Keywords: 27.5,bike of the month,gravel ride,u.p.

BOTM: My U.P.-GRADE - part 3

Andy Kessler - 13-Oct-2016
In my last blog about "My U.P.-Grade" personal bike you can ready why i have built the U.P. with my very personal and a little unconventional touch. Further down you can see all details specs. Our "Blog Comment " tool did nor work for a while and now I realize also why i got so many personal mails about that bike. Couple of things before we go into detailed specifications.

1. Seatpost: The Ergon CF3 Seatpost is not available in all countries. I think it is not sold at all in the US.

2. Tires: I like the Schwalbe G-One tire for summer rides (not muddy and wet). But it does not have enough volume:  a 2.0 or 2.1 would be great but not available right now. Because of the lower tire volume the BB height is a little low so the chance to hit the pedal on the ground during cornering is bigger... you need to get used to that. So right now it is not a perfect choice for 27.5 wheels. There is a new tire called G-ONE SPEED that is available in a 2.35 version in 27.5. Not sure if that fits honestly but it could. I let you know as soon as i tried but that would be a great tire..

3. Fork: Normally we do not offer the Lauf Grit fork  in our program. But we got a lot of request to make a special one with orange legs. Guess what, we did place an order with our friends from Lauf and it will be available end of November in a limited edition of 20 units. Contact me directly  (contact button on the left of this page) if you are interested they will go fast. Here how it will look.

And here are the detailed specifications:

Component Model
size L
frame Black matt proto frame
headset Cane Creek 40
fork Lauf Grit
stem  ENVE 90mm all black decals
handlebar ENVE 44cm all black decals
handlebar grip Fizik black
seatpost Ergon CF3 Pro
saddle Fizik Aliante braided
brakes CX1 - 160mm Centerline (6-bolt) rotor
shifters CX1
crank  CX1 BB30 175mm
chainrings CX1 42t
rear derailleur CX1 RD
cassette CX1 10-42
chain SRAM PC 1170
wheel DT Swiss XRC 1200 Spline 27.5
tire Schwalbe G ONE 27,5 x1.5

