Allroad Riding in Alsace (Open's Video)

Open made a video to introduce their facelifted U.P. wide-tire racing bike. They went for a beautiful ride in the Alsace Mountains of France, coincidentally the same region where the first post-war Concours de Machines was held in 1946.
A few months ago, we sent Open’s Andy Kessler a set of Compass 650B x 48 mm Switchback Hill tires for testing. He put them on the new bike and featured them in the video. How did they perform? Andy’s comment:
“Funny enough, I was downloading a MTB loop to my Garmin that was described as difficult. OK, we had to push our U.P.s for 5 minutes as the trail was big rocks and drops, but all the rest can be done with an U.P. also.”
Seeing the video makes me want to head out for a ride in the hills. Enjoy!

5 Responses to Allroad Riding in Alsace (Open's Video)

  1. marmotte27 September 13, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Great seeing these pictures, that’s where I ride most of the time. I recognized quite a few of the roads and paths.
    My Loup Loup Pass tyres however were no match for the “road” at 0:39, I ended up pushing my bike for 30 or 40 minutes on that section.
    Concerning the Concours des machines from 1939/46, I’m still looking for Information on the course they took. I know a few of the towns/villages (Metzeral, Kaysersberg) and sites (Haut Koenigsbourg) they passed, and I’ve seen the pictures published in BQ and the René Herse book, but it’s not really possible to identify any of the roads from those… I’m considerin a search in the archives of the local newspapers, but I’m not very hopeful about the results it might yield.
    I’m going to look at an unpaved road I think they may have taken ( judging from the picture in the Herse book on page 106) one of these days.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly September 13, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      Regarding the tires, the 48s that Andy rode on the Open have almost twice the air volume of your Loup Loups… That makes a big difference.
      As far as the roads of the original Concours are concerned, I wonder if one of the participants has an original route sheet filed away somewhere. It would make a neat story to revisit those roads. I’ll see whether I can dig up something!

      • marmotte27 September 13, 2017 at 11:51 am #

        That would be great, and probably the only chance of findning that information.As I said, the local papers will most likely not have reported the route, even if they were aware of the events at all. Quite a few roads will ceratinly be paved nowadays (the pictures give te impression that most of them were not in those days) , but not all of them. The one I’m thinking about certainly isn’t.

  2. Frank Toman September 13, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

    I’m more than happy with my Elephant NFE, but I must admit I give the Open UP a bit of a lingering look …

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly September 13, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

      It’s a beautiful bike. I enjoyed testing it. It’s quite stiff – their goal was to make a modern race bike for wide tires, and they succeeded brilliantly.