Kross vs Steel pros and cons

steel-kett-fullearly-crossKross 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. When things go wrong you will become well acquainted with your dealer.

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, easier to fix, all good.

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.

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.

Having had a number of trips to the dealer with broken parts, I am a little concerned just how fragile this trike is. That and the eye watering prices some of the parts cost, or the amount of cash you will part with to get simple things done. For example parts such as gears can be on the whole bought off the shelf for a steel Kett, this is not possible for the Kross’ linear system. It will be a very expensive dealer fix.

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.

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. I would also stick with the tried and tested BB7s. They are cheaper and easier to fix at the side of the road. My hydraulics have got badly bent when folding up the trike.

The Kross provides suspension (another expensive dealer fix) that requires an additional pump to change settings. It is comfortable and useful, but you lose the front lowriders, that is a lot of luggage space gone on a trike that does not have much to start with. 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. This would also improve the front braking in the wet. I think it is best to consider the front brake more as a parking brake, than useful at speed.

Pros

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)

Folding mechanism (when it works and does not snap chain or bend hydraulic pipes)

Gearing allows easier conversion to double chain

Has tandem connection available

Front Brake

Gear lever  (bar end) pleasant to use

Easier for different riders to change settings.

Con

Very heavy and slow

More technical ( a dealers best friend).

No dynamo as standard (we now have a heinzmann on front and impossible to fit bottle dynamo on the back)

Seat angle effects storage position and lean of trike when put upright

Scrapes back light when stored

No reflectors supplied from new, so not really road legal

Harder to fit mudguards

Special tools required

Gearing not enough in 11sp (for off road uphills and tandem set up)

Multiple chain snaps stopped after no more folding

Folding does not make the bike easily transportable

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

Gears more prissy and need a lot of fettling

Horrifically expensive to fix (dealer only)

Cannot fit low rider luggage

Overall I like the trike it is heavy, heavy, heavy. I would never buy a two wheeler that was anywhere near this weight. Now would I go for one with so many expensive Hase specific parts as they are just one more dealer part to fix? 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.

 

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