Not only are they less expensive, take very less space for parking, great for physical fitness, and generating that cool quotient, but the most important is their environmental friendly nature that is the need of the hour and I believe the future of transportation seems to lie in the acceptance and usage in mass and needs to be heavily promoted by the government worldwide. Yes, I am talking about “bicycles”.
Today, everyone wants to ride bicycle and this lifestyle and sport is picking up at a lightning speed. There are many popular brands around the world that manufacture and sell different types of bicycles like Road Bikes, Hybrid or Commuter Bikes, Mountain Bikes (MTB), Folding Bikes, etc in all different price range that suits every type of buyer. Some bicycles are plain vanilla while some are so stylish that it will give a run for money to the most expensive cars in the world and will attract as much, if not less attention from people. For the same specifications, companies charge differently based on their brand name and there is a market for everyone and it’s poised to grow.
Below are some of the famous and well known bicycle brands that have brought a revolution in the industry and can be credited with promoting this green mode of transport.
1. Giant Bicycle
Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer that is the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Giant was started started by King Liu in 1972. Giant has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, the Netherlands, and China.By 2014, Giant had sales in over 50 countries, in over 12,000 retail stores. In 2007, its global sales surpassed 5 million bicycles and US$820 million in global revenue, and by 2012 it had reached 6.3 million bicycles and revenue of US$1.8 billion.
For serious mountain bike competitors, Giant is a preferred brand of many professionals and world champions. Rugged and thoughtfully engineered, Giant also offers a hybrid bike for city riding.
2. Trek Bicycle
Trek Bicycle Corporation is a major bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor under brand names Trek, Electra Bicycle Company, Gary Fisher, Bontrager, Diamant Bikes, Villiger Bikes and until 2008, LeMond Racing Cycles and Klein. It was founded in 1976 by John Burke. They distribute bicycles worldwide and have about 1700 dealers across North America.
Cyclists can take on the toughest rides with a Trek bicycle. Featuring strong frames and tailored construction, Trek bikes offer models specifically designed for road, mountain, and city biking.
3. Specialized Bike
Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is a major American brand of bicycles and related products. It was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard and is based in Morgan Hill, California.
For high-tech performance on the mountain trails or on a city road, Specialized offers riders a uniquely strong and light ride. The frames feature the brand’s own alloy known as FACT, which stands for Functional Advanced Composite Technology.
4. Scott Bicycle
The Swiss company SCOTT Sports SA is a producer of bicycles, winter equipment, motorsports gear and sportswear. It was started by Ed Scott who was working in Sun Valley in 1958. In 1989, Scott introduced one of the most significant innovations in the history of cycling to mass market – the clip-on aerodynamic handlebar. In 1991, Scott produced their first suspension fork named “Unishock” and a year later, their first full-suspension mountain bicycle was shown to the public.
The name ‘Scott USA’ was changed to ‘Scott Sports’, representing a shift in emphasis to the European market.
5. Cannondale Bicycle
The Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, is an American division of Canadian conglomerate Dorel Industries that supplies bicycles. It is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut with manufacturing and assembly facilities in China and Taichung, Taiwan.
The company was founded in 1971 by Joe Montgomery, Jim Catrambone, Ron Davis and Murdock MacGregor to manufacture backpacks and bags for camping and later bicycle trailers for bicycle touring. Today, Cannondale produces many different types of high-end bicycles, which are no longer hand-made in the US.
They specialize in aluminum (rather than steel or titanium) and carbon fiber frames, a technology in which they were pioneers. The name of the company was taken from the Cannondale Metro North train station in Wilton, Connecticut.
In February 2008, Dorel Industries, a Canada-based diversified consumer products company, announced the purchase of Cannondale from Pegasus for approximately $200 million. Dorel also owns Pacific Cycle which is a distributor of bicycles made in Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China for sale under many historic U.S. cycle brands, including Schwinn, Mongoose, Roadmaster, and GT.
6. Bianchi Bike
F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A, commonly known as Bianchi is the world’s oldest bicycle-making company still in existence, having pioneered the use of equal-sized wheels with pneumatic rubber tires. The company was founded in Italy in 1885 and in addition to bicycles it produced motorcycles from 1897 to 1967.
