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Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi, All:

What a wealth of options available! And it's gonna take a wealthy
person to afford the best...which is why I'm asking -- what can I
reasonably do without?

Well, I mean, for $3K, anyway...which doesn't leave me much room, as
the standard bike without even so much as a seat cover is already
$2,200!

F'r instance, how important are disc brakes? How do mechanical ones
compare to the hydraulic ones? And how are $579 Margura Marta
hydro-discs better than $229 Magura Julie discs? And what are rim
brakes (aren't they all, 'cept the disc ones)?

Ditto the front suspension -- extra $169 for adjustable hydraulic Meks
Carbon AC? -- and rear shock -- extra $290 for DT Swiss SSD 225 with
adjustable air chamber -- as well as a chainwheel disc instead of a
chain-guard (whatever those are)?

And what's ROHLOFF and why's it a whole grand itself???

I stand 5'11" -- six feet in shoes, I guess -- and am anywhere between
210 lbs. and 230 lbs., depending on my mood, heh-heh. I have a
herniated vertebra and other physical ailments, but you'd never know it
watching me lift weights or play ball. I'm looking to do long-distance
touring with an SMGTe -- New York to Philly, anyway -- so...what do I
do with $3K? Wait 'til next year's tax returns??

All advice appreciated! Promise to shut up after this round! If you
help me "build" this bike, maybe I'll run your ad somewhere on it! =)
post #2 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

In article
<1137727034.628592.277440@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
"NYC XYZ" <jack_foreigner@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi, All:
>
> What a wealth of options available! And it's gonna take a wealthy
> person to afford the best...which is why I'm asking -- what can I
> reasonably do without?
>
> Well, I mean, for $3K, anyway...which doesn't leave me much room, as
> the standard bike without even so much as a seat cover is already
> $2,200!
>
> F'r instance, how important are disc brakes? How do mechanical ones
> compare to the hydraulic ones? And how are $579 Margura Marta
> hydro-discs better than $229 Magura Julie discs? And what are rim
> brakes (aren't they all, 'cept the disc ones)?
>
> Ditto the front suspension -- extra $169 for adjustable hydraulic Meks
> Carbon AC? -- and rear shock -- extra $290 for DT Swiss SSD 225 with
> adjustable air chamber -- as well as a chainwheel disc instead of a
> chain-guard (whatever those are)?
>
> And what's ROHLOFF and why's it a whole grand itself???
>
> I stand 5'11" -- six feet in shoes, I guess -- and am anywhere between
> 210 lbs. and 230 lbs., depending on my mood, heh-heh. I have a
> herniated vertebra and other physical ailments, but you'd never know it
> watching me lift weights or play ball. I'm looking to do long-distance
> touring with an SMGTe -- New York to Philly, anyway -- so...what do I
> do with $3K? Wait 'til next year's tax returns??
>
> All advice appreciated! Promise to shut up after this round! If you
> help me "build" this bike, maybe I'll run your ad somewhere on it! =)


Buying good wheels is important, and not obviously as
difficult as it is; since if you just go get a set of
wheels the probability is too high that they fail early,
or too soon. Best to go to a good wheel builder. Some
wheel builders determine your physique, bicycle, and
intended purposes; then build a wheel set that they
guarantee. Do not settle for less than a guarantee from
your wheel builder.

We can give you all kinds of good advice, and will. At the
end of the day you need a bicycle shop to supply you,
advise you, and stand behind the bicycle they sell you.

--
Michael Press
post #3 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

NYC XYZ wrote:
> Hi, All:
>
> F'r instance, how important are disc brakes?
> And what's ROHLOFF and why's it a whole grand itself???


Discs seem to simplify design on a lot of recumbents (and especially
trikes.) They also aren't as badly affected by rainy weather as rim
brakes are.

A Rohloff (usually meaning a Speedhub 500/14) is a German-made 14 speed
internal gear hub. Think of an old Sturmey Archer 3-speed, only made by
Mercedes on an unlimited budget. Advantages include a straight
chainline and an enclosable chain, and a high coolness factor. I don't
think I'd leave one outside in this city, though (due to price alone.)

Oh, and a Street Machine GTE, like all recumbents, doesn't allow you to
use your legs to absorb road shock, so you need suspension. Being
positioned as a touring machine, this model needs a very comfortable
setup and seems to deliver. However, there is some debate over using
such high-zoot parts on a 'long distance' bike, 'cause if it breaks in
Altoona, where are you going to get it fixed?

