Pro bike: Rory Sutherland’s United Healthcare-Maxxis Kuota Kult

A unique bike for Aussie general classification contender

Australian Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) is a perpetual contender on the US 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 got what it takes, finishing 7th overall at 1’58 behind winner Michael Rogers.


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 Ritchey 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.

Edge’s 45 clincher is the team’s go to wheel, though, it hasn’t completed the uci’s wheel testing protocol, creating problems here at atoc.:
Matt Pacocha/

Edge’s 45 clincher is the team’s go to wheel, though, it hasn’t completed the UCI’s wheel testing protocol, creating problems at the Tour of California

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 R45 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 R45 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.

Speedplay offers a longer 53mm axle to offset the new narrowness of sram’s red bb30 crank.:
Matt Pacocha/

Speedplay offers a longer 53mm axle to offset the new narrowness of SRAM’s Red BB30 crank

Sutherland and his teammates ride Speedplay Zero pedals and the Aussie uses 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.

Maxxis’ cormet is the team’s go-to race tire. it features a 290tpi casing and grippy tread.:
Matt Pacocha/

Maxxis’ Cormet is the team’s race tyre. It features a 170TPI casing and grippy tread

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: Kuota Kult, XXL
  • Fork: Kuota KR1
  • Headset: Kuota by Stronglight
  • Stem: Ritchey WCS, 13cm
  • Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Classic, 44cm
  • Tape/grips: SRAM Make the Leap
  • Front brake: SRAM Red
  • Rear brake: SRAM Red
  • Brake levers: SRAM Red
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red, clamp on, 35mm
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
  • Shift levers: SRAM Red
  • Cassette: SRAM OG-1090 PowerDome, 11-26t
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1090
  • Crankset: SRAM Red BB30, 175
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM BB30
  • Pedals: Speedplay Zero Ti, 58mm spindles
  • Wheelset: Edge 45/Chris King
  • Rims: Edge 45 clincher
  • Front hub: Chris King R45
  • Rear hub: Chris King R45
  • Spokes: Sapim CX-ray
  • Front tire: Maxxis Cormet, 700x23mm
  • Rear tire: Maxxis Cormet, 700x23mm
  • Saddle: fi’zi:k Arione CX carbon braided
  • Seat post: Ritchey WCS single-bolt
  • Bottle cages: Arundel Dave-O
  • Computer: Cateye Strada wireless United Healthcare team edition
  • Other accessories: K-Edge clamp on chain watcher

Critical measurements:

  • Rider’s height: 1.87m (6’2″)
  • Rider’s weight: 74.84kg (165lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 811mm
  • Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 100cm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 610mm
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 560mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 630mm
  • Head tube length: 200mm
  • Top tube length: 590mm
  • Total bicycle weight: 7.33 (16.18lbs)