Keywords: award,bicycling editors' choice award,bike industry,gravel bike,review,superlight bike

Bicycling Bonanza

Gerard Vroomen - 10-Jun-2019
If you've followed OPEN for a while, you know that we don't do any marketing. No advertising, no sponsorships, nothing. It's not that we are necessarily "against" these things, but when you're a small company determined to stay small, you have to make decisions. And that mostly means deciding NOT to do things. Marketing takes a lot of time, so scrapping it altogether frees up time for other things.

Many people think that without advertising, it's hard to get good reviews (or ANY reviews). But we haven't found that to be the case. To be sure, there are media outlets that require "pay to play" (GCN comes to mind). But there are also a lot of outlets that simply want to review the newest bikes to the best of their abilities, regardless of any advertisement.

You can see it again with the launch of the WI.DE.; many reviews have already appeared online (we started the list on the WI.DE. page). But a special mention goes to the world's largest bike magazine: Bicycling.

First they gave us an Editor's Choice Award for the U.P. These Awards are a big thing inside the industry, including an official awards dinner at SeaOtter.

Then they proclaimed the U.P.P.E.R. to be the "Optimum Expression of Wanderlust". That's poetry right there.

Last week, they added their first review of the WI.DE. (we sent the bike in advance to a couple of magazines), which by the way includes a great mix-up. While a shop was building the bike for Bicycling, Schwalbe sent a set of 700x50c tires to see if they would fit. Conclusion: they don't really (they fit but with minimal clearance). But then the bike was boxed up and sent to Bicycling without changing back the tires! And they rode and loved it, although they did mention the toe overlap (no kidding, since to make things worse this all happened on an XS sized WI.DE., which obviously has the shortest front-center to begin with.)

And if all that wasn't enough, they put the U.P.P.E.R. on the cover of what they call their "preposterous, barely-defensible Greatest Bikes Ever Made" issue, with a chance for you to vote for it online. So if you like your UP or UPPER, feel free to show your support. You'll have to scroll down a bit past some other bikes, and you can vote any of the other bikes up or down (I upvoted the Pegoretti of course, but that's another story).

As always, thanks for your support, and many more stories to come this month.

Comments & Questions

Gerard - well done on the no ads and keep it up (pun intended). Word of mouth (which unsolicited reviews fall into) is always the most effective form of advertising anyway ??
Post #1 of 8. Posted by Neil Ashton on 10-Jun-2019 10:28:38 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18582]
Well, many roads lead to Rome I guess. Plastering your brand everywhere like Nike seems to do OK too.
Post #5 of 8. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 12-Jun-2019 03:45:13 GMT in reply to post #1 [18582<--19597]
Voted for “Heck Yah it does it all” and I might also “And more”
Post #2 of 8. Posted by wai on 10-Jun-2019 15:15:36 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18584]
I'll ask them for an "And more" button.
Post #6 of 8. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 12-Jun-2019 03:45:41 GMT in reply to post #2 [18584<--19598]
Is the photograph at the beginning of the article in Bicycling magazine an XS Wide frame? Wondering because the proportions of frame look great, which is not the case many times for small frames.
Post #3 of 8. Posted by Andrew on 10-Jun-2019 18:09:39 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18594]
No it's not, they got the photos from a different bike than the bike we sent for testing. That photo is of a Medium. That said, the XS does also look nice, don't have a photo handy of it though.
Post #4 of 8. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 12-Jun-2019 03:44:38 GMT in reply to post #3 [18594<--19596]
Congratulations on the recognition! Very well deserved. My UP is an insanely great bike!
Post #7 of 8. Posted by Sanjay on 12-Jun-2019 15:13:04 GMT in reply to blog [0<--19602]
it is one of the prettiest bikes i've seen and own. It is really good looking, which usually is not the gravelbike's strongsuit.
It looks best with the enve aero road bar and the bike ahead RS wheels make it look epic. Such a good design deserves integrated cables and a symmetric dropped chainstay though.
I think this bike will age very very well and still look superb in 5y.
Post #8 of 8. Posted by youpmelone on 12-Jun-2019 17:37:30 GMT in reply to blog [0<--19603]