If I had $3k US to spend on a touring set up, some of it would go into
a better (lighter) tent, down bag, Ortlieb panniers, and other such
niceties, as well as a nice reliable bike. Until then, I'll soldier on
with my modified Crossroads, cheap Eureka dome, Thinsulate Slumberbag,
and kitty-litter buckets, and just enjoy myself. Chacun a son gout.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Brian Huntley wrote:
>
>
> Discs seem to simplify design on a lot of recumbents (and especially
> trikes.) They also aren't as badly affected by rainy weather as rim
> brakes are.


So I've heard. But I've also heard they are rather unnecessary, even
cheaper mechanical ones.

I've been caught by driving rain before -- even rode in snow (not ice)
three inches thick! The ol' V-brakes never needed replacing...sniff,
some bastard thief's enjoying 'em now...! >=(

So is it worth it to spend an extra $200-300? In terms of
weight/price/actual everyday utility-ratio....

> A Rohloff (usually meaning a Speedhub 500/14) is a German-made 14 speed
> internal gear hub. Think of an old Sturmey Archer 3-speed, only made by
> Mercedes on an unlimited budget. Advantages include a straight
> chainline and an enclosable chain, and a high coolness factor. I don't
> think I'd leave one outside in this city, though (due to price alone.)


But whatever can be its purpose? Looks heavy, too....

> Oh, and a Street Machine GTE, like all recumbents, doesn't allow you to
> use your legs to absorb road shock, so you need suspension. Being
> positioned as a touring machine, this model needs a very comfortable
> setup and seems to deliver. However, there is some debate over using
> such high-zoot parts on a 'long distance' bike, 'cause if it breaks in
> Altoona, where are you going to get it fixed?


So how likely are such parts to fail -- and why? If I get hit by a
truck, that I understand, but these are enclosed parts, right?
Assuming no factory defect, how could they just break? And are those
high end front and rear shocks worth the cost?

Man, I didn't realize the SMGTe came so nekked! The bike they
typically picture and/or talk about is really anywhere from $2,900 --
$3,700!!!

> If I had $3k US to spend on a touring set up, some of it would go into
> a better (lighter) tent, down bag, Ortlieb panniers, and other such
> niceties, as well as a nice reliable bike. Until then, I'll soldier on
> with my modified Crossroads, cheap Eureka dome, Thinsulate Slumberbag,
> and kitty-litter buckets, and just enjoy myself. Chacun a son gout.


Ah, vive la difference!

I've been soldiering on myself -- literally, in the case of a bad back
from the Army -- and though I've always been vaguely interested in
recumbent bikes, the doc's recent suggestion is really what's got me
extremely serious now. Even though I no longer suffer from busted
balls now that I've found a nice-fitting bike (my Trek 1000c), the
back's still being used as a shock absorber the way I ride -- like an
NYC messenger, typically -- so I hope a 'bent will encourage me to sit
back and enjoy the scenery more than the speed...though I will also
need speed for any hostile situations, yes....

Wow, you're a real tourer. A self-supported one!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Michael Press wrote:
>
>
> Buying good wheels is important, and not obviously as
> difficult as it is; since if you just go get a set of
> wheels the probability is too high that they fail early,
> or too soon. Best to go to a good wheel builder. Some
> wheel builders determine your physique, bicycle, and
> intended purposes; then build a wheel set that they
> guarantee. Do not settle for less than a guarantee from
> your wheel builder.


Oooh! I was afraid of that! But I must say that even though 36-spoke
wheels were recommended for my weight, I haven't needed true-ing (sp??)
on my 32-spoke wheels in 789 miles of hard riding yet.

How are the wheels on the SMGTe to you? Oddly enough, they don't seem
to list them at all! And you sound like you think custom-wheels are
the only way to go...?

> We can give you all kinds of good advice, and will. At the
> end of the day you need a bicycle shop to supply you,
> advise you, and stand behind the bicycle they sell you.


Well, there's only one 'bent dealer here (and he's still about an hour
outside the City!), but I hope he's a real straight-up kind of cycling
enthusiast, too.

What ought I expect of him, exactly?

