The Kross

Here is the Kross. It has extended xl mudguards supplied by dealer. It also has a Hase mount up front. The water bottle is just strapped on with vecro straps and seems to hold just fine.

A small cateye computer gives an idea of mileage and speed, but dont expect to be travelling too fast with 3 large knobblies. I think I will be swapping these out for something a little slimmer and less noisy.

I fitted a mirror, but the current set up needs changing as the bar end needs swapping over to allow the mirror to be able to ‘see’ oncoming traffic. Guess that is a British thing as we drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road compared with continental drivers.

early-cross

On the back are a couple of bags that are waterproof and can be had for £5 each. I got them locally from a company that provides fantastic army surplus gear. They are Johnsons of Leeds. I will post  the type and the changes that I have made to them. They work equally well as low-riders too.

Currently there are no reflectors on the trike. That will be one of the first jobs.

Sorted the reflectors out very easily with a front light and a standard rear built into a light. Made a couple of simple brackets to mount the rear lights, from some thin metal. Hase have a kit but I saved the cash and just as effective. The screws to hold it are already on the seat. The pedals have reflectors to and I moved over my spd shimano pedals.

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The tandem set up

You can see the difference in size between the steel type kett and the Kross. The black steel Kett seems dwarfed by the bigger Kross.

New in 2016 although not updated in the catalog is a new tandem part designed for the single hole mount.empty-tandem-2

There is a design flaw with this however. If you remove the kett at the back and leave the tandem piece on it will very quickly strip the teeth on your rear cassette.  Hase asked the dealer to replace it.

Here is the first item that has been adapted for the trike. I have used the single strap supplied by Hase for folding the trike and put it through the hole in the tandem coupling. This stops it rubbing against the rear cassette. Perfect.

The gears look shiny and work very well.

Had a great ride out with my partner eating crisps whilst I pedal away.

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. 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.

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

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

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.

Recumbent Tandem

tandem-blurHere it is, the start of the new blog looking at our experiences of our Hase tandem set up. The hope is that the information and ideas may be useful to others either who have a Kett, or are interested in buying one.

I have made a few parts that are simple and useful and have had a few issues that we have had to problem solve. Feel free to adapt. If you come up with anything better, let me know.

Me and partner have been riding Ketts for years. We love them.

The picture is taken at Kielder of the two of us. Having a whale of a time Kett style.