Recently, a couple owners of HP Velotechnik Street Machine Gtes asked about the bolt holes on the front boom of the Street Machine Gte. They wanted to fit their bikes with headlights. However, their bikes had front booms without the optional derailer post. The derailer post is a natural place to mount a headlight, whether using the threaded bolt holes on the post or by using the Terracycle accessory mount. That post is optional, though, if you have a hub gear system like the SRAM Dual Drive or the Rohloff Speed Hub. If you ordered your bike without the post, but later decide to mount a headlight, what are your options?
HP Velotechnik manufactures their front booms — those with and without the derailer post — with threaded bolt holes on both the top and bottom side of the boom. The factory uses the threaded bolt hole on the bottom of the boom for installing the headlight mount for a dynamo headlight. They’ll use the threaded bolt hole on top of the boom for installing the odometer mount. Obviously, you could use the bolt holes for installing other accessories.
As for the question about the size of the threaded bolt holes, they are simply the same metric sized bolt holes as those used for bolting on water bottle cages and the cable guides on the Street Machine Gte (and most other mass-market modern bike). Yes, there is an “M” number, but it’s easier to remember that it’s the same as those used for the water bottle cages.
If you want a headlight, but your SMGte has no derailer mast, there are several ways to solve the problem.
1) Attach a HPV odometer (accessory) mount, suitable for a lightweight headlight, using the threaded bolt hole on top side of boom.
2) Use the strong accessory mount built by Hase (google e.g., “Hase Pino”), which wraps around a front boom and can support a headlight or other accessory.
3) Use the threaded bolt hole accessory mount under the boom with the mounts included with a high end (e.g. B&M) dynamo powered headlight. The Peter White Cycles website has great information about light mounts.
4) Use a nylon Cronometro Nob attached to your front fork or handlebars (see Peter White Cycles website for instructions).
5) Use a high-end helmet-mounted headlight (e.g., from B&M, or Dinotte).
I ride a sleek blue-gray HP Velotechnik Scorpion fs 26 with white accents that is the ninth or tenth love of my life. It has a body link seat, rear rack…all whistles and no bells. Will a pair of HPV’s Moonbiker panniers mount properly? If not, which others might be my pleasure? My only requirements are that they look as attractive as the trike and have excellent capacity.
You’re right to require that a pair of panniers look as good as the trike.
Usually, the Moonbiker or Radical Design panniers are suitable, but not this time: they won’t lay properly on the Scorpion fs 26’s uniquely shaped rear rack.
However the Ortlieb Recumbent Panniers are a very nice pair, with 54 liters capacity. They are attractive, waterproof, aerodynamic, with a fiddle-free mounting system. As you might imagine, they’re not cheap but, like most Ortlieb products, you’ll want to hold onto them for the long-term.
These Radical Design bags are also good choices, though with less capacity. They’re attractive and a great option if you don’t feel ready to commit to one or the other: if you have trouble choosing, go with both for 35 liters total volume.
Recently, a fellow posted a question to the HP Velotechnik message board on Yahoo.
– Removing rear rack from Street Machine Gte
– Tue Oct 8, 2013 4:29 am (PDT) . Posted by: “L C____”
– I would like to remove the rear rack from my recently acquired Street
– Machine and I notice that 2 of the mounting bolts appear to go right into
– the pivot point of the rear suspension.
– Is there a special trick to doing this?
You can just remove the bolts, then remove the rack, and then replace the bolts. However, when done properly, the long bolts that originally held the rack are replaced with a pair of 20mm button head bolts.
Getting the new bolts back in involves a fair amount of fiddling. I’d try finding replacement bolts at your hardware store. Be sure to grease the new bolts before replacing them to prevent them from seizing and becoming impossible to remove in the future. The torque for the swing arm bolts is 17-19 nm when using HP Velotechnik’s bolts.
