Press room - Encycleopedia Vol. 2
HP Velotechnik in the news: the following text is an excerpt from the English magazine Encycleopedia, volume 2. We recommend to order the complete magazine from the publishing house to read the whole story.
The article was published both in English and in German, we quote the English version on this page.
HP Velotechnik Street Machine
Most cyclists in their very early 20s have horizons no wider than the bars of their mountain bike. Paul Hollants (20) and Daniel Pulvermüller (22) are made of different stuff. They have designed and produced a fine, all-purpose recumbent, and set up the business structure needed to sell it. Yet they are both still students, specialising in engineering and business.
The Street Machine has been three years in development, with a production run of 100 now underway. It is a synthesis of the two partners' experiences. Paul had been a long-wheelbase recumbent freak since his early youth, enjoying touring on machines which gave a relaxed ride and easy steering. Daniel rode a fast, manoeuvrable short-wheelbase machine for training and competition use.
They decided to develop a bike which would give the best of both types, and their achievement is a fully-suspended machine which performs equally well as a fast tourer and an inspiring commuter bike.
Up till now Paul and Daniel have offered the basic kit frame, suspension forks, rear suspension, handlebar stem, scat and all chain rollers. They produce an excellent (German language) booklet of information and suggestions as to component choice and other matters related to recumbents. They are very soon going to also supply complete bikes.
The suspension is an important part of the Street Machine's design. The rear suspension block is made of polymer foam, rather than rubber, which means that it compresses progressively, within itself, rather than bulging outwards as rubber does. There is no adjustment on the maintenance-free front suspension, which is designed to cut in only when you hit serious bumps.
The partners are assessing adjustable tension front suspension forks for their 1995 model. The steering is direct, and the chrome-moly handlebars can be swivelled to give differing positions.
We enjoyed the exhilarating ride the Street Machine gives, although it does need a little practice for tight manoevring at slow speeds.
The rear part of the frame and most tubing are chrome moly. The main tube is stainless steel, but will be changed to chrome moly at the end of the year. The front section of the one-size frame slides in and out to allow frame-length alteration, although drastic changes require shortening or lengthening of the chain.
For easy storage the front section can be slid out and, with wheel removed, the rear suspension unit tucks under the frame. The cables for lighting run inside the frame. The slightly protruding scat tube can be used to store batteries or a pump. The scat, which comes in three sizes, is sited relatively high, giving good visibility. It is made of glass fibre, and is cushioned by a hard-wearing foam-like surface whose close cellular structure makes it waterproof - so that rain wipes off in seconds.
The carrier, designed to avoid the rear suspension, is of full chrome-moly tubing. An aerodynamically shaped Speedbag, fitted behind the seat, gives additional luggage room. The partners are currently developing a device which will allow the mounting of low-rider panniers between the wheels under the frame. The rubberised chain rollers run noiselessly.
The fully equipped version will almost certainly have an Axa HR dynamo, fitted as shown.
The partners' business skills have been called into serious service, but far more satisfying is the opportunity to talk bikes with people and meet their exact needs. One of Velotechnik's early customers wanted to explore the Australian Outback. He got what he wanted: a custom-built Street Machine for where there are no streets!
SPECIFICATIONS AND OPTIONS
Frame: CrMo/St 37.
Wheels: 32-406 (20") at front, 25622 (28") at rear.
Weight of frameset:4.3kg (9.41b)
Two 'strengths' of polymer compression units can be supplied, to match the weight and requirements of individual customers. Powder-coated finish in yellow or black. Custom colours, extra brazeons and alternative seat types at an extra charge. Speedbag available only for use with the middlesize seat. Mostly stainless steel bolts. Prices vary according to country. The lowest price is in Germany, where you can expect to pay around 2400 DM for a frame set. The price of complete bikes will soon be announced.