Buy Firefox at your own risk!

I really wanted to title this post "Don't buy Firefox", but it hasn't come to that yet.

I had recently purchased the Viper from Firefox Bikes. See my earlier post about the same.

Firefox says that its cycles are "designed in UK and manufactured in Taiwan to the highest international standards". That seems true. So where are the flaws ? One word : Service! I was always wary of the service that I would get once I purchased the bike - and recent developments have proved that my gut feeling was right.

In a recent email to me, Vivek Sharma (of Firefox Bikes) had claimed that "our mechanics are well trained for these imported bikes". Blatant lie, that. When I purchased the bike, Hemant Shah (?), the propreitor(?) of Firefox Bike Station (CMH Road, Bangalore) had assured me that I would get spares in a week.

One thursday, about two weeks ago, I noticed that the front gears weren't shifting to my satisfaction and decided to investigate. In all these three years of cycling, I hadn't played mechanic. I disengaged the gear wire from the shifter and turned the screws a bit. When it came to connecting back the gear wire, I was at a loss. I hadn't noticed how it was fastened in the first place - a cardinal sin for a mechanic. I ended up cutting a majority of the strands of the gear wire - making it close to unusable. It was time to get a replacement...

So on saturday, I dutifully went to CMH Road (12 kms away from my home). I asked the mechanic to change the gear wire. He said it wasn't available and asked me to come on sunday. Next day, when I went there he said "did you say you will come today". I wasn't happy but told him to keep it ready as early as possible. He promised to have it ready on monday. Another futile trip!

I had other work - so I couldn't go to Firefox bikes till last friday. This time he had the gear wire ready. At 300 bucks, the gear wire was pricey. The "trained" mechanic made several futile attempts at pushing in the new gear wire. Sensing his problem, I suggested that maybe he should remove the front grip shift and try. He needed an allen key to remove the front grip shift - which he didn't have!!! The mechanic resorted to hammering the grip shift, with no results. I was shocked at this. On close examination, I found that the covering of the shifter was torn. I was livid at this. I pointed this out to Gautam (who was running the show at Firefox) and demanded a replacement for the grip shift. He didn't seem very keen to solve the problems and was concentrating on his other potential customers. He placated me saying that he would have everything ready, come tomorrow. So I rode back home. Next day, I was back. To my chagrin, they still didn't have an allen key to do the job! Gautum asked for "two minutes" to fix the issue. I pointed out that there was no way that was possible - since they didn't even have the tools for the job! I even told him that, if this state of affairs continued, I might be forced to speak to his other customers about this kind of service. He placated me saying that he would have everything ready, come tomorrow. So I retuned back home - without the cycle... Next day I came back again and the cycle was ready - but surprise - the grip shift was still torn! Not to be undone, Gautam has promised me a replacement in a few days. Don't know how many days that will take.

Overall story : 5 visits (over 5 days) to the Firefox shop to get a gear wire replacement. Gear wire replaced, grip shifter torn. Awaiting replacement for that now 🙁

I intend to approach the consumer court for further such deficiency of service occurences.

These guys sell bikes priced in the range 10k-25k and don't even have the basic tools to repair the bikes! And any fool can make out that they haven't even cared to give basic training to their mechanics. Just imagine, a mechanic at a shop selling pricey bikes who is unable to change even a gear wire! I don't even want to talk about the professionalism of the company. It is high time we consumers take note of such things.

Moral of the story : if you are planning to buy a Firefox, think again...

NB: Service is improving. Have a look at this too : http://www.shreekumar.in/?p=18

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  1. Hi,

    I’d like to buy a bike for some road trips, might even take it offroad. My budget is about 10k. Want a lightweight bike, preferably foldable which fits into a Santro.

    Also, it has to be easy to maintain, since I dont like to spend too much time/money on fixing things. Much rather spend my time using these gizmos.

    Some of the options I’ve seen are Hero, Hercules, Raleigh, Firefox, Trek and I’m thoroughly confused.

    Also, should I buy with the gears or without. Never used geared bikes before and so am not too sure of the benefits really… So, would appreciate any help there….

    Which bike would you folks suggest and why?

    Thank you for your comments in advance.


