Friday, April 18, 2014

Kettler Berlin Royal

Kettler Berlin Royal

Kettler bikes do not seem to be available via many local bike shops, but this German manufacturer will sell direct to consumers. We previously reviewed a few of their models.

They now offer several well equipped bikes with dynamos and lights, internal gear hubs, racks, chainguard, fenders and kickstand at reasonable prices. 

Kettler City Cruiser

The Kettler City Cruiser has a 7-speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hub with coast brake, front v-brake, dynamo hub with lights, chainguard, rack and fenders for only $729.

The Royal Berlin model has a Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub, disc brakes, dynamo lights, rack, rear panniers, chainguard, and fenders for $1500. There are several other models with variations between these price ranges, including some with rollerbrakes.

The Royal is also available as an e-bike model

A commenter reviewed the standard Kettler Berlin Royal:
Only two commutes in on the Kettler Berlin Royal, but I wanted to share my first impressions. 
This is an imposing bike--very handsome and very large, with prewar motorcycle styling and oversized wheels and tires. It gets lots of compliments.
It's like riding a magic carpet. You ride above traffic where you can see and be seen, and the balloon tires and sprung seat ensure that bumps are only seen, not felt. The city bars with leather ergo grips are ergonomically sound, eliminating the numb wrist I get on other bikes. Handling is stable and relaxing.
The LBS was impressed at how rugged and well-built this German-made bike is, but puzzled why it's equipped with Dutch valves that can't be filled by US compressor hoses. (Luckily, screw-on adapters seem to work.)
The Kettler is fully equipped with everything needed for commuting: front and rear lights (with standlight) powered by a dynamo hub (no batteries required!), chain guard, fenders, bell, oversize pedals, internally geared 8-speed hub, tires with reflector sidewalls, weatherproof roller brakes with enormous cooling fins [edit: the current specifications list disc brakes], and coolest of all, a rack built into the bike itself (not some unsightly add-on rack) with matching pannier. Nothing to remember, nothing to bring, just hop on and go. 
Now the downside. Despite its aluminum construction, this is a heavy bike (about 40 pounds). And the same features that make it a great commuter (from the IGH to the upright seating position) also add a lot of drag. So you'd expect low, city-friendly gearing...nope. I'd gladly trade its very tall 8th gear for a lower first gear to get up the nastier hills.

Specifications: Kettler City Cruiser
Price $729 shipped
  • Frame: Durable 6061-K1 hydroformed aluminum frame
  • Fork:Lacquered unicrown construction rigid fork
  • Stem: Adjustable alloy quill stem
  • Handlebars:Humpert City alloy riser handlebars
  • Grips:Ergonomic Herrmans Moza ERGO comfort grips
  • Shifters: Reliable Shimano Nexus 7-speed shifter
  • Brakes: Exclusive KETTLER V-brakes
  • Rear Derailleur:N/A
  • Front Derailleur:N/A
  • Crankset:Exclusive KETTLER aluminum City 3-piece Beta crankset
  • Gear Ratio:38/19
  • Front Hub: Shimano DH3-N20 front dynamo hub
  • Rear Hub:Shimano Nexus 7-speed rear hub with coaster brake
  • Cassette:19 teeth
  • Rims:Mach 1 alloy double walled EXE rims with safety line
  • Tires:Robust yet nimble Continental City Ride tires with Puncture ProTection (42-622 & 47-559)
  • Headlight:Basta Pico 15 LED headlight
  • Taillight:Basta Ray Steady taillight
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Sky comfort saddle with built-in Royalgel
  • Extras: Front and rear fenders, center mounted kickstand, bolt-on luggage rack, resin chainguard
  • Motor System:N/A
  • Battery:N/A
  • Color:Matte Brown

Specifications: Kettler Berlin Royal
Price: $1499 including shipping
  • Frame:Durable 6061-K1 hydroformed aluminum frame
  • Fork: Lacquered unicrown construction rigid fork
  • Stem:Adjustable Humpert Kobra Vario Eco alloy stem
  • Handlebars:Swept back Humpert Stuttgarter alloy riser handlebars
  • Grips:Ergonomic faux leather comfort Ergo grips
  • Shifters: Reliable Shimano Nexus 8-speed shifter
  • Brakes:Powerful Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes
  • Rear Derailleur:N/A
  • Front Derailleur:N/A
  • Crankset:Competition SL Belt Drive 3-piece polished crankset
  • Gear Ratio:46/24
  • Front Hub: Shimano front dynamo hub
  • Rear Hub:Shimano Alfine 8-speed rear hub
  • Cassette:24 teeth
  • Rims:Mach 1 alloy double walled NEO rims with safety line
  • Tires:Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires (55-622)
  • Headlight:B�chel Retro LED headlight
  • Taillight:Compact Spanninga Pixeo LED taillight
  • Saddle:Velo City sprung faux leather comfort saddle
  • Extras: Front and rear fenders, center mounted kickstand, bolt-on pannier rack, resin chainguard, Exclusive KETTLER Berlin Messenger Bag/Pannier, large metal platform pedals, faux leather water bottle cage, metal bell
  • Motor System:N/A
  • Battery:N/A
  • Color:Matte Graphite

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