How good is the Open gravel bike as a Road bike?

I got a few questions on my OPEN U.P. build videos about how it rides as a Road bike, and now that I have put some distance in on my new road tires I thought I’d answer that question with this video.
Obviously, this is my personal opinion, so I’m definitely interested in hearing what other OPEN U.P. owners think. I also compare the Geometry to my previous full on “road” bikes to see what actual differences are.

To clarify my conclusion:
While there are a few compromises that you can’t avoid comparing it with a full-on race machine. I think this Open, in particular, is an excellent candidate as a “one bike” solution. To me It’s light enough (7.7kg as built in the video, size L ), it’s stiff enough for the type of riding I do on the road which is long rides with lots of climbing and descending. (No sprinting what so ever)
Take a look in the comments as well as there are lots of excellent opinions from other Open U.P. Owners.

Related Videos:
== Project OPEN Build Series ==

== Schwalbe Pro One Tubless setup ==

== Open U.P. Geometry chart all sizes ==

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Thank you! 🙏

#openup #roadbike


MontanaFly &Wheel says:

Thanks again for another great, informative, fun and funny video!

Jared Aquilina says:

Hey, is the wheel swap an easy plug and play. I am looking to get a second set of wheels for road use & was wondering if I need to be mindful of hub size, rotor spacing etc..

Matt Lawson says:

New channel fan here 🙂 I live in kamiyama, Tokushima and own a gravel bike which allows me to handle any of the crazy mountain roads, hiking trails, and dirt roads.
Please come to Kamiyama and I will show you some incredible fun rides!. 20km to 100km rides and I own a healthy foods cafe so we can eat like champs! 🙂

Rich Fleeson says:

Great music. Great shaved legs! Lmao

Kari Kepala Gajah says:

Your bike measures looks close to mine. Im 6 foot tall 85kg dude. Seat height at 75cm. Whats yours?.. but i guess our leg inseam arnt the same :p

Scott Hudson says:

How’s that bike in the snow? I am thinking some stubby 2.1s with studs will plow through most snow on fairly well used trails and roads…. Ohh jeez I still have to wait a week for it to arrive from Toronto. Love the vid!

James Hooker says:

Awesome comparison…thanks!!!

Richard M says:

Hi, I have just come across your channel. Great video with good insight into a gravel bike. I have an aluminium road bike and I regret getting that over the carbon as it beats you up after about 20 miles of riding. Although, I didn’t try the carbon version, I’m sure it would have been a bit more forgiving on rough road.

Anyway, I am interested in getting a gravel bike. I thought about the Bokeh aluminium but was put off by the material. The Ti version is out of my budget. There is a new gravel bike on the scene. It’s called the Fairlight Secan by Fairlight Cycles, another small UK bike company making three different frames. It’s steel, so it will be heavier, but it’s gotten a good review in I am seriously considering this frame. I won’t be using it for fast climbing, but for on/off road and simply enjoying the ride.

Keep up the good videos!

Paddyhudson says:

My biggest issue running my 1X gravel bike as a road bike was the SRAM 11-42 cassette, which i love for gravel, but didn’t enjoy on the road. The wide gear spreads don’t matter as much on gravel surfaces where sudden hills emerge out of nowhere, in fact a big jump to an easier gear can be beneficial in that case. On the road however, the big jumps really did make me feel like i just couldn’t find that proper gear for the situation at times, particularly when switching from a flat to a very minor incline or decline. I know this problem could perhaps be fixed by switching to one of the cassettes with less gear range but there are plenty of times when you need that whole range and I don’t know if i could sacrifice the top end bail-out gears. I agree that a gravel bike can be a fine road bike when it has to be but to me it felt more like an imitator and left me wanting more. Now, after this year of riding gravel trails and experimenting with road wheels, i’ve been reminded of how much I enjoy road riding and I just can’t stop scouting for a new dedicated road bike to add to the garage next spring.

