Here’s what you need to know before buying a bicycle — we’re talking about the various types of bikes, how to choose a size online, the rules of the road and popular online stores to check out.
If you’ve caught the riding bug recently, you’re not alone! Weaving in and out of traffic and pathways, there are a ton of gorgeous bicycles on display out on the streets. Yet, which of these should you get — and should you even be bike shopping online? Lucky for you, we’re here to answer all your queries when it comes to getting a bicycle online and what to look out for. So if a bike’s what you’re after, keep on scrolling.
Part I: What You Need To Know When Bike Shopping
(A) Types of Bicycles
So you’re interested in jumping on the bandwagon, but which bike should you go for? Based on your lifestyle or interests, here are the various kinds of bicycles on the market for you to choose from when bike shopping online.
1. Road Bikes
Best for riding fast on tarmac, road bikes are quick and efficient thanks to their lightweight frames and skinny tyres that allow for maximum speed with minimum effort. The presence of dropped handlebars also makes for great support for riders to get into that aerodynamic position. However, this position could prove to become increasingly uncomfortable and road bikes are prone to damage because of the nature of their wheels and tyres — especially when colliding with kerbs and potholes.
Still interested? Well, here are three kinds for you to choose from — endurance, lightweight and aero road bikes.
(a) Endurance Road Bikes
These bikes are built to withstand the wear and tear of rough-surfaced roads, especially over long distances. This means larger shock-absorbent tyres and a seat that allows for an upright, and hence, more comfortable riding position. While more compliant and durable, this type of road bike won’t be as agile as the others.
(b) Lightweight Road Bikes
As its name suggests, lightweight road bikes are versatile in nature. This makes it great for both going uphill and traversing across bumpy surfaces, the one to get if you’re in search of an all-rounder bike. Unfortunately, it isn’t as comfortable as the endurance road bike but it is way more agile and can handle sharper turns too.
(c) Aero / Race Road Bikes
Training for a triathlon or dreaming of becoming a professional racer? Then this is the one for you. Forget comfort, you’re here for the speed and aerodynamic performance of the bike. Where most riders fail is the flexibility and endurance needed to hold themselves in that core-crunching position over extended periods.
2. Mountain Bikes
Right on the other end of the spectrum from road bikes, are mountain bikes. If road bikes were the elves, mountain bikes would be the dwarfs of Middle Earth. It’s hardy and gritty, making it great for rough terrains. It might be heavy and slow on the tarmac, but put it on the dirt road and it’s in its element. With great brakes and aggressive tyres, mountain bikes find grip on almost any surface. Of course, the gearing and suspension here are of utmost importance — especially when doing off-road riding.
3. Gravel Bikes
Credits: Bike Exchange
Can’t decide between a road bike or a mountain bike? Then go for a gravel bike. This choice is gaining increasing traction amongst bicycle enthusiasts, especially those who crave adventure — but wish to get off the smooth tarmac every now and then. It’s similar in terms of looks and speed to that of a road bike, but it’s way hardier and can be fitted with a bunch of add-ons to suit your expedition — mudguards included. You’ll also be able to load up saddlebags, or your luggage of choice, on these bikes.
4. Speed Bikes
Minimalists, heads up! These single speed bikes or fixed-gear bicycles, also known as fixies, are the best option for quick and simple commuting. They are very reliable because they’ve only got a front brake to deal with, so you don’t have to deal with much upkeep. However, nothing good comes without its share of difficulties — these bikes take a while to get used to, especially if you’re going uphill a lot.
5. City Bikes
Incredibly popular on Instagram as a rideable prop to get one to any picnic destination comfortably (sun hats and flowy dresses included), these city bikes are also great for hassle-free riding and known for their durability. However, don’t expect much speed or agility from these bikes because they tend to be on the heavier side and are usually single-geared.
6. Electric Bikes
The last time I rode on an e-bike, I was rolling around the hills of Bordeaux on a cycling tour of several chateaux and vineyards — and that’s exactly what an electric bike is great for. Uphills will never be the same again because you barely have to do any paddling with your feet. and it’s incredibly fun! On the downside, these bikes are really heavy and require a disciplined amount of recharging. Not to mention, they each carry a hefty price tag.
Just note that as of now, you will need to pass an e-bike safety theory test to ride on public paths such as roads, Park Connector Networks, cycling paths and other shared paths in Singapore. Your power-assisted bike will also need to be sealed with the LTA approved seal, be registered and affixed with a proper rear registration number plate. Most importantly, remember to steer clear of pedestrian pathways!
7. Foldable Bikes
Last but definitely not least, we’ve got foldable bikes. These bikes range from affordable to aspirational, but all cater to the convenience of commuters. Great for short rides and small spaces, you can port these bikes around via a train or bus and continue your commute to work before stowing it all below your desk.
How To Choose A Bike For Your Size Online
Now that you know the type of bike you want, let’s talk about sizing. Sizes different between the types of bikes, men’s and women’s models, as well as the various manufacturers. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to look out for their sizing charts and fit calculations. If possible, it would help if a local store sold the same bike — go down to the brick and mortar and give it a try, then get a better deal online.
