Bikes of the Epic: Karl Platt's BULLS Wild Edge Team 29
Karl Platt rode this medium sized (46cm) BULLS Wild Edge Team 29 to his fifth Absa Cape Epic overall victory in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic.
In celebration of Team BULLS's 10th year participating in the Absa Cape Epic in 2016, BULLS launched the Project Zebra campaign which included a custom paint scheme for the bike.
The cockpit features lightweight carbon components with the handlebar, stem, and seat post coming from FSA's K-Force range. ESI Chunky grips, Tune bar ends, and road bike tape placed inside the controls give Karl options to change his position on the bike. Taping a chain link to the cable housing is a neat way of storing this small but important spare part. Karl also makes use of the Sahmurai Sword end caps to store his tyre plug system conveniently inside the handlebar. A thin foam patch on top of the stem assists in holding a Sigma ROX 10.0 computer in place.
The bike is driven by Shimano's XTR drivetrain. Interestingly, the rear derailleur and shifter is the electronically assisted Di2 model while the front derailleur is cable operated. Karl has opted for a double ring setup (36/26) with a 40-11 cassette range. The XTR brake set is a custom build with the calipers from the cross-country specification and the levers sourced from the trail range. Power output is monitored by a Stages Cycling power meter on the non-drive side crank arm.
During the 2016 Absa Cape Epic, the BULLS team rode with blue special edition XTR pedals to celebrate 25 years of Shimano's SPD pedal system.
BULLS entrusted a RockShox RS-1 fork and Monarch XX shock to smooth the bumps during the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. The shock is a custom tune for BULLS with both components set to 110 mm of suspension travel. The lockout on both the shock and fork are controlled by a single RockShox lever. It will be interesting to see if the RS-1 fork loses favour to the new SID fork at the 2017 Epic.
The fi’zi:k Antares 00 carbon saddle has a claimed weight of 140 grams.
When looking at Karl's bike in 2015, I mistook his bottle cage for a basic cheapie. A sharp reader pointed out that it is, in fact, a titanium cage made by USA manufacturer King Cages. During the 2016 Absa Cape Epic, Karl mounted a second bottle cage to the seat post.
The BULLS team roll on a custom wheelset with Stan's NoTubes Race Gold rims, blade spokes, aluminium nipples, XTR rear hub, and a predictive steering front hub to accommodate the RockShox RS-1 fork. Tyres of choice are Schwalbe's light weight and fast-rolling Rocket Ron with a 2.25 width.
- FrameBULLS Wild Edge Team, 110mm travel, Size M / 46cm, custom Zebra paint job
- ForkRockShox RS1, 110mm travel
- ShockRockShox Monarch XX, custom tuned for Team BULLS
- LockoutRockShox XLoc Full Sprint Lock-out (locks fork and shock with one lever)
- Crankset Shimano XTR FC9020 (Trail Version), double chain ring 26-36, 175mm length with Stages Powermeter
- Bottom BracketShimano Pressfit BB94
- Front DerailleurShimano XTR
- Rear DerailleurShimano XTR Di2 Shadow+
- Left shifterShimano XTR with I-Spec II
- Right shifterShimano XTR Di2 (11-speed)
- CasetteShimano XTR 11-speed, 11-40t
- ChainShimano XTR 11-speed
- PedalsShimano XTR M990 race, 25th anniversary limitied edition
- BrakesShimano XTR, custom built BRM9000 calipers with BLM9020 levers
- SeatpostFSA K-Force 27,2 / 400mm
- Saddlefizik Antares 00
- Seatpost clampKCNC Road Pro SC9
- HeadsetFSA integrated No. 57
- StemFSA K-Force, 110mm / -6°
- HandlebarFSA K-Force, 700mm
- GripsESI Chunky
- Front wheelcustom built with NoTubes race gold rim, 32H, bladed spokes, 14mm aluminium nipples, Predictive Steering hub
- Rear wheelcustom built with NoTubes race gold rim, 32H, bladed spokes, 14mm aluminium nipples, Shimano FH-M9000 hub
- TyresSchwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 Snake Skin Evolution Line, 120ml Schwalbe Doc Blue Professional per tire
- Bottle cageKing Cage Titanium
- BarendsTune RH1
- ComputerSigma Rox 10.0 GPS
- Tyre plugsSahmurai Sword