Edoardo Bianchi, a 21-year-old medical instrument maker, started his bicycle-manufacturing business in a small shop at 7 Via Nirone, Milan in 1885. Bianchi pioneered the front-wheel caliper brake. Since May 1997, the company has been part of Cycleurope Group, which is owned by the Swedish company of Grimaldi Industri AB.
Bianchi bicycles are traditionally painted Celeste, a turquoise also known as Bianchi Green. The shade has changed over the years, sometimes more blue, then more green.
7. GT Bike
GT was founded in 1972, by Gary Turner and Richard Long in Santa Ana, California, and was noted at its inception for spearheading the prominence of BMX bicycles.
GT Bicycles designs and manufactures road, mountain, and bmx bicycles — Manufactured in the United States, and now as a division of a Canadian conglomerate, Dorel Industries, which also markets Cannondale, Schwinn, Mongoose, IronHorse, Dyno, and RoadMaster bicycle brands; all manufactured in Asia.
In 1998, the company went public and subsequently merged with Questor Partners, then owner of Schwinn. The conglomerate went bankrupt in 2001 and was acquired by Pacific Cycle, which was in turn acquired by Dorel Industries in 2004.
8. Merida Bicycle
Merida is a Taiwan-based bicycle design, manufacture, and sales company. It was started in 1972 by Ike Tseng. Ike was a very talented engineer, and the company grew as a well-respected OE manufacturer making many well-respected brands. Ike died in January 2012, the company is now run by his son Michael Tseng.
MERIDA’s company founder Ike Tseng (1932–2012) was a very honour-able person and a real visionary. During a trip through the USA at the beginning of the 1970s, he discovered a note at the door of a bike shop stating that not any bikes from Taiwan were accepted for repair due to bad quality. This annoyed Ike Tseng – and already shortly afterwards in September 1972, the first production plant of his company Merida Industry Co., Ltd. was opened in Yuanlin (Taiwan). The man whose life motto was “move with passion and courage” chose the name “Merida” intentionally: The rough translation of the three syllables “Me-Ri-Da” means that the company’s intention is to manufacture only beautiful and high-quality products enabling anyone to reach her or his destination as pleasantly as possible. But Ike Tseng wouldn’t have been himself if he had been satisfied with the successful realization of his plan to be able to offer high-quality bikes “Made in Taiwan”. So in 1988, he took the second big step by launching the independent brand MERIDA: In accordance with the corporate philosophy, the frames of a complete range of sophisticated and internationally recognized bikes should be graced deservedly by the three syllables “Me-Ri-Da”.
9. Fuji Bike
Fuji Bikes is a brand of bicycles and cycling equipment currently owned by Advanced Sports International. The company is a descendant of Nichibei Fuji Cycle Company, Ltd, a bicycle manufacturer originally established in Japan in 1899.
The company took its name and logo from Mount Fuji, a Japanese symbol of strength and endurance. The company was founded in 1899 in Japan by Okazaki Kyūjirō.
In 2004, Ideal Bike Corporation, Taiwan’s third-largest complete-bicycle maker, acquired 17% of Advanced Sports International Asia, which markets the Fuji brand of bicycles in Asia. Fuji bicycles are now built in Taichung, Taiwan; Dong Guan, Guangdong Province, China; and in Kutno, Poland by Ideal Bike Corporation.
In the United States, the Fuji brand is owned and distributed by Advanced Sports International (ASI), a privately held corporation located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
10. Cervelo Bike
Cervélo Cycles is a Canadian manufacturer of racing and track bicycles founded in 1995 by Gerard Vroomen and Phil White. Gerard Vroomen, one of the two founders of the company, started researching bike dynamics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands). He took his knowledge to Canada to continue the research in McGill University. In 1995, Vroomen and Phil White founded Cervélo Cycles. The name Cervélo is a portmanteau of cervello, the Italian word for brain, and vélo, the French word for bike.
Cervélo uses CAD, computational fluid dynamics, and wind tunnel testing at a variety of facilities including the San Diego Air and Space Technology Center, in California, US, to aid its designs. Frame materials include carbon fibre. Cervélo currently makes 5 series of bikes: the C series and R series of road bikes, the latter featuring multi-shaped, “Squoval” frame tubes; the S series of road bikes and P series of triathlon/time trial bikes, both of which feature airfoil shaped down tubes; and the T series of track bikes.
