Oft perspective determines attitude: is the glass half full or half empty? Translated to the trekking bike, one can ask: a multi-talent or just a compromise solution? If you are looking for pure sports equipment, you would be better off with a racing bike or a mountain bike. But there are also scenarios that are less sweaty in everyday life: the way to work, to the supermarket or even a relaxing trip to the countryside.

This is where trekking bikes come in: “No other type has a similarly wide range of uses,” writes the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) online. Full equipment is typical: trekking bikes are equipped by the manufacturers with lights, mudguards and luggage racks. Unlike many sports bikes, they also meet the legal requirements for a roadworthy bike and are also designed for luggage.

And they sell well: although the sales figures for normal, non-electrified bicycles are declining, the sales share of trekking bikes in the total market in 2020 was a quarter higher than for any other individual category, according to the German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV).

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Large manufacturers from Kalkhoff to Cube to Winora also have them in their range. We are traveling with the Norite Dry 4 model from the relatively unknown brand Kayza, which belongs to the wholesaler Hartje.

Purpose of the Norite Dry 4

Whether over smooth asphalt or sometimes dirt roads and gravel roads – the manufacturer advertises the bike as a companion for “all everyday routes”, but also for “fast after-work rides”.

There are trekking bikes with hub gears, but mostly derailleur gears are fitted. Thanks to the greater range of gear ratios, they extend the flat country as a range of applications to include hilly areas.

All-rounder or compromise?  Traveling with a trekking bike

The translation is changed via a triple circuit with an eight-speed cassette. Entry-level components from the Shimano Acera group are installed

Source: dpa-tmn/Stefan Weißenborn

This is what happened on the Norite with a triple gear system that is rarely seen on sporty bicycles: The Shimano Acera with triple chain ring and eight-pinion cassette was originally developed as a mountain bike gear system for beginners.

The Acera group includes hydraulic disc brakes, each with 160 millimeter wide discs. The suspension fork is a prominent component that is often installed on trekking bikes. It comes from the Suntour brand and can be adjusted using a steel spring. Kayza promises something stereotypical: 63 millimeters would be enough to “smooth out uneven floors and cobblestones”.

Driving impression of the Norite Dry 4

Smooth ironing is such a thing: although the fork absorbs vibrations to a satisfactory degree, the fork is insensitive when rebounding. If you drive into potholes or down curbs, the dip tube shoots out rough up to the stop, which you can feel and hear.

When it comes to cars, one would say: bumpy chassis. The fact that the dipping fork also absorbs braking energy makes rollovers less likely.

All in all, the spring element on the Norite 4, which costs around 100 euros and weighs 2.3 kilograms, seems to be dispensable – with a rigid fork and slightly lower air pressure, the riding comfort would probably be comparable and the entire bike a bit lighter.

All-rounder or compromise?  Traveling with a trekking bike

On board is a cheap suspension fork from Suntour, which is adjustable, but insensitively rebounds

Source: dpa-tmn/Stefan Weißenborn

But the trekking bike hardly has any weight problems. Weighing 16.8 kilos, it can easily be carried down to the bicycle cellar or up the stairs to the platform. The rather long model is a bit bulky.

But the large wheelbase of almost 1.12 meters contributes to the smooth handling, as do the 28-inch aluminum wheels. The directional stability is great, the steering feel is sufficiently direct at the same time – you feel armed for the sometimes hectic city traffic.

The seating position is slightly bent. This makes it easier to pedal for slightly faster sections than, for example, on a Dutch bike. You don’t feel out of place in the saddle of the Kayza trekking bike on field and forest paths either – as long as you don’t mind the mentioned shortcoming of the suspension fork.

All-rounder or compromise?  Traveling with a trekking bike

The Kenda tires are laterally profiled for more grip on looser ground, while the treads are smoother to keep rolling resistance low on slippery ground

Source: dpa-tmn/Stefan Weißenborn

The 40 millimeter wide tires from the manufacturer Kenda also cope well with bumps and bumps that are less severe – it just mustn’t get too rooty. Of course, you shouldn’t expect mountain bike level. A light side profile increases grip on loose ground, while the smoother treads keep rolling resistance low on asphalt and the like.

Above all, however, if you are thinking about more than just a bike tour at the weekend and are planning a bike tour with more luggage, you should keep an eye on the maximum total weight of the vehicle, driver and load. The trekking bike is designed for a total weight of 130 kilos.

Equipment, accessories, peripherals

The simple construction and load capacity of the rear luggage rack of 25 kilos already indicate: the Norite Dry 4 is not a touring bike. In combination with panniers, it is a willing pack mule when shopping for groceries: when fully loaded, the handling is rear-heavy, as you might expect, but it is still comparatively stable.

Everyday life beats special operations could be summed up. And so the bike meets the expectations that a trekking bike arouses. In addition to the necessary reflectors and the bell, the lighting makes the bike roadworthy in terms of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO).

All-rounder or compromise?  Traveling with a trekking bike

The front derailleur is also a cheap component from the shelf of the Japanese bicycle supplier Shimano

Source: dpa-tmn/Stefan Weißenborn

And thanks to the smooth-running Shimano hub dynamo in a convenient way: The light is always ready for use and not dependent on the charge level of any batteries. The headlight has an automatic switch-on.

The price of Want Dry 4

At 759.95 euros, the Kayza bike remains well below 1000 euros – but experienced a hefty price increase of 130 euros compared to the 2021 predecessor model due to the rise in raw material and freight costs during the corona crisis.

The Norite Dry 4 is available in four frame heights (48 cm, 52 cm, 56 cm, 60 cm). With the Niti Dry 4, Kayza also has a comparable model with a trapezoidal frame in its range (also 759.95 euros).

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Conclusion: With the Kayza Norite Dry 4, the customer gets a lot of bike for the money, which is also well invested in view of the wide range of uses. The components from the entry-level segment show that cutbacks have been made.

But on our everyday trips over two months and several hundred kilometers, there was no obvious wear except for the quickly rusting chain. However, the durability of the frame and components would have to be proven in a long-term test, which would presumably show differences to more expensive trekking bikes. After all: Kayza offers a five-year guarantee on the frame.

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