Lot has been discussed when it comes to comparing Indian bicycles with imported bikes. A fancy bicycles with some very eye catchy colours, seems normal to them. In fact they look quite similar to bicycles that we are used to seeing in India.
With no knowledge about bicycle components, design and innovation and other things, people assume premium bikes to cost almost or little more than Indian bicycles. But when they find out the actual cost, they are in an absolute shock and dismay. Followed by the famous dialogue we all have already heard over a dozen times. “Bhai, itne paise main toh bike aa Jaati!”
The bicycles brands like Hero, Atlas, Hercules are all locally manufactured on a large scale in India. Also, there is almost no design, technology or innovation that is used while making these bikes.
Indian cycle brands make use of decent raw material to build a frame. This helps them keep the cost of the bicycle low.
Zero import duty:
Needless to say, it’s common sense, if a product is manufactured in the same country where it has been sold, there will of course be no import duty. Same applies for Indian cycle brands!
Easy availability of spares:
As the bicycles are available on a large scale, so are the spare parts. Let us tell you a little insight, Ludhiana the hub of Indian cycle brands is known to manufacture a lot of bicycle components. It’s a factory that doesn’t care or focus on quality. In fact, they are so good, they don’t believe in innovation, they would rather copy designs. And the designs are so good, you won’t notice anything different.
Low maintenance cost:
As the bicycle frame does not involve any innovation, components are designed in India and there is no import duty. They bicycle as a whole is very affordable and so is the maintenance cost. On such bikes, you can simply replace the part and will cost you just a few hundred rupees.
Every bicycle they manufacture, a lot of design, innovation, technology and time has gone into building the right frame. Even the composition of the raw material that is used to manufacture frames is given importance. This is one of the reasons why bicycles are lighter in weight.
Also, an Indian bicycle will start rusting after a year or two but an imported bicycle frame is more like a lifetime investment. It won’t rust or crack or break until and unless you do something seriously wrong.
Try lifting an imported bike from the centre with one hand. Do the same with an Indian bicycle and you will notice the weight distribution. An Indian bike is likely to tilt more towards the rear wheel while an imported cycle will just stay sturdy.
As the bikes are designs with so much of technology, it is obvious the bicycles will offer better handling as compared to the Indian bikes any day.
Imported bicycle brands only use components made by premium component makers. You will either see Shimano or SRAM on the bicycles and not Chinese or the locally manufactured copy. There are a few Indian brands that do come with Shimano or SRAM components. This is one of the reasons why there is a major difference in the shifting experience.
Imagine you turn a switch on to set the light on, that’s the response. Moreover, Shimano and SRAM gears are surely going to last you longer and they are expensive, unlike your Indian cycle components.
Replacing these would cost you a hole in your pocket. Let’s just take the basic Indian cycle components; it will cost you around (INR 1500 -1800). However, if you look at basic premium bike components like Shimano, the most basic will cost you INR( 3500-5000).
All these things together are what makes the imported bicycles expensive and worth the fortune.