As you probably know, we try to keep things simple at OPEN. Extremely simple. "Working hard to stay small". At the same time, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to experience riding one of our bikes. Those two goals sometimes clash.
When we started out, we offered some complete bikes in addition to our framesets. The complete bikes were popular, but also a hassle. So as we grew and needed a simplification to stay small, we tossed the complete bike offerings.
Sanity restored, but as it turns out, we also took something away that many people liked. There is a large group of our customers who love piecing together their next bike one part at a time, agonizing over every detail. We know, because many of you email us for advice on such matters.
Yet there are also a lot customers who ask us one simple question: "What spec should I get?" Although our Bike Of The Month shows our preferences every month (what's in a name?), that also means there are in the end too many suggestions for some. "Just tell me what I need".
With the UP and UPPER, that is difficult to do as there are so many options. The WIDE also has a lot of options, but in the end the usual WIDE customer is more narrowly defined. That makes it easier to propose "the one spec to rule them all" (with of course "one ring to rule them all" for those of you who are into Lord of the Rings references). Drumroll please!
So Andy and I sat down and drew up our go-to spec for the WIDE. It went something like this:
- The drivetrain has to be a Force/Eagle AXS combo. The maximum range with a 10-50 cassette is perfect for all the crazy trails you can take the WIDE onto, and the Force parts are very close to their Red siblings and a fair chunk less expensive. Some of you may know that I actually prefer the 11-50 cassette, I do. But for the most extreme rides, that extra bit of range is nice for the WIDE. I wouldn't put the 10-50 on an UP or UPPER, there I would go for that 11-50 or an 11-46 (from Rotor).
- For the wheels, DT just launched some new wheel sets and they are nice. Equally important, they are Swiss, just like Andy and Basler Läckerli. While the latter is irrelevant in this case (they are delicious though), Andy's say is crucial. More important than mine actually. First of all, he rides in terrain perfect for the WIDE every day, some of the trails around Basel are made for the biggest possible tires. Secondly, I get to spec a lot of bikes, so for this one, Andy had free rein.
- Same goes for the cockpit parts. Stem, handlebar and seatpost all come from Easton. Nice parts, reasonably priced and not unimportant, the grey graphics match the frame perfectly. Standard road drop, just the way Andy likes it (and actually so do I, it's either a clean road drop or a double bend flare, just not a fixed flare for me).
- Then maybe the most important part: tires! Lots of options here, but we like to build the WIDE into the most capable off-road machine while rolling well on smooth surfaces too. So we went all-out with the Schwalbe Rock Razor 2.35". Especially with winter coming in many places, this is a grippy tire. You can also tone it down a bit with a Schwalbe G-One Allround (the new 2.25" is brilliant and wider than expected), maybe the ideal "summer tire".
You may wonder, how about rides that are smoother and maybe even see significant sections of asphalt? Just yesterday Zap Espinoza, the editor of Road Bike Action, emails me: "I did 100 miles on the WI.DE. this weekend. It's really a much better road bike than you think!". So I write back that I like the WI.DE. as a road bike, in particular with one of those new 35mm road tires, but if he rode 28mm tires that's OK too. And he responds he's been on the Rock Razors the whole time.
Of course, if you know you're going to do just road, you can put a skinnier tire on and maybe even a deeper section 700c wheel. But if your rides mix on- and off-road, just ride the big tires and enjoy.
You may wonder why we went through this exercise? Well, because we have decided to make life easier for those who want our favorite spec (and a little more difficult for ourselves). So we will offer the WI.DE. also as a complete bike with this WI.DE. RANGE spec. I'm quite excited about it as I know there are people who have been waiting for this, who simply don't want the hassle of piecing together an OPEN. I get that, I'm the same way with many things (not with bikes, but I'm sure you understand).
How about simplifying life for ourselves? We've made improvements elsewhere in our operations, with more coming, so we can deal with a little added complexity now. Furthermore, this one complete build may actually save us time, as we don't need to recommend this build to people individually via email anymore. Time will tell.
To order, you can contact any of our retailers
or check our online store
Full spec list and full gallery below: