If the current crop of gravel bikes aren't rugged enough for you, then this brand new OPEN WI.DE with clearance for 2.4" mountain bike tyres may well appeal. It's a brand new model from the small company that in 2015 launched the UP, one of the most interesting gravel and adventure bikes at the time because it boasted spaced for 2.1" tyres, which at the time seemed massive to drop bar cyclists. The new WI.DE is one of the new breed of even more capable gravel bikes designed to really blur the lines between road and mountain bikes and has a lot more versatility on offer too for carrying extra water, tools and packs.
We've just got our hands on a rare test bike so we nipped out to get some photos this morning and we run through all the key details below. We'll have a first ride and review soon so stay tuned for more.
OPEN launched the category-defining UP, short for Unbeaten Path, in 2015, a lightweight carbon frame with clearance for up to 2.1in tyres intended to be a bike ideal for mixing up road and gravel tracks. The new WI.DE massively increases the tyre clearance up to 2.4” tyres on a frame designed specifically for 1x drivetrains and adding mudguard compatibility.
The regular UP accommodates 28 to 40mm tyres on 700c wheels, and 2.1” tyres on 650b mountain bike wheels. Compared to that, the new WI.DE takes 35 to 46mm tyres on 700c rims and 2.4” tyres on 650b rims.
If the UP was an SUV capable of dealing with road and gravel, the new WI.DE is a jeep aimed at much more rugged off-road terrain where commonly a mountain bike might be the more obvious choice.
We’re really seeing gravel enthusiasts push the current crop of gravel bikes to even more extreme limits and going bigger on the tyre size to cope with rugged terrain, and a few bike manufacturers are responding with bikes that accommodate WI.DE mountain bike tyres. In doing so it’s blurring the line between a road and mountain bike.
The new WI.DE, short for Winding Detours, is focused on allroad/gravel/extreme rides thanks to the increased tyre clearance as Open’s co-founder Andy Kessler explains: “The WI.DE. fits up to 2.4” mountain bike tires. That’s big even compared to some XC mountain bikes. At the same time, it still offers a performance road position for the rider and fits narrow road cranks, so riding efficiency remains high. This means it can conquer almost any terrain, without slowing you down on the easier roads and trails.”
Open hasn’t just squeezed bigger tyres into a UP frame, it has redesigned every aspect of it. To accommodate tyres from 35mm to 2.4in in width, Open has developed a frame that while visually similar to the UP, has dropped chainstays on both sides of the frame - the UP just had a dropped driveside chainstay, something that has been copied a lot throughout the bike industry. The WI.DE is also a 1x-specific frame in order to maximise the tyre clearance.
Open says the dropped stays, as well as maximising tyre clearance, also help to increase the bottom bracket stiffness by creating a monobox structure. It also reduces weight. Talking of weight, a size medium frame weighs a claimed 1,040g and 390g for the fork.
Also upping the stiffness is the flat sided down tube with strips of high modulus carbon fibre along the flat edges.
Set against the chunkiness of the down tube and chainstays are skinny seatstays which provide a bit of seated comfort.
Bigger tyres aside, Open has also worked on the geometry to retain a handling that is similar to the UP despite the bigger tyres. It has given the WI.DE a taller head tube and added a new XS size to the range, but most of the other measurements are largely the same as the UP.
The WI.DE is designed for 160mm disc rotors with no ugly adapters. At the front, the brake caliper is attached to the fork using the company’s Smartmount system of bolting through the front of the fork to create a cleaner and lighter setup, avoiding the need for any additional adapters. All cables and brake hoses are internally routed.
There’s more versatility baked into the new WI.DE, with two additional bottle cage mounts under the down tube and bottom bracket so you can carry more water and tools easily. You still get two bolts on the top tube for a fuel pod.
Open bikes aren’t cheap, and the WI.DE costs €3,200 for the frameset. You have a choice of this gloss and matte grey or a naked ready to paint option if you want to get a custom painted frame.
To enable us to test the new WI.DE, we’ve been supplied with this test bike equipped with a brand new SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset combined with an Eagle mountain bike rear mech and 10-50t cassette, matched to a 42t chainring at the front.
We’ve also got the brand new gravel wheels from DT Swiss, the GR 1600 Spline 25 wheels. They have an aluminium rim with a 24mm internal width come in 700c as well as the 650b you see here. They’re tubeless ready and shod with Schwalbe G-One tyres.
Stay tuned for a first ride and review soon.
More details at https://opencycle.com/wide