SOC13: Open Cycles’ AXX1 Mountain Bikes Weigh In, Plus Custom White Dual Electronic Build!

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

Open Cycles’ announced the AXX1 build in March, using a mix of SRAM XX1 and AX Lightness bits to come up with the name and bring a 16.2lb bike to market. At Sea Otter, we put it on the scale to verify, and snapped some closeup photos. Those are further down in the post.

What really popped out was the sole white painted model, which is a completely custom build from the folks at Pro Bike Supply in New Port Beach, CA. It incorporates Shimano’s Di2 internal seatpost battery with a splitter to power both the Fox iCD shock lockout and the Ultegra Di2 group. Calfee provided the internal battery mount.

It uses the Ki2 adapters and S3-to-braze on adapter for the front derailleur, with a rubber padding between the mount and the frame to reinforce it against the derailleur’s massive (for its size) motor torque.

Check that, plus THM’s new XX1 crankset and more new product news, below…

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

Open’s frames have to meet a no-more-than-35g-added-from-paint standard for their black frames, so any that don’t meet that standard are then painted in white. Total weight gain from paint over approved black frames is about 80g to 100g, but the price drops from $2,900 to $2,500 for the frame.

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

Because Fox uses the new E-Tube wiring, they could simply loop together two junction boxes inside the frame to make everything run off a single battery.

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply Electric E11 29er mountain bike with Fox iCD and K-Edge Ki2 Di2 Ultegra drivetrain

The battery and electronic parts on a really, really nice but not the lightest build all add up to a 20.83lb (9.45kg) bike, with pedals. The complete bike would be about $11,500 to $12,000. This is a one-off, not something they plan to produce…but if your pockets are deep enough, pretty sure PBS would build one up for you.

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply O10 lightweight 29er mountain bike

The last time we posted this bike, the THM Clavicula crank was running a standard spider and chainring, but now they’ve got the XX1 models, giving you access to the full range of SRAM’s 11-speed MTB cranks:

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply O10 lightweight 29er mountain bike

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply O10 lightweight 29er mountain bike

The only downside to this build (other than the price, perhaps) is that some of the AX Lightness parts have rider weight limits below those of the frame. This one’s for the skinny people.

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply O10 lightweight 29er mountain bike

Having been involved with Cannondale in a past life, they were able to get a custom matte black Lefty fork.

Open Cycles Pro Bike Supply O10 lightweight 29er mountain bike

Claimed weight is 16.09lbs, but this one came in at 16.29lbs (7.4kg). There’s a good chance the bike had 0.2lbs of dust from Sea Otter on it, so we’ll forgive the overage. It’s still pretty otherworldly to pick up a bike this light. C0-founder Andy Kessler wasn’t exactly struggling to hold the scale.

In other news, Open Cycles let us know they are working on a full suspension bike. They’re playing with designs now, and there’s no timeline or details at the moment. All they’d say is that they’re working on it.

Comments

Mtb - 04/26/13 - 10:44am

Wow, that’s so light. I wonder how it climbs althought I would be afraid to ride it in a rocky downhill.

Alex - 04/26/13 - 11:05am

Probably feels like a noodle when pushed hard . I would be affraid to ride it !

Fredrick - 04/26/13 - 11:30am

that metal on the drive side chain stay doesnt look like it is a stock option either

Joshua Murdock - 04/26/13 - 11:50am

Well… time to start selling organs. As cool as the black frame is, I really love the white option at the top! I’ll take 100g of paint to have a nice, clean and fast looking bike.

MissedThePoint - 04/26/13 - 12:00pm

I like the white bike’s build. Actually looks like parts I’d run on an every day high end bike. Why Open frame though? The stack is about an inch higher than I’d like for my height and I would opt for the frame with the 590-605mm ETT…

If someone could come out with a good sub-1200g sub 2k carbon 29er HT frame with a stack under 600mm, and 585-605mm ETT, without resorting to a 12.5″+ BB or 80mm fork… you don’t need a long headtube if you use carbon and plan the lay-up for strength and stiffness accordingly, right? How about slacker HA, longer fork offset, and 80mm HT, with a fork A2C around 500-510mm?

