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Expensive bike to rival cheapest car

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A company in India has launched a new bicycle costing more than twice as much as the world's cheapest car.

Following the launch of Tata's £1,300 Nano vehicle, Murugappa Group's TI Cycles hopes to target another niche market with its £2,700 bicycle, which will require a substantial bike insurance policy.

For many people living in Indian villages and towns, bikes are the cheapest and most efficient vehicle to own, but a majority have a standard model costing between £23 and £34.

But research suggests that the trend is changing and traditional bicycles are losing market share and now account for only 50% of the 10 million Indian cycle market.

L Ramkumar, managing director of TI Cycles, said: "A lot of rural and urban poor have moved on from cycles to motorised two-wheelers. There has also been a shift in the urban Indian lifestyle, where the concept of cycling is moving towards fitness, sports and recreation."

The company promises handcrafted bicycles fitted with tubeless tyres and cutting-edge technology in gears and shock absorbers, perfect for riding on bumpy roads.

© Press Association 2009