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Prospekt durchblätternbrowse brochure
Press room - Bentrideronline.com January 2001

HP Velotechnik in the news: the following text is an excerpt from the american online magazine bentrideronline.com. We recommend to read the original article, we've put it up here to save it for the future if it should become unaccessible at the original location.

HP Velotechnik Speedmachine

The first touring lowracer?

By Bryan J. Ball, Editor

So the lowracer bug has bitten you. You are lusting after one of those swoopy, sexy racing bikes that you’ve seen on the Internet. Unfortunately, you have one problem. You love to tour and your particular lifestyle won’t allow you to own more than one ‘bent. What are you to do?

You’ve probably already noticed the crop of quasi-lowracers that have come from Challenge and M5. Maybe neither of those has caught your eye with enough vigor to make you plunk down your gold card. Maybe neither of them looks as if it would hold up to the rigors of loaded touring. Well now there is another quasi available from a company that is famous for making outstanding touring SWB recumbents. This new European temptation is the HPVelotechnik Speedmachine.

Speedmachine recumbent by HP Velotechnik

This German Company’s Street Machine GT has a very well deserved reputation in the HPV community as a superbly crafted SWB. Street Machines feature such excellent features as built-in racks, disc brakes, full suspension and generator lights.

HPVelotechnik decided late last year to apply that same "complete package" engineering philosophy to the burgeoning lowracer market. A lengthy design process has resulted in the high tech Speedmachine.

IF ROLLS ROYCE MADE BIKES…

Speedmachine and Rolls Royce The new Speedmachine is a technological marvel that is absolutely packed with creature comforts and gadgets. It features an awesome full suspension system, disc brakes and a robust built in rear rack.

This new bicycle fits squarely into the blossoming quasi-lowracer market. It has a seat height of 15.7" and a bottom bracket height of 26.4". Its wheelbase is 47". HPVelotechnik claims a weight of 33 pounds. Our test bike came out at 37 with the rack installed. This puts the bike right in line weight wise with the Challenge Hurricane Luxe.

One look at the Speedmachine will tell you that its designers did not rush it into production. The extra time they spent shows in everything from the suspension detail to the quiet chainline. This new bike is meant to be your one and only and to last for an eternity. The Speedmachine looks and feels as if it were milled out of one solid block of aluminum. This bike has the great looks and superb craftsmanship that we've come to expect from European recumbents.

The first thing that struck me about the Speedmachine was its suspension system. The rear half of the bike is sprung by HPVelotechnik’s appropriately named and proven "No Squat" swingarm and a DX coil over shock. This system works even better on the Speedmachine than it does on the Street Machine it was designed for. I felt virtually no pogo effect even when sprinting.

The front suspension on the Speedmachine is even more impressive. Its front shock is very similar to a Cannondale Headshock suspension fork. The suspension itself is an elastomer/spring unit that is housed in the bike’s head tube. The whole thing rides on cartridge bearings instead of a conventional headset. My experience as a Cannondale mechanic tells me that this set up should be plenty durable for road use. The HPVelotechnik front suspension soaks up every imperfection in the road admirably and doesn’t suck power any more or less than the rear suspension. The two systems are perfectly matched. Overall, I would have to say that the Speedmachine has the best system of any full-suspension recumbent that I’ve ever ridden.

This advanced system contributes significantly to the bike’s excellent handling characteristics. I rode our test bike on Christmas day and had an absolute blast carving tighter and tighter corners in an empty department store parking lot. In a matter of minutes, I had gained the confidence to lean the Speedmachine farther through the corners than almost any other bike I’d ever ridden.

The HPVelotechnik is also capable of tearing up the pavement between the corners. The Speedmachine doesn't lose too much ground on most roads to other quasi-lowracers and more than lives up to its name for the most part. I found the Speedmachine to be slightly faster than the Challenge Hurricane in most respects, but slightly slower that the M5 Shock Proof. The only area where it was noticeably slower than its competition was on climbs. This is probably due to its weight, full suspension and a little power loss to boom flex.

One area where the Speedmachine definitely has its competitors trumped is in comfort. The bike's suspension removed every hint of harshness from the ride. HPVelotechnik seat comes in multiple sizes and is quite supportive and comfortable once you find the right one.

I also found the bike's ergonomics to be spot-on. HPVelotechnic has chosen a handlebar arrangement that is somewhere between that of a Challenge and a ZOX. The controls fell readily into my hands and knee clearance was never an issue.

The Speedmachine is also a much more competent tourer than either the Hurricane or the Shock Proof. HPVelotechnik's optional rear rack is very sturdy and well made. Considerable loads do not seem to upset the bike's handling, but may require you to adjust the bike's rear suspension preload.

If you really want to carry your gear in style, HPVelotechnik offers a cargo-carrying tailbox (or "Speed Bag" as they call it).If you're thinking that all of this versatility and quality must not be cheap, you're 100 percent correct. The Speedmachine checks in at about $2600. That's definitely not cheap, but this is a very fine machine.

A LASTING IMPRESSION

The HPVelotechnik Speedmachine is certainly a very impressive bike. It's cornucopia of high-tech goodies and extremely refined character brought to mind the automobile it is pictured with here (even more so if that stately Rolls Royce had a Ferrari V-12 under the bonnet).

Of course, it's not perfect. I'm still waiting for a light European performance bike and wouldn't necessarily want to climb the Alpe De Huez on the Speedmachine, but as a sport tourer, it's outstanding. The Speedmachine's versatility and striking beauty are also hard to forget.

Unfortunately its price tag will also leave a lasting impression. When looking at the bike's somewhat staggering price, HPVelotchnik's high level refinement must also be kept in mind. A bike that can combine this level of technology and the Speedmachine's rock solid feel are also a rare commodity.

HIGHS - Unequaled refinement, versatile, plenty fast on the flats

LOWS - Beauty doesn't come cheap, not a mountain goat

AVERAGE PRICE - $2600

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Last changed: May 20, 2012