Hase Kettwiesel log
This page details how I came to buy my Hase Kettwiesel recumbent trike
and what modifications etc. I have made to it (jump to most recent entry).
Or << Back to Hase Kettwiesel introduction page.
January 2002: Buying it
I had been thinking about buying a winter trike, I had done my
research (except for actual test rides !!) and so when I saw a Hase
Kettwiesel on the Special Offers
page at the excellent Pedalkraft Spezialraeder for
Eur1520 I could not resist. It was an older model but at the price
discount I was not complaining.
(The main difference I am aware of is that the newer (i.e. 2002)
models have rear disk brakes, mine has 2 V-brakes (see photo right:
the left arm is a standard V-brake part and moves and the right arm is
by Hase and is FIXED: it relies on the wheel moving across to rub on
the brake block !). Also there are 2 additional idlers in the drive
train in newer models so that when you adjust the boom in and out the
chain length does not need to be changed).
After a quick exchange of emails I decided I wanted it :-)
21st January 2002: Taking Delivery
So later that week it arrives: together with the attachment (see photo right)
to allow the fitting of a standard
so that I could tow our child trailer.
(The dark grey part (made of three tubes) is by Hase and secures with an expansion bolt (1)
onto the left hand axle tube (see photo below). Then either a Weber coupling (2) can
be bolted on (as shown) or a Yak trailer fits across the length of the rearmost
January 2002: Fine Tuning
This process usually takes me several months of trial and error !
- Fitted the Hase/Weber coupling (see photo right) to the
rear axle to haul our child trailer.
- Re-lace the seat so that the strap buckles do not touch the riders back.
- Fit an Air Zound 2 air horn. This is designed to fit on straight MTB handlebars and
I could not figure any way of fitting this to the Kettwiesel handlebars. So I fitted
it for now on to the frame close by (see photo above right). I would like later to
design a cable remote control so that I can use it from the handlebars.
(If I really have a problem on the roads to get noticed I think yelling is better / safer.)
- Alter the return chain run. As delivered the return side goes over one of the frame
tubes: I changed it to go under. I have not noticed any difference
but I think it must have some effect on the friction and the paint was rubbing off even
though the chain is in a tube.
- After experimenting with a variety of mirrors and mounting
positions I eventually fitted a sawn-off cheap handlebar extension
(the silver bar in the picture, left). On this is fitted a Mirrycle mirror and a Cateye
Mity 2 cycle computer (see photo of mirror/computer mount left and
photo of sensor mounted below the dynamo bracket right).
December 2002 Riding it
I do not have that many miles riding it yet, but here are my impressions so far:
- It certainly feels fast: partly the closeness to the ground but it also
has the feeling that if you push a bit harder on the pedals the effort is converted
into speed, and not soaked up by suspension, frame, tyres etc.
- Front wheel skip when accelerating from a stop. You have to be careful to pedal
smoothly away from the lights as otherwise the lightly loaded front wheel will skip to the
left or right. Not so dangerous on a trike as on a bicycle, just annoying. I have NOT experienced any
skipping during normal cycling.
- Cars give you more space. I think it is a combination of what-the-heck-is-that,
a fear of losing sight of the low machine when overtaking, and possibly the fact that the
2 rear wheels are noticeably canted in at the top reminds following drivers
- As with all bikes you have to be aware as you ride of who can see you and who can not.
With a low trike fewer people can see you (especially around parked cars) so you
have to ride accordingly. (And anyway just because someone sees you does not mean that you
will get your right-of-way !!)
- Ice and snow: I am really looking forward to that :-)
December 2002: Thinking about a fairing addition
I would still like to do this, but nothing has progressed yet off the drawing board :-(
and in Europe winter is now arrived !!
(see my Hase Kettwiesel fairing ideas page)
January 2003: Snow and Ice :-)
Great fun: human-powered handbrake turns !! I found myself sprinting into corners,
throwing my body-weight to one side and then jamming the brakes on just to slide the rear-end round :-)
But it is also soooo relaxing not to be worrying about falling off (maybe it is just me !!).
