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Bicycles of India

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Bicycles of India

Old 01-23-18, 08:40 PM
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Bicycles of India

While I was India I was fascinated that most of the bicycles on the street were made in India and based on an old design. They are used for transportation and transporting. I saw so many of them hauling all manner of loads from vegetables to milk. They are all single speed. They have a number of unique features. One is the straight pull brakes that grab on the inside of the rim. They are very simple and rely on simple rods and stampings instead of cables and castings. I saw one guy hauling 3 cooking gas bottles up a mountain road. They hold 17kg of gas, so I estimate 3 full bottles to be 150 lbs. No wonder he is walking. The other interesting bike was one set up with a grinding wheel on the top tube. He went from shop to shop sharpening knives and scissors. I made a short video:
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Old 01-23-18, 09:24 PM
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Thanks for the video. Fascinating.

I've seen the milk man on a documentary a long time ago. They are part of the backbone of a village or neighborhood. I also saw a show about how millions of lunches are delivered by train and bicycle every day.

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Old 01-24-18, 07:53 AM
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I guess considering its past colonization that it should not be a surprise that those Indian Hercules and Atlas rod-brake roadsters you saw are copies of (or should I say based on?) the old Raleigh DL-1 that was made for many decades and spread around the world. In fact the "same" bike is also practically indigenous to China as well, from Flying Pigeon & several other Chinese makers. As a point of interest...Hercules was originally (maybe still is?) a British company, and Pashley Cycles of England still makes "roadsters" to this day - albeit at a very high price compared to the Asian versions...
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Old 01-26-18, 04:26 AM
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I still see Tianjin Flying Pigeon and Shanghai Phoenix cargo bikes in Hong Kong. Gas pipe, single speed, rod brakes. Just the thing for lugging gas cylinders, or just about anything you might imagine. Not ubiquitous like India, but also here for the long count - same as the fishing sampan.
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Old 01-26-18, 07:05 AM
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Until semi recently (think the last 20 years or so), this style of bike was also very common in Japan. Really odd tire/tube setup on them as well.
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Old 06-21-18, 10:22 PM
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Amazing video!

Tried posting some pictures that I found interesting but I guess I need to have 10 posts before I can do so

You can try to do a google image search for " bicycle cart kids Delhi"
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Old 06-24-18, 09:23 AM
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Dang I wish I could find the pic of the mattress delivery guy that I took while in India, that guy was impressive!

Clerk at check-in while flying over: "India has lots of bicycles, you shouldn't pay so much to bring yours!" And so the cavalcade of unsolicited opinions began...I love India and it's people.
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