K11 - 04/26/13 - 12:16pm

very nice build on the white one, not a fan of the black one. sacrifice too many things to save weight Also lefty forks are overrated, sorry.

Lou - 04/26/13 - 12:17pm

I love that part spec on the white one. iCD and Di2 is really cool.

Now I wonder if someone can rig a Shimano Di2 1×11 MTB? I wonder if a Dura Ace Di2 11 speed derailleur would work with XX1 components. Somebody with money, get on this!

pmurf - 04/26/13 - 12:25pm

I understand the weight goal of the 16 pounder, but I think i’d have opted for 50 more grams of a high-end 31.8 cockpit, and likely a much higher weight limit. Not to mention the cost of the AX zeus stem alone, which even by WW standards is friggin ridiculous.

ct - 04/26/13 - 12:28pm

@Lou – keep an eye out for news from whiskey 50 this weekend. Bicycle Haus, out of Scottsdale, AZ just built up a Kulhavy Olympic Red Epic to 9070 Di2 1×11

Matt - 04/26/13 - 2:01pm

White is the new black and 275′s are the new 29ers.

NotAMachinist - 04/26/13 - 2:33pm

What rotors are on the white bike?

g - 04/26/13 - 4:49pm

Did I read that right? It costs an extra $400 to get the lightweight black paint!?! Ridiculous!

jr - 04/26/13 - 5:51pm

Nice eye candy. Till it costs less then $4000.00 pass.

MMyers - 04/26/13 - 5:52pm

or

You save $400 by buying the white one.

Why so negative?

Mindless - 04/26/13 - 6:01pm

Overpriced Asian plastic bikes?

Mindless - 04/26/13 - 6:02pm

@Joshua Murdock: Best thing about white paint is that it is easier to spot cracks.

Pro Bike Supply - 04/26/13 - 6:15pm

We concede that not everyone will agree with the specs of the AXX1 bike, but it’s meant to be exotic and light weight. It’s purpose is to push the envelope of what a production bikes can be. We pride ourselves on making bikes that customers want, so if you wanted to change components, GO FOR IT! We will try and make that happen.

As for stiffness, the Open is one of the stiffest hard-tails we have ever ridden and paired with Lefty you would be very pleasantly surprised at how compliant and comfortable a bike can actually be. If you’re luck enough to be in SoCal let us know and we can schedule a demo for you.

Those rotors are made by a company called Scrub Components in Park City, UT. Great product that we highly recommend!

The cost of the paint job on the black bike is high due to the QC standards they have set for keeping the bike as light as possible. As mentioned above, they set a very strict limit of 35 grams for that frame, its a very complicated process, and in-turn adds a cost to the bike. For many riders, weight is a large factor and saving 100 grams on paint alone is worth the extra money.

We have also contacted Gerard about the comments about the geometry of the bike, he’s the expert so hopefully he will be on here soon to comment about his reasoning on the way the bike was designed.

Patricio Meza - 04/26/13 - 10:11pm

Gran reportaje! Grande probikesupply!!! ;)

Greg - 04/27/13 - 12:49am

frederick,
the metal chainstay protector shown ships with every one of their frames.

g - 04/28/13 - 2:52pm

Let me preface by saying that I love bikerumor and open cycles!!! (maybe my comment won’t be deleted now?)

Please take my money and tell me that I’m lucky to pay extra for less paint because it’s the exclusive lightweight option. Y’all aren’t the first manufacturer to provide a nude carbon option that weighs less than the painted option, but others don’t charge extra for it. Four. Hundred. Dollars! Stop and think about that for a second. But, I suppose if you are the type of person that would consider shelling out 2.5k on a cervelo hardtail in the first place, you’ve got so many dollars that they’ve lost any real value anyway so you might as well throw them all toward a false sense of satisfaction.

