New Grasshopper fx bike and rider, a review.

A bent rider out West had read my review of the HP Velotechnik Grasshopper fx and ended up buying one from a dealer near him.  I thought people might be interested in reading his initial impressions, which he posted to the HP Velotechnik newsgroup on Yahoo.  (Unedited and reprinted here with permission.)

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Washing the “new” off.
My experience with the Grasshopper is more than meeting
my high expectations created by the reviews I’ve read.
I’ve only been riding it around town, yesterday through
some significant rain that revealed some vulnerabilities
of my old Sugoi Rain Jacket. But the Grasshopper is a
blast. The suspension has me hitting crappy asphalt
and rail road tracks at full speed and marveling
at how well it works. The Dual Drive works a treat.
I love not worrying about gear combinations; From a stop,
I shift up using the hub gear and then use the rear derailleur
for fine tuning. And I thought I wouldn’t like it. I’m still
not fond of the feel of the Sram derailleur shifter. It
works fine but the feel when up-shifting is too disconnected.
And it’s loud. I’ll probably learn to live with it but
I’m pondering alternatives. Most appealing would be a bar-end
friction shifter but that would require a different handlebar.
The shifter for the hub gear is fine.

The disk brakes have a solid, progressive, confidence-inspiring
feel. I’m glad I made that change and I think they look good,
too. The dyno-hub is a nice convenience. I installed a quick
disconnect in the wiring so I don’t have to leave the light
on the bike when locked. Now, I’m just waiting on some Pinhead
security skewers to secure the front wheel and seat and headset.
The Pinhead website said they may have a product for solid
axles sometime this year.

I’ve got to get to the local high school track and check
my computer calibration. If it’s accurate, then I’m zipping
right along on this new bike: 17-19 mph with my heavy,
fat Jandd commuter bag and the out-of-shape rider
(flat ground, neutral air).

So, the bike is comfortable, fast, practical and,
to my eye, visually pleasing. What’s not to like?

– Kurt Jensen
Eugene, OR.

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Best,
Robert
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Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2011 Robert Matson