Road Cycling

From gravel origins to the pure open road: new OPEN MIN.D. bike –

The OPEN MIN.D. (Minimal Design) is the latest offering from OPEN, the bike brand from Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen.

Andy Kessler was formerly CEO of BMC, and was at Cervélo as its International Sales Director, where he met Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen.

The new OPEN MIN.D. bike aims to answer the question.. What do Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen want to ride? As Gerard Vroomen noted, “While we love pushing the envelope, we also love the classic bike aesthetic. In the MIN.D. both come together.”

A release from OPEN notes that… ‘It may appear odd that while the whole world seems to shift towards the performance gravel bike style pioneered by the original OPEN U.P., OPEN introduce a new road bike.’

Andy Kessler explained “The OPEN UP, UPPER and WIDE perform really well on paved roads in addition to their off-road pedigree, but there’s something special about a pure road bike. Obviously Gerard and I both have a road bike background while leading Cervélo and BMC, and that bug will stay with us forever.”

OPEN MIN.D. bike positioning:

  • A high performance road bike frame using OPEN’s ultra-efficient tube shaping for power transfer, low weight & high strength
  • Continuous seattube design for comfort without gimmicks
  • Tyre clearance for modern road tyres up to 32mm (since tyre labelling is unreliable, always check tyre clearance with the frame)
  • Classic, understated look in both shaping and colour
  • Comfort

Gerard Vroomen’s view on comfort is that “So much is talked about comfort. But it’s not about gimmicks, elastomers, electronic suspension or sub-atomic vibration damping graphene-infused nano-particles. Comfort is about finding ways to ride further, for longer, while enjoying it.”

This starts with a comfortable geometry, something OPEN worked hard at on its last generations of gravel bikes and has transferred back to the MIN.D. The brand’s fit geometry is ‘sportive but with a realistic saddle-to-handlebar drop and reach’. The steering geometry is noted as being different from the traditional road bike standard, ‘coupling agile handling to rock-solid stability.’

Continuous seattube
The continuous seattube design is small at 25mm diameter (30mm is normally the minimum to fit in a 27.2mm seatpost). OPEN claims that this change ‘adds astonishing comfort to the frame.’ Removing the seatpost / seattube overlap at the toptube also means the seattube compliance can continue uninterrupted.

The OPEN own minimalist seattube top clamp is nearly invisible yet adjustable by 0-15mm and slip-proof. OPEN even has a special MOCT saddle clamp (Measure Once Cut Twice) which is adjustable from 15-35mm. This also makes it easier to resell the frame later on.

New road handling
OPEN adds that it has done a lot of work on steering geometry in the past five years, using a steel mule frame with adjustable dropouts and headtube. The MIN.D. takes everything learned from the road bike test mule and gravel bike on/off-road geometry experiments, putting it back into a pure road bike geometry.

R-Turn fork
The OPEN U-Turn was the first fork truly optimized for flatmount brakes by deleting the standard adaptor to switch between 140mm and 160mm disc rotors (OPEN adds that riders should always use 160mm rotors anyway for added safety & control at almost no extra weight). The adaptor is seen as a feature without a benefit at the expense of weight, stiffness and complexity.

The R-Turn uses the same Smartmount direct-mount design with thru-bolts without adaptors, just like the rear brake. Together with new shaping and a new layup optimized for road, the R-Turn is claimed to be the lightest disc brake road fork available.

The new MIN.D. frameset, priced at €3,600, is now available for pre-order, shipping before July 20.