Sporty chassis, long-travel suspension, maximum safetyThe KETTWIESEL KROSS has an extremely sporty chassis with long-travel independent wheel suspension. These features make it the perfect vehicle for tricks and maneuvers – or for power-sliding into hairpin curves. Engineered for outstanding safety, the KETTWIESEL KROSS can do what others can’t.
Thanks to the standard Differential, both rear wheels are driven. And with most of the weight on the rear axle, the KROSS will make it up any hill. This means: no more problems with the driven wheel spinning out in gravel or mud. The ergonomic seat helps you put full power to the pedals. And the exhilarating performance is something you just have to experience for yourself.
Special applications call for special innovationsUntil recently, the use of derailleur gears on trikes with full suspension was fraught with problems because standard, low-hanging derailleur cages can hit the ground when the suspension compresses. This is why we decided to develop our own derailleur system. It features a linear design with much more ground clearance and offers an incredibly wide range of gears. Furthermore, the precision derailleur system, made from CNC-machined aluminum, is very forgiving of shifting mistakes.
Foldable frame for easy transportThanks to the new foldable frame, transporting the KETTWIESEL KROSS is a snap. Just open the two quick-release levers to release the seatback and fold the seat forward. Then, open another quick-release behind the seat, pull up on the cord, and – presto! – the rear portion folds down and forward. The folded trike has a maximum length of 3’2” (96 cm). Small enough to fit into practically any hatchback.
Forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit (9°C), heavy rain, cold wind: this is the town of Winterberg in Germany’s Sauerland region on a Saturday in early June. “When we first arrived and I saw the steep, muddy course from up top – well, it was pretty intimidating,” admitted Gunther Belitz frankly.
But the 52-year-old has never been one to shy away from athletic challenges: in the 80s and 90s, he was raking in the medals at the Paralympics, even at world-championship level.
Belitz lost his left leg when he was a child. “I’ve always been a very active person, wanted to do all kinds of things,” he explained. “The classic wooden prosthesis was helpful for fouling in soccer, but I definitely wasn’t the fastest kid on the field.” Back then, he felt poorly advised when it came to assistive devices. “Isn’t there anything better?” he asked. The technicians said no.
But then sometime in the mid-80s the carbon-fiber prosthetic leg hit the market, and his success story started – Belitz was one of the first to run with the new device. In 1992, he broke the world record in long jump. Inspired by his own experiences, the professional journalist took over the German magazine Handicap.
“I wanted to offer people who are dependent on assistive devices the same guidance that magazines like Auto, Motor und Sport offer car drivers,” he said. A unique concept for the 90s: testing wheelchairs and prostheses.
But today, the journalist had come to try out HASE BIKES’ sporty delta trike – with one wheel in front and two in back. Wide, knobby tires with plenty of grip, a chassis that keeps its composure even at higher speeds, and a suspension system that absorbs everything the trail can dish out.
“The winding route with banked curves certainly seemed daunting at first,” said Belitz, “but after the first few meters, I knew that I could easily keep the trike under control. The SUV look is no gimmick. Its off-road performance is authentic!” As is the exhilarating ride.
The many mountain bikers on the course watched us with curiosity. “Challenges like these are just such an important part of life,” grinned Belitz. “Once you’ve made it, it’s an awesome feeling.”
The bike-park test not only convinced the Handicap chief editor of the KETTWIESEL KROSS’s off-road capabilities: it also demonstrated what a wide margin of safety the trike has on “normal” forest paths or bumpy roads. “It sticks to the curves like crazy glue,” said our tester after the second run.
Not even the hostile lift attendant, who had apparently never seen a trike before and didn’t want to send our vehicles to the top, could dampen the buoyant mood for long. But then again, who needs lifts when you’ve got a KETTWIESEL KROSS with powerful Shimano STEPS motor to get you up the hill? Once Belitz was back in the KROSS, plunging down the winding descent with us photographing him in action, it was smiles – and thrills – all around.