Tandem rack

One thing about the Kett rig is that you cannot easily transport both trikes at once. we have a trailer, which is bulky and needs stored on the drive.

It is broken currently and so we are looking at alternatives.

Ideally the setup would be

  • easy to set up and take down
  • lightweight as rack and trike can only go to 50kg nose weight
  • be safe and secure

We have found the following set up

We are currently looking into the feasibility of whether this will work for us. Possibly with the Kross folded on the back. We will not need the space for a further bike like the example in the picture..

Will report back once we have more information. The company can be found here:

https://www.allround-hecktraeger.de/hecktraeger

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Decent ride

We had a great ride out to one of the cycling cafes near Chester, and a circular tour along a river, which was really nice. Weather remained overcast, which makes for great cycling. Speed remains relatively constant at 9mph. We wont win any records, but it does mean that my partner can take breaks when she is tired and we keep going.

The heinzmann battery system still works well, although it did jam on a few weeks ago. This made the cycle home a lot quicker, but obviously drained the battery much quicker. It must have been a random quirk as I cleaned the contacts and things seem to be back to normal.

The battery system adds a lot of weight, but the difference it makes is very noticeable. it is about two or three gears worth of power overall. On the really steep hills you crawl up, but you are not exhausted, especially if I am in tow mode and powering the rig by myself.

It is feasible to do a good cycle with judicious use of power and not have the person behind doing any work. You do however notice the difference when they stop pedaling. I am not sure i would like a constant on system. I like being able to choose when i get some ‘juice’, via a hand throttle. That way i can eek out the amount of power that I have available.

We did around 46 miles, started with 3/4 of a battery and came home with a little power left in the tank.

The only niggle is that despite an overhaul of the hydraulic brakes by the dealer, they continue to grab at one side. I dont think there is anything that can be done, except get them bled again. beginning to wish that I had just ordered bb7s all round. Certainly next time that would be my choice for a much easier set up that does not involve visiting the dealer regularly.

Steel Kett

I took the steel kett for a spin today after having done a long trip on the Kross. If you are thinking of buying a kross consider carefully.

I love it. it is a chunky tractor, a princess that needs a lot of fettling and has broken down badly alot.

It is however not a patch on the old steel ketts. they are so fast by comparison. I think their overall lightness and maneuverability shine though. That and they can be picked up for an eighth of the price secondhand.

I wonder what the newer ketts are like?

New dealer

We have moved to a new dealer as we did not get anywhere with the previous one. In fact they still have equipment we paid for and parts that have not been fitted. we decided to call it a day with them. Probably we were most concerned when the bike had gone back to them and the brake fell off as the bolts had not been fitted. scary. Needless to say they blamed me.

the new dealer quest 88 seems really nice. he is very knowledgeable about trikes and takes a real interest, i.e not just in it for the money. he has provided some useful tips and advice which are very welcome.

It is a shame he is so far away, but that is the price with specialist trikes and recumbents.

We got new tires fitted at the back end which are certainly better than the knobbly max max’s that came with the bike. the rolling noise is less and I am sure the trike feels a little faster. bit subjective, but with the heinzemann up front and knobbly tires it did feel like you were wading through treacle.

 

 

Back on the road

It has taken an age, but brakes are bled. new pads fitted as they have worn down completely at one side (in 600 miles) New bolt fitted to pedal crank. Schlumpf has been removed and the bolts to the electrics tightened and loctite added this time.

Good run to check everything is as it should be.

Set up the tandem and had a blast. Two days in a row. The electric heinzmann kit certainly takes out the pain in the hills. Smooths it out and allows you to go uphill probably about two gears higher.

I find it helps a lot especially when I am in ‘towing mode’ when my partner is tired or unable to pedal. The two trips did not dent more than a third of the battery each time and we took on some ridiculous hills.

All that being said, the weight of the kross is colossal. the front wheel alone is heavy. I dont think I could get the  bike over a fence on some of the trails, it is just too heavy. This is really a tractor unit.

I watch as we get overtaken by everybody on two wheels. Today an elderly gentleman on two wheels sauntered past us. I said nothing to my partner, but smiled.

Boxing day ride

The trike has been holed up in the garage waiting for a day off to have a ride.

The brakes are terrible at the rear. They definitely wont stop in tandem form. They will need re-bled. They have just got back from the dealers. May have been a little air in system.

I think I would stick with cables in future. nice and easy to fix. BB7’s may be difficult to get just right, but they are bullet proof.

Did a short 5 mile ride only for the right crank arm to fall off! Seriously, hard to make this kind of stuff up.

No bolt holding it on to the schlumpf shaft. Nothing to do but limp home using battery and single pedal.

Useless.

Will now get onto dealer and ask them to send me the bolt, which is probably sitting on their bench. oops.

 

Worst still is the new arm fitted for the chain guard. It has two bolts that have come loose. they can only be tightened by removing the whole schlumpf drive, remove cranks, everything.

very disappointing.

the trike is off the road again with less than 5 miles under its belt. Now another 6 hour round trip to dealers to get it sorted.

Bah humbug.

Trike back on Road

It has taken an absolute age, (as in months) to get the trike back from the dealers. Gone to a new dealer who could not be more helpful.  Real difference from the original down near Leeds. This one near Shrewsbury has given the trike a complete once over and really knows his stuff.

The dealer even went over to Germany and was speaking to the head of engineering about the problems with the gear cassette which causes a 3 mil wobble. This is ‘within normal manufacturer tolerances’. It must be a design flaw according to the dealer as there were plenty of bikes in the factory with the same problem.  He thinks there will be an eventual recall once they get things worked out.

The bike has not done a huge total mileage (as in 300 miles). It is on its third cassette. Second set of chains, second set of drive shafts. Bit scary that. The repair bill looks like over 16 hours of building and rebuilding and a complete back end of bits. Thankfully it has all been done under warranty.

The gears were knackered, cassette was hanging off after not being torqued properly, rear shafts bulging, new bearings, the list goes on.

Up front the schlumpf drive has the correct parts fitted, so now the seat will  not get ripped and pierced by the drive.

 

The smile on my face getting this trike back was priceless.

The only downer was that after being sunny all day, as soon as I sat on the tractor it decided to chuck it down.