Hase Kettwiesel Recumbent Trike
This page is about the Hase
Kettwiesel recumbent trike that I bought primarily
for winter riding round town.
On this page;
On my other Kettwiesel pages;
The Hase Kettwiesel is a German recumbent trike
with the following main features;
- "Delta" design (i.e. 1 wheel steering at the front, 2 at the rear (and in this case 1 rear wheel driving)).
- Underseat remote steering.
- Mesh seat suspended on elastic to provide some shock absorption.
- 406 (20in) wheels all round.
- Cheap (for a recumbent trike) (I paid Eur1520, current (December 2002) list price Eur2000).
What I was looking for (and found !!) when I bought this trike;
- A recumbent: comfort :-)
- A trike: stable in all road conditions (ice / snow / wet) and the possibility
to add some rain and wind protection without losing any stability.
- Cheap: this was to be my first trike and I did not know what it would be like to live with.
Also it's main use was to be for hacking around in wet, muddy, snowy, salty conditions.
- Size/weight: small and light is always good but the trike had to be stored,
for a year at least, in a small cellar (through the front door, down several steps and round some corners).
Pros and Cons
Many of these are of course subjective:
- FEELS fast; and fun.
- Light (17kg (37lbs) according to Hase) and easy to carry into the
cellar (done for a year at least, until we moved to a ground-floor
flat in 2002 with proper cycle storage).
- It is very easy and relaxing to use SPD pedals, even with
stop/start town riding.
- Mostly standard bike components.
- 406 (20in) wheels all round (well I like them anyway!).
- Not too wide at 82cm (32.5in).
- Can be stored upright on it's rear wheels / seat back (see photo right).
- General trike advantages: stability, no need to unclip at junctions, great fun in snow/ice !!,
?greater road presence.
- Good value for the specification (in December 2002 the list
price is Eur1950 (approx. = Ukp1250 = Usd1930 = Aud3450)).
- (If you want more trike (partial fold, intermediate drive, rear suspension, 22kg (48lbs)...)
for more money (Eur2900 in December 2002) then you could look at
the Hase Lepus.)
- Front wheel is pretty light - I got used to it but YMMV.
- Luggage carrying is a little awkward (but that depends on what and how much you carry).
(Hase supply a special Radical rear bag
of 30 litres (see photo right) or you can fit standard low-riders on
the front fork (braze-ons provided). Or a BOB
Yak/Coz adaptor is available (same as the Weber adaptor - see photo above).
- Limited gearing: I think it will be OK for my needs, but Hase also offer the bottom bracket
Schlumpf drive to give 18 gears.
Note that although you could probably fit a double or triple chainset at the front
(with a bottom bracket mounted changer) there is not much ground clearance to fit a longer
armed rear derailer to take up the slack.
Note also that you may be able to fit a 10 speed rear block. (or, as they come, 11, 12, 13...!!)
(The Hase Lepus extends the gearing options by having an intermediate drive just in
front of the rear axle.)
- The rear mudguards protect the rider OK, but anyone behind (including trailer occupants)
will get a muddy shower with the standard mudguards. !! (However if you lengthen these you
loose the ability to store the trike upright (see photo above)).
- Trailer towing: the hitch arrangement works fine but a delta trike
does not fit well with a standard child trailer: the left turning
circle is very limited due to the shape of the trailer arm (see
photo to come). But I tow our child trailer around town OK: you just
need to be careful aware.
- No way of adjusting the tracking angle of the rear wheels (I assume it is correct
at the time of purchase but there is no ability to adjust it in case of a minor accident!!).
- General trike disadvantages: additional weight, cost,
some increase in complexity, possible storage problems.
This photo from Sheldon
Brown was taken at Interbike. I am not sure if this is the
latest Kettwiesel design, or a prototype (as usual there is no info at
the Hase website).
Existing new features (seen before) (compared to mine !!):
- Disk brakes.
- Ergonomic seat back.
- Chain tensioner.
Features that I have not seen before:
- It looks like the handlebar mounting can be slid along the main tube.
I missed the Spezi this year but notice that Hase have updated
their website to include the new titanium model (costs a
fortune but weighs only a claimed 11.7 kg). I also see they are now offering the
Rohloff 14 or Shimano 8 speed hub gears on the Kettwiesel via
an intermediate drive at the rear. From the photos
it seems to bolt on the inside end of one of the axles and onto the
disk brake mount, so may even be possible to retrofit it to an existing Kettwiesel !!
Hase have a new trike the Kettwiesel Ride
designed to be used offroad with a differential, suspension forks,
wide rims and tyres, and some strengthening around the wheel area. And
with a Rohloff 14 option (also see story and pictures at VeloVision.)
Manufacturer / Shops
- Hase (German and English pages although
the English pages do get updated slower than the German ones so check them both.)
Spezialraeder (site in German only). I bought my Kettwiesel
from this excellent shop in Stuttgart, Germany. They stock a lot of
recumbents (Hase/Flux/Rans/Zox/Challenge...) and specialist recumbent
parts (e.g. small wheels/tyres, SON, chain by the meter...) that are
well illustrated on their website.
this UK dealer seems to get better/quicker photos than the Hase
Other owners pages
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