Limited Edition OPEN x Rene Herse
If you like the not so standard bike stuff, you probably know Bicycle Quarterly. Great travel stories, tests of products you don't find elsewhere, all the weird things that make this sport so great. It was via Bicycle Quarterly that I got to know its editor, Jan Heine.
But more than "just" a magazine editor, Jan also likes to design and produce bike parts. The most well-known of them are probably the tires. First known as Compass, but since quite a few years they are Rene Herse.
Now, there are many tires in this world designed for gravel, but what I like about Rene Herse is that they have a wide range of tires with no or very little profile. Of course in some situations you need knobs, but in many situations you don't. In particular where I live, riding gravel means switching between gravel, pavement and dirt all the time, and slick tires just ride so much nicer on the pavement while the volume of the tire is enough to provide grip on the other surfaces (unless it gets super muddy of course).
On the flip side, at Rene Herse they love the aesthetic and ride of OPEN's bikes. Jan's all-time favorite is our superlight U.P.P.E.R., so it was only natural that at some point somebody would suggest to do something together. In fact the idea was floated quite a while ago, but as it goes with small, busy companies, sometimes these ideas take time to actually get executed.
So here we are, with Rene Herse's version of the OPEN U.P.P.E.R. As Jan says: "The OPEN × Rene Herse U.P.P.E.R. takes its inspiration from mid-century Rene Herse bikes and reinterprets the aesthetic for today's shapes and materials. Designed by Tokyo's award-winning design studio There There, the color is inspired by the classic 'Rene Herse Blue,' now in a matte finish to reflect the properties of carbon as a frame material. The insides of rear triangle and fork blades are painted midnight blue, making the bike look slim and fast. Our signature multi-colored rings on the head tube and fork blade, plus the OPEN logo on the seat tube, complement the classic Rene Herse logo on the down tube."
The prototype OPEN × Rene Herse U.P.P.E.R. you see in the photos is Jan's personal bike. Fresh from the photoshoot, he's already enjoyed it on some big rides. He can't wait to take it on epic adventures in the Cascade Mountains (and in his case, with their knobby tires :-).