  2. I am a Specialist Knee Replacement surgeon in Ahmedabad – 45 years. I cycle regularly and long distance. I and my cycling partner cycle 80 – 100 km on Sundays. I am looking for a good Road cycle. Have surfed the web looking for options in India and only two look feasible – Firefox and Trek 1200. I am looking for anyone’s opinion on any of these Road bikes (not mountain bikes) and also feedback on good dealers. I am willing to pay the price and go distance to procure a good cycle. Currently preparing for a 600 km expedition in December – so need to get used to the new bike by that time.

    Dr. Harsh Shah

  3. Dear Sir,
    Can u let us know your contact number.
    What is believe that u need a bike which is a touring bike. Trek 1200 is a typical road racing bike and will not suit you for this purpose.if u can mail me on the following i will be greatful.


    Sandeep Sinha

  4. was searching for some info on Firefox Bike and came across this blog…it was good to know about BICYCLE here and had good time reading through all the comments…i wanted to buy a bike for some on road cycling,indian roads though,no mountain biking for sure so wanted some good advice on that…and also i went out to a few shops for it and was planning on Spectrum steel,this: http://la-sovereign.com/products.php?category=33&title=MEN%60Z%20CLUB
    but that was before i heard about firefox,now i want u guys to help me decide good bike for two price ranges i.e for 9k and for 14k…i am just a starter so help me here,ah forgot to tell one thing that i am from Hyderabad so any shop info is welcome for some good bike..thank you

  5. forgot to add few things to my previous query…the bike i was asking about,Spectrum,has very good feature of removing the tyres for without any hassel and the gear shift system is of the click type rather than the rotary system has pretty decent mud guards too and its costing around 9k…so help me buy a good value for money bike…

  6. I am really surprised to know that there are so many Cycling enthusiasts who can appreciate a well designed bike. But i still have my doubts. Are all these people really going to regularly use these bikes or they are buying them just as a style statement as they anyways have surplus money.

  7. Hi
    We have a Firefox Bike station in H-bad the contact person is Mr, Shah-09959592424.
    U can have a chat with him and let me know how can i help u.


  8. Thanks for the info Mr.Ravi,but i already bought a bicycle and did find the Firefox Bike station there but bought one from other place which i felt was more value for money for me since i just need something for exercise.Thanks again.

  9. Hi Harish,

    Could you please share information on the bike you chose finally. What were the pros and cons versus Firefox? I’ve seen Firefox and I think that while the firefox and trek bikes are good, they’re simply too expensive. Feels like they’re ripping us off with these rates, especially considering that these bikes are not even manufactured in the US or UK.

    So, its important to have an alternative to them, and therefore, would love to know more about your purchase and how its performing…


  10. hi,
    can somebody tell me if the firefox reloaded and target models are available in metro?

  11. hi,
    please ride a TREK before investing in a FIREFOX….you’ll know why the trek’s are much superior right away….the feel of the bike is great…and the frame is light strong and well balanced…i went out to buy a firefox target and ended up buying a trek 3700 which cost me Rs 3,520 more…but trust me…it was really worth it…even the firefox viper didn’t feel as much good…

  12. Hello Lalit,
    i was not into cycles before this purchase so not good in comparing the two bikes but the main reason i bought the LA Sovereign was the price tag,cost me 8500/-,compared to 10k+ for Attitude,which i was interested in.The price difference can buy me the small accessories which might be needed.
    The bike i bought is very good though,the brakes work just fine even in wet conditions.The suspension is also good when riding on roads with those small holes and ditches .It is light in weight,looks good.Came with water bottle,might not be a big deal as for the water bottle but its a plus for me.Will surely recommend this one.

  13. I’ve given up trying to buy a bike in India. Ignorant and could not care less staff, non existent support, no third partly upgrades. When I was in Leh I contacted Firefox six times to try and get an air shipping quote to Ladakh. I got nothing so gave up on the idea. I’m now in Goa and tried to contact their station in Panjim but the number they give out does not work. I tried emailing Mr Kumar whose email address is given here but the email bounced back. I tried to find an LA Soveriegn but their page for distributors is being ‘updaded’. I’m an English journalist and was planning to write an article on buying a bike in India, but I’ve now canned the idea because it can be summed up in one word: don’t.

