HP Velotechnik (HP Velo) Scorpion - Recumbent Tricycle
is HP Velotechnik’s first
production recumbent tadpole trike
Given the list of new tadpole trikes to
come out recently one might ask, what’s really new? Well HP Velotechnik
answers “the Scorpion”. It has rear suspension, like their bikes, and they
are advertising a smaller turning circle than most tadpoles. I want to
point out I have not ridden one yet but should have one in January 06
though it was supposed to be here in December.
Hp-Velo first began to experiment with a
suspension tricycle in 1991. I expect the Scorpion rear suspension works
well, active with no pogo; it looks like the same swing arm they use on
their bikes where it works well. The suspension should isolate your body
from road vibration without being affected by pedaling forces, even on
The rear suspension may not provide enough
lateral support for a single wheel trailers like the Bob. The Bob may be a bad idea on any
trike; it would tend to make the trike tip more easily, especially when
heavily loaded. One of the advantages of a trike is the ability to gear
down and crawl up monster hills, nice when loaded for touring. The
Scorpion comes stock with the SRAM dual drive 24-speed system so you
should have a wide range of ratios and can shift 3 of the gears even when
stopped. I would not recommend the optional 18 speed derailleurs
especially if you will be doing touring.
The Avid mechanical disk brakes are a good
choice and will do a good job. There is an available rear parking brake
option. Trikes can use a parking brake; they don’t have a kickstand to
hold then still.
HP Velo shows how to
lean into a corner
HP Velotechnik is advertising the Scorpion
as “from 36 1/2 lbs with pedals.” This would be light for a trike with
rear suspension. I believe the Scorpion will need several available, extra
cost lightweight options to get to this weight. No word yet on what the
base model will weigh.
The Scorpion uses their adjustable
BodyLink seat, which is designed for a bike where you would not need side
support in corners. I have not ridden it yet but expect to have to hang on
in near tip-over corners to avoid sliding out of it. This is an extreme
maneuver and I don’t expect most riders to notice.
The frame is made from heat treated
aluminum, as are their bikes. The cross member is bent up and forward
which should make it a bit easier to get your feet under you getting on
and off the bike. It also keeps a long wheelbase for control during hard
braking, a nice touch. Shorter riders will appreciate the lack of heel
interference with this design.
Like most modern tadpole trike designs the
Scorpion does not use centre-point steering geometry. This is done to
reduce brake steer and usually works well.
The rear rack is designed for
the lateral cornering forces of a trike. Made with ½" alloy
tubing it is rated for up to 56 lb of luggage. Two support tubes
allow mounting panniers high or low. Flag mount & rear light
protector tube included. For heavy loads consider the optional
air shock. Large, aerodynamic Moonbiker panniers are custom
tailored to fit.
The body link seat comes in one
size and adjusts to fits you. Seat base angle, seat back angle
and length are all adjustable. The seat pan gives some side
support, the seat back gives less; you lean into fast turns for
maximum cornering speed. Optional airflow seat cushion is
recommended for improved seat ventilation so you don’t sweat as
much. Headrest is optional.
Like many trikes the Scorpion
has under seat indirect steering, which most riders like for the
relaxing arm and wrist position. Most also find indirect
steering more intuitive than direct steering. Advertised 12’8”
diameter turning circle is one of the smallest. Kingpins turn on
smooth, serviceable Ahead-type bearings. Steering rods bronze
ends and cartridge bearings at the stem pivot are maintenance
The drivetrain is almost
completely covered, protecting both the chain and your trousers.
Special low friction chain tubes are drawn from PTFE.
The Sachs dual drive 24 speed is
standard and has good gearing for climbs. Dual derailleurs with
a double crank is an option, we can install a triple option if
you want to climb real hills.
The available Streamer front
fairing will improve your riding comfort in cold or wet weather.
Custom mounts should simplify mounting. Fenders will help a lot
in poor weather also.
The low center of gravity and
weight distribution the Scorpion handles hard braking well. The
standard disc brakes should have plenty of stopping power, even
when wet. Each front wheel has it’s own brake lever so you may feel a little brake
steer but the non centerpoint steering geometry should minimize
this. The optional hydraulically coupled front brakes for
one-hand operation of both brakes is a neat option.
The front wheels can be removed
with one Allen wrench for transport. The rear suspension should
ford somewhat too. It is not a folding bike but will get
somewhat smaller when needed.
