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Pro bike: Karl Platt's Bulls Wild Edge

Cape Epic pro bike check 2022
Karl Platt won five Cape Epics for Bulls bikes (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

The Cape Epic has featured many iconic riders, but Karl Platt is among the greatest.

He holds the joint record of five Cape Epic wins with Christoph Sauser. And ironically, the former rivals raced together as a powerful Swiss-German paring in the Cape Epic Masters category, subsequently winning their class.

During his competitive decade at the Cape Epic, Platt gave terrific exposure to Bulls bikes. And for the 2022 event, he is on the German brand’s Wild Edge 29er.

Platt’s Wild Edge dual-suspension frame features 100mm of frame and fork travel. Unlike many competitor XCM bikes, the Wild Edge retains a chainstay pivot.

Cape Epic pro bike check 2022

German rider. German power meter. And note the spare tube placement, too (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

A Shimano brand fan

There is not much anyone could tell Platt about curating the perfect Cape Epic build. His experiences and tally of wins, not to mention the many testing miles he suffered with mechanicals at the event, make the German mountain biker an authority on all things Cape Epic.

Platt is running RockShox suspension for the Epic with a SID SL Ultimate RL-R and SIDLuxe Ultimate shock, both with lockout triggers on the handlebar. The RockShox component theme extends to Platt’s wireless AXS Reverb dropper post.

Riders with RockShox suspension often run SRAM drivetrain and brakes, but not in Platt’s case. The German Cape Epic legend prefers Shimano.

His drivetrain and brakes are the XTR, with an SRM power meter sitting on the XTR crankset. Pedals? Quite obviously, the bombproof and terrific light, XTR SPDs. Linked to Platt’s SRM power meter is a Sigma Rox 11.1 Evo head unit with Rainbow stripe casing design.

Cape Epic pro bike check 2022

Platt adds more German riding tech, with his choice of head unit (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

Water is life at the Epic 

Some riders frequently question the need for additional front triangle bottle cage capacity. 

The Cape Epic, even with an abundance of water points on each stage, teaches harsh lessons regarding hydration. And Platt stacks the front triangle of his Bulls Wild Edge, with two hydration bottles.

An interesting touch, illustrating his Cape Epic experience, is Platt taping a spare inner tube to the bottom bracket. A location where it can be easily accessed and has a low likelihood of being damaged during a crash.

Cape Epic pro bike check 2022

Platt’s vast Cape Epic riding (and winning) experience was instrumental in Bulls shaping bikes that carry two bottles, with ease (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

German tires and contact points 

Schwalbe’s original Racing Ralph design built its reputation at the Cape Epic. And Platt continues to run the German tire brand, using Schwalbe’s latest-generation Racing Rays.

Long days. Harsh gravel roads and singletrack. The Cape Epic can be brutal on bikes and riders. Many, including Platt, prefer the efficiency of mid-volume tire casings and 100mm suspension – reducing wheel and suspension compliance.

Hand and seat fatigue are real issues at the Cape Epic. And Platt uses an Ergon seat and grip contact points to increase comfort.

Tech Specs: Karl Platt's Bulls Wild Edge

  • Frame: Bulls Wild Edge dual-suspension
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Ultimate RL-R
  • Shock: RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate shock
  • Handlebar: FSA K-Force flatbar
  • Stem: FSA Orbit
  • Grips: Ergon GA20
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XTR, SRM power meter
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR
  • Dropper post: RockShox AXS Reverb dropper post
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XRC 1200 Spline
  • Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ray 
  • GPS device: Sigma Rox 11.1 Evo
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype