HP Velotechnik Speedmachine 2003 Recumbent Bike

4.5/5 (2 Reviews)
MSRP : $2595.00

Product Description

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Ben Pearre a Commuter

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2007

Strengths:    Well-built. Good rear suspension. Passable front suspension. Reasonably fast on the flat. Excellent rack and touring/commuting options. Comfortable.

Weaknesses:    Heavy. Possibly dangerous front fork. Faith-based safety design. Bad seat. Insecure water bottle cages.

Bottom Line:   
Here's the summary: this bike feels like an SUV, not a Ferrari. HP has designed a bike that is good in many ways, but they've made some really silly decisions along the way. For my complete review and comparison against my fairly similar Reynolds Wishbone, please see SpeedMachine.review.html

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Reynolds Wishbone 26/20. I've demoed many others: Optima Cheetah, various Bacchettae, HP Street Machine, Challenge Wizard, Mistral SL, Seiran, Hurricane, ...

Bike Setup:   Mostly stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by genome a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2004

Strengths:    Performance, comfortable ride, ergonomic design, product quality, nicely finished.

Weaknesses:    Expensive, rather heavy for a road bike.

Bottom Line:   
My Speedmachine is nothing at all like my mountain bike! You don't hop on, you climb in. You sit inside the bike rather than on top of it and the bike surrounds you. You don't ride it, rather you pilot it. Together you become a high speed projectile skimming the surface of the road. And because your centre of gravity is so low you must lean a lot more into your turns. Sometimes it feels like my inside elbow will touch the ground.

Other than test rides I had never ridden a recumbent before, so it took me a while to get used to the handling, especially at slow speeds. The Speedmachine is very responsive so a light touch is required on the controls. Starting off at stoplights was wobbly for me at first, but I practiced in a parking lot and now I can ride as slow as 2 MPH without much trouble. One thing you must remember to do is to shift down before you stop or you might not be able to get going again if you're in too high a gear. Could be embarrassing.

The hard shell seat is very comfortable and supportive. I added some padding to customize the shape of the airflow cushion, and now I can ride for hours in comfort. I used a 3/8" closed cell foam groundpad from Walmart. The seat angle adjusts from 25 to 35 degrees. I started at 30° but gradually lowered it all the way after a week or so.

The bike came with very nice 1.3" Vredestein S-Licks but I installed 1.5" Kenda Kwests to get a softer ride. (My other bike is a full-suspension MTB with 2.4" tires at 35 PSI.) The Kwests are comfy and fast but I'll probably put the S-Licks back on when the Kwests wear out. The Tektro disk brakes are very strong and easy to adjust. I installed an Ultegra chainring because it shifts much better than the stock 105, which has no chain ramps. The suspension system inspires confidence on uneven surfaces and high speed curves, and the air shock is plush. I find the Speedmachine climbs well for a heavy bike, and with a 22" granny gear I haven't had to walk yet. Headwinds don't slow you down nearly as much as on an upright, but on the other hand, tailwinds aren't much help.

When you pedal a recumbent you use different muscles than when you pedal an upright. I've had the Speedmachine for 6 weeks and after 650 miles my 'bent muscles are coming along nicely. My effortless 'cruise all day' speed is 20 MPH, and I usually ride between 20 and 25 on the flats. With a 53/11 top gear I spin out around 45 MPH. (I love being able to smoke fast riders that are half my age.)

The Speedmachine is a gorgeous bike. It turns heads everywhere and elicits a constant stream of "Wicked bike," "Awesome," and "Wow!" And with the high speed capability and extreme lean angles you can put on quite a show if you want.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Triketrails in Whitb

Similar Products Used:   Burley Koosah, HPV Spirit, HPV Streetmachine, Maxarya Ray1

Bike Setup:   Shimano 105 front, XT rear, Deore Mega thumb shifters, Egg Beater SL pedals, DNM rear air shock, Kenda Kwest 1.5 high pressure tires, Tektro mech. disks, airflow seat cushion, aero bars, rear rack, Cat Eye Enduro 8, two LD600 tail lights, BLT Gamma Ray 10 Watt headlight.

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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