Treadlight_District says:

Take that GCN

james owen says:

What is the weight difference between the bikes?
My gravel bike is no lightweight race bike, but its only a couple of pounds heavier than one, which is acceptable I think for the versatility it gives me.

Michele Trasforini says:

Hey, just 2 questions: what’s your height and what’s your inseam length? What camera do you use to film your videos? Sony a6500?

Mitsuru Obata says:


cni2i says:

My UP rides great on the pavement…BUT compared to my SWTarmac, it just isn’t as snappy or lively. This is especially true and accelerating up a steeper section of a hill climb (lets say 9% +). Also, when descending tight switchbacks, I just feel more confident and assured on my Tarmac. The steering just seems tighter and more responsive. I’ve set up the reach and saddle height and stack height pretty much the same on both bikes. However, main difference would be that I’m running 700×40 (Enve 4.5 AR with I9 hubs) on the UP and 700×26 (Enve 3.4 with CKr45) on my Tarmac. I haven’t tried road specific tires on my UP yet. I am sure it would make a big difference and could negate some of the things I said above in terms of riding dynamics and feel. The other big difference of course is that I am using rim brakes on the Tarmac and the Disc brakes on the UP. Finally, I have the 1x setup on the UP (42 with 10-42) and the 2x setup on the Tarmac (52-36 with 11-28). Since I love riding on gravel, I’d choose the UP IF I could have only one bike. But for logging in lots of fast miles and elevation on the road, I’d prefer to take out my Tarmac.

Korup7ion says:

am i the only one that doesn’t wear all the lycra stuff for road biking?

Rizky Primayandhi says:

Hi, lately im so interesting with some bicycle youtube channel, especially about gravel bike. And than it make me want to build one’s. Can you tell me what frames is good for the beginners?

Seb Stefan says:

I have a gravel bike and a road bike. I recently fitted road tires on my gravel one and it’s more agile but still it cannot compete with my road bike in any way

Andy Heilmann says:

That is a very beautiful sock drawer

JManuel U. says:

Mi orbea Terra mejora mucho los descensos respecto a una bici de carretera pura.

FastFitnessTips: Cycling Science! says:

Brilliant video and love the comparative geometry analysis!

Aussie In Japan says:

Man your videos are becoming even more slick. Great ride, love that first long road through a village view from the drone.

Glad it didn’t get destroyed.

64kg!! I’m at 102.5kg do I have to work really hard up the hills, downhill not as much.

Andrew Larsen says:

I have slowly gotten rid of a few bikes. Giant Defy, Giant tcx ae now gone and have this set up with two sets of wheels. This was not the plan originally but once i started riding the Open the other bikes just hung in the garage untouched. No my big question is will it replace my 29er hardtail once i get some 650b wheels set up with mtn bike tires..

normie x says:

Those 11 speed cassettes look horrendous, not only do they spoil the entire look of the bike but they also ruin the video. 11 speed cassettes look like some part taken from a tractor, not a road bike !!

David G Perfectdaycalendar says:

Im now moving into a gravel ride as well, Hakka MX. In getting ready for that, sold a carbon 29er hardtail, two ccx bikes, one carbon, one aluminum. Next yr, after putting some long distances on the Hakka, probably sell my road bike. Plan to run Conti’s new GP5000 28mm on the Ibis D30 rims. Currently run 23mm GP 4000’s on my road bike.

TheWave251 says:

Damn…. N+1 problems….

Michele Trasforini says:

Awesome edit mate. Every time is better and I can tell you that I wait your new videos every week

David Gardiner says:

Would be interesting to see how the open compares to the Allied Alfa Allroad

51jjm says:

Great video. Thanks for making it. I’m not sure if this has been asked already; what is your 1 x 11? set-up/gearing for the road mode? (Front chainring size and sprocket sizes on your rear cluster.) Thanks again for all your entertaining and educational videos.

Joan Sheppard says:

Thanks for the review. Can I ask in relation to bike sizing how tall you are?

