”The iPad 2 Smart Cover is emblematic of what makes Apple a great technology company. I kind of want to hide one in my jacket pocket every time a tech company is giving me my first briefing on a new tablet, and bring it out at a decisive moment. “Halt,” I would say, unrolling the Smart Cover and holding it before me like a talisman to ward off evil. “Did you put as much thought into your entire tablet as Apple put into this deceptively simple screen cover?” ..How often does any company put that amount of thought in a accessory for the product they make.
Loved the review.
It’s been more than a week since I had this title in mind and finally I get to post it today. To update you folks I’ve bought a black BTWIN RockRider 5.2 from Bike Affair in Hyderabad. I paid around 17k for it with some accessories like a spare tube, tool kit, stand etc. Since the day i took it for a test drive, it’s been quite an experience for me, and I absolutely relish it.
During January, Gautham had decided on cycling as his hobby and I joined him and we started looking for a cycle to buy. We were very actively checking out a lot of sites and gathering info on how to go about buying and how to decide on which one to pick, what parts are good, etc. Though i have had a BSA Mach 5 during my childhood days, somehow it felt more important to do an exhaustive research before buying one, may be because of the price of these cycles. I had somehow convinced my dad for a budget of around 20k for a cycle, but making that decision and buying one wasn’t easy. My friends were arguing that I could buy a bike with some extra cash etc. I always felt that i wasn’t wasting money like everyone claimed, but at the same time i didn’t want to make a hasty decision on the choice of the cycle. I wanted to feel satisfied and proud on the choice of my cycle and its worthiness. So that put a little additional caution on the kind of choice i was making.
By Jan mid every Saturday we (me and Gautham) use to try the bikes at Bike affair, and finally narrowed on to either a Merida Matts 5v, or Btwin RockRider 5.2, or the Cannondale F9. We tried all of them, and were interested in Cannondale F9 initially and somehow its price kept eluding from us. So we removed it from the shortlist and we were left with Matts 5v and RockRider 5.2 to pick. I wasn’t that confident on the RockRider just because the test bike didn’t feel quite comfortable for me primarily because of the size and posture besides its pinkish grey design which never could be my taste. Matts 5v felt better and I thought it was worth the try, but to my surprise they just had one piece in stock. Since Gautham had also liked it, I decided not to go for it and postpone my decision for some time. So we booked the Matts 5v for Gautham and a week passed. Now I was in a dilemma between the Cannondale and RockRider. I seriously considered increasing my budget but hardly was there a possibility. That weekend, we went again to check on other models that might fit my wallet. During the conversation with Krish, found out that the size of the RockRider test bike was small and they had a large one which was the recommended size for me and hence he asked me to try it. One more to try so what’s the big deal was my first though, but to my delight there was my black RockRider 5.2 :).
The moment I looked at it, the texture of the black, the way the grey and black colors blend, the protective wrap for the frame to prevent scratches by the chain, the way design patterns flow on the bike just impressed me in a flash. I knew this could be it and I took it for a spin. It felt awesome, as though it was just waiting for me. The gear shifts were smooth and noise less, the posture was much better than the smaller size RockRider. Moreover since I was used to riding on the Mach 5, it didn’t matter much. Just as soon as finished my test drive, I booked for it. There still was a little doubt on the posture as Krish had cautioned me due to the feedbacks on the posture from his customers. But by then I was really convinced that this would be it. I should say I was not even aware of the specification of cycle as I wasn’t keen on the Btwin’s till then, but that didn’t matter anymore, because I my choices have always been what I like regardless of their feedbacks, reviews price etc.
I bought the RockRider5.2 on 11th Feb 2010 and it’s been 2 months and 3 days as I write and i have roughly covered around 500 kilometers with it. To frankly tell you I’ve fallen in love with it and the bond between me and my bike becomes stronger day after day. It won’t be an exaggeration if i compare it with the way a Navi bonds with a Banshee in the Avatar movie. Rarely do i miss anything as material as a cycle, but now i have to accept that I long to ride my bike sometimes when I am home in Hosur.
Now for those folks who have been waiting for a review of the RockRider 5.2, here you go. The RockRider comes with a lightweight Aluminium frame. The front fork is a 70 mm adjustable one from spinner. S-Ram x4 trigger shifters for perfect shifts. The front and back derailleurs are S-Ram X5 and S-Ram x4 derailleurs respectively. The crank set is Wheeltop TCXC2RC-EX1 while on the rear there is a S-Ram PG –830 8 speed power glide cassettes. For braking there are Tektro 855-Ac V brakes. For a better part by part spec please check here. (These specs are subject to change from time to time and differ from country to country as well). The RockRider weighs just around 13 kg negligibly heavier than the Cannondale f9 or the Matts 5V. The Kenda 26X 1.95” MTB tires give it a good grip while off roading and consume a tad more energy while you are on the road(you can always change to a hybrid tires anytime). The brakes on the bike is good enough but could have been better considering the quality of all the other parts included. The gear shift is smooth and silent mostly until there is any dust in the crank set or the chain. The trigger shifters are right next to your thumbs below the handle bar which make it easy to shift gears while giving you enough grip on the handle bar and more fingers on your brakes while the small display gives you precise info about the gear ratios.
The best about the cycle would be the value for money which you get. Almost all the parts of the cycle are near the best that you can bargain for the price. I am really convinced that the drive train, the crank set, the derailleurs are better when compared to other cycles in the same price category. The gear shifts are smooth and noiseless. The saddle is sporty and good enough, it might feel a little odd for newbies but it’s just a matter of time before you get used to it. The design and the paint finish makes it perfect for a little show off.
The driving posture is something that you need to consider before you pick the RockRider. When compared to all other cycles, the RockRider series have handlebars are little lower than other ones for a little aggression, which in turn makes you lean forward adding a tad more weight on your wrists, elbows and shoulders than usual. Some people may not find the back inclination very comfortable. If you already have signs of backache then this cycle is definitely not for you. The handlebar’s height can be adjusted is what i have found out after some digging on various sites and forums, but haven’t tried it yet. The posture is just fine with me now that I’ve got used it. The pedal clips are a little tricky and needs time to get used to, I have removed it because, the road driving that we do in India, the clips are really a hurdle most of the times. RockRider doesn’t come with a stand or a rear reflector which might add an extra 500 bucks to your budget.
To sum it up RockRider 5.2 is the best investment I have made so far and I am proud to have it. I will always recommend it to anybody. If you want to go by my choice, pick the one which fits you best, gives you the satisfaction when you ride, the one that would keep you interested to ride more, regardless of their specs and features, because on the long run what matters is the satisfaction and not the parts or features.
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My Rockrider completed 10k Kms last month and is still going great. Was totally worth the money i spent on it.