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TI Cycles launches Indigenously Manufactured Carbon Frame Bike Series Print E-mail
Written by Krishna Kumar, Arjun   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Chennai: TI Cycles of India, a part of the USD 3.14 billion Murugappa Group, has launched it's first indigenously manufactured carbon frame bike series 'Montra'. The company has invested close to Rs.10 crore over a 2 year period in design, testing, tooling and manufacturing infrastructure to produce this bike at it's Ambattur manufacturing facility.

TI Cycles intends to manufacture and sell around 1500 Montra bikes in 2011 - 2012. Of this around 500 will be carbon bikes.

"We, at TI Cycles, are proud to be the first Indian company to design and manufacture world-class performance bikes including carbon framed bicycles. We have branded this "Made-in-India" range of performance bikes 'Montra'. The popularity of carbon, a composite material, for manufacturing cycle frames is a growing phenomenon in the international market. Leading international players have been producing carbon bicycles for the past few years and Montra is the first in this category in India," said Dr. D. Raghuram, President TI Cycles of India.

The bikes have a starting price range of Rs 21,000 for the alloy range and Rs. 60,000 for the carbon range. In the US market, a similar bicycle costs around USD 1,800 (for Carbon bicycle) and USD 800 for cycles made of alloys.

Design, Development & Production
In addition to using computer simulation extensively during the development phase, the prototype was road tested for over 2000km before the design was cleared.

"The design of the carbon fibre frames and forks is ours. Currently we are using a vendors facility to manufacture the carbon frames and forks. Thanks to DRDO, NAL etc there are quite a few vendors available in this category," said Dr. Raghuram.

"In terms of value, the frame and fork is a huge component of this bike. So around 60 - 65 percent of the bike, by value is localized. While 35 - 40 percent is imported," he said.

The production of frames, forks and incorporation of aesthetics is a manually labour intensive process.

"The transmission system is proprietary and is bought out. This is imported from Taiwan and Japan. These are high-tolerance components involving a lot of precision engineering and fine blanking . It should be perfect so that there is no 'play'," he said.

Exports
"Over a course of one to one and a half years, when we are fully fledged in terms of scaling up production, we can aspire to explore overseas markets. Currently the challenge is to completely fulfill demand while the supplies are not very forthcoming. The demand is outstripping the supply and for some models there is a waiting period," he added.

Capacity Expansion
In the next financial year, The company will invest Rs. 80 to 90 crores on capacity expansion across the board. TI Cycles has 3 factories in Ambattur, Noida and Nashik, where a total of around 2500 people are employed. More people will be employed once the capacities are scaled up.

Currently it's capacity for steel and aluminum bikes is 10,000 per month. Last year, the company sold 3.6 million units and this year, it expects to sell around 4.15 million units.

Features
- Increased Stiffness and Aerodynamics achieved through unique tube profiles
- Vibration absorption features, as demanded by the Indian riding conditions.
- Light weight, alloy wheels and aerodynamic body

"The carbon frame is more stiff, wheras a metal frame flexes, so the entire effort of the pedaling goes into moving the bike, thereby making it more efficient," explained Dr. Raghuram.

Available in 3 variants:
- Complete Carbon bicycle with 10 speeds a superlight bike with superior performance on road- Montra Techno
- Alloy frame with carbon fork and straight handle bar, 8 speeds for city roadies- Montra Jazz
- Alloy frame with carbon fork and dropped handle bar, 9 speeds for serious roadies- Montra Country

The series will be available at TI Cycles retail outlets and key multi brand outlets across the country.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 March 2011 )
 
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