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Above Category Cycling
When OPEN heralded its arrival with a superlight hardtail, the ONE, in 2012, the bike world (mostly) yawned. Then, when the UP all-road bike arrived in 2015, a shift happened. The upstart brand, brainchild of two industry veterans, helped completely change the way the industry thought about road bikes, with wide tires, disc brakes, and thru-axles suddenly becoming normal. The UP is still one of the most versatile gravel, adventure, or even road platforms available today, capable of tackling an extreme swath of terrain and events, and its ultralight UPPER sibling ups the ante in the performance arena. Born in Switzerland, Open Cycle is the collaboration of former BMC general manager Andy Kessler and Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen. Born out of a desire to simplify, Open's disruptive designs continue to shift perceptions on what bikes are capable of and where they can take the rider, with the award-winning UP setting the bar to which all other "mixed-surface" bikes are measured. Open’s small size, lean methodology, and innovative mindset allows it to pivot on a dime, with many prescient concepts arriving before their time, like disc brakes on drop-bar bikes, and manipulating carbon tube shapes to make their extreme ideas geometrically possible.