Buying a bicycle can be intimidating. As an absolute beginner myself, I discovered that picking the perfect bike isn't as simple as I thought it would be. I had a lot of questions - from price range, bike parts, Birdy model types and their differences - it's surely would cause information overload and you likely would be turned off by it. But worry not! I have compiled answers and prepared the right questions for you to find your perfect ride.
What am I buying a folding bike for?
Before you go into our Mighty Velo shop, whether it be offline or online, one of the things that should be on your mind is what kind of biking do you want to do? Different bikes serve different purposes. These are the three things I had in mind when thinking about buying a bike: Frequency, Duration and Terrain.
For me, as of right now in Phase 1, we are still confined in our homes as much as possible thus one of my concerns was getting enough exercise. In the long run, once we are allowed to go to work, one of the things I would want to use a bike for other than exercise is to bike to my favourite hawker places, biking to the train and to work.
Considering the three things I've mentioned before I put it into action; I would be using this bike very frequently, almost daily as I plan to bike to go to work. I'd be using it up to an hour daily as I bike to the MRT and to work and in the weekends, I would be using it to exercise. I don't often go out of my way to go to rough terrain in parks, so I would be exercising at the park or at the pavements.
With these considerations broken down, I have a clear goal in mind when I go ahead and do proper research on Mighty Velo's range of bike models.
Do I really need a foldable bike?
Sure, you and I would have a clear goal in mind, but does it really need to be foldable? Why can't I just buy a normal non-foldable bike, I asked myself. It seems like a feature to scoff at, until you realize you can't fit a full-sized bike in the back of your car without having to buy a rack of without struggling. Your mother or wife starts to complain about the huge bike by the shoe rack and you need to lock up your bicycle when it starts raining.
So with those in mind, you can see the benefits of having a foldable bike - not only does it saves the space around you, it values the space of the people around you as well. A good foldable bike can fit in the trunk of your car, under your work desk, underneath the stairs and out of people's way without sacrificing the quality of a fully functional bike.
And if you're commuting, there are parts of the world that are strict about bringing a bike on the train. In Singapore, you need to fold it to a certain dimension to bring into the train, so this is where the foldable bike part comes in most useful - plus from the videos shown, it looks easy to roll as well!
What about bike components?
This is where I was worried about the most when I thought about buying my first bike. I don't know one thing about a bike! But after I investigated it further, it actually wasn't that difficult at all - the things that I kept in mind are the bike's foldability, weight, wheel size, material and comfort (suspensions).
Foldability becomes a worrying point for me, especially with folding speed. As mentioned before in the article, if I'm folding my bike to ride the train, folding and unfolding my bike multiple times throughout the day, I certainly don't want to fight with my bike for it to fold. Luckily, all the bike models under Mighty Velo folds easily under a minute once you get the hang of it.
If I were to bring it to the train, or to my workplace, weight is a factor so I could know how much effort I would need to exert. If I were looking at the Pacific CarryMe model, I would be looking at 8.4kg for a bike!
Wheel Sizes, if we're talking Birdys only comes in the sizes of 18" with the exception of the R20, which is at 20". Smaller wheels could mean it can fold much more compact and smaller. If you were thinking of going long-distance, a bigger wheel size would be better for you as it would be much more comfortable.
Why do I need to think about the material of a bike? Is there a difference? Of course! Birdy bikes come in aluminium frames, which cannot rust compared to steel frames. Not only that, but it prevents having to put on more weight to the bike as well.
And finally, the suspensions of a bike. They are there to make your ride more comfortable. Do you think it's comfortable for your back and bum to jump at every crack and pebble on the pavements? What if you're a person who prefers riding in nature and gravelly areas? Birdy bikes have built-in suspensions built into the folding mechanism, and it absorbs the vibrations you would otherwise feel without it and gives you a smoother ride.
What is my budget?
Folding bikes under Mighty Velo can range around SGD999-5,000. The age-old saying of "You get what you paid for" applies in this context, as the better quality the components are involved in the bike, the more expensive. For example, the Rohloff stands out the most in price, but it's built for touring, long-distance, overcoming rough terrains and on top of that, it is designed with a long shelf-life with a rare need to put it through maintenance.
It's also wise to be forward-thinking about this decision as well. Cycling can save you money for those Grab rides, bus rides and even improve your health on the long term.
What about the warranty?
According to Mighty Velo's policies, there is a 2-year warranty on your frame, 1-year for the components against any manufacturing defects and additionally, you're able to enjoy free checks and tuning! Though, checks and tuning are currently to this date, are only at an appointment basis. However, if you were able to change any components to a 3rd party equivalent, the Mighty Velo mechanics would not be able to help you.
Okay! I'm ready to buy a bike!
I hope you enjoyed this article on buying a bike. Remember that there is no "best" folding bike for all needs. It is a journey to find your perfect ride based on your preferences and needs based on extensive research and help that you can ask us for at our Facebook, Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org