  14. Further to the above post, I tried to order an LA Sovereign from the company website. It’s displayed but when I tried to add it to my cart I was told ‘product not available’. I can’t think of a country in the world where buying a bicycle is so complicated.

  15. Hey,

    I second Brian’s comments about it being so difficult to buy a bike in India. I’ve found most bikes in India really high priced and most sales people ignorant or plain not interested.

    So, rather than sit and mope about it, I’m looking at getting off my butt and doing something about it. Thats right, I’m thinking of getting into the bicycle business myself.

    Would love any inputs from such passionate bikers as the ones on this forum. Anyone who would like to partner with me is most welcome.
    Hopefully, we will be able to ensure that in the future, bike buying in India would not be so difficult as it is today.

    Suggestions, partnerships, assistance, capital, anything at all will be most welcome….


  16. Hey dude….Thanks for this post man…REALLY REALLY helpful mate 🙂

    Vignesh Raja

  17. Hi, Brain
    How are you sorry for the inconvi. caused. I was travelling,I am giving you my office number again
    u can contact me and let see how can i help you.

    Sandeep Sinha

  18. Hi Guys,

    I was just planning to buy a good bicycle and so I visited a showroom in Jayanagar. And I was impressed by the bikes he had.
    Thankfully I did not buy anything from there. After reading this blog I feel I need to really do some research and rethink about buying a imported bicycle.
    I just want a good light weight bike for regular use.

    After sale service is something you cannot expect in India. But atleast spares should be available and hopefully not as costly has 300 rupees for a cable. Even a TVS Fiero original clutch wire is 75 rupees.

    Thanks anyway

  19. Hello Farooq,
    Did u find majority who say that Firefox is not a good bike. I think there will be 2 in 100. Now as far as the service is concerned yes it was an issue but we have tried our level best to sort it out for our valued customer.Issue was not all across the country if u go to the entire blog and the feed back you will find that the talks are only moving around B-lore. So we have taken this very seriously and planned it in a proper way that our valued customer is not hurt. we have appointed a good mech. there who takes care of all the issues,if he is not able to do it then our HO engineer is in touch with him and ensure that the issue is solved.

    You can always expect a good aftersales service in India only somtimes it take time which we have to work on that and ensure that our customer get timely service.

    Firefox Team (India)

  20. Hi friends,
    felt nice after reading the blog ,
    I see marketing happening in the blog from the dealers rather sharing
    some experiences that wud guide beginners buy a bicycle worth the money they are paying for

    beginners, I wud like to share experiences regarding buying a cycle
    for the budget minded
    1,It is to be noted that there is a considerable amount of ignorance about the specifications of a bicycle from the dealers side which I have observed while communicating with them,so u better browse sites to get little knowledge about fabrication like welds,chasis material,shocks,caliper pads,shifters, derailers,chain ,sprocket etc etc
    2,Note i had observed a difference in courtesy exhibited by the dealer before and after the deal ie buying the product.
    3,shud be very careful about the originality of a gear,gear shifters,cables,chain sprockets etc etc.
    4,better to try the bike on road before the deal to check the effectiveness of the brakes or effective clamping of the calipers ie the discs(on load ie with momentum).(since my rear calipers dont clamp effectively)
    5,As per my experience there is very less trained expertise in servicing around (since I was taken through a trial and error mode of repair which could even damage ur existing parts).
    6,better to have a look at the set of tools u might have to keep for ur personal safety.(I brought a whole set of allenkeys when i found our service guys had very limited ones)

    I have heard RAJA CYCLE MART,SJP road to be a better place where u cud expect good knowledge,understanding ,co-operation ,quality and the best price in Bangalore

  21. AND for those ones who can afford good light weight FIREFOX,TREK series bikes better ship ur bike from abroad(its value for money) and assemble it urself or get it assembled At least Your bike will have all original parts(if not u can legally sue them).This wud help u from keeping urself away from the dealer customer mess and Humiliation in Future

  22. Just finished 600 km of cycling on Trek bike in just 4 days. No problem at all. Gear shifting is as smooth as it gets. I did change the saddle to a Serfas one which I already had and was used to it. Samir and Happy Hanspal at the Firefox Bikestation in Nerul, Navi Mumbai have been more than helpful. I am not aware of the firefox brand – but Trek works wonderfully.