If you want to ride with only an underseat rack, and no rear rack, you’ll need to use the long bolts to hold the rack with spacers to take up the space otherwise used by the mounts for the rear rack. The spacers go on the bolt, between the swing arm hinge and the mounting point on the rack. HPV provides spacers, for the official solution, or you can find something on your own that is strong.
Just wanted to drop you a line to say hello. I hope all is well with you and your 2013 season for recumbents ended well.
B— and I are currently traveling through SE Asia on motorcycles. We are in central Laos right now heading south towards Cambodia. We’re expecting to be back in NYC at the end of the year as B— has teaching obligations for the first few months of 2014.
I’m thinking of continuing to take time off in early 2014 and have been considering a solo ride of the ACA Southern Tier route east to west in Feb/Mar 2014. Know anyone who has ridden the Southern Tier E to W? If I do this I’ll sure be glad I kept the grasshopper fx!
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Again, I think I have the world’s coolest customers.
I just returned to New York from the Recumbent Cycle Con (RCC) in Los Angeles. A superb experience and a fun trip. Loved the light, ocean, and mountains. Too bad about all the driving, highways, and traffic. I’ve heard people wonder how New Yorkers get by without cars. But how do Angelenos get by with them? I felt I couldn’t easily get anywhere!
But RCC was a blast. I continue to believe that the best things about bikes (and trikes) are the people you meet as a result of being a cyclist, and the experiences you have with those people, whether it’s shooting the breeze with a fellow cyclist at a traffic light, or going on a group trip, or racing, or advocating for cyclists’ rights, or helping a fellow cyclist you find sidelined along the road, or attending a bike show, or any of those other experiences that result from being an engaged member of the world’s cycling community.
Robert demonstrates a track stand on a Mirage Nomad, a shaft-drive ‘bent.
Glad to have had the chance to ride it. Photo copyr. 2013 R Matson
As for the machines themselves, bikes are cool, some more than others, but they’re just bikes; they’re a means to an end, not the end-all and be-all. They’re a lever, a tool for amplifying what your mind and body want to do and could perhaps do anyway. Without the machine, you could have similar life experiences, you simply wouldn’t go as fast, or as far, or, maybe, get into as much trouble. So, the potentially coolest thing about a bike show, for me, is the people; next, it’s the experience I might have with them; thirdly, it’s seeing what people are thinking about and the problems they’re trying to solve with human powered equipment — the bikes/trikes/drivetrains/chains/headsets, etc. Maybe it’s because I’m less a gear-head and more a traveler, but what excites me about a great machine is not the engineering; it’s the experiences a machine could open up for me and, then, whether that machine will get me safely to the other side. I feel similarly when it comes to dealing bikes. First and foremost it’s about people and the experiences a 2- or 3-wheeled human powered tool make available to them, whether during the sales process, or years after when they’re pedaling through Arthur’s Pass (South Island, New Zealand).
At RCC, I met many people who, till now, I knew only by name, e-ml, phone or photo. People turned out to be pretty much as I anticipated: people I thought would be super, turned out to be super. I had wonderful conversations with the people from Cruzbike and HP Velotechnik and I’m going to continue what I’m doing with them. In their own segments they are the leaders for good reasons. Had good conversations with several others, too many to name. I met Catherine and Hubert van Ham of Radical Design, the recumbent pannier manufacturers, who didn’t have a booth but attended the show as visitors; really nice people. Hase remains impressive. I was also pleased to meet the other dealers in my “neighborhood.”
Trisled Rotovelo, brought in by Nanda Holz of SpinCyclz. Photo copyr. 2013 R Matson
Several discoveries in terms of bikes and trikes. Yes, lots of trikes were shown as manufacturers try and respond to the demand for T’s. The average number of wheels per bike over the entire show was, I don’t know, 2.9 or so; less cleverly, more clearly said: trike showings dominated though maybe not in terms of speed. A few manf’s. had prototypes of clever trikes, folding and otherwise, and it’ll be interesting to see what they present as production models. A few new bikes, some of which I may bring in. I won’t be too specific right now so as not to disappoint people. Also, again, when it comes to recommending machines to customers, I’m highly concerned about reliability and quality and, with new machines that lack a track record, can we be sure to get that?