Brian Bowlin says:

I had very similar problems to you installing the Schwalbe Pro One 28c tires on my Synapse Hi-Mod w CZero wheels. The tires would not seal properly at first. Once I got past that, the ride was amazing! I loved it, ..until I road across the state I live in and got flat after flat, even with the Stans sealant. These tires are not rugged enough to handle even the smallest pebble in the road, and I had to replace them within a month. Once I switched to the Gavia AC 0 28c, I had no more problems with flats, none! But, the AC 0 in the 28C measures out to 26mm, and isn’t as supple as the Schwalbe Pro One. I’ve love to go back to the Pro One once they get their problems sorted.

wmlarch says:

dude, nice vid, and nice bike! I have a Santa Cruz Stigmata, which also has road geo but equipped with 38mm Rambler tires, its a nice riding bike and great for going in gravel, but there is no comparison with my 15 pound Time road bike with lightweight tubular tires! its like comparing a Lambo with a 4 wheel drive …

TheGeoEngineer says:

I race my gravel bike on road. Love it.

mikieson says:

road,gravel,CX…really all the same enough to use as whatever you want. Dont let manufactures fool you.

Colin van Wijk says:

Hi Tobias, I was wondering of you could share your experience with the size of the bike? You run a large frame, what length are you? Also, I notice you combine the XT derailleur with the rest DuraAce equipment. Is there a reason you don’t use an XTR? (Maybe price). Thanks and keep up the videos, Colin

JAKEdotBIKE says:

I have a pretty large quiver of nice bikes–of those I ride on the road, my Time Scylon Aktiv and my Open U.P. are my favorites by far. And frankly, I have more fun on the Open than on any other bike I own. While I’m not sure that I could do without a proper mtb, if I only had one bike, it would be the U.P., with three wheelsets (slicks, 40mm gravel tires for gravel and mixed riding, and 2.1″ mtb tires for light trail riding). Great bike!

Ciclista Bizarro says:

I kind want to do the same with my Kona Rove NRB. Not sure how much speed I’m going to earn and how much comfort I’m going to loose. I just did my longest ride in the saddle last Sunday. 205km 1065mts altitude. Super comfy ride at 25.6km/h. It worth the money to try with 700c wheels? My bike 650b WTB horizon. Maybe change tires to ear I little bit more speed? What do you think?

Rick Studley says:

Just gave you a thumbs-up… Very nice video. I’ve been riding an Open U.P., I’m 180+ cm tall (weight withheld), and have size 46 dogs. I’m on a 56cm frame and (very unfortunately) I have some toe overlap, and (way frigging worse), the heel of my right Sidi shoe occasionally hits the fat little chain stay! Arrrrrrrgh. Okay, my partner says it’s the weirdness of my foot angle on the right side, but I have never had this problem with any other bike (Spec. Tarmac, Diverge, & Tricross, Trek Domane, Look 585, Serrotta HSG-IT, Fuji Altamira…). Most unfortunately, I like riding the U.P. more than any of the other bikes – so I’ll try the road pedals (Shimano) I’ve used on almost every other bike, instead of the Crank Bros Candys. I would have purchased a nice set of Hunt wheels for road riding, but I need to cure the heel strike before I throw the bike off the side of a mountain. (BTW, I’m not totally a bike hoarder — I donated the Look to an aspiring Somali cyclist, sold the Diverge to a friend, and I’m putting the hard-sell on another friend to buy the Tricross)

Boris Reznikov says:

Great videos! What do you call that rear fender attached to the seat of your orange Canyon? Would love to get one of those. Thanks!

uHntr says:

First video I‘ve watched on your channel – loved it, great editing! Keep up the good work!

roy iron hand says:

music title please

JKT adventures says:

I recently finished building my U.P. and I used your videos as my my build guide (very helpful). I’ve only gotten 2 rides on it so far but they are both road rides. I think it works well on the road. I’m currently on ENVE AR 4.5 wheels with 30c Schwalbe G One. I’m running a 2x compact Ultegra drivetrain and it totally felt like a proper road bike but nearly as punishing as my 2008 Cannondale SystemSix.

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