Hase Pino


People always ask us about our Pino, the reasons we chose such a unique bike, and our experiences riding it. Brendon put together this review to answer some of those questions. But if you have more, just shoot us an email and we’ll add it.

Modifications we have made to our Hase Pino Tour;
–      new SPD pedal set for the recumbent, it only came with one set of SPDs 

–      Brooks B17 touring saddle.  Hase original saddle is ok but it’s a gel saddle, which I feel is no good for long distance touring.

–      Created some extra storage between the low rider racks with rope to carry spare folding rear tire, tubes, some tools and our MSR stove.  Trying to keep as much weight off the rear end of the bike.

–      Use 2 hydro packs on the back of the stoker seat for hydration.  Easy access for both riders but in these hotter and more humid climates we have to keep on top of the cleaning.  They get mouldy very quickly.

–      Two Thule stroller hydration water bottle cages (from REI).  Clamp to the handle bar stems and hold 2 x 1.5 Lt wide mouth water bottles.  Carrying adequate water on this bike is an issue for self supported touring as there is only one frame mount on the down tube.

–      http://www.Hornit.com 140 DB horn mounted for the stoker.

–      Changed the 30 tooth smallest chain ring for a 24 tooth climbing chain ring.  Inadequate gear ratios from factory for a touring tandem and we ran into knee issues as it was way too hard to climb even low-grade hills.

–      Changed the 38 tooth stoker chain ring for a 48 tooth chain ring.  The original set up did not adequately distribute of the work load evenly across  the stoker and pilot cadence.

–      Mounted a water cage to the seat stem to hold our MSR fuel bottle.

–      Plastic handle-bar extensions ($5 each) that we mounted to the side of the stoker seat frame to hold our Ortlieb handle bar bag and two cup holders modified for our bluetooth speakers.

–      Bar-end rear vision mirrors on the short stoker bull horn bars.

Camping with the coppers

On tour & fully loaded

Choosing steel or aluminium for touring;
At the time when we bought our Pino there was no option to purchase a steel frame with Hase announcing they discontinued it.  This can be a concern due to the difficulty of fixing aluminium in remote areas.

Why we bought a Hase Pino over other tandem bikes;
Some of the more common reasons are mentioned everywhere in other blogs, like ease of talking to each other and sharing the journey closely together, and these reasons are definitely a plus.  However, our 3 main reasons that kept us returning to the Pino are:

–     Em is not a cyclist and was adverse to cycling on a single bike.  Nervous about riding a loaded touring bike, negotiating traffic and generally didn’t think she would enjoy the long days in the saddle essentially by herself for long stretches.

–     Our riding styles are completely different and on a small practice tour on separate bikes we found large distances opening up between us.  This is not ideal for safety, navigation and generally sharing the experience with a partner.

–     Em fractured her coccyx 2 years before our start date and finds it hard to sit in a regular bike position for more than 20 mins so a recumbent option seemed to fit the bill perfectly for us.

The option of a test ride;
It is not easy to find someone local with a Pino and then convince them to let you take their expensive bike for a decent test ride.
We had to commit to buying ours sight unseen as we were based in Japan and started out tour in Canada.
We did randomly run into a French couple in Tokyo on a Pino before we left so did get a mini ride to check it out, but it is not easy to try before you buy.

What we love about our Pino;
–     We can share the experience of touring together

–     We get to support each other through the tough days

–     We start and finish the day together

–     It is a great conversation starter and is well liked wherever we go, (this can be a frustration in some circumstances as well.)

–     Stoker position is super comfy and gives the options of easy hands free navigation, music selection, photos on the fly, little road treats on the fly.

–     Hase kickstand and low rider racks.

