Press room – Bentrider Online 2018-02-21
HP Velotechnik in the news: the following text is an excerpt from the BentRider Online, blog of February 21, 2018. We recommend to visit their web-site for further information.
By Bryan J. Ball [Managing Editor]
The HP Velotechnik Gekko FX was introduced in 2011 as the first folding tadpole trikes ever produced that kept the seat attached. The fold was shockingly fast and easy and has been often-imitated. The model has gone through a few iterations over the years and for 2018, HP Velotechnik has introduced a very interesting US-Specific model.
The new Gekko 26 features a non-folding frame, a 26” rear wheel and an outstanding base-price of only $1890. That makes this new trike the least-expensive HP Velotechnik trike ever. And on an even better note, it’s difficult to see where they cut the costs.
Yes, this Gekko doesn’t fold. But other than that, it features all of the same great features you’d expect from an HP Velotechnik. It has that great, German build quality, the company’s attractive new graphics scheme, a plethora of OEM accessories and a very attractive and comfortable seat mesh design.
When I first saw the Gekko 26 at Recumbent Cycle-Con 2017, I was immediately impressed with how striking it was. That didn’t change once I had one at the BentRider Recumbent Ranch for a more thorough look. HP Velo’s new graphics schemes look excellent and I love the colors they chose for the Gekko 26. The Lime Green that my test trike came in is especially memorable.
Closer inspection also reveals some other great little details. There are neoprene boots over the brake levers and a flex-tube to stop water from getting into the boom around the front derailleur cable. All of the quick-releases are very well finished and the bolts are all of excellent quality.
All of the welds look very robust and well-done. Obviously, HP Velotechnik has faith in them because the Gekko 26 has a 330 lb weight limit.
There is also no cutting-of-corners when it comes to the specification. The 24-speed SRAM X4 drivetrain isn’t as flashy as the 30-speed equipment you’ll find on more expensive trikes, but it all works very well and is perfectly acceptable at this price range. The Gekko 26 rolls on Schwalbe Cruiser tires. Perhaps most impressively, the Gekko comes stock with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes instead of the cable-actuated affair that you’d expect to see at this price point.
The overall weight is 37 lbs which isn’t mind-blowingly light, but it’s excellent for a trike in this price range. This is due, in large part, to the aluminum frame. Others in this bracket are almost exclusively rocking chromoly frames.
The Gekko 26 also handles like a much more expensive trike. The usual HP Velotechnik precision shows up in spades on this trike. I was immediately struck by the light, yet solid feel from the indirect-steering system. It has a good turning circle, excellent high-speed stability and not a hint of brake or bump steer. The overall feel was light and easy, yet still a bit sporty.
The comfort of the Gekko 26 is also excellent. The new seat cover doesn’t only look good, it does a great job of cradling the rider and softening anything you may possibly feel from the seat frame. It’s also easy to adjust for tension.
The seat angle is adjustable between 39 and 47 degrees. The 15” seat height makes the Gekko 26 very easy to get in and out of. Also, the bottom bracket is only couple of inches above the seat so, so numb feet shouldn’t be an issue for most riders. The handlebars are completely adjustable for both angle and width and should allow almost anyone to get a comfortable feel.
One of my complaints with the last non-folding Gekko was that it was a bit of a rough ride. This new one doesn’t seem to be. I don’t know if it’s the changes in the frame, the changes to the seat or simply the tires, but I didn’t find the ride of this trike objectionable in any way.
I’d never call the Gekko 26 a “performance trike” but it’s actually pretty sporty. The frame is stiff under power, it’s light enough and rolls along very well. Some people may want lower gears for climbing, but I found them to be adequate and I’d miss the higher gears when cruising along flat bike paths.
As I said above, HP Velotechnik makes all manner of accessories for this trike and they’re available NOW. No waiting months for a rack to be developed. My tester had the fenders and rear rack and they were sturdy, well-designed and worked superbly. I especially love the fenders and their wide, rounded shape. HP Velo’s fenders are just the best.
Obviously… I’m a fan of this trike. For this price, there’s literally nothing to complain about. One very large dealer I spoke to summed it up best. He said that having one on the floor has actually cost him some higher end sales. After riding the Gekko 26, people have chosen it over more expensive offerings that they could afford because they didn’t need folding or suspension and liked the handling of the Gekko better. That’s a pretty ringing endorsement and one that I completely believe.
The Gekko 26 is simply an attractive-looking, great-handling, comfortable and well-built bargain of a trike.
HP Velotechnik Gekko 26
HIGHS – Awesome handling, Comfortable, Great quality, Absolute steal
LOWS – Uhm…
MSRP – Starting at $1890