Advanced Suspension Technology You Can Enjoy
Your Recumbent with Suspension Offers Comfort and Safety
Let’s start with the best bit: There’s no need to read the small print on this page to enjoy the luxurious comfort offered by your new recumbent. All the latest vehicle technology expertise comes pre-installed into your HP Velotechnik recumbent bike or trike. Lean back, relax, and enjoy the smooth ride and the scenery around you! Now look forward to the next pothole: Your roughest trails have just become even more inviting to enjoy what German engineers call “Fahrvergnuegen” – with safety!
HP Velotechnik’s refined suspension system treats you to relaxing comfort. It increases safety by improving control and road holding. And the best part: You save energy – an effective suspension lets you go faster! All unsprung jolts convert part of the propulsion energy into an upward or downward movement of the vehicle and rider, never to be recovered.
On the suspended HP Velotechnik recumbent bikes and trikes on the other hand, only the wheels follow the contours of the rocky road. Even riding along dirt tracks becomes a pleasure!
Important: The quality of a cycle’s suspension becomes particularly clear when carrying a great deal of luggage or riding on hills. Compare the suspension technology of the recumbents in which you are interested under different ride conditions: Paved streets, undulating roads, and dirt tracks. Load the luggage rack (and the lowrider if available) with heavy bags and check the suspension when riding on hills in low gears. It will quickly become apparent if your pedaling force is converted into undesired pogo instead of powerful propulsion.
The No Squat Concept
Our Rear Suspension Efficiently Transforms Your Pedaling Power into Propulsion
The rear suspension of our recumbents uses HP Velotechnik’s No Squat suspension concept. This represents optimized chassis design: The engineers designed the chassis of our suspended recumbents to combine outstanding comfort with the efficient transmission of pedaling forces to the road. The key to this is the agile, adjustable suspension and the avoidance of any adverse effects from the drive unit in the chassis.
With our No Squat concept, the combination of an exceptionally stiff rear frame with the sophisticated positioning of the single swingarm pivot, the large, double ball-bearing-mounted chain roller effectively prevents drive forces from affecting the suspension and avoids unpleasant pedal kickback. What do you feel? Impressive comfort and 100 % propulsion thanks to maximum power transmission.
Pedal kickback refers to the pedals jolting when the chain suddenly tightens or slackens when the suspension activates. HP Velotechnik’s chassis geometry ensures that there is no noticeable change to the chain length during compression.
Drive forces show as compression when pedaling. This occurs if dynamic forces combine to create a resultant force that causes leverage to take effect at the swingarm’s pivot point. For this reason, many trike and bike designers, initially attempt to place the pivoting point within the chain’s play. In practice, such simple designs often suffer from undesired pogo-style oscillations, which have to be compensated for by high levels of damping in the shock.
However, simple rubber or elastomer buffers are unable to provide such levels as they only have very low, non-adjustable damping. If the damping is too high on the other hand, the suspension responds poorly. Moreover, a great deal of drive energy is lost – energy which was meant for your propulsion!
HP Velotechnik’s chassis design not only considers the primary chain forces but also the reaction force on the rear wheel where power is transmitted to the road – after all, your bike or trike should dynamically accelerate when you pedal. Consideration is also given to the variable inertial forces of the masses comprised by the vehicle, rider, and luggage.
The chassis geometry and optimum drive chain routing are individually determined for each model by HP Velotechnik’s engineers. The Scorpion fs 26 does not simply use the same frame as the Scorpion fs 20 but with an extended rear wheel swingarm. Instead, the full-suspension frame was created meticulously from scratch for the optimum implementation of the 26-inch wheel concept.
Whereas a well-designed suspension should react sensitively to even slight bumps on the road, the frame and swingarm bearing must be built as rigidly as possible so that you can precisely control and dynamically accelerate the cycle.
The rear swingarm pivots with durable maintenance-free bearings on a precision-machined axle. The elegant triangular design of the rear swingarm creates a slender, robust framework to which the shock unit is connected with a harmonious flow of force.
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Shock Units: Steel Spring or Air Shock?
You can choose from either a steel spring or an air shock unit, both tried-and-tested in the MTB sector. Their spring stiffness and oil damping rate have been finely tuned by our expert engineers.
Whereas simple elastomer buffers become noticeably embrittled at low temperatures, HP Velotechnik’s shocks remain reliable and comfortable!
Steel Spring Unit DNM DV-22
Air Shock Unit RockShox Monarch RL
Your benefit: With a special air shock pump, you can easily change the pressure and optimize the suspension characteristics of the RockShox Monarch RL. The matching RockShox pump is included, when choosing this option!
