Open Cycle, a newcomer to the mountain bike scene, has taken a fresh, simple approach to design in order to arrive at the lightest hardtail 29er in production. Started by Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervelo, together with Andy Kessler, former downhill mountain bike racer and CEO of BMC, the start-up company unveiled their initial bike, the O-1.0, at Sea Otter earlier this month.
With 29 inch wheels, Andy and Gerard knew that a hardtail mountain bike frame sees lower impacts than a road bike frame over rough terrain. Tapping into the foundations of road bike design, the duo wanted to figure out how to make a hardtail mountain bike even lighter, stronger, and more maneuverable.
The process started with the material. Open Cycle uses the highest modulus, or stiffest carbon of any bike manufacturer only where possible, with tougher grades of carbon in areas that see more action such as the headtube. This blend of carbon makes the O-1.0 the lightest 29er hardtail frame currently in production.
The O-1.0 frame geometry was developed from scratch specifically for 29 inch wheels. The hardtail frame has a 72 degree head tube angle, in place of the standard 69 degrees, in order to make the bike more maneuverable around turns. The frame features all internal cable routing, and you can choose to use a suspension fork with 80, 90, or 100mm travel.
Open Cycle says that with such a stiff and lightweight bike, you can expect to ride differently. Without downshifting, you will get out of the saddle to sprint up over small hills. The riding style will be much more active and you will feel more of the terrain.
The Open Cyle O-1.0 hardtail 29er mountain bikes will be sold exclusively through Competitive Cyclist for the launch. Competitive Cyclist is selling a full frameset package (including crank, rings, and bottom bracket) at $3400.