New Kettwiesel owner in Seattle-need information on accessories and derailleur options

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    • New Kettwiesel owner in Seattle-need information on accessories and derailleur options

      Greetings from Seattle. Purchased my Kett, Frame #T10441, new from AllAbilityCycles in Iowa (my bro-in-law's shop), had it shipped out to Seattle in June 2011.

      Reassembly here with help of Bikes4Health, Seattle Kettwiesel dealer and his mechanic. I have a new Light System (AXA Traction Dynamo,

      BM Lumotec Fly front light, and Toplight Flat rear light) but no installation instructions beyond the verbal description in the Owner's Manual, only for the dynamo, which is insufficient. The lights themselves I can figure out,the wiring is in place in the frame but short two connectors. Where can I find the installation instructions/illustrations for this great light? Dark days of winter are upon us--

      Problem #2--My trike came with the standard 9-gear derailleur, which is fine on level ground but I'm 68, have a bit of neuropathy in legs, want to be able to do some hills and touring--I can't find much comparative info on the standard Kettenschalung vs. adding Speeddrive, front derailleur, or replacing with Nexus or Rohloff. I need lower gears, not doing any racing, just recreational riding. I like this trike, can afford upgrades, and plan to keep it for the duration, but need practical user information and recommendations to make the decision.

      Thanks for any helpful replies,

    • Hi, welcome, from Germany, to the wonderful world of Ketts !!

      Dynamo: is the problem how to physically fit the dynamo to the Kett (on the mudguard stay IIRC (I swapped mine out for a hub dynamo some time ago)), or how to wire it ?

      Gearing: the quickest and cheapest way to get *lower* gears is to just fit a smaller chainring: high gears may be nice, but lower are much more important !! To get a *wider* range you could fit a double or triple chainset and change by hand (or the move, using the chain tubing.)

      The Kett front dérailleur adaptor works well, and is probably easy to fit (my Kett Tour came with one fitted) but I think you will find the hub gear options pretty expensive and probably need a fair number of new parts: better chosen as an original fitting ?

      The Speed/Mountain drive may be an option: the Kett BB shell looks standard, but I *think* the drives need some machining on the BB first.

      You could also try asking on this, v. active, US based forum:
    • Vielen Dank!
      I will try the US-based message board, but also welcome your guidance on the other gearing. In the US it may be easiest to go with the front 3-chain-ring derailleur. It seems that here everything goes through the dealers, and the dealers have certified mechanics --many US-based companies are similar but have direct purchase of parts by the rider/owner as well, as many cyclists do their own mechanical work. I am capable of regular maintenance but not gearing work. The dealer here in Seattle, and his distributor, are not very prompt in service, and the shop is on the other side of the city.
      My difficulty with the dynamo is how to physically fit it to the left rear fender guard--all I need is a diagram or illustration and it would be easy. I believe the hub dynamo is the better choice and I will pursue that. Interesting to me that such a sophisticated piece of engineering comes with no installation instructions; vielleicht installation is left to the dealer.
      I took 2 years of University Deutsche, which was a long time ago, but have been to Germany 3 times and sing German in the Seattle Bach Choir--
      The Kett itself is a marvelous machine and I am enjoying it very much, just want to adapt it somewhat to my personal needs.
      Best Regards,
    • Hi Steve,

      Cannot help you with the dynamo issue. You may get a better response on the Bentrider Online forum. I know there are several Kett owners on that forum. This forum does not seem to have much activity.

      I purchased a Kett All Round in Aug. of this year. Since I am proficient in bicycle mechanics I assembled it myself. It is quite a process assembling a Kett. I imagine the reason it is so disassembled is to save on shipping from Germany to the US. I had the dealers manual, but even that manual is vague and not very comprehensive.

