Kalkoff Agattu vs. Tasman vs. Pro Connect

LazyViking

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 4, 2009
18
0
Last summer I bought an Agattu, which has performed very well. It has about 2500 miles on "the clock", including many challanging winter rides but is running very well.

My favourite Agattu accessories: Nokian spikey tyres and 35W HID car lamp for winter riding:)

The Agattu is great for towing kids to kindergarten or 50kg of food shopping in a trailer.

I'm considering buying a new Kalkhoff this year but am struggling to choose:

TASMAN
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I like the Tasman because of the hydraulic brakes (I've had some Magura HS11 fitted to my Agattu at purchase) but the chain guard is really ugly! I wondered if it fully encapsulates the chain from road grit (good?), or is it there just to hide the chain from one side (makes maintainance more difficult).

I wonder is it possible to retrofit an Agattu chain guard to the Tasman?

PRO CONNECT S
---------------

The Pro Connect S also looks good, but I can't understand that it is legal with its 40km/h top speed. The 9-speed deuralier gear also worries me because I don't think the thin chain will last long. I just snapped my first Agattu chain....

PRO CONNECT
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I've heard the normal pro connect is uncomfortable to ride. I like the Agattu comfort although my wife says it looks like I'm "riding the wrong bike". Perhaps it's possible to add suspension forks/seat pin if this is a problem though. In the old days we did fine without suspension:)

Does anyone have experience which could help me make my choice?
 

JamesC

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 1, 2007
435
5
Peterborough, UK
Pro Connect 2008 and Tasman 2009

I am impressed with the Tasman 2009 (daughter-in-law's bike), having used a ProConnect for nearly a year.

The ProConnect frame is a fairly hard ride with no give in the front forks. In years gone by, there was a little more resilience from steel. However, the non-suspended forks mean that the PC benefits from low weight if you need to lift the bike up steps or onto racks.

The Nexus 8 speed gears on the Tasman are excellent (Shimano SG-8R36) and very similar with the Alfine 8 speed now used on the 2009 ProConnect.

The Tasman uses the twist shift, with the turned handlebars ; the ProConnect uses the lever shifter on the straighter handlebars. Both feel right for the particular style of handlebar.

Like you, I like the Magura HS11 fitted as standard on the Tasman - very smooth and reliable.

The older ProConnect uses a connection from the main battery for the standard lights supplied - many have found this unsatisfactory. The Tasman uses an independent front wheel dynamo to power front and rear lights, which I prefer for a utility bike, but neither of the lights have inbuilt capacitors or batteries to hold them on when you come to a standstill. I think this should be mandatory for the rear light at least.


Sounds as though your children are growing and passed the use of seats. My main interest has been front mounted seats, and here you see the big difference between the ProConnect (mountain bike style "ahead" stem) and the Tasman/Agattu (quill stem).

The quill stem allows the use of the very excellent Bobike Mini child seat, with its high and forward mounting position, moving with the handlebars.

The frame mounted seats associated with ahead stems tend to be lower (conflicting with the rider's knees) and set nearer to the rider to provide sufficient handlebar movement.

I will do a thread in the near future showing the differences.


The Tasman full chain protection is much more difficult to deal with if you like to be in there doing your own maintenance etc. Certainly life is easier if punctures are minimised with good tyres such as Marathon Plus.

Having said that, my children do not want to be doing much maintenance or street side repairs with their child aboard, so the full enclosure might be OK for them. I am not very confident about it extending the life of the chain !


James
 

WALKERMAN

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2008
269
0
I've had my Pro Connect for almost a year and originally bought it because of the lighter weight. However the ride is awful and I have had to fit a sprung seat post and a Comfort saddle to try to make the journey more tolerable. It would be fine on a really smooth surface but on our roads every bump is transmitted through to the arms and seat.

My back-up bike is a Giant Lafree Twist ST which is much more comfortable. It has a fully enclosed chain but it was so fiddly to remove that I have left off the lower section.
 

LazyViking

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 4, 2009
18
0
Looks like it will be a Tasman then....

Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go for the comfort option:) the Tasman.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,502
23,321
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go for the comfort option:) the Tasman.
I believe that's a wise choice for you, and I think it's better value for money anyway, higher quality components plus suspension, all for the same price.
.
 

Tim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2006
770
78
London
It's funny, some people have no problem with the ride quality of the Pro Connect and express surprise that other people find it too hard.

However, we sometimes send out Pro Connects with a sprung seat-post if requested at the time of order. I occasionally use one when I know I'll be doing a longer road ride across London's potholier quarters, or when taking to the more gravelly track around Richmond Park. But other times I like the way the bikes feels more responsive with the regular unsprung seatpost.
 

essexman

Pedelecer
Dec 17, 2007
212
0
cb11
The problem with the kalkhoff bikes is that they all have the wrong forks.

The agattu should have lockable suspension, to give the option of faster travel.

The pro connect should have steel or carbon forks ie something that gives some suspension, rather than an unyielding rock solid aluminum tube.

When my agattu forks are shot i'll replace them with something sportier either lockable or steel.
 

Intex

Pedelecer
Aug 17, 2008
100
0
What seat post does the ProConnect S have? If it is not sprung, which one is recommended as a replacement, since it is too late to change mine.
 

Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
. . . I've heard the normal pro connect is uncomfortable to ride. . .
Yes, I've 'heard' that too.

