People sometimes accuse me of India-bashing, but the reason that products like these (and the attitudes that created them) make me angry is that there is no reason why it should be that way. I refuse to accept the reasoning that: "Oh this is India, come on--that's how it is" and will, within reason, hold India to an international standard.
I say "within reason" because, with bikes for example, we don't have a mass culture of active bike racers. So maybe our racing frames or downhill frames may not be that great. But why should our regular frames be any less well-designed than a frame designed in the US or Italy? Are our engineers incapable of applying sound design priniciples? I refuse to believe that.
My take is that these bikes are the unfortunate result of sudden globalisation. We have suddenly, after years of staid single-speed, steel unsuspended bikes suddenly been opened to the possibility of suspension, gearing and aluminium and so, the aesthetic has swung to the extreme, just as a baroque period will follow one of minimalism.
What's scary is that these aren't products to put on a mantelpiece, but things that our children will ride and entrust their lives to. Things that can change our health and happiness (even our cities), provided they don't explode on contact with a pothole. Can you imagine the effects of metal fatigue on those frames? They'll probably eviscerate you if they fail.
God, I'm still looking at them in horror. Can you imagine curving a front fork so much it needs extra struts to brace it? Or is that some kind of suspension?
2009 Bianchi Volpe, Iro Mark V, 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4, 1980s 3Rensho Katana build project