Life is simpler and easier when you can hop on a bicycle and go anywhere (almost) you want. You get to reduce your carbon footprint and shed some extra weight too. With the current cycling trend picking up speed in Singapore, it might have crossed your mind to buy your own two-wheeler — in particular, a foldable bicycle.
Foldable bicycles can be taken with you on the MRT (as long as they don’t exceed 120cm x 70cm x 40cm when folded) and are easily stashed under your desk at work, so you don’t have to lock them elsewhere at the mercy of bicycle thieves. (Singapore has managed to almost fully eradicate drug dealing and violent crime, but bicycle theft is another story.)
Where to buy foldable bicycles in Singapore
Bicycles have become something of a middle-class status symbol, with the most popular brands like Brompton and Birdy folding bikes costing upwards of $2,000. At prices like that, you’d think bicycles came with COEs too. But we managed to find some models that start from about $120 for those of you who want to jump on the folding bike bandwagon without burning a hole in your pocket.
|Bike shop||Folding bike brands||Price range|
|Jiji.sg||Not branded||$120 to $280|
|Decathlon||Btwin||$200 to $350|
|Passion Gadgets||Hito, Java||$329 to $499|
|My Bike Shop||Dahon, Tern, Bickerton||$650 to $850|
|Mighty Velo||CarryMe, Birdy||$999|
Jiji.sg – cheapest folding bikes in Singapore ($120 to $280)
If Jiji sounds like a Taobao seller, we can confirm that they’re not. But they might as well be, since they have a rather random product portfolio of furniture and fitness products at rather low prices.
There are a few foldable bicycle models priced from $119.90 to $279.90. The cheapest model is admittedly not the most elegant looking, but it can be returned within 100 days if you change your mind.
You obviously cannot expect an ultra-lite, premium quality bike at this price. But if you’re a beginner and just want a cheap model to test the waters with, Jiji.sg is one of the cheapest options to consider. And hey, you can also pick up a new sofa at the same time.
Decathlon – Btwin folding bikes ($200 to $350)
Ever since French sports shop Decathlon hit our shores, buying decent sporting goods and apparel no longer puts a strain on our budget. The prices are affordable and the product range is HUGE. The mega sporting goods retailer offers several folding bike models that range from about $200 to $350. While not uber stylish and a bit heavy, they have a simple and pleasant design that can pass for a hipster style from afar. They also come with warranties on various parts which range from 2 years to a lifetime.
Passion Gadgets – Java & Hito folding bikes ($329 to $499)
Passion Gadgets sells bicycles to people who think of bikes as gadgets. In addition to all sorts of personal mobility devices like electric scooters, e-unicycles and hoverboards, they’ve got a selection of electric and non-electric bikes.Assuming you want to do the pedalling yourself without the help of a battery, there are a few folding models from Java and Hito that range from $329 to $499. The cheapest model Java Zelo is actually decent-looking, feels quite lightweight and comes with a 6-year frame warranty.
My Bike Shop – Dahon, Tern & Bickerton folding bikes ($650 to $850)
My Bike Shop takes us out of no-name brand territory, so be prepared to pay a significant premium compared to previous bike shops. That said, you can always studiously avoid the $2,000+ models and make a beeline for the cheapest ones in the store.
Some of the less expensive models they have include Bickerton Junction 1307 ($650), which is scheduled to arrive in May 2021 and Dahon Route ($675), which is scheduled to arrive this month. Want to buy your bike without waiting for stock? The Tern Link C8 is available at $850.
Mobot – Ovo & Camp folding bikes ($799)
Mobot is a retailer of foldable bikes, mountain bikes and e-scooters. But unlike the neighbourhood e-scooter shop that also stocks unauthorised chargers, this shop serves people who identify as bike/e-scooter geeks. Great if you’re an enthusiastic hobbyist who wants to talk bikes, but not so much if you just want the cheapest bike in the shop.
Some of its cheaper models are well below $1,000, including the ultra-light Camp Lite Foldable Bicycle ($799 to $899) and the Ovo S Foldable Bicycle ($799), with each weighing less than 11kg.They also have one cheap model, Golden E086, which is going for just $289. It’s made of a heavier steel frame and weighs 15kg. At that price, you’d be better off going for a cheaper and lighter model.
Mighty Velo – CarryMe folding bike ($999)
There’s no point in buying a foldable bike only to discover that it weighs a ton. If you’re not a weight-lifting pro, the CarryMe is one ultra-light option which you can find at Mighty Velo. At $999, it’s not cheap, but you’re paying more for the convenience of having a light and easy-to-fold bike.
The 8.4kg bike is lighter than most primary school kids’ school bags in Singapore. Even when unfolded, it looks ultra compact with its teeny tiny 8-inch wheels. Due to the microscopic wheels, this is probably not the best bike to choose for anything more than short rides.
Minimotors – cheapest carbon fibre folding bike ($1,290)
The price for this Minimotors model is rather steep at $1,290. But this is actually considered a good deal for a carbon fibre bike. Carbon fibre is considered the gold standard for bike frames as it is ultra-light but absorbs vibrations well. Your butt will be less sore after a ride.
Of their three carbon fibre folding bike models, two (Volck Rhyolite and Z1 9s) are priced at $1,290. Both are sleek models weighing less than 10kg. Stock is very limited, so you’ll need to pre-order while you still can.
What about Brompton & Birdy bikes?
Bikes from these two famous brands cost upwards of $2,000. Yes, you pay for its premium quality. But let’s be honest, you’re also paying to make a fashion statement.
Still want one? Mighty Velo has Birdy bikes priced from $2,050 to $5,950. For Brompton bikes, you can visit the official Brompton Junction store at Funan mall to customise your own bike. And if you’ve really got cash to burn, there’s the Hummingbird, which costs $5,990 and weighs a miniscule 6.9kg.
How to choose a folding bike
Here are some tips for buying a folding bike you’ll actually want to use.
- Weight: If you’ll be folding the bike and lugging it around with you on the MRT, you might want to consider spending a bit more to get a lighter model. Any model under 13kg is moderate. Found one that’s under 10kg? That’s super light.
- Wheel size: Teeny tiny wheels may be cute and light, but they offer less stability, slow you down and can be a pain when covering long distances. 20-inch wheels are the most common, while 16-inch ones are still manageable. Any smaller might lead to discomfort. Think about where you’re going to ride and the kinds of distances you’ll be covering.
- Ease of folding: Some bikes fold quickly and easily, while others require herculean strength and patience. Test them out yourself before making a purchase.
- Quality: Check the brand and the materials of the different components. Higher quality components tend to be more durable.
- Warranty: Obviously, the longer the better.
Share this article with cycling enthusiasts on the hunt for a good foldable bike.
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