Have you ever thought about creating and customizing That One Special Bike?
I have spent the last couple of months thinking about That One Special Bike. A bike that has the ability to do exactly what, I want from a bike.
I have been riding on dirt, trails, gravel and roads since the 90s. Now working in the bike industry, and having the chance to put together that bike, I had a few thoughts before I pushed the button. The bike that I imagined, had to have the following qualities.
- Fast and at the same time with no compromise on agility and handling.
- Comfortable enough for endless hours of riding all year long.
- Suited for long stretches of gravel and at the same time excellent in cornering and conquering the small narrow trails that I like to mix in on my rides
- Light AF
Besides all functionalities, it was a priority to create a bike that visually was something special and wasn't the standard "safe option"
The choice was an OPEN U.P. - There were other possibilities out there, but after conferring with my Partner Ulle, who has owned not less than three OPEN bikes. And apparently, there is a reason for him coming back to the OPEN family again and again
The Paint Job: In close collaboration with Jesper from JH Design, who is without a doubt the most skilled bike painter in DK, we have put together a little masterpiece of a bike. It demanded a lot from Jesper to understand the picture/and design envisioned in my head. But as you can see from the pictures, Jesper is extremely skilled and clever in understanding the thoughts and ideas of his customers. Kudos to Jesper!
Getting the frame back was Christmas, coming early this year. Paint job done, and he nailed it.
The Mechanic: Assembling the bike, we usually turn to our local and skilled mechanic Jacob at Rule No. 4. He is one of the best at his game! Go say “hi” to Jacob at Ordrupvej. That week, where help was needed, Jacob was off to the CX World Cup in Namur with the National Team, where he has been the trusted mechanic the last couple of years.
Eager to get the bike rolling, I took my bike to one of my friends, Christian Moore, who owns The Bike Mechanic in Bagsværd. Christians "mechanic Palmares" tells a story about another very skilled mechanic. He has traveled the Pro Cycling Scene for years with BMC and turned bolts and screws on bikes for the likes of Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd and Gilbert. After finishing his gig in the Pro Ranks, Christian became kind of a first mover in 2014, when he opened The Mussette in Malmø. An ever so cool bike shop with Cafe, shop, mechanics and a Sh.. load of underground CX races. Yep, it was before anyone thought of gravel. Kudos to all the work done Christian! Christian did his thing on the brand-new OPEN U.P the same day I brought it in.
The Ride: As this blog post is being written, I have been dialing in the bike over the last couple of weeks. It is truly an insane fast and well handling bike that has been tested hard on our Wednesday gravel rides in the dark. I have tested it on small and fast technical circuits and also squeezed in a +5 hours ride.
The cornering and quick response is up there with the cross bikes I have owned throughout the years. I am pretty sure, I will take on some CX racing at some point on this machine. On longer rides it outperforms my previous bikes by lengths. It is truly comfortable, but still with the feel of being an aggressive bike, that runs fast on all surfaces. The versatility of this bike is properly where it shines the most. Of course my setup with ENVE SES 3.4 Wheels, ENVE cockpit, The sublime GRX Di2 group set all play in, making this a dream machine.
On the Road: My Road bike these days, is a Cannondale Caad 5, Cipollini/Saeco Edition aluminium frame with zero to none comfort. Therefore, I have the intention to make this OPEN my GRoad bike this spring. I believe it will be a great road bike, and when not doing road races anymore, I don't need those marginal gains;-) With some small changes like 2x crankset and some 30mm rubber I think it will be a great ride - But hey, come and ask when spring hits.
You are also more than welcome to stop by the shop and take this one for a test ride.
OPEN U.P Large Custom Paint
Shimano GRX DI2
Easton EA90 Crankset/Garbaruk 44t Chainring
ENVE SES 3.4 Wheelset
ENVE AR 42.mm Handlebar
ENVE 120.mm Stem
XTR Shimano Pedals
ENVE Handlebar Tape
Pirelli Cinturato H Tires