Look Harder - 04/28/13 - 3:54pm

Nude Carbon and painted black are not the same thing…
That bike clearly has been painted black. Don’t care either way but its def not nude carbon.

g - 04/28/13 - 10:31pm

point is that nude carbon looks at least as good as that black (I know, subjective), would be just as light, and doesn’t cost FOUR HUNDRED EXTRA DOLLARS- for a generic matte black paintjob!

Gerard Vroomen - 04/29/13 - 4:42am

To respond to some of the genuine questions:

@frederick, @greg: Indeed that is a stock item. We don’t attach it so you can line it up properly with whatever chainring size(s) you pick, but once you know that you can apply it easily (and there is some leeway in the size you pick, so you don’t have to be too worried about where you put it).

@MMyers: Indeed.

@pmurf: Yes, it sounds logical that 31.8 would be stiffer. But actually, the AX combo is very stiff and the advantage of a smaller clamping area is that you can optimize the bar in that section better and require a lot less material (the resistance to crushing is bigger with smaller diameter). Of course the real reason the combo is so stiff is that AX simply spends a lot of time getting it right. It’s something you see in many cases, lighter products are often stiffer than heavy parts because it’s those companies that work until they get it right.

@g: Depends on how you look at it. It’s a matte clear actually, and if there is any imperfection in that coating, then we repaint in white and sell it for $400 less. We do this because we realize some people find the weight very important, so when the frame ends up heavier we feel we should sell it for less. And we feel that is better than not selling it at all. Better for us because we don’t have to scrap a frame, and better for the customer who is not super-focused on the sub-900g thing.

@mtb, @Alex: The bike is surprisingly stiff and the durability of all the parts so far is excellent. We’ve had this bike since Eurobike (and AX Lightness has one almost identical) and all parts are still functioning flawlessly. The only bit we’ve changed is the spider on the THM, but that wasn’t due to any problem but only because we started out with the double spider until the single spider was available. If you happen to be close to one of the test ride events in the future, let us know and we’ll let you try for yourself (just check beforehand as we don’t always have the same bikes at every event).

@probikesupply: As for the geometry, we can talk all day about the formulas and concepts, but in the end it’s simple: We designed it with this geometry to make it ride the way it does. We feel this set-up gives you good stability at higher speeds but at the same time good agility in tight turns, which obviously is something many 29ers lack. As you know, when people come back from test rides it’s something they often comment on, the sort of “I don’t know how you do it, but it feels stable and turns very quickly at the same time”. In the end, to me that’s the most important feature of the bike, much more so than saving a few grams or the color of the paint.

And finally, thanks to those who showed up the past two weekends at SeaOtter and Houffalize test days. It’s nice to see how people respond when they ride the bike. And a special thanks to those who testrode in Houffalize. According to the organizers most of you put OPEN at the top of your favorites list in the end. Given that virtually all manufacturers were there, that’s humbling.

Cheers,

Gerard

g - 04/29/13 - 11:30am

@Gerard Vroomen-

While I do appreciate that you don’t scrap functional frames for minor cosmetic flaws (how noble of you), this does bring the pricing of your frames into question. If after producing one of your standard lightweight black frames, you can turn around and apply a second paint job in addition to all the work that you’ve already done, charge $400 less and still turn a profit, it sounds like you are way overcharging for your $2900(!) black frames.

I think it is actually a really nice looking frame, and it sounds like it rides nicely as well. It is undoubtedly light. However, you haven’t achieved anything unique here. This is hardly the first 29″ hardtail that is both stable AND maneuverable- woah! I just don’t appreciate your marketing BS. Save it for the tri geeks that’ll eat that (deleted) up and consider themselves lucky to throw all their extra money at you for an exclusive matte clearcoat.

Zach Overholt - 04/29/13 - 8:03pm

@g, your comment was not deleted as you can see. We had some server issues that kept today’s comments from displaying correctly. No need to get all upset.

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