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The founders of Open Cycle need you to bear with them for a moment.
They are about to launch a new bike, but its origin story is important. And, as co-founder Gerard Vroomen says on the company’s website, “this project has taken such a convoluted route that it’s hard — even for Andy [Kessler, co-founder] and I — to figure out how we got here.”
Introducing the new Open MIN.D California, the first bike from Open to be manufactured in the United States. The road bike will have the same progressive geometry as the MIN.D, or MINimal Design, which launched in the spring of 2020, but the rest of its layup will be different — the MIN.D California is lighter and enables more dynamic riding.
Vroomen said that the company had been in the finishing stages of manufacturing two bikes in Europe — a road frame in Germany and a full-suspension mountain bike in Spain — but both projects went belly-up for unforeseen reasons.
Meanwhile, the duo had long wanted to make a lighter version of the MIN.D.
So, Vroomen, who co-founded Cervélo, thought to call up his good friend Don Guichard from back in the day. Guichard ran the Project California R&D lab/factory that created and built the light and stiff Cervélo R5CA and RCA.
“After the frame projects stopped, he [Don] continued with other parts such as carbon fiber prosthetics but he really wanted to make a frame again,” Vroomen said. “All of this led to Andy, Don, and I said ‘hey, why don’t we make a super light version of the MIN.D. at the Project California facility?’ Turns out there are many reasons why not, but none of those came to mind at the time! As simple as that decision was, it turned out to be excruciatingly difficult to get this project across the finish line. When you work on the edge, you tend to fall over a lot.”
Fortunately for us, this is what falling over a lot can look like: