No matter the season, no matter the location, the gravel fever seems to know no end. This week, we're excited to feature a breathtaking Open U.P. The mission? To build a super fast all-terrain rig ready to take on the the mountainous backroads of the Colorado Front Range. We mixed things up with a unique approach to the build and a custom paint job that won't be missed. Read along as we divulge the details of this blue and green gravel machine.
While the Open UP is a frameset that needs no introduction, this particular specimen was custom painted in our signature AC Open paint layout. Our friends at Velocolour did yet another masterful job, this time using a deep metallic navy blue as the base with white panels and lime green accents. We love seeing how all the variations on this paint scheme come out.
The front control center is a Zipp carbon set up, featuring a SL-70 ergo bar and SL Speed stem. The bars not only have an incredibly comfortable shape, but nice amount of compliance in them as well. Great for off-road adventures. The stem is stiff, light, and its beefy shape pairs nicely with the larger carbon tubes of the frame... especially when it's painted to match. The 3mm Fizik Terra tape provides a little extra cushion and plenty of grip.
At the rear contact point, we went with the EE Silk seatpost. It's certainly got an intriguing look with its miniature linkage and elastomer system, but it provides a subtle 20mm cushion to take the edge off. While it might not seem like much, it's actually quite useful for maintaining a smoother cadence on rougher terrain and reducing fatigue over the course of a long ride.
The transmission and control system is all Sram Red AXS. A 2x system in this case, sporting the 10-33 cassette and a power meter crank with 44/33 chainrings. The Hydro levers are matched up to a 160mm rotor in the front and a 140mm at the rear.
Sometimes you pick the components purely for performance. Sometimes you pick for aesthetics. In the case of the Industry Nine Torch hubs, we had no issue doing both. Their universally praised quality and industry topping freehub engagement ensures no loss in power transfer, while the lime green anodization is a perfect match to the pinstriping on the frame. We laced them up (using Sapim CX-Rays, of course) to a set of HED Vanquish 4 rims, which we've found to be one of the best manufactured rims on the market. Wrapping the wheels up are set of Schwalbe G-One 35c tires.
Custom painted shades to match your bike? Why not, right? While the bike parts were out at paint, we snuck in a pair of Oakley Jawbreakers for Velocolour to do their magic on, really topping off this project.
You probably won't see another Open U.P. quite like this, with its custom paint and a thoroughly thought out build kit. We're proud to send this solid, fast, and beautiful bike out the door. Projects like this are what we live for, so if you've been dying to get a ride like this built up for yourself, don't hesitate to give us a call.