I moved closer towards my quest to start cycling. Initially, my thought was to buy a cheap second hand cycle and buy a better one later if I really get into it. So, I found a guy selling a second hand Hero Octane. I met him on Saturday and rode the bike a fair bit. I didn't feel very comfortable, I couldn't exactly place what it was, and thought that I should ride a few more bikes before I make a decision.
I'd contacted the folks at Bums on the Saddle and fixed up an appointment. They are a bunch of bike enthusiasts who were very disappointed with the service of Firefox bikes in Bangalore. When they complained to the company, they were invited to do something about it by setting up their own shop. Which they did.
I'd zeroed in on a couple of bikes, the Firefox Target and the Trek 3700 and test rode both of them. Both were lightyears ahead of the Hero bike that I rode on Saturday. I found it difficult to choose between the two purely on the merits of the bike. The Trek did feel better put together, the seat was more comfortable and the bike felt a little more stable than the Firefox, but for someone of my riding ability, it was difficult to really make out a difference. In some way, this is reflected in the pricing, the Firefox is 10.3K and the Trek is 13.9K. Going by reviews, it does seem like the Trek has better components and will last better. One thing that I've learnt over the years is to go with the wisdom of the crowds, especially when it comes to an area you know little about. So, I've decided to go for the Trek. I'll place my order today and will hopefully get it in a week's time.