14degrees off the beaten track
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the bike

HPV Street Machine GTeAs you can see, this is no ordinary bicycle. It is a recumbent, and it is made by a German company HP Velotechnik (http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/). At first glance it looks like if would be a challenge to ride. It is. Until you get used to it. Or so they say. Hopefully the bike should arrive this week (today is the 26th of Feb), so I will be writing up my findings later on.

2006/04/13 update: It has now been about a month since I first turned the pedals on this bike, and I can say that everything I read about it is true. An absolute joy to ride. Read all my comments on the bike in the recumbent category of my blog.

Everything I read about these bikes that eventually lead me to buying one made perfect logical sense.

The heralded merits of recumbents are as follows.

  • Less pressure points to irritate. Your body weight is suported by a large seat, meaning that on long rides bottoms, backs, hands, wrists and necks do not get sore. Makes sense. 
  • Lots of space to store luggage. And the luggage is stored lower than an diamond-framed bike, meaning that handling is barely affected, even when fully loaded (apparently).
  • With a fully loaded bike, I doubt this will make much difference, but they have a smaller frontal area, therefore are more aerodynamic than a diamond-frame bike. This could have at least a psychological affect when spending a day or so biking into a head wind accross the deserts of Turkmenistan.

2006/04/13 update: All true.

The 14degrees bike:

‘05 HPVelotechnik Street Machine GTe (ref) (comment)
Aluminium frame   (comment)
Shimano 105/XT drivetrain    
Avid BB7 Mechanical disc brakes (ref) (comment)
Schwalbe Marathon Plus and Marathon XR tyres (ref) (comment)
Alex DA-16 rims (ref) (comment)
DT-Swiss rear suspension (ref) (comment)
HPVelotechnik aluminium tube racks (ref) (comment)


(the detailed version)

Part Piece
Frame HPV GTe Aluminium 7005-T6
Forks MEKS Carbon AC (ref)
Rear shock DT Swiss SSD 225 (ref) (review)
Front derailleur Shimano 105 (ref) (review)
Rear derailleur Shimano XT (ref) (review)
Crankset Shimano 105 triple 170mm (review)
Bottom bracket Shimano 105 BB-5500 (review)
Cassette Shimano XT 11-34/9 (ref) (review)
Rear hub Shimano XT disc 36 hole (ref) (review)
Front hub Shimano XT disc 36 hole (ref) (review)
Rear rim Alex DA16 26inch 36 hole (ref)
Front rim Alex DA16 20inch (ref)
Spokes DT Swiss 2.0/1.8 (ref) (review)
Headset Ritchey Logic (ref)
Chain SRAM PC 59 9-speed (ref) (review)
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace bar end (review)
Brakes Avid BB7 mech. disk (ref) (review)
Brake levers Avid FR5 disc (ref) (review)
Headset Ritchey Logic (ref)
Seat HPV Bodylink adjustable (ref)
Seat cushion HPV Airflow cushion
Rear rack HPV hollow alloy rear rack (ref)
Underseat rack HPV hollow alloy lowrider rack (ref)