Best Bicycles in India – Buying Guide
Understand the Purpose
The first thing that you need to understand is your purpose.
What do you want to achieve with this bicycle? What is your goal?
If you are into casual fitness cycling? Do you want to commute? or you want to take cycling seriously, and you want to compete at the professional level?
Ask all these questions to yourself, and then you will have a clear thought about your goals with your bicycle.
Know Your Budget
The second thing that you need to decide is your budget. It might depend on many things like riding comfort, quality components, and the quality that you need on your bike.
Keep a fixed budget, and then you can narrow down all the possible options that you get and choose the one that fits your needs.
Select the right type of bicycle for your purpose
Once you have a clear thought about your purpose with the bicycle, you can start by narrowing down all the options that can fulfill your purpose.
There are a lot of options available from multiple brands, and even new brands keep coming up every day due to the increased popularity of cycling.
There are 3 types of bicycles available in the market:
These are the first choices of people who want to do long-distance cycling, which is very light and fast. Road bikes are suitable for those who want to handle speed, and these bikes have slim tires, and they should be used only on plain smooth surfaces.
A simple road bike may cost up to INR 25,000, and there are some brands that are offering Road Bikes below this price, but most of these bikes have low build quality and comfort.
So, if you are looking to buy a decent quality road bike, then do not buy the cheap ones, as comfort and quality are needed for long-distance races.
The second category of bicycle available in India are the mountain bikes, and it is one of the commonly preferred bikes.
Mountain bikes have a high build quality that is made to last long, and they have medium to fat size tires, and you can buy a good mountain bike for as low as INR 10000.
These bikes can go anywhere; you can use them for fitness, daily commutes, and do off-roading(hard surfaces) as well.
Hybrid bikes offer the best of both road bikes and mountain bikes. Therefore, hybrid bikes can be used for long distances, fitness, touring, and off-roading.
You can buy a good quality hybrid bike at around INR 16000-17000 minimum. Hence it is the best option for people who want to have the durability of a mountain bike and the speed of a road bike.
Apart from these bicycles, there are all other kinds of bicycles available such as folding bikes, commuter bikes, etc.
One thing that maintains your comfort and protects you from feeling all the pressure from the potholes, rough services is the suspension.
High-quality bikes have great suspension that absorbs each bump, and shock ensuring a smooth and comfortable cycling session.
In case if you are buying a simple bike, then make sure that at least the front suspension is a good one; otherwise, you would be facing serious back pain after your cycling session.
However, it is recommended that you buy a bike with both front and rear suspension because that will keep you comfortable (especially for Indian roads) during the whole cycling session.
Good brakes are an absolute necessity for any bike type. Now, there is a lot of hype created around disc brakes.
But, please note that if you are planning to ride in the city or you just want a bike for regular commutes, then you should avoid disc brakes.
Disc brakes increase friction during your commutes, and you might be cycling slower than all other people around you. Also, disc brakes require more maintenance than regular V-brakes.
Therefore, regular brakes are equally good, and disc brakes are one of the biggest gimmicks that people fall for while buying a bicycle.
A bicycle frame is as important as all the other components because choosing the wrong frame would make you feel uncomfortable during all the cycling sessions.
There are four types of frames available in the market:
- Steel frame
The steel frames are durable and stiff. It is heavier than all other materials used for manufacturing cycles. Most of the premium steel bikes are made from an alloy made using the combination of chromium and molybdenum, which is the first choice for all the bicycle manufacturers.
- Aluminum frame:
Aluminum frame bicycles are lightweight and the most popular frame used by manufacturers in 2020. It is more expensive and durable than steel, and it never oxidizes, so there is no chance of rust in aluminum frames.
- Titanium frame
Titanium cycles are less stiff and as durable as the strongest aluminum and steel frames. These frames are light and corrosion-resistant and suitable for riders that need comfort, reliability, and a lightweight bike.
Titanium is one of the most expensive metals found on earth. Therefore, titanium bikes cost is very high due to its expensive material and quality artistry required to make titanium bikes.
- Carbon-Fiber frame
Carbon-fiber has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.
The carbon fiber bikes are the lightest, and they are as strong as the high-quality titanium bikes. Such frames are the first preference of all professional cyclists, and they are costly.
Checking all bike components is a must
Once you have finalized everything, including the budget, purpose, frame-material, then you need to check the bike components (wheel, gear shifters, seat, handlebar) and features available in each bike.
Most of the bikes come with their partner company wheels, handlebars, but one of the main things to check is the gear shifters.
For gears, Shimano and SRAM are one of the most trusted companies, and most manufacturers use their components only. Also, most of the imported bikes in India have good quality gears.
People ignore the gears, and that’s where the cycle sellers downgrade the components because of the lack of their attention.
Make sure that you check this as well!