> --
> Michael Press
post #6 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

In article
<1137735023.251351.76760@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"NYC XYZ" <jack_foreigner@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Michael Press wrote:
> >
> >
> > Buying good wheels is important, and not obviously as
> > difficult as it is; since if you just go get a set of
> > wheels the probability is too high that they fail early,
> > or too soon. Best to go to a good wheel builder. Some
> > wheel builders determine your physique, bicycle, and
> > intended purposes; then build a wheel set that they
> > guarantee. Do not settle for less than a guarantee from
> > your wheel builder.

>
> Oooh! I was afraid of that! But I must say that even though 36-spoke
> wheels were recommended for my weight, I haven't needed true-ing (sp??)
> on my 32-spoke wheels in 789 miles of hard riding yet.
>
> How are the wheels on the SMGTe to you? Oddly enough, they don't seem
> to list them at all! And you sound like you think custom-wheels are
> the only way to go...?


Wellll.... Many folks buy a wheel set and go. No
complaints. Some wheel sets are just fine; no problems. It
is knowing what is what. The wheels you mention may be
perfect. I hope someone here can tell you about them. Even
here, people have different criteria for what makes a good
wheel; different purposes; different goals. You have not
yet educated yourself, and may prefer not to for the time
being. Hence my advice to seek a wheel builder who
guarantees the wheels. And for the price of the wheels you
will also learn some about wheels; something you do not
get out of the box. I, and many here, build their own.

> > We can give you all kinds of good advice, and will. At the
> > end of the day you need a bicycle shop to supply you,
> > advise you, and stand behind the bicycle they sell you.

>
> Well, there's only one 'bent dealer here (and he's still about an hour
> outside the City!), but I hope he's a real straight-up kind of cycling
> enthusiast, too.
>
> What ought I expect of him, exactly?


When you state your purposes he responds to what you say.

--
Michael Press
post #7 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

"David Kerber" <ns_dkerber@ns_ids.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1e3aa17547b9967c98992c@news.ids.net...
> In article <1137735023.251351.76760@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> jack_foreigner@yahoo.com says...
> >
> > Michael Press wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > Buying good wheels is important, and not obviously as
> > > difficult as it is; since if you just go get a set of
> > > wheels the probability is too high that they fail early,
> > > or too soon. Best to go to a good wheel builder. Some
> > > wheel builders determine your physique, bicycle, and
> > > intended purposes; then build a wheel set that they
> > > guarantee. Do not settle for less than a guarantee from
> > > your wheel builder.

> >
> > Oooh! I was afraid of that! But I must say that even though 36-spoke
> > wheels were recommended for my weight, I haven't needed true-ing (sp??)
> > on my 32-spoke wheels in 789 miles of hard riding yet.

>
> That's not many miles. I put almost 3k per year on my tourer.


That's not many miles either ;-).

Lou
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Oh, hehe...I jibber-jabber so much I forget who I've told what to when
on which newsgroup: I just got my Trek back in September, and have only
rode it for about two months, if you tally up each day that I've
actually ridden it.

Sounds pretty impressive to me! =)



David Kerber wrote:
>
>
> That's not many miles. I put almost 3k per year on my tourer.
>
> ....
>
> --
> Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the
> newsgroups if possible).
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Nyuk nyuk nyuk...which makes me wonder: how would you know if a word in
the dictionary is misspelled?



Lou Holtman wrote:
>
>
> That's not many miles either ;-).
>
> Lou
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Thanks again, Peter!

What I'd really been concerned about is how the "vanilla" or "plain
Jane" SGMTe holds up for a 6' ~220-lb. rider like myself. Do those
fancy-schmancy option$ really enhance the ride, whether in terms of
comfort, safety, or speed?

Is the difference one of steak versus hamburger, or Coca-Cola versus
Pepsi (if you know what I mean)?

For example, it seems that that $100 ($100!!) mesh-cushion for the
Bodylink seat is a rather necessary purchase, whereas the $1000
($1000!!! Where are the Chinese to rescue us from these Germans??)
Rohloff whachamacallit may be just a fun detail.



Peter Clinch wrote:
>
>
> It's more than I usually do, but before we break down into mileage
> bragging rights I think it's fair to say that these guys
> (http://www.agencefuture.org/) clocked up a fair few, with serious loads
> through serious places, and they did on pretty standard HP Velotechnik
> Streetmachines (the site lists a few mods from basic issue, but no
> mention of the wheels being doctored), so I think the OP's worries about
> would he be getting a reliable bike can largely be put to rest.
>
> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net p.j.clinch@dundee.ac.uk http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Peter Clinch wrote:
>
>
> Alternative shocks generally add adjustability or lose a little weight.
> Having never felt any need to change the basic settings since I've
> owned it the adjusting is moot. Lightness will add a degree of
> speed/comfort, but the bike is quite acceptable without them. Better
> brakes would be safer, but that applies to /any/ bike: do you have
> hydraulics on your existing bike? Doubt it, so why should the new one
> need them?


