Tested – Avon Cyclux GTX, Rs: 10,800/-

Byline: aniSh

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Avon Cycles, one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of cycles in India launched their new series called Cyclux at the March CFOSE Bicycle Expo in Ludhiana. The Cyclux range adds a modern touch to their existing range of mass appealing cycles. Avon even changed their logo to a more contemporary representation of the letter ‘A’ that has been carrying the mantle of the brand name.

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Over the last two months, we have noticed the growing number of Cyclux models hitting the streets mostly ridden by teenagers and by people who just get around their neighbourhood. Most of these were first bicycles in kids and second first bicycles in adults. We decided to test one out to find out what Cyclux’s deal was.

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Understanding that Cyclux isn’t a race or performance unit, we shelved our usual testing parameters. The Cyclux range is  more of a utilitarian bicycle range and that is exactly what we set out to test on the Avon Cyclux GTX, the highest variant in this range.

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Upon opening up the packaging of the bicycle, we decided that we would not judge the bike for what it is not but rather look at it for what it is. And so, even before looking at the specs or parts, we went by colour. I loved the green, most others did too. Some were just dumbfounded. Moving on, I have to accept that however basic the frame may seem, it has a very fluidic design to it. Most other full suspension bicycles in this price range (well there aren’t many that can match the GTX’s parts specs) and made of just too many tubes that it becomes hard to identify which piece belongs to which part of the frame classification. The GTX’s frame silhouette is striking with flowing lines and the curved down and top tube design allows for longer front suspension. A lot of close attention has been given into achieving the frame design. Especially since it is a full suspension bicycle towards the swingarm assembly.

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Which gives rise to the age old debate which we won’t indulge much in this review, ‘Why do city bicycles need rear suspension? Beginner to Moderate trails can be handled by Hardtails, why then should there be rear suspension on a city bicycle?’ The answer, is well, nobody needs the Batmobile, but it is always good to have one. Yes the inertia from riding on flats that makes you feel like you are sitting on a bouncy exercise ball is annoying, but all you need to do is stiffen the suspension up.

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The modernity of the Cyclux range shows in the drivetrain components. A  seven speed Shimano Altus RD with a Shimano freewheel and a standard triple crank controlled by a Shimano Tourney FD does make for the shifting a lot better and is something you will not find at this price range. The other parts on this bicycle are pretty standard, the shifters are the new design Shimano rapid fires, again surprising at this price. The saddle seems comfortable once the rear suspension is stiffened out. The handle too provides a good enough riding stance. Something that really caught my eye was how good and lightweight a pedal the GTX had. The GTX comes with a quick release on the seat tube for quick adjustments when you share the bicycle. Braking duties are taken care of by linear pull V-brakes at the rear and mechanical disc brakes on a 160mm rotor in the front wheel. The front suspension quality however could have been slightly better. The wheels are 26″ and has a great set of MTB tires on that can help with varied terrains. Although slightly crude looking, the chain stay has a welded dropout for kick stands which the bicycle comes fitted with.

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Since we would not attempt our performance bicycle tests on the GTX for it would be unfair, we did however put it through two simple tasks, the rear suspension bobbing was a concern, how much of one though? We hung a thin plastic carry bag with half a kilo of weight in it from the seat rails and rode it around the city to see how far until the up and down motion would snap the cover. Surprisingly, almost 8kms later, the cover remained intact. We just had to stop riding and head back to base to gorge down the half a kilo of apples we bought for this test. The second test was, it looks like an Enduro bicycle, can it do anything Enduroesque?  Well, it is a simple bicycle, we didn’t want to give it a complex test. We tried to do bunny hops on the bicycle to see just how easy its fit felt on the rider. We found out that the bicycle is heavy and bunny hopping it required a lot more effort from the legs, but we did manage to accomplish a few hops after all.

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Looking at the overall experience of riding this bicycle in both city traffic on tarmac and some bit of flat dirt back roads, the wrong question to ask would be, “Can it do, anything fancy?” But that is just it. It is not meant for bunny hops or the trails. It is meant for the simple joy of cycling. It is what can be called as the best bang for the bucks you are shelling whether it is for an eager kid or an adult who just wants to enjoy a comfortable cycle ride without breaking the bank. The bicycle is simply great for its price and that is what the new Avon Cyclux GTX will be, a great first bicycle to many new riders to come, young and old alike mostly for the teenaged young.

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Crank gives the Avon Cyclux GTX an AHT (Average Head Turning) Factor of 7.9 out of 10.

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