What we don’t love about our Pino;
There are a few things about the purchase set up that could be changed;

–     It is designed to fit people to 6 feet 5 inches but it is not easy to adjust the pilot position.  I am 6 foot 1 inch and find the handle bar height too low and a little too wide putting a lot of stress between my shoulder blades.
–     The wheel builds are not strong enough for a touring tandem.  Hase insist 32 spokes is adequate but we experienced many problems with the low quality wheels and spokes.  Within the first 1000km we rebuilt the rear wheel to a 40 spoke MTB standard rim.
–     We found the factory gearing  inadequate and had to change it immediately.  Also the type of chain rings used are difficult to find outside of western countries. A standard crank set (eg Shimano) is easier to source around the world.
–     It would be great to see more flexibility on purchase for different touring options i.e seat choice, gearing choice, lighting choice, wheel build options.  In fact I would consider just buying the frame, kick stand/lowrider racks, handle bars, folks, stoker seat and build the rest of the bike to my specs.

The available ‘extras’ from Hase that we reckon are a must for touring;
–     Definitely the kickstand, despite the high price tag

–     Maybe the ergo grip extension bars, but again a high price tag at $180.  I thought about trying some old school big bull horn style to bring my riding position up to a more vertical position.

Using a trailer?
There are many bike forums discussing this issue, not just for tandem touring. Pros and cons with a trailer;

–     extra space can = extra weight
–     another piece of gear to break
–     extra tools and spares to carry
–     extra dead weight to haul
–     can be a liability in high winds
–     makes the set up much longer and harder to manage
–     additional costs

I have been mainly thinking about these points since breaking the frame.  I have a feeling the problem with the stress on the coupling comes from the torsional stress created with the load on the rear racks.  A trailer;

–     can remove weight from the bike frame
–     gives option to carry extra water & food for remote self-supported touring
–     can easily detach trailer (and weight ) from the bike to get through loose sand for beach camping etc.
–     easy to arrange and pack gear

I am not sure if I would go for the trailer option.  If I did, I would use the Bob Yack with suspension.  In my research it is probably the strongest and most reliable (but also most expensive).

Frame failures;

The crack was so bad that when Bren loosened the bolts, this part simply fell out! Eeek!

The fracture was so bad that when the coupling bolts were loosened part of the frame simply fell out.

The missing bit. Doink. it juts dropped straight out!

The part of the frame that fractured and dropped out

The crack in our frame was a major failure of the lower coupling weld.  We  heard an unusual noise as we rode across an uneven bridge join on a major highway traveling at reasonable speed down hill. We didn’t notice anything initially but upon inspection 1 week later we noticed the fracture.  While our gear is not super light, we definitely don’t run anywhere near the 225kg weight limit set by Hase, even with fully loaded food and water.

Our fracture could not be repaired, too much damage. The only option for aluminium as far as I am aware is to find a skilled TIG welder.  I think this would only be a temporary fix for this type of frame and would highly recommend getting Hase to send out a new frame (under warranty) and rebuild the bike, which was the option we took.

Not sure how to prevent this problem yet.  For self-supported long distance multi climate touring it is hard to run under 210kg (including both body weights).  Keep the speeds down as much as possible, especially on the variable roads of developing countries.  It would be worthwhile testing how a trailer could reduce the stress on the frame.  With the standard setup, the Pino is suited to credit card touring or supported touring around developed countries.

Other broken bits;
–     cracked the 24 tooth chain ring

–     multiple broken spokes, maybe 25 in total in 7 months.  No problems with the rear wheel as stated after the new wheel build.  32 spokes are not strong enough for this bike.

–     3 front derailer cables.

–     Cracked the frame

Sourcing parts for Pino on the road;
Everything is over sized or under-sized tubing and parts.  The running gear is all top line but this makes parts hard to find in some cases.
The Avid code R brake pads were hard to source even in the USA so we are carrying 8 spares.
The crank set are not standard mounts and impossible to find in Central America.
Good quality tires were always a problem to source across central and South America and we ran through tires rapidly, especially the front 20”.  They were cheap enough to replace and easy enough to find but they wore through quickly.
The cables for the gears are a standard design and easy to find, and the drive chain is standard and easy to find too.

We did have to replace the free wheel bearing for the stokers crank side early on in the USA, which Hase again were very helpful with sending to a dealer.  It is a specific Pino problem and depending on where you travel it can be difficult to replace.

