Ah yes. After many months of waiting and confirming what I wanted, the bike has finally arrived. The bike is a German made HP Velotechnik Street Machine GTe (review: Bentrider Online), but I ordered it from Myron at Blue Ridge Cycleworks in Virgina, USA. Basically, Myron has a set price for the frame-set (frame, shocks, rear carrier), and then the customer tells him what other components to put on it. After reading some stories of cycle tourists ending up having to finish their tour short because of faulty cheap components, I went for good quality components.
Blue Ridge Cycleworks was good to work with. I would reccommend them to anyone not in a hurry. They have the cheapest prices I could find on the net (I emailed about 20 recumbent dealers in the US), and Myron seems to know his stuff. Do be aware however that they are only a ‘part-time’ shop – as stated on their website. Plenty of chilled out patience is required.
The bike was shipped in two boxes, so there was quite a lot of putting together to be done. However the bike is pretty self-explainatory. They only trouble I had was getting the bolts for the swing-arm joint to line up. But that could have been alleviated by having another pair of hands.
First impressions of the bike were ‘this is heavy’, and ‘this is smooth’. Heavy compared to my road bike, that’s for sure. But try carting 25kg plus of gear across the Eurasia continent on a road bike. I am glad the GTe is solidly built. The suspension is very smooth. No pogo under hard pedalling.
It prooves to be seen how long it will take my legs to get used to the new pedalling movements.