Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet Hedwig!

Don't we all love unplanned bicycles? Yesterday I found this little Kettler Alu-Rad mixte.

It's an all aluminum bicycle, made in W. Germany (so pre-fall of the wall?) and was too cute to pass up. Upright handlebars, fenders, dynamo front and rear lights (which don't work, but that can be remedied). At first I was thinking that I would use it for parts for another mixte that I have, but once I got home with it, my husband fell in love with it's looks and talked me out of it.

It's incredibly light weight, airy, and seems to be capable of going much faster than I am comfortable with. Since it has been pardoned from being cannibalized, and is now an official pasture mate for Helena, it needed a name. I left that job to my husband. We decided that it needed to be German, since that is where she was made, and decided to continue using H names, so he picked out Hedwig. Not necessarily like the owl character in the Harry Potter books, though she is light and lofty like a bird, but because I will be able to battle the hills much more efficiently.

She is going to need a little work before I can take her out to the barn, but since the tires hold air, I couldn't resist just going up the street. Just a mile or so. :) It took me a few minutes to remember how to shift a ten speed, since I hadn't ridden one in about 15 years. I was surprised at how much easier it became to get up my hill! On Helena, I'm in 1st and sweating and breathing heavy by time I make it up. I didn't even break a sweat or get even a little bit winded by time I made it up on Hedwig. She is going to need new tires (27 and 1 1/16?!? Anyone know where I can find that size? Would something else work? I hope I don't end up needing to replace the wheels as well.) tubes, break pads (though these aren't bad) and some of the sprockets in the rear cluster have chipped teeth. The it's just the little things like a new saddle (I'm thinking a black Brooks B72), and get rid of those rubber grips in favor of something else.


  1. Wow, great find! Pretty cool that it says made in West Germany.

  2. The Alu-Rad is a very-well-thought-of mixte, and kind of rare in the US, from what I've heard.
    Kettler were ahead of the curve in making an aluminum frame bike, and they did it without going to the huge tubing and making it so stiff that the ride suffers.

    I came here from Margonute's place- you have a fun blog! The baby mule pics melted my heart, BTW.

    Corey K

  3. Cory - Thanks for visiting this little blog! I hadn't ever heard of Kettler and the Alu-Rad until I found this bike. I've been searching for more information on it and really don't find much. It is a wonderful little bike though! I'm really enjoying it. It does have a VERY nice, smooth ride. I'm glad I drove 2 hours out of my way to pick it up!

    Baby donkeys melt my heart too. And this one is becoming my little shadow now. She follows me around the barn looking for attention. :)