First Test Ride – I wrote this when I first got my hands on a Grasshopper a few years ago: On a first ride, the aims have definitely been met – it’s light enough to lift out of the box one-handed (even with all the options), and more compact than the StreetMachine or Speedmachine.
To ride, it feels very good. After 15 minutes tweaking the boom, handlebars and seat, I found the lowest seat setting seems right for me. On the road, the steering feels faster than the StreetMachine’s, though not quite as responsive (some would say twitchy) as the Speedmachine’s. Luggage capacity is very good – the carriers are closer together than the StreetMachine’s, with the lowrider further back, but four full-size panniers still fit.
Our demo bike has the derailleur gearing option – a wide-range rear block and two front chainrings. The two front rings look a bit odd to start with – they’re very different in size – but the gearshift is slick and the gear ranges work well. The other no-cost option is a DualDrive.
The frame is aluminium to keep the weight down to a very good 13.9kgs for the base bike (including pedals). Full suspension is included of course, for comfort and to improve road-holding – the front uses the proven Meks suspension forks, and the back has HPV’s own No Squat system.
Adaptability is the name of the game for the Grasshopper – one major innovation is in the new BodyLink seat. The seat back is adjustable for length using four bolts. Next, the top and bottom sections are separately adjustable for angle, with the whole seat pivoting around a centre support – this means that you can adjust the angle (like on all HPV bikes), and also adjust the lumbar support.
The Grasshopper is designed for overseat or underseat steering. The overseat option is pivoting, using a very light and solid hinge and stem, while the underseat version pivots under the seat and uses a link rod to the forks.
Practicality hasn’t been forgotten – the twin 20” wheels not only make the whole bike more compact, they also mean that you only need to carry one size of tyre and inner tube. The Grasshopper can handle serious touring as well – it is able to carry up to four panniers with it’s optional rear and mid-mount carriers.
The Grasshopper fx folds up quickly – with a similar hinge system to the Scorpion fx, it folds in half with the seat removed in about 30 seconds – it’s a very compact package.
The Grasshopper Order Form has all the prices and options…