It was the year 2018. The local cycle market was at its peak. The immense competition between the top local cycle manufacturers was resulting in the addition of new models of bicycles almost every month. That is when Sazzadul Islam Shifat was just thinking about replacing his old phoenix bike which he has been using as his daily commuter for over the past 6 years. However, unlike most regular buyers who would’ve gone to Bangshal and got lost in the sea of countless different models of bicycles, the case with Sazzadul was rather different. He had his preference towards a certain brand, a local brand. The bicycle he was planning to get was the Core Project 1.5.
The Core Project 1.5 has received quite the popularity among cyclists ever since the mountain bike got released back in 2014. This is not only because of the amazing specifications the cycle offered but also because of the brand value Lion Cycles had managed to build over the years.
When did you get the Core Project 1.5 and why did you choose to go with Core over other local brands? Team Turbine eagerly asked during a brief interview with Sazzadul Islam
“I purchased this bike in December of 2018. This is the third bike I’ve owned till date. With the Phoenix I’ve owned before my Core, had been part of several long rides with me during my 6 long years of ownership. Besides, I’ve also tried out many sub 25000 tk cycles owned by my friends. However, no other bike nearly appealed as much as the Core Project 1.5 for its price.” Sazzadul replied, “With the brilliantly designed graphics, the overall paint quality and the industry leading specifications it offered, it was a great package for me to use as my daily commuter.”
The model of the Core Project 1.5 which Sazzadul uses is the third and the last generation of Core Project 1.5 to be sold by Lion Cycles before the cycle manufacturer permanently halted operations back in February of 2021. When it comes to on paper specs, the Core Project 1.5 is equipped with 24 speed drivetrain which has been upgraded from the 21 speed gear train of the gen2 Project 1.5. The rear derailleur is an 8 speed Shimano Acera M360 while the front derailleur is a 3 speed entry level Shimano Tourney. The 6061 alloy frame, which is 17.5 inches tall, rests on a pair of 26 inch spoke alloy wheels wrapped around in Kenda Small Block Eight tyres. “The Kenda tyres are one of my favourite parts of my bike.”- Sazzadul mentioned when telling about the specifications of his bike to Team Turbine. Besides, for the suspension setup, the Core Project 1.5 gets a single SR Suntour XCT HLO 100mm fork in the front. Moreover, the braking system includes a pair of 160mm disk brakes from Tektro. Other specs include Neco ball bearing set, KMC chain, Shimano M310 shifters for both the front and rear derailleurs, hubs from JOYTECH and a handlebar from Xoom.
Among all the rides you’ve been to with the Core Project 1.5, which one is your favourite one and why?
While I’ll be cherishing almost all my rides and the beautiful moments I’ve got to experience with the Core Project 1.5 but if I had to choose one, it has got to be my first ever Independence Day Rally with this cycle back in 2019. Starting off from Uttara at 6:30am during a fine Spring morning and heading to Manik Mia Avenue to join BD Cyclists for the rally is surely a different experience altogether.
After cycling for so many years on both the cities and highways of Dhaka on a regular basis, what do you think is the most challenging part about riding in Dhaka?
I’ve had the opportunity to cycle on the streets of Dhaka city as well as the highways but not every ride was as nice of an experience I wanted them to be. For example, the local bus drivers are still not comfortable dealing with bicycles on highways. There were many instances where I was only inches away from a running bus. However, the most dangerous of all are the three wheelers, mainly the CNGs. Hence, my advice to new riders would be to avoid staying behind rickshaws, vans and CNGs or tailgating any vehicle during highway rides.
Let’s end this interview by asking what are your future plans with the current bike and if you have any plans to upgrade in the near future.
As for now, I’m completely satisfied with my Project 1.5. It gets the job done for me in most cases and I have no plans to sell it anytime soon actually. However, when I need to upgrade to a proper bike, I’ll try to get myself a bicycle from Trek, hopefully the Trek 3900.
Frame: Double butted hydroformed 6061 alloy tubing
Frame Sizes: 18" and 19.5"
Fork: Suntour XCT MLO 100mm
Front Dera: Shimano TX50
Rear Dera: Shimano Altus
Shifter: Shimano EF51
Chainwheel: Shimano M131
Tyre: Kenda Small Block Eight 26"X1.95"
Brakes: Promax Disk Brake