Whatever the marketing nomenclature, road bikes on dirt are fun. This is a Vine of the Open Cycles U.P. we’ve got in on demo. It’s also the focus of an article in issue 38 of our magazine, dropping very soon. GravelPlus is a gravel grinder that can run 650b to 700c tires. Here’s how Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen define it.
Andy and I are very excited to introduce the U.P. (Unbeaten Path) today. It is our new GravelPlus frame, a gravel grinder without limits. Ideal to go off the beaten path, from exploring a few gravel or dirt paths during your local ride to taking “the road never traveled”.
For me personally, this is probably my favorite frame ever, because it best reflects how I most like to ride. Asphalt is great to get you to the places where the real fun happens, and that is on gravel and dirt, away from cars and other fun-crushing obstacles. Over the past years, it’s been hard to miss that many people feel this way, witnessing the emergence of gravel rides and other adventurous styles of riding. So we hope the U.P. will be as exciting for you as it is for us, and if not, at least I’ve got my favorite bike now!
U.P.’s geometry is performance-oriented, so closer to a cross/road position than a mountain bike position. Combined with clearance to fit mountain bike and road/cross cranks, this gives you a comfortable and efficient position to far and fast on any terrain.
U.P. also fits the widest range of tires – even mountain bike tires – so not even the toughest conditions can stop you. We’ve placed a great emphasis on compatibility for U.P. The rear axle is 142×12 thru-axle so you can fit your 29er and 650b mountain bike wheels. The BB standard is BB386 EVO so you can fit virtually any crank you desire (rather important since the frame is meant to accept both mountain and cross/road cranks). Headset, seatpost, everywhere we’ve gone with the most common standards as long as they made sense.
When running 650bs and 2.1 tires on, I call it a dropbar mountain bike, or pretty much what Tomac was racing, back in the day. The U.P and the 3T Exploro are where the innovation is in the bike industry; the equivalent, of say what Aero road was 5 years ago. You know, when Gerard was at Cervelo.