      I did finally manage to assemble the trike. I purchased the triple crankset option with the trike. If I had to do it all over again I would go with a Schlumpf Mountain or High Speed Drive instead of the triple crankset. The issue with the triple on the Kett is that it just does not work as well as on a bike. The way the Kett is constructed there is not much ground clearance for a rear derailleur so Hase uses a medium length Tiagra rear derailleur. This is fine on a single crankset like on your Kett, but on a triple with a wide range 11-34 cassette it far exceeds the derailleur's range. Hase makes up the exceeded range by using a chain tension device. This wraps the excessive chain. There is still an issue with the top derailleur pulley hitting the 30 and 34 tooth cogs on the cassette. I remedied this issue by inserting a longer B screw from the opposite direction in the derailleur. Also you need to leave the full amount of chain that comes with the trike and wrap up the slack by adjusting the tensioner.

      I finally got it to work but there was a lot of trial and error involved and I do not wish to repeat the process. I can now get every cog in every chainring with no derailleur pulley to cog rub. Shifting is not perfect like on a bike no matter how much adjusting you do. I believe for my use here in flat Illinois if I had to do it again I would go with the Schlumpf High Speed Drive with the 11-34 cassette. The Schlumpf uses one chainring so rear shifting would not have the issues it has with the triple. For your use where steep climbs are involved you would be better off with the Mountain Drive. The MD with a 52 tooth chainring will give you a 12 - 92 gear inch range. which should give you very good hill climbing gears. A 54 tooth chainring will give you a 13 - 95 gear inch range. The MD in low gear with a 52 ring is equal to a 21 tooth chainring. With a 54 ring in low gear it is equal to a 22 tooth chainring. So you are looking at some fairly low gears.

      You can install the Mountain Drive without chamfering if you use the torque arm option. Schlumpf has a clamp the wraps around the boom and you attach the torque arm to the clamp. In my opinion the chamfering creates a cleaner looking install. You are lucky because located in your area in one of the premier internal hub shops in the country, Aaron's Bicycle Repair . They have the capablity to chamfer your bottom bracket and install a Schlumpf Drive.

      Another thing you may want to check on your Kett is the headset. The newer Kett's use an integrated headset. Instead of tightening it with the traditional clamp on the steerer tube, Hase uses a 6 mm bolt in a headtube cap. Headsets should just be snugged down to prevent bearing damage. All that holds the cap bolt from loosening is blue Loctite threadlocker. Mine kept repeatedly loosening. I think I have finally come up with a solution that prevents the loosening. If you have issues with yours let me know and I will give you my fix.

      Hope this helps.

      John Werner
      Maryville, IL
    • Sorry for the delayed reply--I lost my password for the forum and it wasn't so easy to get another!
      Thanks so much for your response which was just the information and practical experience with the Kett that I was looking for!
      I am this morning calling the Bicycle Repair shop you recommended. I'll find out whether they can order the Schlumpf Mountain Drive
      for me as well as install it--have not had much luck requesting or ordering parts/accessories from the local dealor, and it hasn't been clear whether Kase wants everything to go through the dealor/distributor in US--if so, a very inefficient and more expensive arrangement; I can understand why they want to support the local dealors, but...
      In any case, I'm on my way!! Appreciate your guidance and thanks again,
      Steve Melson
      Seattle, WA
    • Hi Stephan,
      Danke schoen for the Hochformat! The illustration #2 is exactly what I needed.
      I think the Schlumpf Mountain Drive is what I need for proper gearing for my age and the hills of Seattle--if you have particular recommendations (please see John Werner post above regarding the 52-tooth chainring) I would like to hear from you. What should I order in addition to the chainring to make this all work together?
      Best Regards aus Seattle,
      Steve Melson
    • Hi Steve,

      Did you ever upgrade your Kettwiesel to the Schlumpf Mountain Drive? I found a got deal on a used Schlumpf High Speed Drive and purchased it. Schlumpf has a lease arrangement for the chamfering tool. I now have the tool and hope to chamfer my bottom bracket and install the Schlumpf drive this weekend.

      I am also considering installing a Nexus internal gear hub in place of the rear derailleur. This would completely elminate derailleurs on my trike. On another note if you want to go really low with the Mountain Drive you could use a 46 tooth chainring. Someone on Bentrider Online did this on his wife's Kett.

      John Werner
      Maryville, IL