Kross vs Steel Pros and Cons
The Kross and the Steel are very different trikes. A quick look at them will show the sheer difference in size and weight. Where the steel is low tech the Kross has many custom made parts, all adding to the initial price. This trike is a Rolls Royce. It exudes quality from every pore.
The Steel has not been made for a while now and can be picked up secondhand for a good price. If you see one of these or an aluminum framed one with a differential you will have the best of all worlds. Cheaper price, lower weight, easy to fix, all good. Still the Kross beats them all. It is so well made.
I have been a fan of Hase trikes for years and have had a few. I like the fact that they were reasonably easy to work on, with basic bike skills. I have changed gearing, cables, brake parts etc on my steel. It had a schlumpf drive fitted which was moved over to my Kross when I traded in. They are great pieces of kit and I will write about them later, but are not a straightforward swap from steel to aluminium as you need to order rings from Germany. It is not a problem, it just takes a little planning if you want to swap them over.
When you fit the schlumpf it takes the gearing to another level, giving low down grunt as well as an extended top end, all from a smaller front cog. what is not to like.
It is difficult to measure up a trike that I have had for a summer with one that has been in the family for years. Quickly you can tell what works for you and although subjective and personal to me it may be useful for others thinking about buying one.
The steel will never cope with gravel or mud that is for sure. The diff makes all the difference, as does having linear gears, which tuck them out of the way of anything, so the derailleur will not get banged.
The weight also means that the steel is a bit like a whippet by comparison with the bigger bloodhound Kett. I liked the steel for its speed and manoeuvrability. When talking of the weight try getting a Kross through a narrow cycleway gate may make you change your mind. However if you want comfort and sheer fun on any surface, the Kross will always win out.
Simple things like using the separate rear brakes meant you could use these to help steer. You won’t be doing this with the Kross if you opt for the linked system. Although a personal choice, I would not bother with a linked system you will have more control on individual brakes. Brake steering allows you to maintain speed if needed. Personally I would also stick with the tried and tested BB7s or Tektros. They are cheaper and easier to fix at the side of the road, if you are going on a tour. Hydraulics will require more bleeding.
The Kross provides suspension that requires an additional pump to change settings, you only need to set them up once and then you dont need the little pump. It is comfortable and useful, but you lose the front lowriders, but you gain a back pannier fitting on the seat. You do forget just how comfortable the trike is with suspension and the poor person on the back can feel crashed about as the Kross slips and glides over bumps.
I like having the suspension on the rear, but would trade the front suspension for a set of lowriders. I like to carry kit. However it does soak up the bumps and the Kross can easily carry more stuff using a couple of camera bags etc.
The kross is just so adjustable, it really does fit your body well.
Suspension on Kross makes a big difference
Less worried about lumps and bumps on road
Seat extra comfy
Seat very adjustable
Small pocket on back of seat great for little bits and pieces
Fat tyres bite well in off road situations
Differential very useful for grip (no more pulling to one side)
Gearing allows easier conversion to double chain
Has tandem connection available
Gear lever (bar end) pleasant to use
Easier for different riders to change settings.
It is a bit heavier
More technical ride
No dynamo as standard (we now have a heinzmann on front so have great lighting through the battery.
Seat angle effects storage position and lean of trike when put upright, (easily sorted with extension).
Scrapes back light when stored if you dont use extension
No reflectors supplied from new, so not really road legal
Special tools required
Gearing not enough in 11sp (for off road uphills only in tandem set up)
Brakes offer more control when not linked (Bb7 easier to maintain personally and having one type of brake system means less parts to carry if touring).
Suspension extra weight
Cannot fit low rider luggage
Overall I like the trike it is great and is the best tandem set up we have ever had. In an ideal world a differential on a much cheaper steel or aluminium model with some big balloon tyres and better seat would have been a cheaper middle ground, but overall I am happy with the set up.
In fact I might just change the tyres and check out how it runs.