Hase customer service;
This has been a very honest take on the Pino as a self supported touring bike.  We love the bike as a whole, but due to bike failures we experienced on tour our stress levels were high as we anticipated the next problem. In saying that, every problem we experienced became part of the adventure and Hase were incredibly supportive on all accounts.

They covered our cost of a rear wheel build, replaced the frame without question and had it delivered to us in Mexico within a week. They supported us with replacing the front crankset as the teeth wore out on all chain rings, as well as replacing the stoker free wheel bearing early on in our tour.  We are truly grateful for all of their support and don’t believe we would not have been able to complete the journey on the Pino without their assistance.
While it was frustrating to have a lot of problems with such an expensive bike after just a few months on the road, we felt confident they would always do their best to support us throughout the journey.

How I think Hase could improve their Pino design;
I have thought about this quite a bit and thought I came up with a solution to the weak coupling mount by adding an extra SIS coupling and to bring the mount further back into the diamond frame area.  This however would change the ability to break the bike into 2 parts and keep all the cables together.

The design is brilliant on an engineering level but I am not convinced that simply beefing up the coupling welds has made the joint stronger.
I think the only real solution is to lose the coupling and have a continuous tubing throughout the frame.  Maybe even have this as an option for people interested in touring.  It would eliminate the weak area and enhance the stiffness the bike inherently lacks.  Maybe this could be a bit problematic for general transport situations in planes, trains and sometimes bus’, but I think I would pay the oversized fees for the amount of times you need these options on a bike tour and have the security of a more solid frame.

19 responses to “Hase Pino

  1. I’m interested in this bike and am having a hard time finding solid information on sizing for the stoker position. Is the position adjustable? And what size person could fit?

    • Hi Annie, thanks for visiting our site and thanks for your interest. The Pino is a great bike and we love it. We have had TONNES of problems with it on this journey, but it is still a great bike depending on the type of journey you plan and where you wish to ride it.
      With regard to your question of the adjustable position of the stoker seat, the boom arm is adjustable for leg length so that any height rider can pedal. The seat back is adjustable only for angles, meaning you can lay it back further or set it up for a more upright position, depending on the preference of the stoker. Hope that helps but do let us know if you have more questions. Saludos amiga!

  2. I was wondering if you ever considered a different tandem of the same design. I just purchased a Performer Family. The base price at RBR recumbents is $1650, delivered. It’s a steel frame, same design. No independent freewheel for the stoker, but most tandems don’t have this anyway. I really love the bike, and don’t worry about frame failure with steel. It transports easily on my Honda Civic. For the price, you could mod it however you wish and still come out way ahead. I have ridden a Pino, and this bike is comparable. I actually think the Performer stoker seat is nicer…certainly looks more elegant. Anyway, thanks for your blog. Let’s spread the word about this amazing tandem design.

  3. I just read this post and got reminded of a couple who travelled around the world for three and a half years around the world. And they started the South American leg in the most southern place of Argentina, just where you are going now.

    They did the last part of their trip on a custom recumbent made in Brazil by Pedro Zohrer. He built it so both could pedal in a recumbent position, and it can also be dismantled easily to pack it into an airplane. And being an avid traveller himself, he makes his cycles very robust and simple, so they can be serviced even in the most remote town of South America.


    Hope you are enjoying the fresh climate, (Southern hemisphere winter is coming!) ¡Have fun!

    P.S.: The couple I wrote about had to stop their tour because, after three and a half years on the road, decided to have a kid. But she kept on pedaling right up to the 4th month!

  4. I recently purchased a Pino for my son and I. We also find the chainrings inadequate. We’ve changed the stoker crank and rear chainrings. We put a large chainring on the crank, but can’t figure out what to do with the chain tubes. How did you resolve this problem? Thank you.

    • Hi Rich.

