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Helga (Street Machine GT)

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My Street Machine GT was delivered in January 2001. I named it Helga because it's a big, heavy German bike, and for some reason I associate the name Helga with big, heavy Germans. It's actually a Nordic name meaning "Holy".

The box took up most of the hall when it arrived.

She came out of the box with the seat lifted up and the handlebar turned under the seat. Otherwise fully assembled (apart from the pedals).

Those reflective sidewalls are good.

Full suspension is invaluable when you can't lift yourself off the seat or bunnyhop over potholes. The 'No Squat' rear triangle is designed to prevent the rear suspension bobbing up and down, to give a smoother and more efficient ride.

So where do you mount a computer when the handlebar is under your legs? The front derailleur on the Street Machine mounts at the top of a 6" tube growing at an angle from the top of the bottom bracket. I've mounted a Minoura Space Grip to this tube (I had to cut about " off the Space Grip bar) and put the computer display unit on there. I also found space for a computer light and a white LED backup light.

Every road going vehicle should have a functioning horn. I've mounted my AirZound 2 just under the left handlebar grip, so I can brake near enough at the same time as using the heel of my hand to sound the horn. The air reservoir was originally velcroed to the lowrider rack (middle right). Later I removed that rack and velcroed the air reservoir to the rear rack (far right). The lowrider rack is now back on the bike, and the air reservoir is now in a bottle cage mounted to braze-ons on the underside of the boom underneath the seat (not pictured).

And a bell can be mounted in just the right place to be rung with the heel of the other hand.

Carrying a Lock
Carrying a D-lock (left) - I copied this idea from a chap I met riding a Trice.

bottle cage on boom bottle cage on boom The Street Machine comes with braze ons for a bottle cage on the front of the derailleur tube. I prefer to have a bottle that I can reach when I'm riding. I have mounted a cage to the top of the boom using jubilee clips.

It's worth bearing in mind that a bottle mounted to the boom facing the rider is angled slightly downwards, and will tend to shake out of a standard bottle cage as you ride over bumps. The Specialized Rib Cage (pictured) works very well and doesn't suffer from this problem.

bottle on back of seat bottle on back of seat Another good place to mount bottles is the back of the seat. HPVelotechnik recommends drilling holes in the seat for this purpose, but I did not feel comfortable to do so. Instead I bought two compression straps from a camping shop, along with 2 bottle pouches of the type designed to be slid onto a rucksack waist strap or a bumbag strap. I fastened the straps securely round the seat (under the cushion), with the top strap going through the top loop of each bottle pouch and the bottom strap going through the bottom loops. The result is a securely fastened bottle pouch on each side of the seat at the back.

Alternative Stand Alternative Stand The lowrider rack has a plate welded to it for attaching the stand. This works well, but after 2 years of daily use the plate snapped off my lowrider rack. The alternative stand mounts by the rear axle, and is apparently prone to breakage. I was also told that it would interfere with the mounting of my BoB Yak. I tried extending a standard bike stand and mounting it in front of the rear wheel, but it wasn't strong enough.

I soon found that I could manage perfectly well without a stand for everyday commuting. But when I tow my daughter's trailer, I need a stand. I have found a solution that is almost better than the original stand. I use a 29" length of 32mm diameter PVC waste pipe, with a section of old tyre gaffer taped to one end to act as a foot. I tuck the other end under the upper seat bracket. I have a bungee wrapped round the top of the rack, which I slide the stand into when it's time to ride off.

Alternative Stand

Although this stops the bike falling over, it doesn't stop it rolling. So I also carry a couple of small bits of wood to use as chocks.

Towing the Yak Towing Jenny

You can read more about the Street Machine at the following sites:

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