Cruzbike Morning Death March, group photo. Photo copyr. 2013 R Matson
Cruzbikes won the “slow-riding” as well as the “turning radius” contests. No surprise. But also the jockey Abram (photo of Abram) was, I heard, a gymnast in the past, so it might have been more than just “about the bike.”
I realize readers of this blog might like to hear my analysis of what I saw and liked or otherwise, but since I’ll be making business decisions based on my ideas, I’ll keep them to myself. Meanwhile, event organizer extraordinaire Charles (Chuck) Coyne of Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine was there, along with Chris Malloy and Travis Prebble of Recumbent Journal, and Bryan Ball of BentRider On-line, and I’m sure we can depend on them to write round-ups.
– Nanda Holz of Spin Cyclz (CA) imported a couple dozen of the Trisled Rotovelo and had one at the show. Good ride and nice idea for an inexpensive velomobile. Good enough in every way with one aspect I thought was non-ideal: the pedals rotate rather close to the pavement so I personally needed to adjust foot position to avoid heel strike. I don’t believe I personally, could ride it with clipless pedals or toe clips; someone with small feet might be fine. I pedaled near my instep with platform pedals, which is okay, but not my normal pedaling position. I’d recommend using heel straps with it. Lots of storage capacity inside. Call me if you want one.
– HP Velotechnik was, as expected, extremely polished and professional and was possibly the busiest booth. They had their usual top of the line bikes/trikes and the new dirt trike. They showed their new electric/pedelec system which is, in several important ways, an improvement over the Bionix solution. Call me if you want more info., etc. (Robert: T: 646-233-1219.)
– Cruzbike was possibly the darling of the show and Maria Parker gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard at the industry dinner. Entitled “Doing something hard,” it was ostensibly about her experience during RAAM, but was equally a TED-type talk about how to…do something incredibly hard. For the bikes themselves, only a very few people seemed to have trouble “getting” the Cruzbikes. I think we (the dealers) have gotten better at teaching people how to ride them. For a limited time, there is a slight discount on the 20″ folding model. Call me if you want more info., etc. (Robert: T: 646-233-1219.)
– Prototypes of several new folding trikes and bikes were shown in addition to the usual suspects who have production models. There’s a long way between prototype and production model, but it was exciting to see people working away at this challenge. I’ll keep folding machines on hand and will increase what I carry if and when the new ones pass the various quality tests and go into production.
– The Mirage Nomad shaft drive prototype was there. Nice idea and the ride quality is as good as similar designs.
– TerraCycle has a full length fabric fairing/sock. They are again making their tailsocks but now they are also offering a full length sock that attaches with velcro to their front fairings. So, if your bent can accept TC’s LARGE/FULL front fairing, and has the mounting points for the TC tail sock, you can inexpensively make a fully faired ride. Head opening at the top and totally open on the bottom. I’m a Terracycle dealer if you want more info., etc.
– Lightfoot showed several of their HUGE fat wheel bikes and their ATV-like Quad. They use Surly Large Marge rims/tires. Fun to ride.
Next Recumbent Cycle Con. slated for Sept. 27-28, 2014, in Chicago!
Another beautiful day on Bear Mountain in New York. Two Street Machines, and two street machines, and a lot of long hills. Photo copyr. 2013 R Matson
Last weekend, a friend and I went for a two-day ride around Harriman State Park on our Street Machine Gtes. The weather was spectacular, if cold and breezy, and the fall foliage was on the early side of peak. One of us went off into the weeds while trying unsuccessfully to make a tight high speed turn, the other fell into a lake. In both cases, don’t ask why. Or how. But one thing is clear: we had fun.
