Australian Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) is a perpetual contender on the domestic racing calendar, no matter the make up of the field. He’s proven this week at the Amgen Tour of California that even amongst the ProTour teams he’s a podium contender.
Sutherland rides Kuota’s Kult whose name is an acronym for Kuota Ultimate Laminate Technology, but his frame is clearly something different. It actually looks more like the brand’s Kredo Ultra model with its seat mast lopped off, which makes it most likely a late model. We can guess that because of Sutherland’s size and fit preference and that he’s continually the team’s general classification contender he has something different to specifically accommodate his body.
The 2010 production models of the Kult come equipped with a Kuota aero seatpost, while the Kredo Ultra model is sold with a seatmast, Sutherland’s bike doesn’t have either feature. Both models are available with Kuota’s KR1 fork which sports a 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in tapered steerer, internal cable routing and BB30 bottom brackets all features, which Sutherland’s frame also employs. His frame also utilizes asymmetric chainstays.
Like many ProTour bikes, Sutherland’s United Healthcare Kuota is decidedly no-nonsense as illustrated through the use of Richey WCS alloy cockpit components and full SRAM Red Group with BB30 specific crank. SRAM also supplies its ‘Make the Leap’ synthetic cork bar tape and SRAM branded SwissStop brake pads.
The United Healthcare team employs a range of Edge Composites clincher wheels including their 24mm climbing wheel and 65mm aero wheel. The team’s go-to, however, is the 45mm clincher that’s pictured here.
The Edge rims are laced to Chris King’s new K45 road racing hubs. The new hub is 20-percent lighter than King’s classic hubset, yet still features 17mm axles and King’s RingDrive ratchet mechanism. The RingDrive design used in the K45 has 45 teeth and is machined from titanium to keep its weight at an absolute minimum. The team’s wheels utilize, 20 front and 24 rear, Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
Sutherland and his teammates ride Speedplay Zero pedals and the Aussie utilizes a titanium-spindled model with longer 53mm axles to widen the stance width that comes with the ultra-low Q-Factor of SRAM’s Red BB30 crank.
“The guys have been affected by the change, since they were used to riding cranks with wider Q-factors,” said Eric Greene, United Healthcare’s head mechanic.
He explained that, while seemingly counter intuitive, the longer axles put the pedals in a similar position as the standard external bearing cranks.
United Healthcare’s presenting sponsor Maxxis provides their 170 TPI Cormet as the team’s final connection to the roads of California.