Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Merida MTA 510A - A quick review

Couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to take the 27 speed MTA 510 (17 inch frame) test bike for a 40+ km ride, part tarmac and part trail. Me and Karthik rode from Kondapur to Osman sagar via khanapur. On the way back, karthik guided me through a trail which I think lasted for around 4-5 km. While it was all fine on the tarmac, the bike actually sprung into life when we hit the trail.

A good bike is a combination of a good frame and good components. So lets talk about the frame first. The frame , which Merida calls 'advanced alloy frame', is very light, but still gives a solid feel. The frame geometry is however vastly different from the Merida Matts 20/40 series bikes. The top tube is a on the shorter side, providing the rider a more upright position. From people who have test rode this bike in TBA, we have seen beginners generally enjoy a relatively upright posture and hence like this bike a lot. That probably also explains the plush and broad saddle. This could also be a very good frame for people with shorter torso. Although the bikes doesn't come with any disc brake, the frame is disc compatible.

The components - they are very very good for the price. And together they make the ride very very smooth. Me and Karthik( who was riding a firefox target) swapped our bikes for a few km, and in his words "Wow ! Its is liking riding a honda city after a maruti 800". To me, apart from the deore shifters and derailleur’s, what makes this bike stand out are the RST Gila Pro Suspension Fork and the FSA headset. These two together combine to make this bike very responsive. Handling this bike is a pleasure, particularly on the trails, and gives the feeling of "Always in Control". Gear shifting was smooth and without trouble too. Unlike the Acera Rapid Fire shifters(that comes with Merida Matts 40 series bikes), the Deore shifters do not have the number marks to let you know which chainring/cog you are on , but this is something which is just about getting used to. The bike also comes with truvativ cranks, and CST tyres.
Overall, I found the bike a pleasure to ride. At less than 30K , this bike is steal for people comfortable with its frame geometry.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Btwin Rockrider Bikes

Lot of biking enthusiats have been enquiring us about the Btwin rockrider series of bikes. And we have them in stock now - the rockrider 5.1, the rockrider 5.2 and the rockrider 5.3. And we have them in various sizes for the right fit. In fact,we have them for the last 2 weeks and I am late with the post, as usual:)

Last saturday I took quick rides on the Rock Rider 5.2 and Rock Rider 5.3.

1. The bikes rode smooth, and the most attractive part is the pricing. Check for details.
2. The configuration for the SRAM drive train is especially good and generally comes only much more expensive bikes.
3. Very light weight.
4. In rockrider 5.2, we have a decent bike for starters, who doesn't have a budget of trek 4300 or Merida 40V, but would like to have a few more features than what a basic trek or merida offers. Of course, all this assuming he is not brand conscious.

Actually, theres nothing much to complain about if you keep the pricing in mind. Because anything better will surely increase the price. But still, a few points worth sharing.

1. Most of the components,leaving out the drive train and the brakes, are either Btwins own stuff or from hetherto unheard brands. Not that they aren't good, just that they are sort of unknown entities for me. But again, have come across only good reviews of these bikes so far. So, the componets should be pretty decent.

2. Wished the suspension fork was little more responsive. that about it for now. Now that you know where to get the rockrider bikes in Hyderabad, and that you also know a litle bit about the rockrider bikes too, only thing remains is coming down to TBA for a test ride!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Its been a month now

Well, its been a month since we last updated the TBA blog. Long days at work, responsibilities at home, busy weekends...blah , blah....lots of excuses.
So I thought we should give you an update first.

2 months since we started. Thanks to you all, we are getting a response which is way better than our conservative estimates. We started with Merida bikes. In course of time, we added Btwin bikes and lots of accesorries. Ofcourse, we still do not have good quality LED lights, mini pumps, the clipless pedals and shoes, and loads of other stuffs. Working towards solving that bit of the gap.

In the meantime, we have also relocated to a new place. Oh ya, agree the update is quite a bit late, considering many of you have already visited us at the new place. Blame it again on this lazy soul.
The new place is around 2 km from the original place in Kondapur where we were operating from, on the gachibowli miyapur road. Its an old indipendent construction, and resembles a bike shop just a tad better than in-apartment mode we were operating till date. Check the following link for the exact location,-95.677068&sspn=29.358024,56.162109&ie=UTF8&cid=15190755266798750726&hq=the+bike+affair&hnear=&ll=17.514743,78.364449&spn=0.129653,0.219383&z=12&iwloc=A

Time for a quick review of the new place. First the good things
1. Right on the ground floor and hence no stair climbing with bikes.
2. Now we have enough space to cater a truck load of bikes. Just need to sort out the finance aspect :)
3. Open area and ample parking space around.
4. Easy to locate, especially if you have checked it in advance on google maps.
5. No stern stares from apartment residents anymore.

And now, well the bad ones.
1. Asbestos roofing, meaning a hotter than normally hot hyderbad summer. But we have a few months in our hand to sort this out.
2. The place looks more like a workshop than a showroom, and I am afraid we will have to live with it:(
We are still in the process of settling down at the shop place. So please bear with us.
And do keep riding. Together we can make Hyderabad greener.