  23. Hi Guys

    Hadn’t seen this link before buying the Firefox Warrior recently. But just trawled on the net for info, and Viola! this treasure trove is what I find.

    Great thread that you have started, Sree. Looks to be quite Bangalore centric, but would appreciate sharing notes with cyclists in Mumbai. Manoj, I stay right next to the National Park in Borivli, so a weekend cycling trip would be a great idea to meet and share ideas. Anyone else game for this?

    Hypercity markets the Raleigh brand. Anyone has an opinion about those models? They come in a price range from 4K to 1.5 lakh!

    Was looking at buying a light bike with decent shock absorbers for long commutes. The Warrior fit the bill as the Octane lacked the appeal, no matter how many times i tried it out. Agonised over the decision for months, before settling for a Firefox.

    The handle bar is just the right size (the Octane has those dorky end protectors, and the mudguards are plain old school). Did have an after thought that maybe, just maybe, the Octane would look better if the mudguards and handleguards were removed.

    Here’s one point that I noticed. The Hero range of Aluminium bikes use the 6061aluminium alloy, whereas the Raleigh (and probably, the Firefox Warrior) use the 7075. I was taught in Aviation school that the 6000 series of Al alloy is more flexible, however more susceptible to salt water corrosion that the 7000 series. 7075 is more rigid, hence used for the under surface of aircraft wings whereas 6065 is used everywhere else. The rigidity coupled with the lure of a better welding job may tip the scale in the favour of the imported brands. Trust me, the weld in an aluminium assembly is where the first signs of structural weakness show up. How much all this applies to a bicycle, only an expert can say. Of course, the Munjals of Hero lose out to Firefox in the marketing department, as is evident by Mr. Sandeepkumar’s active involvement in this discourse.

    I only hope that his promises indeed translate into action, and that the service end of the package is well looked after.

    The lady at the Malad, Mumbai shop sounded quite convincing in her spiel that support will not be a problem, especially since theirs’ was a family (the Jalarams) that has been in the business for a real long time.

    It’s only after my card was swiped that I sensed an attitude change in the dealer. I was given neither a warranty card nor an instruction manual, just a couple of allen keys, an a multi-wrench. She told me that the above items are available only with the geared models. Please note that, she did tell me that the product was covered by a 1 year warranty and servicing. And I still have not had the opportunity of testing their mettle at servicing. What left me apprehensive was their finesse or rather, the lack of it as the deal was being wrapped up.

    I’ve posted a query on the firefox website, and waiting for a reply.

    Although the idea was to build up gradually to do the daily 20 Km commute to office, my initial tryst with the roads of Mumbai made me realise a few facts. It’s hightime that a movement to have cycle tracks on Mumbai roads be started, because the sceptre of getting mowed down by a speeding dumpster is quite real now. Cycling through traffic is perilous, and it becomes all the more hazardous after dark.

    I would strongly recommend the use of High visibility jackets (bright green or orange with reflective tape) that is easily available for approx Rs. 75/- to Rs.100/- while cycling on Mumbai’s mean streets.

    I still have not gathered the guts to try out the daily commute, but suggestions and support is welcome.

  24. hi,
    can u give me your contact number pls that i can solve the problem ASAP.
    Sorry for the late reply as i was in Coimbatore to promote cycling.I saw ravi was in touch with u.

    Sandeep kumar sinha

  25. Hi Mr. Sinha

    My number is 09869215051. Actually came over here to gripe that nobody has contacted me from Firefox.. I have had not been contacted by Mr. Ravi.

  26. Hi Mr Sinha !
    In what way are your Firefox and Trek cycles better than LA Sovereign cycles. Please give me the details,like the suspension forks used, the thickness of the frame, the derailleurs, the shifters. the cranks, the brakes, etc. the details given in the firefox brochure is just too less.

    Next. i talked to Mr Raja at Pune. The Trek 3700 and the Firefox Target were not there. However i did test the Merida cycles. Upon enquiry, i was told that i wont be getting the cable lock, mud guards along with the cycle. However, the LA Sovereign dealer offered the same with the cycle alongwith gloves( minor, yes, but good.).

    Please reply soon, as I will be buying a bike in 3 days time.

