingly no compromise. If you've been seeking out a secret weapon of a bike like this for yourself, always feel welcome to give us a shout. 

open upper rear angle

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