Updated: Nov 21, 2021
The long awaited video is here... the comparison between the Hyperbike and the KBike.
Are they alike? Yes. Are the also different? YES!
In this video I show you the similarities and the differences between the two bikes.
I want to go into a little more detail here on the blog.
The Hyperbike shafts have given me trouble since the beginning. First I was sent the B shafts which were way too small for Sky. (Zorro wasn't driving yet!)
Then I was sent the C shafts which were too big for Sky but were so much better than the B shafts (because they were wider) that I tried to make do. For reference, the shaft loops should hang at the curve of the gig end. NOT behind the shaft stop on the shafts.
When I started to drive Zorro I realized they were simply too long. The gig end of the shaft was so far forward that it completely blocked Zorro's entire shoulder and would jam under his neck when we tried to turn. Again, the shaft loop should sit at the curve of the gig end. I tried using longer traces and moving Zorro out into the correct spot on the shafts, but this meant I had about 26" between his tail and the front of the seat. WAY too much space. I could not get my seat far enough forward to get the bike to balance.
This also meant the cart acted more like an easy entry. It was so long! I was sent a set of shafts that were shorter than the original C shafts.
They were still not short enough and the gig end constantly caused us trouble. The last straw was when Zorro hooked the bit end of his driving lines on the gig end at a clinic. I was able to leap out of the bike and unhook them before things got bad, but not before he got scared. That scared me. When I got home I had my hubby cut 6" off the front of the shaft, effectively removing the gig end.
Now I had less shaft sticking out in front of Zorro but when we turned the end of the shaft would stab him in the neck. Sigh.
I struggled every drive to get it to balance. I would have to stop numerous times and make adjustments. I also had to use my core muscles and my legs to help the shafts not bounce. I figured this was just part of the driving experience. But the constant struggle with the harness adjustments was draining the fun out of driving.
This year I haven't driven very much. I actually started shopping for a sulky style cart that I could use instead of the Hyperbike because I was so tired of the constant balancing act. I was ready for something a little simpler.
In my search, I came across the KBike. Brenda Glowinski shared it with me and I was immediately interested. She explained how the shafts were adjustable, both in length and width. The wheels have two height settings. The seat slid forward and back AND there was an option for the longer shafts with the foot basket making it both a bike and a training vehicle! I was hooked and placed my order.
As you all know, I received my bike last week and all I can say YAY!! This bike is amazing. Right away we were able to get the balance dialed in perfectly. NO bouncing in the shaft ends. They were the correct length for Zorro, with a little trimming, and I could adjust my stirrups just as I needed them. The long shafts with foot basket also balanced perfectly.
Something that has really bothered me about the Hyperbike is the fact that I could not get the hold back straps adjusted correctly. They were either too short or too long. This meant that there was often a pushing weight on the saddle when we went down hill. And we go down LOTS of hills on a daily basis. There was always extra weight pushing on the saddle and pushing the shaft loops forward when we would go down a hill. Because I drive over pretty rough terrain with LOTS of hills when we go in the mountains, I could see this was causing trouble for Zorro. (The ruffled hair and dry spots from the extra pressure on the saddle told me this.) We quit driving this year. Even just leaving our driveway we climb over 600 feet. What comes up must come down, and I would have to get out and walk most of the way home because the cart was pushing the saddle so much. I believe this is because the footmans loops are just a bit too far back on the shafts, due to the fact that the shafts are too long and Zorro has to be moved back in them to get the bike to balance, I can't seem to find the "sweet spot" for my hold back straps. I have them short and then they are too tight when we aren't going down hill, I loosen them a hole or two and then they are too sloppy and cause the shaft loops and saddle to slow the cart before the breeching.
With the KBike, in the bike form, or the training cart form, this did not happen!! There are simply no words to describe my insane joy at watching those shaft loops hang straight no matter if we were climbing the hill or going down.
Believe me when I say, I know this should be a harness adjustment issue, but no matter what I did with my harness, ie - lengthen my traces, shorten my traces, raise my shaft loops, lower my shaft loops, tighten my hold back straps, loosen my hold back straps, tighten my over girth, loosen my over girth, use a wrap strap style girth, use a regular over girth style (the over girth style girth is what I actually recommend!) I simply could not solve this issue. I also tried moving my stirrups forward, moving my stirrups back, moving my seat forward, moving my seat back, lowering my wheels or raising them, I simply could not solve this issue with the Hyperbike using the shafts I have. I know it seems completely crazy to say that 2 or 3 inches in shaft length make all the difference, but they do. Minis and small ponies are already small. So any change, no matter how small makes a big difference.
The KBike shafts are literally 3" shorter than the Hyperbike shafts and my issues are solved. It's that simple!
Now, I know the Hyperbike works very well for the smaller minis. Molly drives Goldie who is 32" and Gracie who is 35" and her bikes balance beautifully for her minis. Just take a look at these videos and the lovely balance she has:
When I would drive with Molly I would watch how her shafts just floated in her shaft loops, staying right were they should and never pulling on her saddle. It made me so jealous because I had to work hard on my drives to achieve the same thing. So if you have a smaller mini the Hyperbike seems to work VERY well. If you have an oddly sized mini or small pony then it can be very tricky.
The fact that the KBike allows us to adjust the shafts, is the key to proper balance for the "inbetweener" ponies!
For more information about the KBike you can head on over to the webpage: KCart - The Ultimate Off Roading Vehicle.
For more information about the Hyperbike you can head on over to the website: Hyperbike
And as always if you have questions feel free to email me - firstname.lastname@example.org