Happy  and safe trails

Comments & Questions

Hi Andy, thanks for that insight of your personal U.P. About tires: did you ever check out the Compass tires for the U.P. ? They have a wide range of different tire widths up to a 48 in 650B. I would guess these are great for road and easy gravel. Cheers
Post #1 of 26. Posted by Max on 14-Oct-2016 04:14:22 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1043]
Hi Max, yes i want to try them for sure. I guess one thing about tubeless is that you do not want to switch tires that often but you are right I need to try them
Post #10 of 26. Posted by Andy Kessler on 18-Oct-2016 06:58:42 GMT in reply to post #1 [1043<--1064]
Choice can = Confusion. To me anyway ;-) I've ordered the U.P with the Lauf. I use the Lauf on my 0.1 and it has been very consistent for the type of riding I do here in Thailand. My confusion is the wheel choice. Road or MTB. We are building two bikes specifically for the island of Koh Samui which has lots of cool single track riding but also a lot of serious (bitumen) climbs and also dirt climbs (fire trail type of roads not single track). Until now I have tackled all the climbs on the 0.1 with XX1 but coming from Road riding I find climbing way more comfortable on a road geometry. U.P. comes the closest to the perfect bike for us here. I'm HUGE on building a bike / setup for my environment and our environment has a bit of everything but we really want some 'climbing beast'. So in writing this I have almost decided the road wheel might be the best option for us. We'd be interested in hearing what others think too. Thanks for the post Andy.
Post #2 of 26. Posted by KP on 14-Oct-2016 05:05:37 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1044]
When in doubt, go 650b would be my advice. Whenever people ride the bigger 650b tires on the UP, they are surprised at how well they ride even on asphalt. People think it will ride like an mtb but it won't, it's much faster. Or you can go halfway with something like a 47mm WTB Horizon, then you get the smoothness of a road tire but with a lot more volume to soak up the off-road stuff. But even something like a Schwalbe Racing Ralph rolls surprisingly well on asphalt if you have the right bike for it (and with the UP you do).
Post #4 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 14-Oct-2016 09:45:40 GMT in reply to post #2 [1044<--1046]
I've had this exact experience and agree. The Racing Ralph surprised me how well it performed on the road, a lot faster than my mountain bike. I'm currently running the Horizon 47c, they're fun on the road and quite fast. I've only recently started taking them offroad on dry dirt roads and mild trails, and they perform great. No experience with wetter conditions with these tires, yet.
Post #6 of 26. Posted by Brent McCord on 14-Oct-2016 15:12:31 GMT in reply to post #4 [1046<--1048]
Hi Andy, I have saw you have mounted on your bike a fork Lauf Grit and I'd like to have some information about it, because I'd like to mount it as well.
I have a CX1 sram groupset as well and I would like to know if you have had to use some kind of adapter to mount the Grit. Cheers
Post #3 of 26. Posted by Massimo Marca on 14-Oct-2016 06:15:39 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1045]
Hi Massimo, that a simple thing. You need to have an adapter to convert as the fork is designed for flat mount. Shimano and other brands are offering that. Shimano is easiest to find. item number is: sm-ma-f140p-d
Post #5 of 26. Posted by Andy Kessler on 14-Oct-2016 10:32:39 GMT in reply to post #3 [1045<--1047]
I was on the search for the perfect tire for the UP for rough roads before the WTB Horizon came out. I tried the Nano 2.1 but it was actually too wide on my rims (26mm internal). After trial and error I settled on the tubeless, skinwall Bruce Gordon Rock n Roads in 650. They measure out to about 45mm wide. Awesome tires and roll so much better on the road than the aggressive tread would suggest. Perfect in the rough roads or single track. I'm itching to try the Horizons as well for an all around mixed road tire.
Post #7 of 26. Posted by austin trautman on 14-Oct-2016 20:07:22 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1050]
The Ergon CF3 Pro saddle post is also marketed by Canyon, and by them named VCLS 2.0.
You can see it on my UP in the Showroom.
Sometimes the VCLS 2.0 is not shown on their web site, but you may still order it. There are 2 versions, select the one without setback (to comply with Gerard's design idea).
Post #8 of 26. Posted by Bengan on 17-Oct-2016 13:01:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1060]
Hi Bengt, the Ergon owner and the Canyon owner are brothers…that explains why :-)
Post #11 of 26. Posted by Andy Kessler on 18-Oct-2016 07:00:44 GMT in reply to post #8 [1060<--1065]
Yep, I know.
I had a problem with my Canyon VCLS 2.0 annoyingly being unstable during rough MTB rides (the seatpost is intended for road/city bikes). I didn't have a manual, and couldn't find one to download from Canyon's homepage, but downloaded the manual from Ergon regarding their CF3 Pro. Then understood that the Ergon version comes with an anti-slip shim. After realizing that, I ordered a shim from Canyon who sent me two at no extra charge.
Post #21 of 26. Posted by Bengan on 25-Oct-2016 13:21:14 GMT in reply to post #11 [1065<--1110]
As per tires suggestions above / would also a 2x11 groupset be ok? Or better a simpler CX1 with 11-36 cassette? Thanks!
Post #9 of 26. Posted by Luke on 17-Oct-2016 14:26:01 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1061]
Hi Luke, sure 2x 11 also works. It depends where and how you ride. I personally like the simplicity of 1x a lot. Shifting in the back is 10 times easier than in the front. The downside is a little bigger steps between the individual gears. If you don't mind that then its nice if not then something like a Ultegra DI2 is a great choice also
Post #12 of 26. Posted by Andy Kessler on 18-Oct-2016 07:02:33 GMT in reply to post #9 [1061<--1066]
What is the largest from tooth chainring I can ride on the Open +
Post #13 of 26. Posted by kebo on 18-Oct-2016 19:49:33 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1069]
We don't exactly have an OPEN +. Do you mean the UP (since you're asking me on the UP page) or the ONE+? For the UP, it's listed in the specs, for the ONE+, there are so many different factors with regular and Boost cranks, Shimano and SRAM, 1x or 2x. So best to check with your OPEN retailer on the exact spec you would like to set the bike up with, and then they can also figure out the ring options for you.
Post #16 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 20-Oct-2016 10:38:12 GMT in reply to post #13 [1069<--1076]
Well, when I see "proto frame" everything else fades away... tell us more!!!
Post #14 of 26. Posted by Heffe on 19-Oct-2016 16:31:28 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1070]
This was the prototype frame for the original UP. So one of the first frames that came out of the molds and passed the tests, and we didn't settle yet on any color, so we just painted it like the hardtail as that was all we produced at that time.
Post #15 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 20-Oct-2016 10:36:05 GMT in reply to post #14 [1070<--1075]
Hi from NYC Andy!

I'm seriously considering the UP for an upcoming trip to the Dolomites, which will include the Maratona (July 2017). The Maratona is 85 miles, with around 14,500 feet of climbing. How would you build up an UP specifically for that ride? I am thinking 50/34 on the front, with at least a 34t cassette on the back for 1:1 gearing (I am 5'10" but weigh 185 lbs - a lot of junk to carry up those passes!), and 28mm road tires on 700c wheels. Would love your thoughts. Thanks!
Post #17 of 26. Posted by Doug on 21-Oct-2016 11:16:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1081]
Hi Doug, Andy is taking a well-deserved vacation (by bike of course), he might see your post when he returns but at any rate, I think your set-up sounds pretty good. On the tires, I would maybe go a bit bigger, you have the clearance so why not increase your comfort and reduce the chance of flats by using a bigger air volume. There are some really nice 30-35mm (semi-)slicks out there now, for example from WTB and Schwalbe. Set those up tubeless and you have a great, very comfortable and light combo that you can ride at relatively low pressure without hurting rolling resistance.

