Hase Pino test tour
written by Elisabeth Mansel in Germany on Monday, the 3 July 2017, last update on Sunday, the 16 July 2017
On the 8th April 2017 we went on a tour to test the bicycle Hase Pino. It's a tandem (a so called "Stufentandem" in German), on which one sits and the other one lies on the bike. We tried to find out, how difficult or easy it is, to ride such a tandem and to go up mountains.
Before starting our big tour through Europe and Asia, we had to decide, how we want to travel. There were four different options. Going by airplane, by car, by foot (and train/bus) or by bicycle. Travelling with lots of airplanes would be way to expensive and polluting. We were thinking a lot about going by car/van, but that went out to become unpossible. There was so much to worry about like: Do we want to pass Pakistan with a car or is there a short possible way to skip that country? - You can't carry your van in an airplane. There is no passanger ship going from Iran to India. Would we be able to get a permission to travel through China with a car? And also be allowed to drive it on our own? Can we make it in time to get, where we want to be, in a certain time, startng our tour later, than we had planned at first? And do we want to drive the whole way in a car in such a hurry? - It's way easier and more relaxing to go by train. But you can't take your car with you in all trains. Would we be allowed to sell our van somewhere without paying too high customs fees? What would happen to the money we would have paid for the "Carnet de Passage"? So all in all, going by van was no good solution for us. Travelling by foot, train and bus sounded good. There was only one problem. How can you get to the best sleeping places, when the trains and buses always stop in cities? We were planning to sleep in a tent, so we would need to be outside of the cities to sleep. So we chose to cycle and take the train and bus sometimes. There are so many different types of bicycles. At first we hadn't decide with which one we would travel. Frieder thought about going by tandem, but he threw that idea away, because someone would always see the back of the one in front and you also can't take that much baggage with you than with two bicycles. Now we were looking for two bikes. We found many new options. After a long research Fieder also found a very special tandem with the German term "Stufentandem". One of the biggest producers for "Stufentandems" is "Hase Bikes". The local bicyle shop in Karlsruhe was also lending Hase Pino tandems for 70 euros per weekend. I wasn't convinced to go by tandem at all. But Frieder was full of enthusiasm and joy, so I agreed to try to test the tandem. see the tour here on outdooractive.com
The first few meters on the tandem felt very strange. You have to learn again, how to ride a bike. It was odd to balance the bicycle and the person, lying in front of you. After some tries, it worked out very well and we found out all the tricks behind it. With 30 kilograms on the porter and nearly 146 kilograms on the seats we started our little test tour. The first part was easy on a flat road. Behind Bad Herrenalb we climbed a little hill. It was the same hill, we had tried to ride over with two bikes (one with baggage and one without) some months before. I hadn't been able to drive up the hill with a normal single bicycle and Frieder had to push the loaded bike uphill. Now we were standing at the bottom of the hill with a tandem and 30 kilograms baggage. Before starting the tour Frieder had planned to use a climbing harness to pull the bicycle instead of pushing it. So one of us wore the harness with a carabiner, which was hooked into a rope. The tandem was pulled by the rope. The other one of us keept the balance of the bike. It was easier to pull the tandem a 21 % slope uphill than pushing a bicycle. That method convinced me, that a tandem is way better for going uphill than a normal single bicycle. I never would have expected that it would be so much easier. Now I got nearly the same happy enthusiasm as Frieder already had at the beginning. After the little hill came another mountain. The people in the village told us about a slope of 24%. We were both so full of the new enthusiasm that we were really happy to test our pulling method again. The 24% slope was hard to manage. But it still was possible and compared to pushing it was very easy. Like walking with a full backpack. We were so glad when we arrived at the top of the mountain in the evening.
While driving down to the valley, Frieder tried to produce our first video for our youtube channel. The quality is not the best one, because at this time we didn't own an actioncam. The next videos will be in horizontal format.After that great experience we decided to buy a tandem. But we didn't buy the tandem you can see in the pictures. Which one we got, is an other story, we are going to tell you later.