Trek 3700: The most basic of the Trek range available in India, it’s perfect for all kinds of terrain and can take on city streets as well as more (in some cases, less) demanding country trails. It’s available in various sizes, so it’s easy to get one to fit your height. The alpha aluminium frame is light yet sturdy and the brakes responsive to the slightest touch. All the components are branded; users say that makes for better aesthetics and ups the comfort-ride factor. The Bontrager tyres, especially, come in for praise. Price: Around Rs14,000.
Trek 4300: All the basic elements of the Trek 3700, upgraded. The aluminium alloy frame is supposed to be superior, the front suspension geared up for more taxing travel (80mm, compared with 63mm on the Trek 3700), the wheels are much stronger, and all other components a notch better than the Trek 3700—which also pushes up the tag considerably. Price: Around Rs19,000.
Fully loaded: The Trek 4300.
Firefox Target:Comparable with the Trek 3700, aficionados say this has a few design issues. A Hardtail like the Treks, it has super-responsive V-brakes, Shimano 21-speed with a Revo shifter—the new ones come with Fire Shifters, like the ones on Trek bikes—alloy rims, handlebar and stems. Good for city commutes and occasional weekend off-roading. Price: Around Rs10,500.
Atlas Totem: A solid mild steel bike, the Totem has 21-speed, grip-shift gears from Shimano and dual suspension which absorbs the shocks on rough terrain. The flat black colour is a best-seller. Price: Around Rs6,500.
Atlas Nebula: It has the same gear features and body as the Totem, but boasts disc brakes which are more effective. Price: Around Rs6,500.
Hero Thunder MTB: An extra-rigid design in all aluminium alloy, which means the bike is low-maintenance and protected against rust. It uses 21-speed Shimano Tourney gears, the same brand used on the Treks (though not the same model). A hardy, frill-free yet comfortable ride, especially on city streets. The suspension may cause problems while off-roading. Price: Around Rs5,500.
Hero Octane:One of the few Indian models to sport disc brakes, this range (there are four variations) also has dual suspension, 24-speed gears, a narrow saddle and a lightweight frame in aluminium alloy. Price: Around Rs10,000.
Folding bikes: Parts of these bikes fold back on themselves, thus collapsing into a portable load. They’re perfect for mixed-commutes, especially abroad, where you can lug them into the Metro or on a bus. You pay a price for the flexibility though: Apart from a higher price-tag, these bikes generally have a smaller wheelbase, which makes for a rougher ride than optimum-sized wheelers. The only model available in India is Firefox’s Camelot. Price: Rs8,000.
(Information courtesy bumsonthesaddle.com and Kohinoor Cycles, Bandra, Mumbai.)