Optional V-brake at the rear
wheel as parking brake, operated by a thumb-shifter at the
handlebar. It is not a brake for use in panic stops. (With dual
front disk brakes you won’t need it for stopping?)
The No-Squat rear suspension on
the Scorpion looks to be the same as on their bikes. It works
well on the two wheelers, It should be good on a trike too. It
is tunable for rider and luggage weight and works independently
of pedaling force. It absorbs bumps but not your pedaling
energy. Your pedaling effort energy goes into forward motion not
bobbing the shock.
You can tow two wheel trailers
up to 69 lbs. With or without a rear rack mounted on the bike.
This picture shows optional water bottle mounts on the rear of
the seat. With a bit of practice most riders find they can reach
them pretty well while riding.
||36 1/2 lbs with
|Base price in US
~$400-$500 shipping and duty into the US.
||20" (ISO 406)
|Rider height range
||5' 5" to 6' 7"
|Powder coat colors:
||dark blue or orange
Base model: Sram DualDrive 24
speed, Avid disc brakes Dnm DV 22 shock
Scorpion options (price upgrade,
drivetrain and brakes only for complete bikes)
Rear shock DT-SWISS SSD 225 (saves 200 g
of weight) adjustable air suspension shock W/ adjustable rebound damping,
negative spring, ball-and-socket joints, $ 290.
Drivetrain SHIMANO Deore / Tiagra 18
speed, SHIMANO Deore 9-speed, rear derailleur front derailleur SHIMANO
Tiagra, chainrings 40 & 60 t., cassette Sram 7.0 9-speed 11-34 t. $ 109.
Drivetrain SHIMANO XT / 105 18 speed, rear
derailleur SHIMANO XT 9-speed, front derailleur SHIMANO 105, front
chainring 40-60 t., cassette Shimano XT 9-speed 11-34 t. $ 219.
Drivetrain ROHLOFF Speedhub 500/14 14
speed internal gear hub, silver, external shift box, single front chain
ring (52 teeth), double chain wheel cover, chain tensioner, Speedbone
torque support $ 1,129.
Short cranks 155 mm, recommended for
riders under 5'7" (175 cm) $ 49.
Disk brakes MAGURA Marta light weight
High-End-brake, $ 579.
Disc brakes MAGURA BIG hydraulically
coupled, one lever actuates both front brakes, rear: Avid V-brake with
Velcro-strap as parking brake $ 339.
Rear parking brake Avid V-brake & thumb
shifter (N/A with Magura BIG) $ 49.
Scorpion accessories (extra charge)
Front and rear light system: B&M Dymotec
6. Generator mounts on rear swing arm and has adjustable tire contact
pressure, front light B&M Lumotec oval plus, rear light B&M Toplight plus,
twin light cable routed through the frame with contact pin in the front
boom $ 139.
Rear rack solid 12/10 mm 6061T6 alloy
aluminum, black max. load 56 lbs $ 149.
Fenders 20", 55 mm, black, stainless steel
hardware, front mounts are single sided $ 119.
Airflow seat cushion, 3 layer sewn system,
Velcro mounting, washable at 30° C $ 109.
Headrest carbon fiber, flexible, cushioned
Clipless pedal kit WELLGO "Quick Binding",
single sided, adjustable, 4° float, complete with cleats for SPD-compatible
shoes, to be mounted on our standard pedal $ 22.
Clipless pedal WELLGO single sided,
integrated, adjustable, complete with cleats for SPD-compatible shoes $
Water bottles: 2 cages and mount for back
of seat, 2 ZEFAL bottles with dust cap, $ 45.
Rear mirror: B&M Cyclestar assembly
included $ 25.00
Mirrycle mirror for dual drive model not
bar-end-shifters, also as spedo mount, $ 25.00
Speedometer mount for front boom, for
SIGMA SPORT and similar computers $ 15.
Moonbiker flag with single sided Moonbiker
print and reflective strip $ 12.
Recumbent side bags Moonbiker 2x35 l
volume, Cordura®, blue, with reinforced back, specifically adapted to HP
Velo rear rack $ 269.
Chain lube PROFI Dry Lube, Teflon, chain
tubes stay dry & clean, idlers & tubes last longer, 380 ml spray can (only
chain lube recommended by HP Velo) $ 22.