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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 09-25-06, 05:02 PM   #1
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HP Velotechnik for commuting and first bent

Hi folks, Currently riding a mountainbike but running into the classic sore wrists/back/neck/butt stuff. I want to commute about 22 kms each way to work. I'm a big guy at 225#, 6'. The riding is a combo of roads and paths, hills and flats. There's a used HP Velotechnik Grasshopper for sale at about $2000 Canadian. Very little use, looks like new with fenders, rack, above and below handlebars, disk brakes. This bike has 20" wheels front and back as well as suspension. Here's the manufacturer's link

First is this a good bike? Second what do you think of the price?

Another option would be a giro 20/26 or the giro 26/26, I like the HP Streetmachine but could't afford one. - thanks
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Old 09-25-06, 08:36 PM   #2
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I almost bought the grasshopper. I've not ridden one but it just seems to be a great all around bike, with some great suspension, quickness, and style. I would also consider the rans rocket and v-rex, lightning bikes, and a few others.
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Old 09-25-06, 11:57 PM   #3
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That's a sweet looking bike. Can't you test-ride one in your area? I don't think I'd buy a bike without test-riding it.

Here's a link with a lot of used Bents for sale. Maybe it will help you to compare.

Go to the Classifieds - For Sale area.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:06 AM   #4
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The Grasshopper's a nice bike (I've owned one since April, and used daily for commuting), however the BodyLink seat can be a bit of a pain to get set up. I'd strongly urge a decent testride before handing over your cash, as it appears some people just don't get on with it - though personally I've had no issues with the seat (or the rest of the bike for that matter).
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Old 09-26-06, 08:18 AM   #5
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We have about the same physical specs, and I've been riding a HPV Grasshopper since May.

It's a good bike. However, like me, you might want to use high pressure BMX tires/wheels. With smaller tires, I used to get a lot of pinch flats. If you switch to BMX tires (I use 20x1.85 Shadow Conspiracy Undertow's), you'll have to readjust the fenders quite a bit.

It also took me a while to figure out the proper preload setting for the rear suspension, which is sufficient in most cases for me, but in extreme road conditions, I can bottom it out. I'm thinking about asking for a stronger suspension for Xmas.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:41 AM   #6
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The Grasshopper would be a great first bike.
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Old 10-22-06, 10:58 PM   #7
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I bought a next to new grasshopper last week, after spending a year on an older Norus SWB. I love the HPVel Grasshopper. Everything that is said about it is true.
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Old 10-24-06, 01:52 PM   #8
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This is my second season of Grasshopper ownership, I must say I think it is an awesome machine. It's my first recumbent, and I have almost 3000 miles on it from daily commuting. Tire wise I think you may want to look at the new Schwalbe Marathon Racer because they are very light but not too skinny. The Marathon Slicks that it comes with are OK, and let you do a bit of mild offroading, but the rolling resistance is sorta noticeable. I switched to a slightly skinnier Continental (Racer?) which is I think 3 1/8 inches wide, got a few flats in a row right away (bad luck with potholes, definately not good for offroad, and possibly intstalled the tire wrong once), but since then, they've been great. I'm about 150 lbs. The narrower tires are unquestionably more efficient and run at 90psi. I'd recommend using an airpump that displays the psi as you pump, since the pressure impacts rolling resistance and tire life so much. A dual 26" wheel bike will give you way more tire options which can be important, but for learning on a recumbent, the low stance of the grasshopper seems desireable, and the smaller wheel size makes the bike rather compact and agile, though they are slightly more affected by bumpy terrain, and may wear out a bit sooner than full size wheels. There is something about bikes with unequal wheel size that I don't really dig, I think it's that with a smaller front wheel you have more weight on the front wheel, just a sort of gut feeling.
I like the bodylink seat / airflow cushion quite a bit, took some minor adjustments, but it's easily the most comfortable thing I sit in all day. One thing to note is that I find the bolts that are used to attach the seat would benefit hugely from some locktite cement, seeing as they seem to loosen up every few months, so when the seat makes some creaking sounds, they have to be tightened. The optional rear air shock is easy to adjust and very nice.
The price you mentioned seems fair if it's in like-new condition. I imagine it would have great resale value as well.
Have fun!

Last edited by recliner; 10-24-06 at 02:02 PM.
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