The HPV Scorpion fs20 - a very short review.

Andy in Sig

Vice President in Exile
Having put up a picture of said trike on the "How many recumbent riders sticky thread" and having done just short of 100 miles on it, I thought it a good idea to give my impressions of said trike for anybody who might be considering buying a trike in general or this one in particular.

HPV is the firm: a German manufacturer who is one of the market leaders in recumbent bikes and trikes. Scorpion is the basic model. fs refers to the fact that it is foldable and 20 refers to the rear wheel size (there is also a 26 version which is longer).

First the folding thing which is quick and easy. You undo the three quick releases which attach the seat to the frame, then the central frame lever and it folds in half. After doing nothing else I managed to get it in the back of my Ford Fiesta to get it home when I bought it. It was a tight fit but OK. If you want to get it even smaller you can take an Allen key to the two front wheels and get them off quickly and easily.

So far I've managed to get the unfolded trike in and out of German local trains without too much difficulty. This is worth mentioning because the entrances are steep and too narrow for the trike when it is horizontal. To do this is surprisingly easy: I grab the front part of the frame and the far side (which becomes the upper side on lifting) of the very stout luggage rack. In the height of summer when there are zillions of tourists in this region and the bike bits of the trains are full, I would probably fold the bike.

As to the actual riding qualities ... well, it's hard to fault it. The oddest thing is that you become very aware of any camber on the surface on which you are riding (you never notice this on a bike as your balance instinctively keeps you vertical) and I have gained the impression that there is a tiny saving of the energy which is used on maintaining verticality or balance while on a bike. The other good thing is the complete absence of a drop in stability at very low speeds, which does of course mean that you are less likely to get off on very steep slopes where you are at your limit. All this would of course apply to all trikes.

What is probably more model-specific is the handling: it is very responsive and wholly instinctive. The bearings in the axles must be wonderful stuff because the smoothness with which it rolls is remarkable. Maybe one just gets to appreciate this more on a trike. My trike is equipped with disc brakes which are good and they need to be because zooming down steep hills becomes a fearless matter because you can't fall off, so if you get one of these, expect to go faster than on a bike.

There are two seat variants, a sort of hard shell sporty version which you can get with raised sides to counter g forces (if you go extremely fast around corners) and a flat mesh seat. I went for the latter having had the former on my Street Machine (until it broke) because the mesh offers better ventilation and I feel it is the better option for touring. Talking of which, the luggage rack is excellent.

This isn't much of a review because there is nothing I can fault on the trike. It's easy to write about things that don't work but this is a classic example of something which does what it says on the tin. They're not cheap but you won't regret it if you have to save for a year to get one. If I had to give it a star rating it would be five out of five. I'm sure that there are loads of points which people might be interested in and which I haven't adressed. I will obviously gladly answer any questions.
 

stuee147

Senior Member
Location
north ayrshire
great review would of been better with a couple of pics lol
you talk about the fold up procedur how dose the chain go when its folded iv looked at a few fold up trikes and it seems to be the chain and gear/brake cables that can cause a problem when folding up and unfoldind, as i have seen chains and cables get caught up and even kinked if you dont watch where they are as you unfold.
 
OP
Andy in Sig

Andy in Sig

Vice President in Exile
@stuee147 the process is so simple that there was nothing which prompted me to look at the chain and cables etc.!

Without diving down into the cellar to have a look, I do recall that the tubes in which the chain is encased are in four pieces: above and below and fore and aft of the fold point, so the folding action is easily facilitated. I obviously folded it carefully (it's not the sort of action you'd carry out with a crash, bang, wallop) but without treating it as if it were made of candy floss. It's a robust, well thought out design. I have half a recollection of a bloke demonstrating the folding in a review on youtube. You might want to have a dig there.
 

stuee147

Senior Member
Location
north ayrshire
that makes sense haveing 4 tubes guiding the chain with a gap at the fold point.
iv been looking at lots of designs as i would like to build a folding trike at some point but the chain and cabels are my main concern but i can see with the guide tubes either side of the fold point it will keep the chain safe i have seen one where the chain actuly twisted during the fold up and unfold proses i have thought of using some stiff wire as a sort of flexible guide for the cables so a fold up might be pn the books for the next build lol
 
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