But trike genes give the HANDBIKE a whole lot more: for example, an ingenious geometry and countless sophisticated details, like the handcrank assembly, which can be folded forward for especially easy mounting and dismounting.
Or the Schlumpf internally geared crankset, which transforms the nine-speed Shimano gear system into a transmission with 18 gears, making the mountains “barrier-free”. Or choose the 14-speed universal shifting whiz Rohloff Speedhub. For braking, the powerful hydraulic Tektro disc brakes get the job done. And of course, even when changing gears, both hands stay where they belong: firmly on the handles.
They were looking for a bike or trike that they could use either together or separately. And at the Rehacare 2006, they found the KETTWIESEL and KETTWIESEL HANDBIKE. “Actually we were looking for some kind of tandem,” remembers Kristina Kaltenborn from Sprakel, a part of Münster. “At the time, we couldn’t imagine that it was possible to find something you could use both together and individually.” She hadn’t been on a bicycle since 1996 but had an ever-increasing desire to spend time in nature.
Now she enjoys riding with her husband, Stefan, on the KETTWIESEL HANDBIKE, especially through the peaceful fields north of Münster. “It was the option of hitching the trikes together that tipped the scales,” she says and then shows us proudly the endlessly long photo of the KETTWIESEL Tandem World Record 2007, where both of them are among the 93 record-breaking tandemists.
The decision was made quickly. “After all, the trikes are also mega-comfy!” But of course it wasn’t just about the chance to experience fun and comfort with her husband: owing to her multiple sclerosis, Kristina Kaltenborn is otherwise confined to a wheelchair, which has a rather limited radius of action.
The HANDBIKE opens up completely new horizons. “My first ride on the KETTWIESEL was a real epiphany for me,” she laughs. Now she’s thrilled with her independence – especially with the small motor hub in the front wheel, which provides impressive power while pedaling: “I can pedal up hills by myself, and the rush I get from riding at high speeds – it’s just colossal! Now my husband can’t keep up!” she says with a smile. He responds, protesting with a playful wink: “I just have to put a little more effort into it …!”
He also uses his trike alone – be it for bakery runs or commutes, now and then, when the car is in the shop. Then we asked whether he would also enjoy a little electric support in the front wheel … “Would I ever!” comes the answer, as if he’d been wanting to get that off his chest for a long time.