Over the last 12 months I've read comments by several posters on here (whose opinions I've come to trust) that they have found the Pro Connect to give a hard, unyielding ride. So, without ever riding one I had subconsciously aligned myself to that point of view.

At Presteigne I had tried quite a few demo rides from various suppliers and had left the Pro Connect until quite late because I knew it would give a 'poor', harsh ride, quality. I've already expressed my surprise on the Presteigne Topic thread, but I'll go further here and say I was blown away by its comfort and without a doubt it was THE most comfortable bike that I rode that day - bar none!

The fact that the frames come in a variety of sizes might be a factor as the owner of the demo bike was tall
- as am I, at 6' 2". All the other bikes I tried were a compromise as is my own current bike - the Salisbury.

However it was only a shortish, 1 mile or so, demo ride and cannot be compared to the trials and tribulations experienced by those who have owned and ridden a Pro Connect for the past year - but I enjoyed my demo ride that day, and would have loved to have disappeared with it for 20 miles or so. If time had not been pressing I would have gone back for another demo ride.

Therefore, based on that ride alone, I cannot subscribe to the 'harsh ride' epithet that some have ascribed to the Pro Connect. In my view - it's comfortable enough.

P.S.
I don't know if the handlebar grips were standard or not - but they had a 'lovely' tactile feel to them, and I experienced no thuds, bangs or crashes, transmitted through to me - in fact it was so comfortable I was wondering if it had alternative tyres fitted to those who had complained of them on their own Pro Connects.
 
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Barnowl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2008
954
1
The first thing I noticed when cycling an aluminium framed hybrid bike with aluminium forks/frame, for the first time early last year, was the harshness of the ride compared to fond memories of my old steel tourer. That was a Marin hybrid with no suspension but Trek and others all seem to be much the same. It's the nature of aluminium which is nice and light but also rigid and very inflexible.

Local to the Presteigne show the tarmac is quite smooth but on rough tarmac the ride can be very bad. Lowering the pressure on your tyres seems to make the ride more comfortable but is slower and increases the chance of punctures. Consequently I keep the tyres hard and avoid rough roads.

I'm still uneasy about the how long carbon forks will last with an electric motor installed. Perhaps it's not an issue but it's not something I've heard debated. Interesting that Cytronex have installed the nano in carbon forks.

I'm inclined to think that steel forks nicely raked like the old touring bikes and a steel frame would still make for the best solution in minimizing vibration on hybrid style bikes. The extra weight can't be that great.

I'm also impressed with Mussels use of ballon tyres which seem to work well with his Wisper and I guess similar bikes, forks and wheels.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,502
23,321
Yes the steel frames of yesteryear were far more comfortable, something remarked on by many members. Those with Reynolds 531 tubing were hardly any heaver than alloy and Reynolds 631 tubing matched alloy weight. I'd like to see some enterprising e-bike manufacturer start offering these again, they're easier to manufacture than alloy anyway.

Apart from the older generations with memories of steel frames finding many of today's bike uncomfortable, there's also those under 40 years old who've so often grown up with sprung mountain bikes, and to them a rigid alloy bike can come as real shock to the system.

And of course there's the body differences involved, those with more than ample flesh covering can suffer far less than those with sparse covering.
.
 

Barnowl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2008
954
1
And of course there's the body differences involved, those with more than ample flesh covering can suffer far less than those with sparse covering.
.
And I have suffered :(

Soon toughened up though :)

I have got use to the Trek and I love it. I can see where essexman and others are coming from though. Personally, I have a nice steel frame and forks all waiting to be stripped down and given a decent paint job. Now all I need is a quality lightweight, reasonably priced, easy to fit kit, with a battery I can swap with my Trek. :rolleyes:
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,502
23,321
Yep, it will be very interesting to see that, when it becomes available - any ideas when that is likely to be?

Phil
I don't know anything definite Phil, though I think it could be very late in this season, maybe August.
.
 

Barnowl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2008
954
1
Yes the steel frames of yesteryear were far more comfortable, something remarked on by many members. Those with Reynolds 531 tubing were hardly any heaver than alloy and Reynolds 631 tubing matched alloy weight. I'd like to see some enterprising e-bike manufacturer start offering these again, they're easier to manufacture than alloy anyway.
.
Quote fron Sheldon Brown:
"Steel is going out of favour because all but the cheapest stuff is too thin for robots to weld - highly-skilled humans are needed instead"
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,502
23,321
Quote fron Sheldon Brown:
"Steel is going out of favour because all but the cheapest stuff is too thin for robots to weld - highly-skilled humans are needed instead"
True, but there's always brazed frames which are not difficult to produce using standard brass or bronze brazing alloys. Can't be used on Reynolds 731 heat treated tube, but fine on 531 and 631.
.
 

rvarley

Just Joined
Jan 6, 2009
4
0
I've been riding a standard ProConnect for about 8 months and would have to agree that the ride is a little harsh. I've fitted a Cane Creek suspension seat post which helps with the rear, but my hands and arms get a bit sore over my 30 mile round trip commute. In retrospect, the Agattu or Tasman may have been the better choice for me because of the upright riding position and suspension fork. That said, I did try a Giant Twist prior to buying the PC and found the front fork to be much too bouncy when peddling up hills or upon fast take off. Perhaps the forks on the Kalkhoff line are firmer.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,502
23,321
Yes, the forks on the Agattu and Tasman are adjustable and can be set to varying degrees of firmness. I found the bounce control on them very good, stable at all times.
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