In 2009, Cervélo became the first bike manufacturer in the modern era to have its own cycling team at the highest levels of racing, Cervélo TestTeam.
Today, Cervélo is the world’s largest manufacturer of time trial and triathlon bikes, as determined in industry counts including decisive wins for the past twelve years at the prestigious Kona bike count.
11. Pinarello Bike
Cicli Pinarello S.p.A. is an Italian bicycle company in Treviso, Italy. Founded in 1952, it supplies mostly handmade bicycles for the road, track and cyclo-cross. The company also produces bicycles under the Opera brand name, and has an in-house component brand – MOST.
The founder, Giovanni Pinarello was born in Catena di Villorba, Italy in 1922. He was the eighth of 12 brothers. At the age of fifteen, Giovanni began making bicycles at the factory of Paglianti. After a successful amateur career he turned professional in 1947, aged 25.
Some of its historical and celebrated models are Pinarello Montello SLX, Pinarello Treviso, Pinarello Paris, Pinarello Dogma, Pinarello Montello FP8, Pinarello Bolide, etc.
Pinarello has sponsored professional teams since 1960. Teams include Team Telekom, Banesto, Caisse d’Epargne, Fassa Bortolo, Team Sky, Movistar Team, British Cycling and British UCI Continental team Velosure-Giordana Racing Team.
12. Santa Cruz Bike
Santa Cruz Bicycles is a manufacturer of high end mountain bikes based in Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz Bicycles was founded by Rob Roskopp, Mike Marquez and Rich Novak in 1993. Their first bike, in 1994, was a full suspension bike called the Tazmon. The company manufactures around a dozen models of mountain bikes made of carbon fiber and aluminum, ranging from $1500 to over $10000 retail.
They sponsor the Santa Cruz Syndicate, a downhill racing team. On July 3, 2015. Santa Cruz bicycle was sold to Pon Holding, a family-owned Dutch conglomerate with a bicycle division including brands such as Cervelo, Focus and Royal Dutch Gazelle.
14. Colnago Bike
Colnago Ernesto & C. S.r.l. or Colnago is a manufacturer of high-end road-racing bicycles founded by Ernesto Colnago in 1952 near Milano in Cambiago, Italy. Instead of following his family’s farming business, Ernesto Colnago chose to work in the cycle trade, apprenticing first with Gloria Bicycles at 13, subsequently taking up road racing. After a bad crash ended his racing career, he began subcontracting for Gloria, opened his own shop in 1952, building his first frames the same year.
The company first became known for high quality steel framed bicycles suitable for the demanding environment of professional racing, and later as one of the more creative cycling manufacturers responsible for innovations in design and experimentation with new and diverse materials including carbon fiber, now a mainstay of modern bicycle construction.
Colnago uses a black symbol similar to the ♣ (“Clubs”) symbol used on playing cards. Colnago frames’ graphics evolved from a font with gravitas to elaborate and/or creative paint.
Colnago has sponsored at least one professional team every year since 1974, often sponsoring more than one.
14. Kona Bike
Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1988 and still owned by Dan Gerhard and Jacob Heilbron in Vancouver, BC, their World Headquarters are located in Ferndale, Washington, with Canadian distribution offices in Vancouver, and European distribution offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
Kona has gone on to develop a complete range of road, commuter, cyclo-cross in addition to a complete range of mountain bikes. Using a range of materials including carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum and steel, Kona’s bikes are sold in over 60 countries worldwide.
Kona has a long-standing tradition in the support of bicycle racing, beginning with their first product designer Joe Murray who was also a two-time US National mountain bike champion.
15. Schwinn Bike
Schwinn is one of the biggest brands in the world and a consistent high performer across a range of styles. These bikes appeal to casual weekend riders and daily city commuters.
The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded by German-born mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn (1860–1945) in Chicago in 1895. It became the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles through most of the 20th century.
Today, after declaring bankruptcy in 1992, it is a sub-brand of Pacific Cycle, owned by the multi-national conglomerate, Dorel Industries. Dorel owns Pacific Cycle which is a distributor of bicycles made in Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China for sale under many historic U.S. cycle brands, including Schwinn, Mongoose, Roadmaster, and GT.