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Bike of the Week: Red, U.P. and Blue

by Above Category Collaborator |  | 2 comments

This weeks BOTW  is a little different from the others as this one is not heading anywhere after this post.  It’s actually our size small OPEN U.P. rental bike.  The reason it made it to the page is because we take as much pride in the bikes that we put on our rental fleet as we do any of the bikes we put out.  We will also be launching a new, Above Category exclusive paint scheme for the OPEN that we designed with the painters extraordinaire in Toronto, Canada and it’s going to pretty much look like this, only available in any color combination that you can think of.  But, more on that program in the new year.  For now, we’ll talk you through this particular bike, and if you are in town you can come in and ride it!  Not too many BOTW’s that you can do that with.


To get the party started, let's focus our attention on the handy work of our friends at Velocolor. We've worked with the Canada based paint shop for some time now and truly trust their attention to detail. The design was initially inspired by the Swiss flag, as can be seen in the bright red and crisp white combination. However, wanting to expand on the details with some sparkly blue piping, the aesthetic shifted to a more American patriotic feel.


For the drivetrain, you'll see the rather familiar Sram Force 1 kit. Simple, reliable, and easy to work with. All ideal things on a gravel bike.


The cockpit is a full Zipp Service Course SL set up. For grip, we had to go for the brand new Fizik Vento Microtex. The tacky surface is great for keeping a hold on bumpy trails and the red was a perfect fit for the bike. Out back, we mounted a custom Busyman covered Fizik Antares.


The 27.5" wheels were custom built just for this bike. Keeping the red, white, and blue theme alive, we started with a set of blue Chris King ISO hubs and laced them up with silver Sapim CX-Rays and Red nipples.  While black spokes have turned into the norm, we feel that when using colored hubs the silver spokes help them stand out a bit more. The rims are our shop favorite HED Belgiums. Having spent some good time on the Vittoria Terreno Dry tires, we wanted to test out the Terreno Zeros. We've come to find at the big volumes, a minimal tread can go a long way and at 47c, this semi slick has the makings of being a great performer.


Simplicity can go a long way in personalizing a bicycle. A well-executed paint job and just the right details sprinkled throughout the build to tie it all together can really make the difference in elevating something from stock to stunning. We've got a lot of experience customizing the Open platform, so if you've been dreaming of a special gravel rig of your own, give us a shout and we’ll have some fun!


If you’ve got any inquiries about starting a custom bike process of your own, drop us a line.

Email us with any questions.

Comments (2)

  • Above Category on December 12, 2018

    Hi Tim, you’ve got many questions here so I’ll break it down and answer them individually.

    This particular bike does not have a power drive train. If I’m not mistaken, I believe you are referencing to power meter cranks we often spec on out bikes. They do not act like an ‘e’ engine, but simply collect data on how much force a rider is transmitting while pedaling, and sends that data to a cycling computer like a Garmin or Wahoo. Many brands offer them, including Sram.

    Any bike we offer can be outfitted with Di2, and any bike designed for disc brakes can have a hydraulic system.

    The Open U.P. is indeed designed for cables to be routed internally.

    We can spec any bicycle with tubeless tires.

    They can be customized with a front suspension fork. We have built a few using the Lauf fork and it has worked out well. There are seat posts available with a small amount of suspension in them but we typically don’t recommend them.

    With Di2 it is possible to mount additional shift buttons to the top of the handlebar.

    Thanks for the questions and if you’d like to talk further about getting a bike going feel free to reach out at info@abovecategorycycling.com

  • tim on December 12, 2018

    Hi, What does the power drive train do? Does it act like an ‘e’ bike engine ? Is this SRAM? does is come with UltegraDi2? Full hydraulics? inner tube wiring? tubeless tires? Any way to customize with front shock on stem? shock in seat post? Any way to place gear buttons on front / top of bar? Whats better SRAM or UltegraDi2? thanks…

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