Me (Robert) at the end of the road at the top of Whiteface Mtn. with my Street Machine Gte. The factory gearing (and my legs) got me and my luggage there okay.
On the Yahoo Group for HP Velotechnik owners, there has been an interesting sharing of perspectives on the standard gearing for the HP Velotechnik Street Machine Gte.
I share it here, edited to the essential parts about gearing:
From original poster L Campbell:
I would appreciate suggestions as to how long an axle should be for a triple and also, does the factory suggest any minimum / maximum sizes for the chainrings?
Zach Kaplan of Zach Kaplan Cycles wrote in:
The stock crankset on the Street Machine has 52-42-30 rings. They have used various brands of cranksets and spindle lengths over the years. To get lower gearing, I have replaced the stock 30T inner rings with 26T or 24T rings. I have also set up Street Machines with MTB cranksets with 44-32-22 rings which I think is a better gear range for a bike designed for loaded touring.
Writer Ed Walkling seemed to have a similar view:
When I get a new (secondhand) GT the first thing I do is change the crankset. I find the standard chainrings much too large for full camping gear touring or pulling my daughter in the trailer.
I run 22, 32, 44 chainrings as said before and also use a large 36 tooth cassette giving me a very low gear. This allows me to pull the trailer up a steep gravely hill we use often on the way back from our local town.
The axle length on your bottom bracket will be determined by the crankset you choose to install. Only the shell diameter and width is predetermined by the frame. As you have a deralieur post you should be fine fitting a triple.
My (Robert’s) own view was the following. I tried to provide context so others may translate my experience to their own terrain and habits.
I’d like to contribute to the range of perspectives about the SMGte’s factory gearing since I have a different experience.
I ride an SMGte for solo, self-supported, loaded touring, carrying all gear for shelter, cooking, repairs and travel. My last tour, this past July, was a 12-day, 750-mile rainy (cycling) trip through the Adirondacks in New York State with a brief dog-leg through Vermont. I basically followed the Adventure Cycling Association’s “Adirondacks Loop.” The trip included constant and often steep elevation changes on both improved and “unimproved” roads: paved, dirt, farm, trail, mud, broken asphalt, etc.
The steepest, longest incline during the trip was up Whiteface Mtn., the ski mountain used during the two Lake Placid Winter Olympics. I rode up with full panniers, which, in addition, were particularly heavy due to my having been caught in daily thunderstorms without a chance to dry my gear. From the direction I was riding, it was a 10-mile climb, in all, with long steep grades, often between 8-10% during the last five miles, and a somewhat rough winter-damaged asphalt surface.
This is the elevation profile for the Whiteface Mtn. section of the Adventure Cycling Association’s Adirondacks Loop.
I rode with HPV’s factory-supplied Shimano XT drivetrain with their Truvativ Tuoro crankset and their 155 mm (short) crank arms. It was okay. I believe the Elita crankset yields more power output and 170 mm crankarms would give a lower gearing, but I didn’t leave the trip believing I needed yet lower gears.
The RPMs of my preferred cadence may be slower than those who prefer lower, mountain bike gearing; I, personally, seem to have better slow twitch than fast twitch leg muscles. Between me and others, there may also be differences in the weight of the payload, rider plus luggage, as well as strength.
It’s important to remember that the cadence speed of one rider may be very different from that of another and that cadence will hugely effect the optimal choice of gearing. A rider with a high cadence may benefit from mountain bike gearing for loaded touring. But a rider with a low cadence may not, and may really regret losing the higher “cruising” gears, as the chain rings are all reduced in size.