As a rule of thumb, when deciding on the right height for your bike — ensure that there are one or two inches between the tube and your crotch. If the bike you’re looking at rocks a sloping top tube, make sure that there are at least two inches of clearance.
Biking Rules in Singapore
There are quite a few, so bear with me!
1. Must-have Equipment
First of all, you need to have at least one functioning handbrake or you might incur a first-time offence of up to $10,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months!
Cyclists are also required to have a white front light and red rear light that you need to switch on when it gets dark.
On paths marked for cyclists’ or part of the park connectors (PCN), you’re allowed to go up to 25 km/h, otherwise, you are required to stick to 10km/h.
3. Road Rules
Only cyclists and e-bike riders are allowed to ride on roads (expressways and tunnels not included) but must obey all traffic signals and wear a helmet.
And of course, do not use your phone when riding on the roads or public paths — the penalty for that is up to S$1000 and/or a jail term of up to three months.
Part II: Where To Buy Your Bicycle Online
Now that you’re well-versed with the road rules, plus the types of bike and their sizing formula — it’s time for the fun part. Let’s go bike shopping! While there are many choices for bicycles online, we scoured the web for the best sites and a viable option from each of them.
No stranger to cyclists around the world, Specialized is famed as an innovator of the bike market — which comes as no surprise since their founder was the first to mass-produced mountain bikes! However, they have since expanded their reach to commuter e-bikes and road bikes. The best part? Each bicycle comes fully assembled for you, plus you can always go down to the brick and mortar to make sure that you get the right fit. One of their standouts would be the Specialized Tarmac, a road racing bike that is a combination of aero and lightweight road bikes.
Delivery to Singapore: Free for orders above S$100, otherwise it’s S$9.90
Price range: from S$7500
Get your bike shopping done here.
2. Evans Cycles
Credits: Evans Cycles
Made in the UK, this British cycle retailer was founded by London cyclist and inventor Frederick Evans in 1921. With such a rich and long history, we aren’t surprised that they are home to some of the most well-known bike brands such as Pinnacle, Brompton, Cannondale, Raleigh and Trek. However, today we are earmarking the Pinnacle Lithium Hybrid Bike. A best-seller, this bike goes anywhere and can do it all — whether you’re planning to take it to the mountains or tour the city!
Delivery to Singapore: from £15.80 (~S$29.30)
Price range: from £300 (~S$560.70)
Get your bike shopping done here.
Indonesia is known for many things, but one prized possession would be its spectacular mountains. Of course, with that, naturally comes an Indonesian brand known for affordable mountain bikes. However, they also specialise in city bikes — such as this Polygon Zeta 2, a compact ride that has become an all-time favourite amongst riders worldwide. It’s so small that you can even bring it into the elevator!
Delivery to Singapore: from S$45 (inclusive of assembly), or free pick up in-store.
Price range: from S$799
Get yours here.
Of course, we cannot create a bicycle listicle without addressing everyone’s favourite sports retailer — decathlon. Other than coming up with their own line of skateboards and clothing, they’ve also got a range of bicycles. This includes the Tilt 100 20in Folding Bike, an affordable alternative to the Brompton. It also already conforms to LTA’s regulations for buses and trains, so you have one less thing to worry about when hopping on board your choice of commute come Monday!
Delivery to Singapore: from S$20, or collect it for free in three days.
Price range: from S$200
Get your bike shopping done here.
5. R&A Cycles
Credits: R&A Cycles
If you’re on the search for rare parts and frames, you might wish to check out this flagship pro bike shop founded by Philip Cabbad in 1976. Not only do they guarantee the best rates and most expedited service, but they’ve also got a healthy selection of all types of bikes— triathlon-approved ones included. They’ve even got the Scott Plasma Premium Bike on there, a bicycle that is known for its elite-level triathlon functions i.e. a lightweight carbon frame and an integrated hydration system to boot!
Delivery to Singapore: Shipping has to be done via FedEx and DHL Global, and is dependent on weight and size.
Price range: from US$2000 (~S$2696)
Get your bike shopping done here.
Let’s Go Bike Shopping Now!
With so many types of bicycles on the market, we hoped that this list helped you narrow your search down when bike shopping! While choosing the right one might seem overwhelming at times, we suggest you enjoy the ride — and make the most out of it by checking out with your YouTrip Card to lock in those attractive Wholesale Exchange Rates!
Once you’ve picked out your bike of choice, you might even want to check out this comprehensive activewear list, or our bicycle accessories guide, so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready to take on the roads and park connectors safely, and in style.
If you still haven’t gotten your free YouTrip card, use our special promo code <BLOG5> to sign up and receive a free S$5 in your account!
*All currency conversion rates are accurate to nearest 10 cents on 8 September 2021 SGT 12:01 PM. Bank card prices are calculated based on 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee.