Home > Gear

What was that bike Rico Bogen used to win the 70.3 worlds?

German champion rides new bike that features some innovative new designs

Photo by: Ku Cycle

After his big win at Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau over Patrick Lange earlier this year, we shouldn’t have been totally surprised with Rico Bogen’s big win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland yesterday. A former swimmer, Bogen turned to triathlon and started with draft-legal racing, working his way up through the junior ranks to elite competitions before setting his sights on long-distance. This year he was fourth at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, then had the big win in Kraichgau, which set him up nicely for the huge win in Lahti.

Photo: Ironman

While true triathlon geeks were all too familiar with the Ku bike Bogen was riding in the race, there are lots who were unfamiliar with the brand, especially in North America. Founded just a few years ago, Ku Cycle is the brainchild of two men – Alex Bok, who is the entrepreneur and business part of the company, and Richard McAinsh, the engineer behind the design of the bike.

Those who have been in the sport for a while might recognize Bok’s name. He was the man behind Team TBB, which he started as an offshoot of a company he’d started called “The Bicycle Boutique.” Team TBB was, for a while, the most successful tri team on the planet. Coached by Brett Sutton, the team amassed a number of Ironman titles over the years (49 according to the link below), including numerous Kona titles thanks to team star Chrissie Wellington. Once again, Bok was the businessman behind the venture.

teamTBB closes its doors

McAinsh is a former Formula 1 engineer (he was part of seven F1 world championships) who shifted over to the cycling world. He had some ideas on a new bike design, and when he approached Bok for some business advice, Bok decided he wanted in, and helped found the company.

Ku TF1

Bogen’s bike. Photo: Ku Cycle

Determined to strike a different business model, the bikes Bok and McAinsh offer are “built-to-order.” Instead of getting a bike, then having it fit, the process starts with a bike fit, then a bike is built. Once the dimensions of the bike are finalized, the frame is put together through a series modules.

Photo: Ku Cycle

FAST front end

The most innovative aspect of the Ku TF1 frame is the Fork Air Stream Technology (FAST) front end. The wide fork certainly stands out, but there’s also a “Formula 1 inspired Steerer Pivot Box (SPB)” which replaces the fork and steerer tube. Like pretty much every new tri bike these days, the TF1 features disc brakes, but the Hydraulic Advance Systems (HAS) allows for easy uncoupling of the brake lines, so you can easily tear the bike down for travel.

Photo: Ku Cycle

Pricing and Personalization

The built-to-order TF1 with SRAM Force AXS eTap will set you back 11,100 euros, and that doesn’t include VAT, shipping, import duties or a saddle or bottle holder. The bike comes with Ku Cycle aero wheels (either 35 or 60 mm front, 80 mm rear), a limited personalized paint scheme (two base colours and one colour choice for decals) and a Bento box. A bike fit and tuning at a Ku authorized dealer is also included in the price.

For an additional 1,250 euros you can up the paint scheme options (Level 2) to three to four base colours and free colour choice for your logo decals. Level 3 paint options start at 1,500 euros and allow you to “create your own piece of art.”