Usually snow and ice is the time of year that I hate for cycling (although we do not get very much snow
here in Darmstadt). The point for me is not that there are maybe 4 or 5 days a year when
there is a lot of snow and ice nor that I am always falling off. The point for me is that I do
not have to think about it: I do not know on which 4 or 5 days the snow and ice will come
and I now do not have to worry about patches of ice on other days. I just plough on...
January 2003: Lower gears
I had already replaced the original 52 tooth chainring with a 46 tooth from my spares box.
But I wanted to go a bit lower to allow for towing the child trailer (42+ kg (92lbs))
up the local (admittedly small)
hills. I calculated that a 40T would do the job, without losing too much top end.
39T proved easier/cheaper to get but when I installed it I discovered a possible problem.
On the small gears the power side of the chain is now touching on of the rear cross-pieces.
This is OK for now as at this point it is still in the plastic tube, but I will have to
keep an eye in it !!
- 406 wheel / 11-34 block / 52 front = 33 to 90 gear inches = 1.5 to 7.2 meters development
- 406 wheel / 11-34 block / 46 front = 26 to 79 gear inches = 2.0 to 6.4 meters development
- 406 wheel / 11-34 block / 39 front = 22 to 67 gear inches = 1.7 to 5.4 meters development
February 2003: Trailer experience
It tows the trailer fine: as long as you remember 2 things;
- Watch out for left wheel/trailer drawbar contact when turning left: otherwise the
trailer tends to lift up on that side on contact (especially when empty).
- Be careful when going through narrow gaps: the trailer runs slightly to the
right of centre as the coupling is in the centre but the tailer design expects it to be
on the left end of a rear axle. So aim a bit to the left !!
March 2003: Full time use now :-)
I bought the trike primarily for winter use: but I have to confess I am quite addicted
to it now :-) I have been using it all the time since the snow above, and love it.
- I can use SPDs without any worries about emergency stops etc. And these are great on a recumbent.
- It feels really fast (well compared with my Flux).
- It is FUN :-))
Summer 2003: Back to the Flux most of the time now
Warmer weather means I need a more relaxing ride !! It is difficult to resist putting
the pressure on the pedals on the Hase, and I do not want to arrive at work soaked in sweat !!
Also I get tired of lifting and manoeuvring the Hase out of the cellar room, up the
stairs, through the front door and out onto the street. Every day.
(Hopefully when we move I will have better (street level) parking !)
December 2003: Snow arrives in Darmstadt
We do not get much here in Darmstadt: but we had some for a couple of
days and the trike was great fun :-)
Also I bought an (sports) Airhorn to use instead of the Air Zound -
just need to fix it now !!
June 2004: Still using it everyday
So far I have not gone back to the Flux after the winter snow - the
Kett is great fun to ride, even round town. It is a much more
responsive and faster ride than the Flux, and it is really nice to use
SPDs and not have to bother with unclipping all the time (my commute
is very stop/start).
Early 2006: New chain tubing and tyres
(And still using it everyday :-)
The original chain tubes are getting a bit tatty now: and they
always were a bit short (to allow for the shorter leg adjustments). So
I picked up some black plastic garden hose at my local Bauhaus DIY
superstore (Gardena Micro-Drip-System, 15m long, 13mm diameter), cut
it to length and straighted it using a round, wooden, dowl and boiling
water. Worked fine. I re-used the old P-clips but just noticed that
Conrad has P-clips in lots of
sizes, including rubber protected.
The 2 original rear Conti tyres are now worn quite low, so I have
replaced them with Schwalbe Marathon HS 308 40-406. Initial
impressions are good.
March 2007: Still using it everyday
Bit of a repeated entry but I still ride every day to work, and it is
still great fun to ride it. I am a little tempted to upgrade to a
newer model: disc brakes, adjustable seat, aluminium frame... but for
a hack bike I can not really justify it to myself !! But I will try to
have a ride on a new one at the SPEZI this year, and see what I think
May 2008: bought a new Hase Kettwiesel Tour
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