Well, 'cause 'bents are supposed to be even faster going down-hill,
compared to uprights, so maybe they're so fast that folks might think
them just that much more necessary for a 'bent...?

Etc.

And what's your opinion of that $1K Rohloff thinggy? Looks
interesting...I suppose the point of it being encased is so that dirt
doesn't wear parts away? So that $1K should pay for itself over two
decades of maintenance-free service??

> It's the difference between a really good cake and a really good cake
> with a smear of excellent frosting.


Sorry...sugar is sugar to me -- which is why I'd contrasted Coke and
Pepsi against the hamburger and steak.

> I'd personally recommend the mesh cushion, though it's not /necessary/.
> The Rohloff is like hydrualic brakes: you're doing okay without so far...
>
> But a serious tourer without racks or mudguards isn't a serious tourer IMHO!


See? That's what I'd meant. I'm surprised you don't think the
mesh-cushion necessary, though. A serious tourer means serious
"Sitztfleisch" to me!

> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net p.j.clinch@dundee.ac.uk http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Peter Clinch wrote:
>
>
> Good policy. I asked the same when I bought one...


'Lo again, Peter! I must pick your brains...what's "good policy"??

> Having run a Streetmachine for several years without any I *know*
> they're not essential. I got mine with the original Tektro V brakes
> which were pretty so-so, but they were still good enough and stopped me
> whenever I had to stop. HPVel have upgraded to Avids now, which should
> be better.


And what makes for "better," exactly? Stopping time, reliability,
what? Between categories I understand -- though I wonder if we're
talking three seconds or ten (at, say, 30 miles on a dry 20-degree
decline) -- but how can one brand be much better than another when it
comes to something as "simple" as V-brakes?

> You can get hydraulic rim brakes (Magura HS-33) rather than mechanical V
> brakes. I have these now, having upgraded from the mechanical Vs, they
> have /much/ better feel than any mechanical brakes I've ever come
> across. These are cheaper than discs and are still superb to use, and
> not as fiddly to service. If I had to replace my Streetmachine I would
> get it with the HS-33s, but if money was tight they are an easy
> retro-fit upgrade as they don't need any specific wheel or fork hardware
> (aside from standard brake bosses) in place.


Oh my...this joy-ride is becoming quite the research project! HS-33?
Hmm...I wonder what this local dealer offers...he sounds like he only
sells complete bikes....

> Mine has the basic suspension, with the older Ballistic fork on the
> front which by general feeling isn't reckoned as good as the now
> standard Meks. But it's still fine, as is the default rear shock. The
> only thing I've done to the suspension since I got it is greased the
> bushings on the rear mount once a year. What you get is quite
> reasonable kit, perfectly adequate for Serious journeys.
> A chainwheel disc is a simple disc that bolts onto the chainwheel to
> give a rim that protrudes beyond the teeth so you don't perforate
> anything you ride into. The guard is separate the the chainwheel so
> doesn't move, and is a more enclosing affair. It was standard with no
> option when I got mine, today I'd get a chainwheel disc as they're much
> easier to work around when doing stuff to the bike (like cleaning).


?

Didn't quite understand. But at $25, maybe I'll just get it. Though I
never clean my bikes.

I must confess that though I love to ride and ride alot, I'm like the
guy who though he loves to eat and eats a lot he doesn't care to know
what it is as long as it tastes good. So half the time I don't know
stuff that you might expect an ethusiast to...like chain-guards,
chainwheels, etc.

> It is a 14 speed hub gear that gives you a 560% equally stepped gear
> range, basically similar to the standard 27 speed because there are no
> overlaps. There's also no maintenance to speak of to do to your gears,
> no dropped chains ever again, changing while stood still, all gearing in
> one mechanism. It's expensive, it isn't necessary, but it certainly has
> tangible benefits. If I had the cash I'd have it, but without it the
> bike is still fine. My partner /did/ have the cash but decided against
> it as she doesn't like twist grip shifters, which the Rohloff must use.