for those gears, you could set it up with an 11-32 or an 11-36 depending on if you want the spacing or the crazy bail-out gear. My personal experience, if you need that smallest cog, you probably want it to be as small as can be.
Post #18 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 21-Oct-2016 21:29:19 GMT in reply to post #17 [1081<--1094]
Thanks Gerard. Great advice, I will definitely take your guidance on tire size. One more question if you don't mind. In the showcase I noticed way more 1x setups than 2x. I get why this would be in general. However, for a ride like the Maratona, do you think a 1x setup will be adequate? Something like a 42t front and the E-13 9-44t cassette in back? I love the simplicity of 1x on a bike that I will be packing up in a travel box and flying across the ocean, but I'm concerned about the bigger gaps in the gear ratio from one cog to the next. If it was you, would you ride the Maratona on a 1x or a 2x?
Post #24 of 26. Posted by Doug on 02-Nov-2016 13:15:38 GMT in reply to post #18 [1094<--1152]
I would run 1x for the maratona as well. But that's me. The first step is to think about what biggest gear you REALLY need. do you need 42x9? That's like a 52x11. I know that's not a "strange" gear to have on a road bike, but do you really need it? That's 2% smaller than what Froome, Martin, Cancellara and Sagan ride their road races with, is anybody who pays for their bikes really that good? Not on their own power I think, and frankly not with help from gravity on the descents either.

So my first step is always to encourage people to be honest about the biggest gear they really need. And if you spin out once, is that that bad? Is it worth the bigger gaps in the gearing, is it worth the weight and complexity of a 2x setup? Or look at it this way, on your current set-up, how often are you really in the smallest cog? Or even the second-smallest. Would it really hurt if you missed those? If not, figure out what gear it is that you really need, and start from there.

Of course you need to then calculate the ratio, not the actual number of teeth, since you will still want to start your cassette with a 9, 10 or 11 (depending on the cassette you choose). So if your current road bike has a 52/36 crank and an 11-28 cassette and you rarely use the 11 & 12, then 52x13 is really the biggest gear you need, or a ratio of 52/13 = 4.00.

Then do the same on the other side. Is 36x28 enough as you have it now, or would you like 10% smaller or 20% smaller or ...? Say you want 10% smaller, that means you would like 36/28=1.29 and 10% smaller is 1.16. Then you start the math. If you would have a "regular cassette" starting with an 11, then you need a 44t front ring (11x4.00) and the biggest cog you would need is a 44/1.16=38t. And 11-38 cassette is tough to find, but there are a lot of 11-36 cassettes (if you think you don't really quite need 10% smaller than you have, and 4% smaller is enough) or you can go with a Shimano MTB cassette with 11-40 (if you decide that 16% smaller gear than you have now on the 2x is a better option).

If you do the above math and you can't get the range you need starting with the 11 (although the new Shimano 11-46, there are broad options), you can try if the 10-42 is going to work and if that doesn't, then the 9-44 will do the trick).

I wouldn't mind the gaps even on the 9-44, but if you don't really need all that range (after being honest about the biggest gear), then smaller steps are of course better.

Hope that helps.
Post #25 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 05-Nov-2016 03:28:22 GMT in reply to post #24 [1152<--1162]
Andy/Gerard - if I'm probably doing most of my rides on smooth roads (70%) with gravel/dirt (30%), would you still recommend the 650b vs the 700? While on the road, I'd be with my road buddies, so I'm just worried about not being able to keep up. If yes, any thoughts about the MASONxHUNT wheels or would you suggest anything else that would be an option to keep up with the rest of the guys on the road till I break off and take the U.P offroad.
Post #19 of 26. Posted by Bryan on 22-Oct-2016 13:11:02 GMT in reply to blog [0<--1099]
Either/or. You can definitely stick with 700c, on the road if you set it up with a 30-35mm tire with a smooth center and maybe some knobs on the side (like a WTB Exposure 700x34. That way you have good speed on the road and security off road.
Post #20 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 22-Oct-2016 18:15:43 GMT in reply to post #19 [1099<--1100]
I've just mounted exposure 34C on my U.P. On Novatec CXD tubeless. Great on road and also fantastic on forest fire roads. Nano 40C on the novatec is also good but there's not much clearance with seat tube.
Post #22 of 26. Posted by Pancho on 01-Nov-2016 20:22:11 GMT in reply to post #20 [1100<--1141]
That's true, the Nano 40c is a "really big 40mm tire", I know they should all be the same but most 40mm tires are quite a bit smaller. I ride it a lot though, hasn't been a problem. I also ride the Exposure, but the 30mm (and I have 34mm Exposures on my "city bike".
Post #23 of 26. Posted by Gerard Vroomen on 02-Nov-2016 10:11:21 GMT in reply to post #22 [1141<--1148]
So if you don't mind me asking what would be a smaller 40c tubeless tyre suitable for mixed surface riding or is something like a clement xplor mso 36c a good choice?
Post #26 of 26. Posted by Pancho on 06-Nov-2016 16:53:05 GMT in reply to post #23 [1148<--1163]