Indian Cyclists Network

What model bike do you own? Share what you like about it and what it lacks. How much you paid for it, and was it worth it?

I use a BSA Mach 1. It has been with me for around 15 years. I don’t even remember how much I paid for it! I heard that it costs sub 4k these days. I would highly recommend it.

Since it’s an Indian bike, I have never had issues with maintenance/repairs. Spares are cheap and I don’t worry too much about it being stolen! The only thing I miss in it is gears. Long distance trip, especially to the Ghats, are too draining. If you dream of long road tours, my two cents would be to buy one with gears.

Please share good and bad points about the cycle YOU own and use. This will help others in choosing their next bicycle.

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Comment by Michael Cannon on September 3, 2010 at 9:32pm
My current major ride is a Masi Caffe Doppio Racer bought in Taipei, Taiwan for about 46,000 Rupees. It's carrying Ultegra rear derailleur and mostly 105 otherwise. Carbon fork, 700c x 23 red trim tires, and a rear rack for commuting pretty much spec out this several time weekly Gurgaon to CP 1 hour commuter.

Gears and quality components definitely make a difference. However, bike fit is most important followed by having a bike suited to the kind of riding you do.

As I'm a hill climbing lover, a stiff bike with aggressive angles and high-pressure tires is of my preference. However, in living in Gurgaon and going into CP several times a week, backing off the tire pressure is a necessity as the ride gets really rough.

However, in dealing with traffic, having a flat bar which puts me more upright is a good thing.
Comment by SAGAR SEN on August 31, 2010 at 3:11pm
Aman.. how's this brand Schwinn? Any idea?
Comment by aman gopal on August 31, 2010 at 2:46pm
If you want an awesome hybrid, buy this:
It may seem slightly overpriced with the components it comes with, but it's worth every penny!
Comment by SAGAR SEN on August 31, 2010 at 2:42pm
I completely agree with you Aman. A feature rich bike with low price is surely a compromise on the quality. I am pretty new to cycling (I last cycled in my college days) and this is my first bike and yes I may not have choosen the right one. Like new bikers I was more facinated on the gadgetry / looks and not purpose. It's a kind of same mindset which prompts people to buy a SUV despite the fact that they will always drive on tarmac.

I am mostly riding on tarmac and I am inclined to touring rather than off roading. Hence a road bike or a hybrid would have been more suitable to me. However I intend to stay with this bike for about a year and use this time to build up my stamina for long distance rides. This bike, due to it's fat an knobby tyres offers more resistance for builinding up stamina and I will only be benefitted once I shift to a road bike next year. But I don't like the drop bar bikes. I would select a bike with straight handle bar. I have budget of Rs.30 - 35K in mind and I would like to go for a good brand like Trek, Merida, Bianchi or a cannondale.

Till then I am not complaining and enjoying my ride.
Comment by aman gopal on August 31, 2010 at 2:28pm
Nah, when I mentioned "features" I was referring to dual suspension and shit. I've done 160km non stop on a single speed and it takes the shit out of you. On the other hand, Bombay to Pune on my Wilier was easy. On the other hand, I climbed half the Khandala ghat on a 48-16 ratio on my single speed..
It's how you use the gears that matter. Keep a cadence of around 90 to 100. Pedal with the balls of your feet. Make sure your knee is very slightly bent when you're resting your foot on the pedal.
Comment by ReCycle on August 31, 2010 at 2:20pm
Agreed on both counts. It’s strange that there are a staggering number of people who buy MTB for using it in the city! I have even seen many do intercity trips with it! MTB’s are specifically designed for rough bumpy trails. Unwarranted effort is required by its extra thick tires giving it additional friction.

It seems that you are not too keen on gears though. I disagree on that because I have seen that whenever I have tried pedaling to Lonavala, the last 10-12 KMs from Khopoli to Khandala have been next to impossible on my single speed road bike. At the same time I have seen many 50 year olds cycling galore to Goa! Now I understand that they may simply more physically fit than I am but I had tried these trips when I was athletic and practicing regularly. I still found it way too hard. This makes me believe that maybe gears are what I am missing. I wonder if anyone can share their Mumbai- Pune or Mumbai Lonavala trip experience. I would love to know how much difference, gears can make in such trip. As of now, such journeys are way too hard for working class people on a single speed BSA Mach 1. Keeping the blog on track, I hope people who have done long distance trip can include details of the cycle they have used and add if they would recommend their brand to others.
Comment by aman gopal on August 31, 2010 at 12:44pm
Hey, Any bike with front and rear suspension and disc brakes is an MTB per se. Riding with any form of suspension is completely pointless in the city as it only slows you down.
The second factor to take into consideration is the price. You can get a bike with the features mentioned for 7 grand upto 5 lakhs. And honestly, if you choose features and compromise on price (I'm not saying it's necessary to spend lakhs on a bike) then you end up compromising on quality.
So basically, just keep it simple. Don't go in for so many unnecessary things unless:
1- You're really into downhilling and offroading
2- You have no issues with spending :P
Even disc brakes, they're pointless in the city. My road bike has amazing calipers and it can stop anywhere in any whether and at any speed effortlessly.

For commuting, you'll need a decent hybrid. Fomas, Merida, Cannondale and Trek have some pretty neat ones. They're comfortable, effortless and safe. (And the Fomas retails for 7 grand, and it's a pretty decent bike).
For serious road biking and stuff you'll need a decent road bike. They're fast and aerodynamic but you'll need to get used to the position. Cervelo, Wilier, Scott, Colnago, Bianchi make the best according to me.

At the end of the day, it's not about the bike. It's about you. Do you have the energy for a 200km ride? Do you know what gears to use and what not to use? What cadence to keep? Your most efficient position on the bike?
Endurance is built up gradually, as long as you have the passion and you ride regularly. You can do anything. No matter what bike you're on.
Comment by ReCycle on August 31, 2010 at 9:46am
Amazing to know that one can get dual suspension, disc brakes, 21 gears etc for just 7.3k! I have read that most gears have the problem that you described so that can't be put against this brand. I don't know if Torrent Rodeo is a Hybrid or MTB. I stay clear of MTB because my cycle is on a road 99% of the time. I have heard about ACT110. Did you try that yourself?
Comment by SAGAR SEN on August 30, 2010 at 7:03pm
I own a Hercules Torrent Rodeo, 21 speed, dual suspension, front disc and a good bargain for Rs.7300/-. The bike is about a month's old and I am enjoying riding. Few issues like the lowest gears are slipping etc are there but overall I am satisfied with the performance. A nice beginner's bike I would say. Although the ACT110 is a better roadbike, I wanted the bells and whistles like disc brakes, full sus etc. But if you want a decent roadbike at a moderate price ACT110 has unbeatable value.


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