Gee, some partner! (You talking about your girl?) She coulda bought
it for you, then!

I thought the current default SMGTe design uses grip shifts as well?

I like 'em on a DF, but I can't quite imagine twisting my wrists that
way on an USS 'bent....

Rohloff...sounds cool...but its only advantages are that it requries no
service and the smoothest gear changes? I have no problems shifting --
even when I have problems -- and recall ever needing maintenance on
gears (derailleurs are something else -- sigh! Does Rohloff help with
that?).

> Never mind all the brake options etc., on a serious tourer you Really
> Want fenders and if it'll be heavy loads you want both sets of racks.
> The lowriders on the Streetmachine allow you to get heavy loads between
> the wheels under the rider so any weight there has no appreciable effect
> on the handling.


And I was wondering if the low-loads might get caught on something on
the ground...I don't expect to go off-road if I can help it, but if I
must...I'd not like any hitchhikers!

> If not taking such heavy stuff then consider recumbent
> specific panniers like Radicals (the Moonbiker panniers are rebadged
> Radicals, but only available in the largest size) which are more
> aerodynamic and let you spread the load quite well.


Panniers are those side-bags, right? A bag is a bag, no?

> I got the SON dynamo setup on mine, and absolutely no regrets from doing
> so. If you'll be riding after dark at all it's hugely recommended,


I was wondering about that! How does that work, and how does it work?
(If you know what I mean there!) Is it some big science-project gadget
I gotta lug around? Is the light very bright -- brilliant? How much
"play" do I get? Etc.

> much
> more use than further tuning of already superb suspension.


You know what? Upon further reflection...you're right. This is my
first 'bent, ferchrissake! Sigh...I'm just such a perfectionist, you
know.

I'll take up all those options for when I get a titanium bent! Heck,
maybe that Hase Titan-Pino tandem...sound like they'd be more useful
there.

But wow...I'd like to know what riding such a "tricked-out" 'bent is
like...oooh...ahhhh....

> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net p.j.clinch@dundee.ac.uk http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
post #13 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

In article <43bnp6F1mrkdqU2@individual.net>,
Peter Clinch <p.j.clinch@dundee.ac.uk> wrote:

> NYC XYZ wrote:
>
> > How are the wheels on the SMGTe to you?

>
> The wheels on my SMGT have been fine for years. I got a local bike shop
> to give them a good retension and perfect true a coupel of years ago,
> just fine tuning more than anything else.
> The wheels supplied are, like the rest of the bike, apparently up to the
> job.


Did you bang the wheels out of true? If they require
truing in normal use, they are not `perfect'. Wheels can
be built up to never go out of true, barring crashes and
other out of context events. A boxed wheel set with enough
spokes and good components can be tensioned, tension
balanced, stress-relieved, and trued so as to never
require truing again.

--
Michael Press
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

Michael Press wrote:
>
>
> Did you bang the wheels out of true? If they require
> truing in normal use, they are not `perfect'. Wheels can
> be built up to never go out of true, barring crashes and
> other out of context events. A boxed wheel set with enough
> spokes and good components can be tensioned, tension
> balanced, stress-relieved, and trued so as to never
> require truing again.
>
> --
> Michael Press




HOLY COW WHERE DO I GET THESE????

Hey, you folks sure they haven't invented a time machine or something
yet? Every other post someone tells me something that makes me feel
like...a newbie.
post #15 of 16

Re: Which Options for HP Velotechnik SMGTe? Build My Bike!

NYC XYZ wrote:
> ...
> How are the wheels on the SMGTe to you? Oddly enough, they don't seem
> to list them at all! And you sound like you think custom-wheels are
> the only way to go...?...


The SMGT lists DT Swiss spokes and Alex DA-16 rims. As long as the
wheels are properly built - adequate spoke tension and bedding in the
hub without spoke windup [1] - you should be able to get thousands of
miles/kilometers of use before needing to true the wheels, and the
spokes should last at least couple of hundred thousand miles before
failure. The rims will wear out from braking at some point (depending
on brake pads, weather conditions and roadway cleanliness) unless of
course one opts for the disc brake version.

[1] And stress reliving the spokes (ignoring whether this just aids in
eliminating spoke windup and insuring proper bedding or actually
removes residual stresses from spoke forming operations).
--
Tom Sherman - Fox River Valley (For a bit)
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