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Hase Bikes' KLIMAX tricycle converts into a velomobile

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September 5, 2011

Hase Bikes' KLIMAX tricycle features a detachable folding fairing, allowing users to add w...

Hase Bikes' KLIMAX tricycle features a detachable folding fairing, allowing users to add weather protection as needed

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While there are those of us who are strangely attracted to velomobiles - recumbent tricycles with full aerodynamic fairings - the idiosyncratic vehicles certainly have their drawbacks. Among these are the fact that the fairing, which is usually a hard shell, adds weight and traps heat inside with the rider. It also contributes to the sky-high price of the trikes, which can reach around US$15,000. Hase Bikes has taken an interesting approach with its KLIMAX 2K recumbent tricycle by using a weatherproof fabric fairing, that folds down and comes off when not wanted.

The KLIMAX trike itself has an aluminum frame, Shimano Tiagra gearing with SRAM Centera shifters, Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic brakes, a Cyo headlight, and 20-inch wheels. It weighs a hefty 29.5 kilograms (65 lbs), but comes equipped with a front hub Protanium 180W electric assist motor. Matching the rider's pedaling power, that motor allows the tricycle to maintain speeds up to 24 km/h (15 mph) - it also makes it possible to climb hills.

What makes the KLIMAX special, however, is its fairing. When riders want a more aerodynamic ride, see the first drops of rain appearing, or find the wind too chilly, they just take the fairing out of its stow bag and attach it to a mounting point at the front, then spread it open like an umbrella and attach it at the sides. The bottom of the trike is still open, although fenders should help minimize the road spray ... somewhat.

If there is no rain and they find themselves getting hot, riders just fold the fairing up and put it away.

Hase Bikes' KLIMAX tricycle features a detachable folding fairing, allowing users to add w...

About that 24 km/h, though. Some riders might find that top motor-assisted speed to be kind of slow, for a vehicle that's wide enough that cars may not be able to pass it easily. Fortunately, however, Hase is now working on the KLIMAX 5K. It will feature a 500 watt motor, that should allow for speeds up to 45 km/h (28 mph). Unlike the present 2K, its motor will operate independently of the pedals. Because of its higher top speed, the 5K would have to be licensed as a moped - in its native Germany, at least.

Prototypes of the KLIMAX 5K are currently being tested, and Hase Bikes tells us that it should be commercially available next spring (northern hemisphere) at a price of EUR7490 (US$10,517). The 2K sells for EUR5590 (US$7,862), plus EUR89.25 ($125) for shipping within Europe. Dealers in other continents are listed on the company website.

The video below shows the 5K in action.

Source: Designboom

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
9 Comments

There are lots of delta trikes out there already, including many made by Hase (like the Kettweisel), that cars have no trouble passing. It's not really much wider than a regular bike, once you figure in normal handlebar width.

But 29.5 kilos? Even with electric assist, that's way too heavy. I used to have a Sun USX delta trike that weighed that much and wouldn't ride it many places because it was just too cumbersome and slow. There are velomobiles out there that weigh less, even with a full body fairing. Even the Rotovelo, which is not especially light as velomobiles go, is less than 3 kilos heaver.

George Van Wagner
6th September, 2011 @ 08:20 am PDT

that song in the video was hilarious

Jay Lloyd
6th September, 2011 @ 11:10 am PDT

it won't keep you dry in the rain, and weighs to much. No thanks.

Slowburn
6th September, 2011 @ 11:14 am PDT

new style of transporrrrt........ bahahaha.....

Facebook User
6th September, 2011 @ 07:24 pm PDT

28mph is too fast for a non-leaning delta. There's a high risk of tipping on a fast turn.

Gadgeteer
6th September, 2011 @ 08:58 pm PDT

$10,000 for a pedal powered bike? (trike). You'd have to be insane keen for that particular mode of transport wouldn't you? I mean for that money you could buy a good electric assist bike an electric scooter a regular bike a second hand motorbike or car. Then you'd have every possible choice available.

I was reading with interest until I saw the price tag.

Scion
6th September, 2011 @ 09:12 pm PDT

You guys sure complain a lot. Yup, its expensive, but have you noticed the Euro-Dollar exchange rate lately? Even with the PIGS dragging their economy down, the Euro is still dramatically higher that the early 2000's exchange rate of 82 cents to the Euro (those were the good old days!). And 30ish kilos...heavy? There is a lot of trike wrapped up in those 66 pounds. The main issue I see is the lack of a lower skirt to keep road spray to a minimum. It is a good looking design.

clay
6th September, 2011 @ 11:10 pm PDT

I would love to see this available in the market for the general public !

davidfrankk
7th September, 2011 @ 02:48 am PDT

I actually own an electric assisted delta trike from Lightfoot Cycles. It is not quite as expensive as the Hase since it is made in America and I actually had more options added. Its current configuration has a 14 speed rohloff mid drive (automatic transmission), an 8 speed manual drive on the drive wheel and an electric assist all attached to the same drive train (750 watt motor and 24 V 30 AH LiFePO4 battery.) I also had a roll bar installed with an attachment for connecting a child seat. This allows me to haul significant weight uphills at a decent speed and feels not that much different than driving a car. I don't have the cool fairing though but I do have a Zzipper front fairing which has been good enough. An added bonus is a very generous cargo pod that is large enough for a family of 3's weekly groceries.

I probably have about $8000 in it, maybe more as I slowly added things on over time. However, since I use it as my primary vehicle, it has more than paid itself off as compared to car ownership. Once you factor in purchasing the car (even used), gas, maintenance, insurance, license, tag, etc it can pay for itself rather quickly. When I bought my first version (manual transmission and no electric assist), I made a deal with my wife that whatever she puts into her car (already owned so no car payments) then I could put the same amount into my trike. I figured that it would take me 2 years to break even off the original cost of $2600. This was back when gas prices were still hovering around $1/gal. But once I started tracking all of the expenses, much to my surprise, it paid for itself in 6 months. I then started to trick it out but it didn't take long to realize that I could not keep up with her spending so I had money available for other projects and interests (more bikes, boats, musical instruments, etc.)

So the short answer is, don't let the upfront costs scare you. Your running costs are very low and quickly eat up the expense of the cost of the vehicle if you intend to use it as your primary vehicle. As far as insurance goes, your home owners or renters insurance covers theft, and your auto medical coverage (and possibly uninsured motorists coverage) also transfers over to your bike/trike.

SI Reasoning
21st October, 2011 @ 01:11 am PDT
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