Hannah takes a first look at the new Open WI.DE, which she got to ride around the dusty trails of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Open Cycles was started by Andy Kessler and Gerard Vroomen, who had met while working at Cervélo.
Wanting to put the big businesses behind them in favour of a smaller more personal environment, they set up Open in 2012, producing frames but not complete bikes. Joining the ONE+ hardtail, and U.P. gravel plus bike is the WI.DE. While the U.P. would take up to 27.5×2.1in tyres, the WI.DE will take up to 27.5×2.4in tyres.
WI.DE stands for Winding Detour, and this bike aims to have you taking every trail you spot. If you prefer your tyres at a 700C size, you can fit up to 46mm wide rubber in there. Open is at pains to point out that this is no mountain bike – it has a road bottom bracket (press fit – sorry) – giving a road Q-factor that will appeal to many pedallers.
The ride position is more road orientated too, though the head tube is a little taller than the U.P. making it a touch more relaxed.
On the more-like-a-mountain-bike side of thing, thanks to the frame construction needed to give that tyre clearance, the WI.DE is only suitable for a 1x set up. Brake callipers are attached directly to the frame and fork without adapters, and the mounts are set for 160mm discs front and rear.
As well as four bottle cage mounts around the main triangle, there are mounts under the bottom bracket for a tool keg or additional water bottle. Long desert ride anyone? If wet slop is more your thing, there’s a ‘De-Fender mudguard due to launch later this year that will be compatible with this bike.
I had a ride around some dusty single track in Idaho on this bike – slightly scarier for having the brakes the ‘wrong’ way round. Nonetheless it was fun to ride and as I got my head around the brakes I found myself taking corners at speed and even hopping the odd rock. In many ways it’s very similar to the Juliana Quincy I tested a few weeks ago, although the slight differences in geometry are apparent in the ride.
It’s tricky to compare too much, given the Open is only available as a frameset so any build will affect the ride and handling. However, the more aggressive ride position compared to the Juliana did feel apparent, and perhaps the very slight difference in head angle could be detected by the merest hint of toe overlap on the Open.
The claimed tyre clearance may take a little interpretation. I rode a bike with 2.35in Schwalbe Rock Razors and the clearance was pretty snug – fine in the dust, but you’d want to watch that frame in any grinding mud.
The Open WI.DE is notable for being available in five sizes, from XS to XL. If you take the Santa Cruz Stigmata and Juliana Quincy together, there are six sizes between them, with the 60cm Stigmata being bigger than the largest WI.DE, but the smallest Quincy still being larger than the smallest WI.DE. For the very smallest riders, we can see this being an attraction. The head angle shifts from 68 degrees to 71.5 as you go up the sizes of the WI.DE, with resulting impacts on the front centre and overall wheelbase.
Available only as a frameset, with a claimed weight in a size Medium of just 1,430g, the open WI.DE costs €3,200 and is available from a selection of dealers.
Hannah’s travel and accommodation was provided by CrankTank/Impact Sun Valley.