About OPEN and our Story.

Photography: @marcgaschphotography

About Us.

At OPEN, our motto is working hard to stay small. Weve done the big company thing, and it was time for something different. 

So we design the bikes we want to ride ourselves, we produce them, sell them to like-minded people and that's it. 

Staying small forces us to focus on what matters: Product development, taking care of customers (shops and consumers), and not much else. No sponsorships, no marketing, no flashy offices; we simply don’t have the time for any of that.

So if you like the simplicity of nice bikes, nice rides, nice company and nothing else, join us at OPEN. 


Andy & Gerard

OPEN Co-Founder Andy Kessler

About Andy.

Cycling was always in my life but it was more about getting to school and around town rather than as a sports tool.

What brought me into the sport of cycling and into the cycling business was literally an accident (or better two). I was obsessed about volleyball but when I was 18 years old I had several injuries that forced me to stop playing. And that’s how I got into mountain bike racing. 

A few years later, I was studying at university and needed money. Looking for a job, I saw an ad from Cannondale Switzerland looking for a full-time secretary. As I was racing on a Cannondale and I loved the brand, I called them to say that I am not a secretary and cannot work full-time, but I would love to work for them.

Soon I started to work for them as a part-time secretary. As the business was growing rapidly we hired finally a real secretary and I started to work as a sales rep. When I finished my studies, I moved to the Netherlands to work full-time for Cannondale Europe. After that I worked for Scott Europe for four years, in both sales and marketing positions.

My real cycling adventure started in 2001 when I became the CEO of BMC. I took that job without even seeing the company and the people. On my first real working day I realized it was a complete mess. Revenue was USD 2.5 Million, losses were roughly the same…

But on the other hand, it meant I could build up a brand from scratch with all the freedom that I needed. After seven years of growing BMC from a small Swiss company to an international player, I started to realize that it was slowly becoming more like a job for me rather than a mission.

It became political, administrative and slow… I had to make a cut and let my baby go. It was a year full of changes both in business and my private life, which back then was quite tough. Looking at it right now, it was one of the best years in my life.

I learned more about myself and where I wanted to go than in all the rest of my life. After just riding my bike for a couple of months in a couple of exotic places in this world I started to work for Cervélo as their international sales director and that’s how I met Gerard.

After four years at Cervélo, I just felt I had to make a change again. I decided to leave the company not knowing what to do next.

I worked on some projects for other bike companies when one day my “former boss” Gerard called to tell me about his little new project.

I still had this dream of building up my own company one day.

Gerard is somebody I have great respect for. We have completely different skill sets but put together it works amazingly well, and that’s what fascinated me most about doing something together. 

We are both very passionate about what we do and cycling is an integral part of our lives. With OPEN we can realize our visions without any of the compromises we had in our previous adventures.

OPEN Co-Founder Gerard Vroomen

About Gerard.

As a kid growing up in the Netherlands, riding a bike was a given. Living next to the Dutch Grand Prix moto-cross track, we rode there and fixed up our bikes all the time (kids bikes dont like jumps).

When I was 14, the whole family went to an alternative lifestyle/renewable energy event. Most of it was about growing your own carrots and building windmills, but there was also a display from the Dutch Human Powered Vehicle Association. I loved these rockets that could go so much faster than normal bikes and I met Mike Burrows (big HPV guy and later also the designer of the Lotus superbike).

At 18, we built the world’s lowest (and quite possibly most dangerous) HPV with a group of friends. Anything for less front al area and better aerodynamics!

We even participated in the 200m sprint at the European HPV Championships. Deciding who would ride was easy; only one of us dared to. He finished 11th. Not bad considering he didn’t pedal the last 100m, too busy struggling to stay upright.

In 1993 I organized a symposium and a contest for the „365-days-a-year bike“. We got some coverage on CNN and I met Chet Kyle, who was the founder of the International HPV Association but also the designer of the 1988 and 1996 US Olympic bikes.

Chet was amazing and the designs so cool that it rekindled my interest for UCI legal bikes. It also sparked my mechanical engineering graduation project, the design of an aerodynamic time trial bicycle (the Baracchi “green machine”).

Which in turn led to the creation of Cervélo, where Phil White and I spent the better part of the next 15 years with a fantastic team of very enthusiastic people pushing bike design as far as we could. It was a crazy time in bike design and company building, figuring everything out along the way. 

In 2011, Cervélo’s achievements had gone way past my wildest dreams, selling 30,000 bikes per year. Even unrealistic dreams like victories at Ironman Hawaii, Tour de France, Worlds, Olympics and most of the classics were fulfilled. We even had our own pro cycling team (Cervélo TestTeam), but it all got too big for my liking.

So after a lot of soul-searching, I left. After a bit more, Andy and I started OPEN. I have never regretted it for a moment.

Discussing the future of the bike industry

Our latest events.