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HP Gekko FX26 folding recumbent trikes become scarce in USA
HP has announced some changes to the Gekko components for 2018 which include hydraulic brakes and downgraded wheel hubs. Up until now the lower-priced Gekkos had the same excellent-quality hubs of the most expensive HP recumbent trike models. For 2018, however, HP promises that people wanting the premium hubs will have to pay a premium price. Buyers who want the easier-to-maintain mechanical disc brakes and top-quality hubs of the 2017 models will have to act fast before the last ones are gone from HP dealers.
The Gekko FX-26 is an entry level recumbent trike with a market position competing head-to-head with the Catrike 5.5.9. Though the two trike models share some design features including an integrated folding mechanism, they are radically different in their components and their production. The Catrike 5.5.9. is manufactured in the USA and has a premium 10/30-speed drivetrain and bar-end shifter set, whereas the Gekko FX models are equipped with the much less expensive 8/24-speed drivetrain and twist shifters.
US recumbent trike manufacturer, Catrike, has implemented a different supply chain by manufacturing its own frames in-house using just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing methods. Catrikes JIT model assures the company that it won't run out of trikes unless it somehow runs out of materials or components. The downside of Catrike's JIT model is that popular models might have lengthier lead-times if they are not produced anticipatorially.
Although HP Velotechnik is a German company, it has the Gekko FX-26 models manufactured in Taiwan and exported directly to the USA. This takes advantage of the lower labor costs of Taiwan, but requires much longer lead-times on production and shipping. Customized Gekkos remain available from Germany at approximately a $600 premium over the US models.
Catrike has discontinued the venerable Road recumbent trike model.
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An inexpensive hitch-mount rack for folded recumbent trikes. For example, the ICE Full Fat big-tired adventure tricycle.
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Catrike has made wider hubs with through-axles standard equipment on all large-wheel models. This change affects the following recumbent trike models: Expedition, 559, Dumont, and 700. The change promotes laterally stronger wheels and prevents movement within the dropouts under load at the expense of compatibility with equipment such as electric hub moters that are designed to the older 135mm dropout widths.
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