  27. Hello Swyam if you can give me your mail id then i can give you the full details of Merida bikes. and while you see the components you will come to know why Trek is better than Merida both interms of specs. and price vis-a -vis Firefox bikes

    Sandeep Sinha

  28. Hello Sandeep Sinha,
    Thanks for your active participation in this blog. I bought Firefox reloaded few months back paying a final price of 17k. I bought the firefox lock along with it. I was told that it was a good lock. To my dismay the lock broke away less than a month of me buying it. I took it to the CMH road showroom in B’lore where I had bought my bike and the lock was taken back saying that it will be repaired (Even though it was new). I have gone there almost 5-6 times and everytime I am told that they will contact me the next week but have not heard from them. Could you please look into it and ensure that I get a new piece and not a repaired one after spending so much of money and goin through such a bad experience of service. You can contact me at onesimuskr@gmail.com

  29. Hi,
    I have send you a mail. can u give me your contact number pls


  30. Hi Bikers,

    After a long search and research on Biking in India, I came across this forum. I decided to buy the bike for general use. My usage is for daily purpose and to do some exercise as well as adventure. I have zeroed on two bike which are almost in the same price bracket. One is Trek 3700 and another is Viper. I have tried Trek 3700 in one of the local stores in Hyderabad (not the bike station), yes my knowledge was much superior to the sales person. But I finally decided to go for Viper, which I liked most design wise and looks. I just paid the advance amount and I am waiting for the cycle to be brought from the warehouse and to be assembled. I am expected to get delivered on Sunday. Do you have any suggestions, which one would have made the better one for me. I am just 93kgs and not much of physical exercise in recent past except for walking of 2 to 3 KM per day. I want to use it for both exercising and for adventure. I have few mountain trails near my house and I want to use them over the weekends. May be after some time I can go for another bike that could be Trek 3700, so I need your suggestion.

    With Rgds,


  31. hello,
    You have selected a good bike for you. You can use Viper on and off roads but no stunts and jump.Just use a right combination of gears and keep in touch with me at sandeepkumar@firefoxbikes.com.

    Sandeep Sinha

  32. Hi Sandeep,
    Thanks for the contact details. I just wanted to know that… What I get in standard package of Viper. I mean what accessories like basic tool kit, Instruction manual, Gurantee Card etc. Such kind of info could be published on the website.

    I have asked the dealer to assemble infront of me. Such that I can supervise the assembly done by a local mechnic. I don’t think they are trained.

    I would like to give you the feedback after I get the bike. May be we can more communication in near future.

    With Rgds,

  33. Shree
    i am 15 now, my uncle wants to present me a bicycle, the selection of the bike is left to me, hence i want to know from u that which would be the best indian terrian bike and foreign terrian bike with and without gears, pl advice.



  34. Hi Rajneesh,
    Can u let me know from where did u get this bike???


  35. Hi Sandeep,

    Nice to see that you are communicating with the end users and potential customers to improve the after sales of such a brand which has yet to find a place in Indian Minds. After spending 15K on the bike (cycle :-)) I am very much satisfied the way bike is behaving, I am just worried about the services. I want to send you mail with the experience I went through. From the packing to the assembly and modifications. I bought this bike from Balaji Traders in Hyderabad. I think the dealers have to change their mindset, they are just selling a cycle which is expensive, but I think they have to sell a relationship if they really want to make it an impact with these bikes. I was off an idea that people like me can associate with such dealers to promote more and give a more technical guidance to the potential customers. I think many of the sales guys (mechnics) in these dealers are not aware of the bikes they have and the difference among them. For example, the mechnic at this store was trying to convince me that the displayed Trek3700 was Target. But you know how different they are to each other. Even the response from the Hyderabad’s Bike station was not so impressive. When I called up these guys to get the price of Viper they just quoted the price, thats all the phone hung. They never asked me my contact details or in which bike I was interested and can I take the test ride. If you want to really sell this bikes in India then you have to go an extra mile to get the customer to visit the showroom, test some bikes and then make the decision. If the initial response itself is bad then selling these bikes would be really tough and customer will not have a second thought for going for a bike. Another thing which I wanted to highlight is like the trainning of mechnics. Since, I could built some rapo with this guy as I visited few times before I could make up my mind to go for Viper, I asked wether he was trained and he said no!! (mind this guy has experience as mechnic for 22 years) and he was the only guy who was working on MTB and ATB in that stores. I asked the reason and he told me that his boss (the owner of the stores) was not interested in sending him for such trainnings, saying that he knows all. But I think all the Bike stations or dealers should be given the chance only after a proper trainning is given to their mechanics. Since, they try to adjust something in the crude way rather than to do it in a simple way.

