Nicely Made In China product of the week is a bike. Not your everyday bike! A carbon mountain bike!
NMIC has asked a few questions to Chiru endurance bikes CEO Pierre-Arnaud Le Magnan.
Pierre-Arnaud when and why did you start Chiru Endurance Bikes?
We started in February 2009. We make mountain bikes exclusively and only made of carbon. It is a product specially designed for endurance races and adventure racing. The reason I started this company stems out of a passion for bicycle making. I had been building my own bikes for 5 years and thought I might share that passion. As for the idea of using carbon it came from a long-term association – 20 years – with carbon-made sports products.
Where does the name of the company come from?
The company was named after the antelope that roams the Himalayas. The chiru is a much sought after animal for its hair, the finest in the world – 6 microns!- which gives the famous shatoosh. Chirus live in the most arid and inhospitable parts of the world. That’s exactly what we ask of our bikes: survive the toughest conditions.
When it comes to bikes what are the main qualities of carbon?
Most bikes are made of aluminium or titanium. The problem is that when you are racing in full autonomy there’s no way you can repair a broken aluminium tube in the middle of nowhere. Carbon allows you just that: to repair anywhere and to keep racing. In case you had a fall and a crack in your frame…Just sand over the damaged area, cut and lay-up carbon fiber cloth on the crack zone, mix your epoxy resin and apply it onto the carbon fiber cloth with a brush, then tape it to apply pressure which will guarantee a good bonding, let it dry for 6 hours and off you go !! Other carbon strong points include its good performances and riding comfortability.
Who designs the Chiru bikes?
I do! In association with someone based in California. They’re built in a factory near Guangzhou. Our production is 100 units per year so far.
Where can « nicely made in China » readers buy them?
Which famous riders use your bikes?
Angel Garbarino is well-known among adventure and endurance racers. Chiru bikes is also about to sign a contract with one of the top adventure racing teams. In Beijing, to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one Chiru bike, owned by one or our racing team member Mark Thirlwall.
Can you give us the price for one of those machines?
Starting price is under US$3,000 for a Laktik model in hard tail – without rear suspension for the non-specialist – and of course without the pedals. Our bikes are assembled with Truvativ equipment for the saddle tube and the crank, the derailleur is made by Sram, the brakes by Avid and the front fork by Rock Shox.
Tel: +852 94 01 30 15
(Photos Pierre-Arnaud Le Magnan)