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A total newbie here. I'm planning to upgrade a single speed to geared one road/tour bike. I haven't decided the gear system though. I guess I'll decide that upon availability of the parts.

Well, I am looking for a budget but reliable alternative to Shimano brand gears.

I live in India. Can anyone suggest some other brands? Also are there any local companies?

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    Suntour are the go-to budget brands, and I believe they are BASED in India. – yollooool Feb 23 '19 at 14:06
  • It may not be that simple. Is your current frame capable of being upgraded to handle gearing? Does it have a place for a rear derailleur? Can you run shifter cables on it? Is the rear dropout width correct to hold a geared rear wheel, such as currently available 130 or 135 mm? If not, is it a steel frame that can be cold set (otherwise called "bent") to be wider? If it's an aluminum frame and doesn't have wide-ehough rear dropouts, you can't safely bend it. – Andrew Henle Feb 23 '19 at 14:49
  • Are you trying to modify a single speed to be a multi-geared bike? Or are you upgrading by replacing the whole bike? – Criggie Feb 23 '19 at 20:36
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Changing major features of a bike (e.g., drop/flat handlebars, gears/no gears) is rarely an economical option. There are all kinds of compatibility issues (e.g., different drop-out width, nowhere to mount a derailleur, etc.) and overcoming these takes time and money and tends to leave you with a worse bike.

Usually, the most economical and most effective way of making this kind of major change is to sell the bike you don't want and buy the bike you do want, possibly second-hand.

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What’s wrong with Shimano? They offer good range of budget group sets.

SRAM is of course another option.

Do some research on converting s single speed bike to derailleur gears. Single speed bikes typically have narrower rear hub spacing that does not allow for a cassette. They also lack derailleur hangers and cable mounting bosses. You can get over these problems with special parts but it’s not straightforward.

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I also wouldn't advocate adding gears to a single speed bike; it's unlikely to be economical and is unlikely to give as good a result as buying a geared bike. This related question has some other ideas in the accepted answer, but probably don't count as budget.

Looking on Decathlon's Indian website, they sell road bikes with Shimano Tourney derailleurs and also Microshift, both good budget options. They also sell hybrid bikes with Suntour and Microshift components. Some of these look a little outdated compared to the high end products these companies also offer, but I don't think this means they are any less reliable.

These are all established brands, recognised worldwide and with reputations to maintain - they should be reliable parts or have reasonable support from the manufacturer if problems do occur.

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