Press room - showdaily 09/2000
HP Velotechnik in the news: the following text is an excerpt from the American magazine Bicycle Retailer showdaily, issue 09/2000. We recommend to order the complete magazine from the publishing house to read the whole story.
Company Specializes In Touring Bikes
German Recumbent Maker Targets The U.S. Market
German recumbent maker HP Velotechnik is making its debut in the United States at Interbike.
The company is looking to get a toehold in the U.S. market, where recumbents are becoming more popular than in Europe.
At HP Velotechnik's booth, company officials will have some recumbent designs they think U.S. consumers have yet to see.
"It's hard to get into the U.S. market with a product like a mountain bike because everyone has a similar product. But we think we have a different product," said Paul Hollants, HP's managing director.
Particularly unique is HP's aerodynamic faring, which the company calls a speed bag. Its large compartment doubles as a storage bag. The company has found that the speed bag improves the aerodynamics of the bike. The speed bag, molded from glass-and-fiber-reinforced plastic, comes in a large touring version or narrower race version.
"It depends on the rider's size and clothing, but wind tunnel tests have proved a benefit of about 10 to 15 percent," Hollants said. The company has a number of its bike models on display in its booth. One model is the Speed Machine, a fully suspended recumbent built for speed. The aluminum bike has triple chainrings, hydraulic discs, a combination Shimano and SRAM drivetrain and aero rim wheels. The company also specializes in recumbent models set up for crosscountry touring.
HP has a custom-build program but also offers framekits that U.S retailers can equip with standard bike components.
In Germany the company sells fully assembled bikes built to order.
The company plans to service U.S. retailers directly, rather than through a distributor.
"We believe that short communication links and competent advice in technical and marketing issues are the keys to building a strong dealer network," Hollants said.
"By this direct contact, we also can learn more efficiently about the specific demands of the U.S. market," he said.
Hollants said HP sells bikes mainly in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. However, they also have customers in such exotic locales as Pakistan, Singapore and Australia. The company already has a few U.S. customers.