HP Velotechnik recommends setting the suspension so that your chassis compresses about a third of the total available suspension travel when you get on. This ensures that there is enough negative suspension travel for rapid de-compression in the event of sudden potholes and the total suspension travel is comfortably used in the event of harsh impacts without any hard jolts. By the way, the negative suspension travel is also known as “sag”. On the suspension element you will find an adjustment ring and a scale to adjust the sag.
One More Question
Why does a chassis with efficient suspension design need any damping at all?
Damping is mainly needed to quickly stop oscillation caused by bumps on the road so that the chassis is immediately ready for the next bump.
Furthermore: The dynamic forces change depending on where the center of gravity is, which is determined by the size and weight of the rider and luggage.
A further influence: If a rider works hard and moves his/her upper body unevenly, the suspension can be subjected to additional forces.
As a recumbent rider, you benefit from a further physical advantage over the conventional upright cyclists: In the laid-back position, you pedal forward and thus place few downward forces on the suspension.
On your HP Velotechnik recumbent, unwanted effects are suppressed during the decompression cycle by an oil stream inside a refined hydraulic damper. If you select the lightweight air shock from RockShox, you can alter the rebound damping settings with an adjusting wheel and optimize your chassis to your specific ride situation.
A good setting for maximum comfort is achieved when the rear wheel decompresses completely after a shock and then oscillates only once. Your vehicle will react quickly to the slightest bumps.
Front suspension: Tricycles
With our front suspension even rocky roads turn into rewarding destinations
Potholes, cobblestones, gravel roads: the condition of your way ahead can be shocking indeed. Now you can look forward to this with one of our full suspension Scorpion trikes: When the ride conditions become more demanding and you need not only a fast-reacting suspension but also predictable handling, maximum steering precision, and ultimate stability at speed, your tricycle with full suspension is completely in its element.
The comfortable MacPherson struts on the front wheel suspension offer 6 cm (2.4″) of suspension travel with optimized damping for vibration absorption precisely where you need it.
The robust, dirt-protected MacPherson struts are held out to the sides by the solid frame cruciform and are connected via adjustable wishbones with maintenance-free bearings.
With this design, our engineers were able to keep the unsprung masses extremely low. This in turn enables the sensitive responses of our fully suspended Scorpions’ chassis and e.g. for the Scorpion fs 20 the impressively low weight of this full-suspension trike of 17.5 kg (38 lbs). The suspension preload can be adjusted; the spring stiffness and progression can be simply adapted to your needs.
Added safety for fast cornering: The unique HP Velotechnik Stabilizer System with its anti-roll bar under the frame reduces the compression of the MacPherson strut on the outside of the bend and reliably prevents the trike and rider from excessively tilting outwards due to centrifugal forces. Control at the extreme limits is noticeably improved and tipping safety significantly increased. In the picture you can see the blue stabilizer rod under the wishbones.
The AntiDive kinematics prevent the negative dive effects on braking. The design of the camber and track geometry ensures that the steering mechanism offers straight-line stability over the entire suspension travel and remains easily accessible and free from impairment when braking (brake steer) or traversing obstacles (bump steer). You can feel it immediately: in the precision of the steering, the sporty handling, and the direct feedback from the road.
The entire chassis is designed using our No Squat suspension design and transmits all of your drive energy to the road without any loss of power. In return, you enjoy complete comfort on rough trails – so that you can lean back and relax while dynamically accelerating.
The MacPherson struts are supported in the frame by elasticated strut bearings, which continually protect them against lateral forces. The tangible benefit to you: Impressively sensitive responses and outstanding suspension comfort even at high frequencies.
By adjusting the preload, replacing the steel springs, or varying the MCU/spacer arrangement inside the spring, the suspension properties can be easily adapted to your requirements in relation to spring stiffness, damping, and progressiveness so as to provide good bottom-out prevention. Unlike simple elastomer buffers that become noticeably embrittled in the cold, this technology allows comfortable suspension even at low temperatures.
Front suspension: Bicycles
Upgrade into Comfort Class - 20" Suspension Forks for Recumbent Bikes
A good suspension fork is essential for undisturbed driving pleasure since you can’t just stand up from the saddle as with normal bicycles. For recumbents, a good suspension fork must combine fast action, adjustable spring tension preload and durable bushings with very little play.
HP Velotechnik offers suspension forks made by Spinner or Concept, leading manufacturers when it comes to suspension forks for 20” wheels. Based on our experience in suspension technology our forks have been tailored to the custom requirements of the recumbent market.
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Comfortable Suspension Forks for 20” Wheels
All models are available both with our recumbents and for upgrading your bike. The forks are available with different head tube diameters and lengths to adjust to your frame’s sizes.