Bicycle Gear Questions & Answers - 2
1. Online Bicycle Stores In India to shop from?
Most genuine online bicycle store in India are a part of Gear Lama Search, so there's no need to go to individual stores to shop. You will find every brand using Gear Lama's super search.
Here nevertheless is a list of online bicycle stores in India that are genuine. We have bought from most of these stores and while we cannot vouch for their service they do offer genuine goods. In alphabetical order:
- Blitz Bikes
- Bums On The Saddle
- Choose My Bicycle
- Cobbled Climbs
- Cycling Boutique
- D Byk Store
- Gambol India
- Giant India
- Heini Sports
- Keep Apace
- MasterMind Triathlon World
- Mad Over Biking
- Scolarian Bikes
- Sport Network
- The Bike Affair
- Vitti Trading
- World On Wheelz
2. Which bicycle would you consider for commutes? In places that are flat and there are no steep climbs?
A flat bar rigid hybrid is a great do it all bike. I can speak from my own experience after having owned a Bergamont Sweep 4 for about three years. City commutes, speedy runs, touring and with the comfort and minimal cost that comes with Shimano s trekking /MTB range.
Flat bar spares are cheaper and available aplenty unlike road bike cousins. Upgrades are easier as you can always upgrade to a MTB group-set.
I'm expounding on the Bergamont Sweep series because it is on essence a flat bar road bike. Which means it's sharp handling. I hate sluggish bikes because you can dial down a fun sharp handling bike but you can't make a dull one sharper. If you're convinced pick one with hydraulic disk brakes and clearance for at-least 40c tyres. That way you have options for most use cases.
In 3 years I've used my sweep for bikepacking. Speed runs across Delhi, groceries in Chandigarh and more.
If you have less climbs the Sweep 6 is an excellent bike with Shimano road Tiagra group-set
3. Any Recommendation for a good lock for cycling during commutes?
Unless you live/park in a high risk area where the thieves know which (expensive) bicycle to target go with this simple approach
- Use more than one lock
- These don't have to be expensive locks but they have to be different kinds. e.g. one can be a combination lock and the other can be a key based. This is because most thieves have an expertise in a specific kind of locks.
- Use a cable (available on Amazon India) to wrap around your wheels. If you have an unused Kensington laptop cable they work great, as they are made of metal, fairly weather resistant, can be begged - borrowed from any IT professional and have a loop at one end that makes them easy to thread through lock body. Use this cable to wrap your wheels especially if they are Quick Release Wheels, which are easy target for a bike thief.
- If you find multiple locks hard to carry, just carry one with you for a quick park and leave the other locked against a fixed fixture like a railing or a pole where you usually park (office/cafe etc.)
Abus Locks are good quality and I've used them in the city in Europe and India. You can find Abus Locks on Gear Lama Search.
4. 3D printed parts in bicycling? What do you think about them? How will they change cycling?
3D printing will disrupt a lot of industries including the cycling industry but it will not happen immediately. For now its a great tool for prototyping products and builds and do shapes that are just not possible with metals and existing metallurgy or carbon weave techniques.
As with the automotive industry I see it happening in phases:
1. They will be popularise and ease customisation options. Simple things like top tube cap, bar ends. Custom printed, one of a kind design that customer wants.
2. In the second phase it will then make its way to creating hard to source parts. Think classic bikes, hard to source huge SKU items like derailleur hangers that cause a headache for most suppliers.
3. Finally we will see custom frames 3D printed according to users requirements. But it will be a niche segment and bike companies will try and control it by having their own "custom bikes" department. These selectively printed bikes will command a huge premium over mass produced bikes. Not because they are expensive to manufacture (they will not be ) but because the marketing will sell it as a lifestyle, one of a kind option.
5. Do you carry a multi-tool on bikepacking trips? if so which one?
To be honest I don't. I do carry a few essentials though:
1. A high quality EDC folding knife.
2. A small pair of folding scissors
3. A small quality torch usually FenixLight
4. A mini yet 10000 mAh powerbank
I know a few fellow bikepackers who swear by Leatherman Tools. I think it's a well made tool but for me a knife and scissors usually do the trick.
What I'm really excited about is that now my torch and powerbank are one nice package in the Fenix E-CP. The E-CP combines a 1600 lumen flashlight with a 18w quick charge powerbank. I'm currently testing it here in the Himalayas and so far its been a great rugged performer.
6. Are Indian cycling products worth it?
The problem is whenever someone mentions the phrase "Indian cycling" people only think of roadsters. Just like most western movies would show India as full of rajahs and snake charmers. But there's more to the Indian cycling scene than that:
- Psynyde Bikes have worked hard to blur the boundaries between trail n XC.
- Scolarian Bikes makes excellent steel frames that rival Surly.
- Posst Bikes combines the best of the world with Indian frames
- FitTrip Bikes pioneered the fatbike segment here
- Heini Sports makes world class apparel
- Convolution Bikes in improving road bikes with every iteration
- Praveen from Intent Bikes has been making awesome custom frames and bits
- Marlin Bikes is improving it's MTBs
- E-bike startups like Pedaleze are challenging hub motors
There's so many more that I've missed. But it's time we stood up and recognised these brands for doing stellar work against all odds and giving us world class products and/or products we can afford.
7. Can we do Ladakh Tour with Marin DSX 2 equipped with bikepacking gear? Will it handle the terrain
I cannot think of a better choice than a rigid flat bar bike with ample tyre clearance to act as a bikepacking rig. The Marin DSX 2 certainly fits the bill.
The DSX is the mountain biker’s gravel bike with familiar hand positioning, reliable 1x drivetrains, large tire clearance, and dropper post routing for better off road control, and on road descending stability.
Key upgrades over the DSX 1:
- Shimano Deore 6100 1x12 drivetrain
- Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
For most of the folks who live down south, Ladakh may seem like the final frontier, but if you're taking the main roads it is not a difficult bikepacking trail (though it is still one of the prettiest) as long as you're acclimatised. Dhruv Bogra is an avid bikepacker and he uses one, so thats "enuff said"!