    I will soon post my experinence on the purchase of the Viper and using the same. Another suggestion would like to give is, why not the website have a online store where we can purchase the accessories. I found that they may not be available in the local stores and I would have to travel nearly 30Km twice to order once and then get them next time. Instead we can purchase them online and get it delivered at our doorsteps using courier.

    – I was told on the website that I would become the member of Firefox community automatically when I purchase the bike. But I don’t know what is the procedure followed. I have returned one portion of the Gurantee card which asked for such details, but with most of the fields unfilled.

    Thanks for communicating with us. I hope this relation continues like this in order to improve the after sales.

    With Rgds,


  36. hi,
    Thanks for the prompt reply. in any case you have my cell number you can call me anytime and i assure you our best of services.

    Sandeep Sinha
    HOD Sales and operations
    Firefox bikes India

  37. Hi Sandeep Sinha,
    My contact number is 09845719868. Thanks.

  38. Hi Sandeep,
    Thank you very much for calling me. Its much appreciated. The Firefox lock which I had bought earlier was not available so the shopkeeper gave me another lock of some other company. Anyway I got some lock finally after 5 months. Thanks a lot Sandeep for your help.

  39. Hi Sandeep

    Appreciate your efforts. Talking to you and your colleague technician was interesting. You’ve stepped in to create a market where none existed before. All the best. The bike turns heads wherever i go.

  40. hi ! im thinking about buying an MTB [ with full susp if poss.] which can take a few jumps n some thrashings.. someone said here, the viper is not for jumps n only for offroading.. for an expensive bike like the viper it shud be able to take jumps etc i believe.. anyways pls suggest me something which is value for money n fun to ride too. also somebody pls tell something about RALEIGH bike marketed at hypercity [ hypercityargos.com] .. thanks!

  41. Hi Nitesh,

    If you are looking for the Full suspension range then propably you can go for the Firefox Reload2.1 or the SFX04. I have tested both these bikes and both were good. Regarding the Viper, may be Sandeep didn’t suggest for the stunts as my weight was beyond the limits :-). Both the bikes are good to handle and I have tested them only on the plane surfaces. If you are going for the RALEIGH bike make sure you have some one in India to get the spares and repair for you. Otherwise you will landup in trouble.

    That’s my piece of advice. I think sandeep can suggest you some other bikes also.

    With Rgds,


  42. thanks rajneesh.. hows the cosmic ? n even the 24″ sfx- 05 ? i think 24inchers will be more easy to ride n perform stunts..

  43. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!please do not take firefox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. there is no service………………………………once taken… u are in a great problem

  45. instead of firefox u can take HERO OCTANE……………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. this is a very very very good company

  47. today my father went 2 officer

    now my cycle is perfect…………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Hi Sid,

    I am sorry for the trouble you went through but slowly I think firefox has started looking at the after sales and they are trying to improve it. You can see the communication above which indicates that some of the long pending requests have been sorted out. And in my view if you want to take up biking seriously, then you should know your bike and to repair it. You should build a relation between you and your bike. That is how you will come to know what is wrong with it. I didn’t see any difference in the services offered from other companies too. I have already faced the problem with Hero Cycles, Atlas Cycles and TI cycles. I have sent countless mails to them when I was out of country just to understand which bike suits me, forget about the reply, I didn’t received a confirmation mail also.

    So, IMHO the after sales may not be matching that of the Bikes and Cars but they have taken few steps forward in sorting out the issues. And I don’t think the Hero Octane would be any better stuff until you face problems.

    With Rgds,


  49. Hello Sid,

    What is your problem let me know how can i help you. Then your options are open i am no one to compell u to buy Firefox
    Do write to me at sandeepkumar@firefoxbikes.com
    Sandeep Sinha

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