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India's road transportation industry is incomplete without the mention of bicycles, which were the basic mode of transportation in the country from the early 1950s. As late as the year 2000, the cycle industry in India was the second largest in the world (next to China) and was estimated at Rs 100 bn (12 mn units per annum).

Bicycles have been one of the most prominent modes of road transport in rural and urban India since the 1950s. Since the two-wheeler industry gained momentum only in the 1980s, bicycles with their affordable pricing were the major means of personal transport across the country. It was only after the two-wheeler industry, especially the moped and the scooter segments, picked up, that the use of bicycles went down in urban areas. Rural markets continued as a major market for bicycles.

By the mid-1990s, bicycles lost their position as the most widely used mode of personal transportation in urban India, which saw a flood of two-wheeler models suiting the pockets of various customer segments. The lower-income groups, who until then could only afford bicycles, upgraded to entry-level mopeds, scooters or motorcycles, which were much faster and more convenient. The growth in rural segments for bicycles also reduced marginally, with the popularity of mopeds and scooters going up.

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Additional Photos by Panos E Kazanelis (kazan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 113 W: 59 N: 90] (779)
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