If you are deciding between foldable bike, road bike or mountain bike, do read on.
Cycling is a fun way to explore Singapore and overseas. It is an interesting way for families to explore the neighbourhood and enjoy some bonding moments too.
Cycling is a Life Skill for kids.
Click on the image below for our cycling journeys in SG and overseas.
Before I bought a foldie for myself, I had hijack the Mrs’ BTwin bike (from Decathlon).
In this post, I would be sharing the benefits of Foldie (also know as foldable bike). In the second blog post, I will share the challenges which I encountered while shortlisting my foldie.
Why do you need a foldie?
-If you need speed, go for road bike
-Off-road, choose mountain bike
-If convenience and mobility, a foldie will follow you to the last mile
1)Mobility. Just roll your bike into MRT and explore every corner in Singapore, North East South West!
The other cycling options to explore Singapore “corners” would be round-island trip (100 to 150km!) or car transport (bike racks). Option 1 requires significant fitness, time and map reading efficiency. Option 2 requires you to go back to same carpark.
Only Foldies offer you the best flexibility.
Biking to your office is easier with a foldie. As a bonus, you can consider packing your foldie for oversea rides too!
Do take note that 20″ or 16″ wheels will be much smaller than 27.5″ wheels. You will “feel” more potholes and uneven grounds. Eg a 451 wheel (speed) would have lesser grip than profile 406 (better comfort and a bit off road).
2. SMALL! Foldie has a smaller footprint and is normally lighter, thus it is easier to keep. Just roll into your office or take public transport.
We can pack six foldies into our MPV comfortably, and we do not need the car rack 🙂
Selection criteria for foldies
Foldie is not for everyone.
My kids find foldies lame and less happening. They would prefer road bikes or even fixies!
3. Cycling style. I have listed some of the selection criteria to help you identify which brand and model is available within your budget.
-Do you ride on the road on PCN?
-Do you use your foldie for errands and neighbourhood rides (PCN), or do you intend to do trips above 30km?
-Do you need more space in your flat or car?
There is a whole spectrum of parts (and tuning) to cater from leisurely rides to extreme round island tours. More Poison!
I started with the Mrs’ Decathon’s BTWin Tilt 100 foldie. The 6 speed was good enough for PCN and neighbourhood, but I struggled with longer distance and slopes! This foldie weighs 13kg +
4. Slopes. Foldies normally have smaller gears to play with, from 7 to 11. Road bikes would easily have double. You can cycle up the steepest slopes with the smallest gear, but foldie would generally need more leg power, compared to mountain bike. (This is a small limitation)
Before I committed to a foldie, no one could tell me whether 9 speed is enough for slopes. Some might be sarcastic and tell you to train your legs first.
My question was valid for a newbie. If all things are equal, 9 speed would be easier to climb a hill compared to 7 speed, and 9 speed can definitely go faster. The only thing to sustain the momentum is stamina and legs.
I settled for a 9-speed Crius Master eventually.
And I am happy to report that 9 speed is more than enough for my riding style (15 to 50km trips). I can climb slopes easily, and 9 speed can bring me up to 25-30kmh, but requires a whole deal of ENERGY to sustain!
End of the day, Legs are 60% and Machine 40%. Train your stamina and leg power, before you upgrade more parts 🙂
5. Performance. Again, all things being equal. Foldies are less nimble than mountain bike. My other bike, a 27.5″ RockRider mountain bike can “anyhow” turn and swerve and is still rock stable.
I feel my foldie is more rigid, maybe I have not pushed it to the limit. You can feel the difference (between foldie and road bike) when you do hard turns.
On the other hand, foldies are easier to manoeuvre on pavements (compared to mountain bikes).
6. Wheels. 20″ wheels will never be as efficient (fast) as 27″, as more rotations are need. Pure physics, as you cover longer distance faster with bigger wheels.
Humps are not foldies’ friends , even if you have suspension. Those foldies with 14″ or even 16″ wheels need to ride more safely.
7. Reliability? Foldies might be less durable than mountain bikes, due to the constant “folds” and joints. Wear and tear.
However, all the above mentioned limitations are small, compared to the various benefits.
I am having a lot of FUN on my Foldie!
8. Breakdown! Touch wood, if your foldie suffers a malfunction in the middle of the night. Just fold and take a taxi home. It is really that compact!
In part 2 of my foldable bike selection (the next blog post), I will share more questions and challenges.
After going through so much research (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram #). I was still confused. Buying a bike seems to exact more research than buying a car!
(For cars, you zoom in on Toyota, Honda and BMW established brands. Bikes have too much designs and configurations!)
In the next blog post, I will also be sharing accessories and servicing shops. More importantly, reputable bike shops (both online and brick-mortar).
You can buy your bikes from :
-Traditional bike shops
-Online Taobao (eg, without local “presence”)
-Online Carousell with local warehouse
Nothing beats a test ride, only you know which bike suits you best. Ride feel, height, colour, budget etc.
The best bike you have is the one you are cycling with now.
I am loving every moment with my Crius Master.
Disclaimer : I am sharing my bike shopping experience as a newbie. It was a steep learning curve. Do correct me if any of my presentation is wrong.
Meanwhile, do visit my family’s cycling experiences:
-(Blog post 2/2) Tips for Foldies selection
-All our Cycling journeys
–4D3N Taiwan Hualien to Taitung with two kids
– Instagram #skbCycles