Geoff Kabush took the win at the opener of the 2020 Grasshopper series at Low Gap in dramatic fashion, storming the final descent to close a three-minute gap and overtake Peter Stetina and Sandy Floren just metres from the line.
Kabush, who is usually found racing cross-country for the Colorado-based mountain bike brand Yeti, has jumped ship to gravel racing and plans to race a handpicked selection of gravel events in 2020. As Yeti does not currently feature a gravel bike in its catalogue, a partnership with OPEN was developed between the two brand owners.
This is Geoff’s first OPEN Cycle gravel bike and the U.P. frameset has received a special-edition Yeti Turq colour scheme. At 1.88m tall, Geoff rides an extra-large frameset. OPEN has designed the U.P. with a focus on versatility and it is able to handle any tyre size between a rowdy 650b x 2.1in mountain bike tyre down to a 700c x 28c road tyre for on-tarmac speed.
For the Low Gap race, Geoff chose Stan’s NoTubes Grail CB7 700c gravel wheelset. These lightweight wheels use Stan’s 300g Grail CB7 carbon rims which feature a 21.6mm inner rim diameter that is optimised for tyres between 28mm and 40mm.
Geoff says that he set the bike up specifically for the final 8.5-mile descent which is obvious from his tyre system. While other riders were concerned about punctures and held back, Geoff was able to ride to the limit. His confidence came from his combo of tubeless Maxxis Rambler EXO TR 40mm tyres paired with CushCore Gravel inserts. This is a setup Geoff has a lot of experience with and knows how hard he can push on rough terrain. With the security of the CushCore inserts, he was able to run pressures as low as 27psi front and rear for maximum grip and stability.
Rather than opt for a gravel-specific 1x groupset, Geoff has specced a Shimano Dura-Ace 50/34 combo. As this bike also doubles for training duties, the double-ring setup offers a wider gear range giving him the versatility to train on the road when needed. For training and racing, a Stages power meter is integrated with the right-hand crank and connected to a Stages Dash L50 computer.
The cockpit and seatpost are all from Pro’s Vibe range and features a 110mm stem and 440mm compact-drop handlebars. The saddle, also from the Shimano components brand, is a Pro Turnix Carbon with a width of 132mm. Other touchpoints come in the form of Lizard Skins DSP 3.2mm bar tape and Shimano XTR pedals.
Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Geoff Kabush's OPEN U.P.
Geoff Kabush's OPEN U.P. full bike specifications
Frameset: OPEN Cycle XL U.P. Yeti Turq Special Edition with U-Turn fork
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9170 Di2
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 (50/34T) with Stages Cycling right-side power meter
Bottom bracket: Enduro Bearings Ceramic XD-15
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 (11-30T)
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Rotors: 160/140mm Freeza rotors
Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M9100
Wheelset: Stan’s NoTubes Grail CB7 wheelset with Enduro Ceramic Bearings
Tyre system: Maxxis 40c Rambler EXO TR at 27/27psi with CushCore Gravel inserts and Stans sealant
Handlebars: Pro Bike Gear Vibe Compact 44cm
Stem: Pro Vibe 7S 110mm
Seatpost: Pro Vibe alloy
Saddle: Pro Turnix Carbon 132mm
Bar tape: Lizard Skins DSP 3.2mm
GPS Computer: Stages Dash L50
Shoes: Shimano XC9
Bottle cages: King Ti
Accessories: Camelbak Podium bottles with dirt series cap to keep mud off
Nutrition: Started with a couple of bottles of Roctane drink, three gels and four chews
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Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.