Ku Cycle TF1 – My New Triathlon Bike

Sunday 13 August was the day. The day that I took ownership of my brand new triathlon bike! More than a year after my bike accident, in which I broke my collar bone had to have some repair surgery on my shoulder, and lost faith in my good old Cervelo P3, it was time for a new triathlon bike monster! I have been looking at the Canyon Speedmax and Cervelo P3X triathlon bikes and they look very fast and promising, but then I remembered the reasonably new Ku Cycle triathlon bike.

My good old Cervelo P3

Ironman Cascais Portugal 2022 on Estoril circuitTo be honest, my Cervelo P3 still did its job. It’s certainly not a bad or slow bike and I have loved riding the bike in training and many races. I bought the bike second-hand in the spring of 2018. After a bike fit, I’ve enjoyed riding it. And in races I’ve always gone fast, ranking high for the bike split. Often I finished in the top 10% of my group for the bike split. In my last race, the Ironman 70.3 Duisburg race, I finished 8th of my group after a strong bike split and an even better run split.

So why replace the Cervelo with a new triathlon bike? First of all the crash in 2022 resulted in quite some damage to my bike. Luckily the frame didn’t break but several parts had to be replaced. The Cervelo was built in 2016 so quite a few years old, has no disc brakes, no electronic shifting, and the wear and tear started to become more often. And who doesn’t like a new bike 🙂

Why the Ku Cycle TF1?

At first sight, the Ku Cycle TF1 looks a bit unusual with the wide and high fork but the concept is all about aerodynamics and making the combination of the bike including the rider fast. They see the combination of bike and rider as one. That bike/rider combination has to be as aerodynamic, comfortable, and therefore fast as possible. Ku Cycle doesn’t do standard frame sizes like Small, Medium, or Large. The bike fitter measures your body dimensions and designs the best frame dimensions together with the Ku Cycle aero specialist team. And that frame will be made for that specific rider.

Of course, I had some questions. Actually, lots of questions! I like to do proper research and find out everything before making a decision. Especially such an important decision as a triathlon bike (and especially with such a high price tag) which can save or cost you many minutes in the race. I’ve read several blogs, reviews, and test reports. Read every word on the Ku Cycle website and links to other tests. In some reviews, people stated they didn’t like the frame design. Who cares? It’s all about going fast! Actually, the frame design started to become more and more appealing to me 🙂 Just like some crazy super sports car that you have to get used to. You have to start loving it after looking at it for some time.

Ku Cycle is located in Almere, the Netherlands, and they had a test bike for me to try out and to confirm how fast it is. In June the bike fitter (website De Bikefitter), measured my body and riding position and adjusted the test bike. The test rides opened my eyes! What a difference! The aero position was so comfortable and immediately I was riding faster without more effort. Three-hour endurance rides without pain and easy high speeds. Especially considering the test bike wasn’t 100% set up for me, this could only become better! Yes, I was sold!

Ku Cycle - rider specific framesetLate June I had a video call with the CEO, Alex Bok. I actually met him during the Ironman 70.3 West-Friesland race weekend in 2021 and had a short chat and exchanged email addresses to receive some information but I didn’t continue the process back then. During the call in June 2023, Alex explained the whole story of Ku Cycle, the patented fork design, the build of the frame, and the possibilities of the bike. He took his time answering all my questions and that was much appreciated! So much personal attention, unbelievable! With all my research and especially the testing on their test bike, it was a pretty easy call. We also spoke about my upcoming race schedule, Duisburg, Zell am See, and Cascais, and after checking the possibilities Alex was going to try to have my Ku Cycle building process (frame build and shipment to the Netherlands, painting, building up all the parts and final checks) to go faster than normal in order to make it before Ironman 70.3 Zell am See (if I decided to continue with Ku Cycle). After that, Alex made me an offer, and the following day I accepted it!

Ku Cycle - Greyhound - the story

Custom paint design

Ku Cycle triathlon bike - paint designThe day that I accepted the offer, Alex immediately sent me design instructions and many designs of previous orders to get some ideas. During the whole research process, I didn’t really think too much about the paint design. The parts and concept of the bike were a lot more important to me so I had to think fast in order not to delay the building process and have the chance the receive my new bike before the race in Zell am See.

When you order a Ku Cycle, you can create your custom paint design. You can make it as crazy as you can think of. I wanted a simple color design. The color design doesn’t make the bike faster but the looks are important as well 😉 I made the decision to ice white and bright blue. The logos and texts could become silver or gold like many other designs or something more outstanding… Yeah, I went for the outstanding!

Ku Cycle TF1 - custom paint designNew Bike Day!

A week after the race in Duisburg I could pick up my new bike in Almere. Ku Cycle had arranged a full experience and extensive aero testing. The moment I arrived at their office and first saw the outcome of the paint design in real life, I knew I made a good choice! It looks beautiful! I met Richard McAinsh who is the Ku Cycle aero specialist (and the designer of the wide/high fork) and who has worked for several Formula One teams as an aero designer in the past. The Bikefitter was setting up the new bike (adjusting the aerobars, pedals, and saddle) some testing of the position on the Wahoo indoor bike trainer and then we went to the outside aero track.

In total 14 runs were made on the aero track and the outcome was very interesting and a good basis to start my journey on the Ku Cycle. The aero testing was quite exhausting but I loved and smiled every second! A future Ku Cycle aero camp might be useful to make further gains in my aero position.

Ku Cycle TF1 - setup De Bikefitter Ku Cycle TF1 - setup test Ku Cycle TF1 - aero testing

And now?

Ironman 70.3 Zell am See triathlon race is on 3 September. The bike track has a long and steep climb and after the descent, some more rolling and tight curves. Not ideal for a fast bike ride but I’ll do my best. Stay tuned for my race report soon after 3 September!

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