Commuting with a natural high (VIDEO)

Source: Hase Bikes

It was an easy decision. Stephan Deininger bought the very first KLIMAX 5K. His reasons were purely pragmatic: length of commute, price, costs per mile. But there was a bonus he hadn’t factored in: phenomenal fun.

He’d done the math: purchase price, power consumption, and maintenance versus fuel consumption, inspections, repairs, taxes. Stephan Deininger lives in Allensbach, near Konstanz, and commutes every day 18½ miles (30 km) to Switzerland, his native country. “When it comes to finding solutions, the Swiss are known for their rationality,” he says, implying clearly that he is no exception.

This was the basis for his decision in 2012: “I wanted to find an alternative mode of transport.” Costs were only one side of the coin: “I didn’t want to waste my time sitting in a car. Time that, as a father of two, I never seem to have enough of. And I wasn’t getting enough exercise,” said the wiry, ­athletic 38-year-old.

“I also wanted to save time by avoiding the traffic jams,” he remembers. Anyone familiar with the region around Konstanz would understand this concern. And then there was his environmental consciousness. He had made the trip a few times by bike, but weather issues and the added time made it unfeasible.

At the Eurobike 2011, he chanced upon the ­KLIMAX 5K. Initial test ride, then later a longer test ride at a bike shop, calculations, purchase: “It was actually just logic,” grins the social pedagogue who holds a managerial position in a Swiss socio-psy­chiatric care center.

The car has since been sold. Every day, Stephan Deininger rides 7 miles (11 km) to the Swiss city of Kreuzlingen – passing the customs officials, who are all familiar with the curious vehicle by now – locks up the trike at the train station and travels the remaining 12 miles (19 km) by train. Sometimes he speeds all the way to his office by trike.

“It’s just like I imagined,” he says. “Reasonable costs, acceptable travel time; out of town, I can ride on bike paths – passing the traffic jams – and I can use the trip as exercise whenever I choose.” After all, the 5K can be ridden with and without pedal assist. “Rain is no longer an issue,” he says happily, explaining that he rarely uses the optional poncho that snaps onto the fairing as additional rain ­protection: “The fairing is almost always sufficient.”

A complete success in terms of practicality. But there’s even more to the story: for Stephan Deininger, the KLIMAX is a daily source of pleasure. And on that subject, the soft-spoken man reveals a little more emotion: “It’s amazing fun to ride,” he grins. “It gives you such a natural high! I’m always in a good mood when I get to the office. If I’m tired after a long day, I just ride with more motor assist. When I need to unwind, I do some rigorous ­pedaling to clear my head – fantastic! And at the stoplight, if I really open it up, I can leave the cars in the dust …,” he says with sparkling eyes. “And ­furthermore, I think it’s fascinating how you can get from A to B in a completely different yet completely practical way!”

And his wife? “She’s very understanding,” grins Stephan Deininger. “She told me to do it if the numbers added up and it was good for me.” It sure seems to be.

The world needs a new form of mobility. We see evidence of this every day.


Moving forward. In mind and heart, enjoying the ride – and also the knowledge that the world is changing. Or: how it’s possible to wish you had a longer commute.

Five hundred watts in the front wheel, two pedals, speeds of up to 28 mph (45 km/h). Sounds straightforward. The difference to other commuting concepts: it actually works and is even loads of fun. The twist-grip ­throttle on the handlebar lets you control the power coming from the hub motor. You decide whether and how strongly to pedal along.

With the Crystalyte motor in the front wheel, you can hightail it to your destination. Even longer-distance commutes are no problem with the 540-watt-hour rechargeable battery (with a voltage of 48 V). But beware: you may make some drivers jealous when you zoom off from the stoplight. In city traffic, you’re not only faster, happier, and more environmentally friendly: you also stay just as dry in the rain as your gas-guzzling peers.

The specially developed HASE BIKES Foldable Fairing keeps you warm and dry in any weather: and it just takes a few seconds to “put the top up” … and down again. For cloudbursts, the poncho can be quickly snapped into place to keep your collar dry.
And thanks to the central console, you’ll have everything under control and in view: battery-charge status, motor assistance level, speed, and data from the integrated Trelock bike computer. There is even a USBport that provides your GPS or MP3 player with power from the battery.