Byline: Crank Technical Bureau
Following the launch of the new range of performance pedigree bicycles from Cronus that is being exclusively marketed in India by Avon Cycles, we hunted down one for a testing out what the big deal was.
We received a brand new Cronus Y 999 and straight out of the freight van, our entire team was ogling at the bicycle. Since it came to us around the Christmas time, one of us even shouted out saying, “My Christmas present is here!”
At a price point of under Rs. 30,000/- we were noticing a lot of big names on the components used on the bicycle. The bike felt very pocket friendly for the Indian consumer. We kept the bicycle under wraps for a few days until the holidays were over and decided to take it out for some light trail riding followed by some street riding too.
The bicycle is so well suited to the Indian cyclist. The right hand brake lever controls the front brake, like a lot of us Indians are used to on bicycles. The provision of 26″ wheels which is a popular wheel size makes it easy to find and afford spare tyres and tubes. The choice to offer a Schrader valve which is used for automobiles on the tubes also make it easier to fill air at all fuel pumps . At a max tyre pressure of 55 PSI, a high pressure Presta valve would not have become an absolute requirement either.
Going back to the list of high end components on the bicycle, first to grab attention are the Mavic wheels. Mavic is a brand known for producing some of the finest performance wheels for bicycles on this planet and is a popular choice for wheels on most race bicycles. High quality Maxxis off road tires are next on the list and Maxxis is famous for making off road tires across all segments of motor vehicles irrespective of the number of wheels on them. With Tektro HDC 300 Hydraulic disc brakes, the Y 999 means serious business when it comes to stopping power and manoeuvrability.
The front wheel has XCT suspension from SR Suntour, which normally comes OEM on bicycles that are at least above Rs. 35,000/- The groupset used is a 8 speed Altus RD (rear derailleur) and a 3 speed SIS FD with Shimano cassette at the rear and a Prowheel Crank set at the front. We would have been happier if the Crankset was from any other brand than Prowheel.
The Y 999 comes fitted with bar ends. Like most people we were not sure how to feel about this until we started riding the bicycle. The flat handle bar makes for pretty good handling and the implied usage of the bar ends to offer protection to the hand when in traffic and tight trails made us start falling in love with bar ends altogether. What we could not digest however was the provision of an RD guard. We have come to learn over the years of riding that it does next to nothing when providing protection to the RD cage and in fact can become reason for cage damage in the event of a crash.
To ride the Y999 in the city was fun. Lot of people took notice of the bicycle for being new and never known of previously. Despite being an MTB, it handles great on open roads, but squeezing through traffic is a task best left to hybrid bicycles. With all the great components on it that were meant for trail riding, we had to test it out on some light trails. We hauled the bicycle to the nearest one and set it down on some fine dust at the start to test the Maxxis tires. The climbs were handled really well by the tires, the riding position however needs little getting used to because of which learning to control this bicycle on off road sections takes some attention.
We cannot talk enough about the pedals that come with this bicycle. They are almost what we would upgrade to from stock to serve our off roading and stunt techniques. On the Y 999 we will only have to consider an upgrade after we have worn these out. The saddle however outdated the design may look, turned out to be comfortable at both city rides and when we were out in the trail thrashing the bicycle about.
We cannot say enough about how this bike excels at its price point. With its origins in France, the cycling capital, one should not be astonished at the choice of components that are on the bicycle either. We now want to see what are the offerings from Cronus in other cycling segments.
Crank gives the Cronus Y 999 an AHT (Average Head Turning) factor of 8.5 out of 10