Last week we received our first stocks. The launch of The Bike Affair was planned for 15th August, on the occasion of the Freedom ride organised by Dina & Co. and the plan was to get the test bikes assembled beforehand. This would have given us a chance to get a feel of the bikes we were going to sell. The fact that the only merida bike I had ridden was a Merida sub 40V (for not more than a few hundred metres) made this even more necessary. But things didn’t go as planned. Lot of last minute things popped up, and we could only start assembling the bikes on 14th morning. We had ordered 3 bikes – Matts 5V, Matts 20 MD and MTA510A as dedicated test bike. We picked up the Merida Matts 5V as the first bike to be unpacked.
Unpacking the carton, we found the bike was neatly packed , and the shiny gray colour looked fantastic. Soon,we had our mechanic Krishna assembling our first bike, after which we filled up the tires. The bike was now inviting us for a test ride. So , in no time, we were on the street. Amit took the first ride, and I followed soon.The bike felt suprisingly smooth for an entry level MTB.
I had taken the day off, but Amit had to leave now. Next was the turn of the Red and Silver MTA 510A, which comes with Deore shifters and deraileurs. After checking out the specs online, I was eagerly waiting for this one. More so, as there isn't much details available online. The bike definitely looked good. The deore shifters looks cool, and the RST Gilla suspension fork looked way better than what the Matts 40V/MD comes along with.
I called up my Bro-In-Law, who works in ISB and stays close by. He used to ride a Schwinn road bike while he was in US a few years back, and has been without a bike since then( not to mention that I have succesfully done an implant on his brain and I feel the day isn't too far when he is going to get himself a bike). He was happy to join me for a test ride that lasted for around 8-9 km. We only rode on the tarmac, with occasional rough patches. Initial impressions are given below
Matts 5V: The bike rides amazingly smooth for an entry level MTB. The ride quality was good , the posture easy, and the saddle comfortable for the posture. Gear shifting was without any trouble. One thing that confused me was the revo shifter for the front derailleur, which unlike the others I had tried so far, shifts in small increments. Not sure if this is an advantage or disadvantage. It could be useful for minute deraileur adjustments when it rubs against the chain. But a mark on the actual shifter postion where it shifts the chain would have been useful.
MTA 510A : I only did a very small distance on that. So I will cover the gear shifting and drive train in a later review. But even then, the ride was smooth. The posture, again, was easy. Over all, could be a good value for money bike (refer http://www.thebikeaffair.com/ for specs). Just one minor glitch. Though this model has been launched for the Taiwanese market, I would still have loved to see an english literature in the box.