Tube Investments of India
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Road to adventure

Use of high end performance cycles for mountain, road and city usage has been on the rise in the last three years 

Road to adventure  

Many take to cycling as it greatly helps in fitness and exercise. It also makes for an enjoyable and environment friendly ride, for reducing fuel costs or just for the thrill of it. It is no surprise then that the cycling community in the city is growing by the day. Cashing in on this trend, retail outlets have stocked up with a wide range of brands, for consumers to choose from.

Track and Trail, an umbrella brand of T.I. Cycles of India started providing world class branded bikes in March 2009 in Bangalore and have since expanded into Chennai. This segment only deals with imported cycle brands such as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose from the USA, and Bianchi and Ducati from Italy. Currently these brands are available in Balaji Cycles Agency at Kodambakam, and all BSA Go stores across the city. If it is variety you are looking for, one can also find a wide range of the Track and Trail bikes at the BSA Go showroom at Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah.

K.C. Ramamoorthy, General Manager-Retail, TI Cycles of India, said, "The projected market size for high end imported performance bikes all over India is 12,000.The largest market is Pune and Bengaluru followed by Mumbai and Delhi. 10% to 15% of the contribution comes from Chennai and Hyderabad."

Ask him about the potential of these bikes and he confidently says, "We are looking at mass premium category consumers, who purchase bikes between Rs 5000 and Rs 10,000, and plan to upgrade them to super premium category where the bikes are Rs 20,000 upwards. With better features being offered by these brands, they will upgrade to continue the joy of cycling."

Apart from Track and Trail, other brands such as Firefox from UK, Trek from the USA and Giant from Taiwan are available at Shuhaib's The Bike Store, Kilpauk. Shuhaib Abdul Rehman says, "We order Orbea mountain bikes from Spain, Raleigh from UK, based on consumer's request." The Trek, Firefox and Raleigh are also available at the Just Buy Cycles stores located at Anna Nagar, Ambathur, Ashok Nagar, Tambaram, T Nagar and Velachery. Mahendra Mullath, managing partner of Just Buy Cycles says,"We do sell these three brands but we do servicing for other brands too, by our technicians trained by the Shimano group. However, those who purchase from our showrooms will get limited free servicing twice."

When it comes to high end performance Indian bikes, TI have their own Mountain bikes - Hercules Roadeo range to offer. They are available between Rs.5,000 to Rs.11,000 at all BSA Go stores. Ramamoorthy adds, "We are working on upgrading this range with features that meet international standards, for a good price."

What kind of bike to purchase really depends on the kind of terrain opted for?- mountain, city limits or long distance road riding, say bike experts. There are mountain bikes for off-roaders who take their bikes on rough terrain, road bikes meant for competition as well as for long distance cycling on highway roads. The hybrid is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike engineered to suit city conditions. "Hybrids are the fastest growing segment in Chennai. People start off with the hybrid and gradually progress to road bikes," says LB Suresh Kumar of Balaji Cycle Agency and dealer of BSA Go, who stocks performance bikes at his Kodambakkam showroom.

It is important to posses proper accessories say cyclists of the Tamil Nadu Cycle Club initiated by TK Vibhakar. These include helmet, gel seat pads, synthetic shorts, hydro water carrier bag, tool and puncture kit, mini pump to bells, cycle stand, cycle carrier, and front and rear lights for early morning and night bike rides. "Bike shoes are available between Rs.3,000 to Rs.8,000 that can be attached to the pedal and come in handy for experienced road bikers who ride long distances," says Suresh.

Shuhaib adds, "A popular accessory is the cycle carrier of Thule brand priced between Rs. 6,500 and Rs. 13,000 that can be fixed on the car while travelling." Vibhakar a passionate cyclist who owns a tailor made Raleigh from the UK says, "During weekends, I put my cycle on the carrier, drive to the toll point in ECR and then cycle to Puducherry and back."

Gokul Subramanian a research analyst rides his Hercules Ultima to office daily and cruises on his Cannondale CAAD 8 on the ECR / OMR on weekends.

Dr Murugandan explores the city on his Schwinn hybrid for 60 kms from Ramapuram to Amanjikarai and back

Hybrid bikes

Brands: Cannondale, Schwinn, Ducati, Biachi, GT, Mongosse, Trek, Firefox and Giant

Price Range: Rs 13,500 to Rs 41,000

Weight range: 12 to 15 kg

Mountain bikes

Brands: Cannondale, schwinn, Ducati, Biachi, GT, Mongosse, Trek, Firefox, Giant and Raleigh

Price Range: Rs 13,800 to Rs 2.3 lakhs

Weight Range: 13 to 18kg

Road bikes

Brands: Cannondale, schwinn, Ducati, Biachi, GT, Mongosse, Trek, Firefox, Giant and Raleigh

Price Range: Rs 39,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhs

Weight Range: 6 kg to 11kg

Bikes available at :

BSA store at Express Mall, 2nd floor, shop no 263, ph: 28464010

BSA Go store at Velachery, ph: 45495541.

Bike Store, Kilpauk, ph: 264 02488.

Balaji Cycle Agency, Kodambakam, ph: 9840126666

Just Buy Cycles at T. Nagar, ph: 28156040

Just Buy Cycles at Velachery, ph: 22444498