      This is a real problem with the Pino. Due to the immovable mounts at the front for the chain guards the bigger chain ring want allow you to use the original clips. We managed to attach the lower clip with a little bit of cutting so the chain ring did not bite into the over hanging plastic. The upper chain guard we had to just tape the joins so they did not slide and just left it hanging loose. This did rub on the chain and caused some drag, however it did not cause any damage to the chain over the 23,000km we road. Just a bit annoying as it is not quiet. This is the best I could do with out getting extra pieces machined to the right size. Very disappointing Hase has not come up with a solution for this issue.

      • Thanks Brendon, appreciate your quick response! We had to do the same. What size chain ring are you using? Have you tried an oval chain ring? I’m researching these to see if it would help my son who has Cerebral Palsy and a very erratic pedal motion. Great website, by the way!

  5. Hello and greeting from down under. I have been very impressed with the Pino and Hase in general as they offer careful design and good componetry. As a custom frame builder I have made a number of semirecumbent tandems over the decades and it is really difficult to achieve such a small compact design – especially when compacting is required. I moved away from the Hase idea and fitted S&S machine couplings to my chrome moly TwoGo II models as these connections are stronger than the original tubing; you can see one of mine on my website (green and red model)

  6. We have the same bike and our frame broke in two only recently! The breaks have never worked properly the original seat broke and on of the handlebars broke off in my hand whilst cycling with my disabled daughter. The bike is bloody expensive and not worth purchasing . Plus the gearing is worn out within 4 years! Admittedly it is used everyday, but still you expect more for your money.

    • Hey Matt, Oh no! So sorry to hear about those troubles! You should most definitely get in touch with Hase. While we too had lots of issues, we found their customer service fantastic. And hey, 4 years of using a bike everyday is pretty good mileage! It’s a fact that gears wear out on all bikes but also a fact that they’re cheaper to replace than gears on a car! Hope you get back on the road again! Cheers! TT

  7. My wife, like Em, for different reasons, also would not be able to keep up with me so we are considering 2 options for light or credit card touring in Canada: a Pino or an ebike conversion of her current bike. I am unclear as to whether there is a difference between the Pino Hase and the Pino Tour so if you could clarify, that’d be great.

  8. Hi there, well done on all your touring, you get to some amazing places. I wonder if you have a means of ordering parts straight from Hase? We live in Canberra and don’t have a reliable agent. One of our pannier racks broke on a tour of Quebec last year and we still don’t have a replacement. Regards,

  9. Hi TotallyTandem,
    How would you recommend transporing the Hase Pino by plane? Last time we did a lot of bubble wrapping (wheels off etc), and it was ok but a pain to lug around. This time we want to find a good case for it, do you know of one? Many thanks!

    • Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. We have used 2 standard bike boxes to transport our Pino and yes, it is a big pain. To try and make it easier to transport we have made some major changes to ours with 2 x 20 inch wheels & a Rohloff hub. We’ve not had to break her down or pack her up but watch this space and we’ll let you know if we have any other flashes of inspiration to share on this.

  10. Interesting to see your Pino adaptions are matching mine! I used to have a Pino and now have a Circe Morpheus. It has the same stoker cadence issue and needs a stoker chainring change. It already has two 20inch wheels and the frame is much stiffer than the noodly steel Pino I had. Its ground clearance is really low and you have to be really aware of pedal position when leaning.

    • Hi Iain. Thanks for getting in touch. It’s amazing how access to information has developed since we did our bike trip and we’re able to share so much more now. We’re excited to give our new set up a go and will be sure to post on the blog. Stay tuned!

  11. Hello! What exactly is the means of coupling the two riders power to the rear wheel? And as a result, can each person coast/pedal independently? And if they are independent, is their cadence while pedalling also independent?

    • Hi Rob,
      I reckon the best bet to find the most detailed information you’re looking for would be at https://hasebikes.com/197-1-Tandem-PINO-TOUR.html
      The stokers chain line runs on the left side of the bike and is connected at the rear cranks with a free wheel bearing. This enables the stoker to stop peddling (independent of the pilot). The cadence is fixed for the stoker but is affected by the gear selected by the pilot.

      Hope that helps. Happy peddling!

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