Since 2015 OPEN have pioneered a very interesting new sector with their U.P. and U.P.P.E.R. - bikes with road geometry and speed that can also handle some decent off-road action.
The newly unveiled WI.DE. takes this approach still further, moving along the scale deeper into adventure territory with the ability to take up to 2.4in wide tyres and a slightly more relaxed riding position, but with the geometry tweaked to maintain a fast, nimble feel on the trail. Like the U.P. it runs standard road cranks, giving you plenty of gears for those road sectors, but the WI.DE. is 1x drivetrain compatible only.
At a glance the new bike might look quite similar to the U.P. and they certainly have a lot in common. But most notably the WI.DE. features dropped chainstays on both sides - in order to accomodate those wider tyres - and this means that OPEN have been able to build a chunky box-section monostay behind the bottom bracket to give some serious stiffness.
The WI.DE. is an addition to the OPEN range, and will sit alongside the U.P. and U.P.P.E.R.
How much of a market is there for a niche within a niche? We're not sure, but the sheer versatility of the U.P. means that it's likely to remain our top seller. For those who want that extra bit of off-road capability though, and don't mind sacrificing a little road performance, the WI.DE. makes for a very interesting choice. We think it will particularly appeal to bikepackers and those targetting fast endurance events like the Dirty Kanza.
The WI.DE. is positively bristling with mounting points, with provision for a top tube bag, an under-frame toolbox mount and 3x bottle mounts.
Like the U.P. there are no standard mudguard mounting points (although clip on options are always available) but the WI.DE. has a proprietary integrated mounting system that OPEN are calling "De-Fender" (see what they did there?) and we're promised more details on these new tailored mudguards later in the year.
They've also added an XS size to the range, again in response to customer feedback, and that makes the WI.DE. especially interesting for shorter riders, as one of the most compact gravel/adventure frames available.
Our first question on hearing about the new model, and the question we expect to be asked most often, was "how does the WI.DE. differ from the U.P.?". So, let's break it down:
- The WI.DE. will accept tyres up to 2.4in wide in 27.5in. That's wider than I usually run on my XC mountain bike! It'll also take up to 46mm wide 700c tyres. The U.P. will 'only' accept up to 2.1in wide tyres in 27.5, and 40mm in 700c.
- The WI.DE. is 1x only, there is no provision for a front derailleur. The U.P. can happily run 1x or 2x drivetrains.
- The WI.DE. has a slightly more upright riding position, with a taller head tube, whilst the U.P. has closer to a traditional road bike position.
- Both chainstays are "dropped" on the WI.DE. to allow for that even greater tyre clearance. On the U.P. only the drive-side is dropped to give crank and tyre clearance.
- The U.P. doesn't have mudguard mounts built in, although you can of course use clip-ons. But the WI.DE. uses OPEN's new "De-Fender" mudguard system which they say will allow easy and super clean mounting of their own mudguards. More info on those is promised soon!
And if that still leaves you puzzled, here's Gerard with a brief overview:
The new bike will be available later in June, and as always we can custom build a complete bike to your personal spec and budget, or supply the frameset on it's own.
We already have all the geometry details for the new frame. So if you've had a recent bike fit with us we can advise on sizing, and if not then we can book you in for a new fit and accurately gauge your requirements if you wish to pre-order.
UK pricing is still to be confirmed, but the retail price for the frameset has been announced as $3200/€3200, so we won't be too surprised if it works out around £3200.
Meanwhile, for more info, get in touch
Frameset Price: (Euro) €3,200 / UK price
Frame-only weight, size M: 1,040g (±3%)
Fork-only weight: 390g (±3%)
Sizes available: XS/S/M/L/XL
Colour: Grey matte/gloss mix (also available to order in a Ready-to-paint option)
Included with frameset: Headset, seat tube collar, thru-axles, 2 Rear Derailleur hangers, 3 MultiStops (1x, Di2, eTap), cable exit stop, noise-reduction foam sleeves, bottle cage bolts, owner's manual.
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