Open on Competitive Cyclist
It may seem strange to think that innovation in the mountain biking world could come from road racing. But when Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervelo, teamed up with Andy Kessler, former CEO of BMC, to create open, they knew that there was an opportunity to challenge some commonly held beliefs about off-road riding. They knew, for example, that due to bigger tires, a mountain bike typically sees lower impacts than a Paris-Roubaix-winning road frame. Could mountain bikes be lighter? Could they be more maneuverable? These were questions that they felt deserved answers.
'Relentless simplicity' is open's guiding principle, chosen with the belief that everyone benefits when the smallest number of variables yield maximum results. It makes sense, then, that they started with just one bike. And while the O-1.0 is a simple machine compared to complex full-suspension designs, it represents the pinnacle of modern hardtail ingenuity. It has been envisioned from the ground up; no conventional industry belief or standard went unquestioned.
Consider frame geometry, for example. Open couldn't understand why hardtail 29er frames were rolling off of production lines with 69 degree head tube angles. That kind of geometry may work well when you're traveling in a straight line, but it also requires you to exert more effort when turning, or when trail deflection forces you off your line. Thus, the O-1.0 has a 72 degree head tube angle. Think that will make the bike twitchy or nervous? Perhaps that's what hearsay would suggest, but the open team invites you to see for yourself, because the rider testing they conducted indicated that slack geometry isn't a requirement for solid, reliable handling. From a construction standpoint, the O-1.0 hints at Cervélo's heritage with its ultra-skinny seatstays and BBright bottom bracket. The inclusion of these features suggests the strength of past innovations made by the O-1.0's engineers. Make no mistake, though\024as a brand, open exists to look forward, to explore what is possible in the realm of dirt.