It is also impossible to predict the future. In this case, I mean that you don’t know how you’ll pedal after you become an experienced rider on a specific bike. When you’re new to a bike, you may pedal with one cadence, but as you get to know the bike and grow stronger, you may develop a preference for a different cadence. Also, on a new bike, you might begin with one seat angle or boom length (x-seam length) or cleat position or leg extension, and that may lead you to prefer one cadence. As you become stronger and more experienced, if you’re like many other people, you will tweak these things and those tweaks may effect cadence. Also, in my own case, I find that the time I spend in the saddle changes my preferred cadence; on long trips and long days, I seem to prefer a slow cadence. On short trips and day rides I seem be happy with a faster cadence. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing; maybe a great coach would tune my cadence and it’d be better if I pedaled the same way always.
I continue to believe it’s fine and maybe best to start with the factory’s gearing, and use that to get to know the bike and yourself as a rider of that bike. As you develop your strength and technique on a particular frame, you’ll come across instances where the gearing wasn’t quite what you needed — not high enough, not low enough, not close enough, not wide enough. Then, based on personal experience, you can experiment with your set-up and hone in on your optimal gearing.
All that said, there is indeed one good shortcut to slowly and surely putting in the miles and experimenting as you ride. It’s called “intensely putting in miles and experimenting as you ride.”
About one-third of the HP Velotechniks I order are in custom colors. Here’s one of the recent ones, in graphite-black. Fitted with a black Rohloff speed hub 500/14 and DT Swiss Air Shock. Nice bike, as the kids say.
In the bright sun. You get a good view in this photo of the efficient chain line on a SMGte
Many people wonder how the SMGte looks without the front derailer post. Shown here. The small black tube near the front is HPV’s computer mount. This mount isn’t strong enough to support a typical smart phone, but it’s good for a Cateye-like odometer.
The Rohloff Speedhub, shown here, is a superb and sophisticated piece of equipment. Designed for trouble-free operation and strongly recommended for long distance touring, it comes with a fairly extensive manual. You wouldn’t think you’d need to, but do read the manual before your first ride so you understand the finer points of operating the hub.
This looks to me like the arm of a Burley trailer,
attached to a mountain bike via Weber’s hitch.
A shout-out to Bike Box, in Frittlingen, Germany for their help. I’m trying to get a Weber hitch for a customer with a Scorpion fs 26 and a Burley Child Trailer. They’re being immensely helpful. Burley doesn’t (yet) sell this part in the USA.
To attach a trailer to an HP Velotechnik trike, you need to use a special mounting bracket for the trike. It is made by HP Velo. From there, you need the hitch made by Weber. (Weber also makes trailers, by the way.) There are two parts to the Weber hitch: the bicycle (male) end, which attaches to the mounting bracket on the trike/bike, and the trailer (female) end, which attaches to the trailer arm. HP Velotechnik makes the bracket and sells it with the bicycle (male) end. For the end that attaches to the trailer arm, we’re dependent on the trailer company (Burley).
As I write, Bike Box is helping us figure out which part, exactly, we need. And you too can reap the benefit through the info. here. In the future, maybe we can convince Burley USA to carry the part. Maybe?
What a pretty bike we’ve got here. This is for a rider who is preparing for a cross-continent tour in the USA. Bike? Street Machine Gte from HP Velotechnik, what else. Accept no substitutes for long haul touring. Color? Custom zinc yellow. Options? Include but not limited to: DT Swiss air shock, MEKS carbon fiber suspension fork with extra hard spring, Avid BB7 disk brakes, Shimano XT drivetrain, Truvativ Elita crankset, SON dynohub, 80 LUX Edelux headlight, B&M tail light, rear rack, Radical Design/Moonbiker panniers, kickstand, Marathon Plus tires, water bottle set….
What a very nice bike. It’ll be completed tomorrow.
A few weeks later, the customer wrote me:
“I wanted to send you a quick update. I’m riding my Street Machine about 4 days a week at this point and finding myself getting faster and stronger as the weeks fly by. I’ve put on about 300 miles so far and the bike is such a pleasure to ride. I’d be interested in doing an over night trip soon….so if you know of any that I should be considering, let me know. I love the bike and look forward to my x-country trip in May 2015! Thanks for your all you did and do!”