FAQ: Steps to
buying a bike
Version 1.1 (13 Sep 2004): Yap Chi Wei, Mark Chan, Aaron Chia & N. Sivasothi
Note: this was written in 2004, so typical entry-level bike models may have changed.
Steps to buying a bike
- Fit is
paramount - Get a good sizing (read through webpage
links below) and if the saddle hurts and the stem length is wrong, ask for changes. You are usually entitled to a 1st tune-up FOC as well, so ask for this as the new cables will stretch.
- Test ride the
bike - your comfort is a premium and might go against
advise; e.g. Some prefer a bike bigger than measurements
suggest. If it feels good, you ave the right
prices. Once you want a particular model you can call
up shops. It is apparently not good form to bargain since
margins are not high, so find the cheapest and save your
skills for the accessories to be bundled with the bike.
But it's not just about price; the service and comfort
you have with a shop is more important than saving a few
- while you are buying the bike, grab your accessories,
and they are likely to offer you a decent deal than when
making individual purchases.
- lights: rear
(red) and front (white) blinkers (legal
requirement in Singapore; see "How brightly lit are you?"),
- water bottles
& bottle cages,
mirror (if you do road biking),
repair kit (there are $5 kits so you could but that
- bike stand (there are light-weight models; very useful for recreational riders), *heh-heh*
- basket (useful for neighbourhood cyclists)
- upgrade to
cleated-pedals or add pedal cages (if you want
- Ask about
after-sales service. You will have to send your
bicycle back for tuning as the cables will stretch after
some use. Minor are adjustments usually free. You will
also need to service the bike from time to time and
Marketplace is worth checking out. Buy bikes in the
older range of models when the new moddls come to town
[Sep 2004]. But see Ground effect's guide to
a second hand bike.
- Progear and
HASA for upgraders. If you are the sort that enjoys
upgrading these brands offer value for money with stock
components you can subsequently upgrade. For a budget of
$500, these may probably offer the best specs, and the
frames and their weights are comparable to mid range
branded bikes at a fraction of cost. The uncles who hang
out at RodaLink have expensive (sponsored) racers but
their off-road bikes are Hasa & Progears -
credibility from riders who know their stuff.
Have fun and take
your time. It'll be an enjoyable experience!
Links for sizing a bike
- Florida Dept.
Transportation: State Pedestrian/Bicycle Programme:
A simple pdf brochure with advice on sizing abd buying
Maryland: Department of Recreation and Parks:
A simple page on proper bike and helmet
- Dick Rafoth's
Cycling performance tips: "Bicycle
In particular, see the comprehensive list of tips in
section II by Andy Pruit.
- Sheldon Brown's
revisionist theory of bicycle
A good essay that explains why there so much fuss
these days about getting the correct size - because you
finally can! With links to other pages.
to fit your custom bike".
A detailed treatment meant for custom bikes but there
is useful information for the rest of us.
Some recommendations [Sep 2004]
- Togoparts has a
which usually has good deals: e.g. getting bikes from the
older 2004 or 2003 range since the new 2005 models are
almost in town.
- and a list of
- "When buying a GT
or Norco, I have had good experiences with
- Bikeshops with
low prices are Seng Chu Hin, TEF, Hup Leong, and Tiong
Hin. See Togoparts list of Bike
can you afford
- S$640 -
above-average components (all frames nowadays are pretty
good) that should last a long time."
- $450 - Scott YZ3,
GT Avalanche 3.0, GT Aggressor, Kona Lanai, Kona
Hahannah, or Giant Boulder.
- $1,000 - Kona
Cindercone, GT Avalanche 0.0, or Scott Expert
- "Word is that
Scott bikes (if you buy complete bikes) have one of the
best values in town. Never heard anyone complain about
their Scott bikes before."
women: Scott Luna sounds like it's got
women-specific sizing & geometry. I'd reckon that
women-specific bike sizing & fitting does work, or at
least it's better than buying a small made-for-male bike
& trying to make that fit.
- Go to
http://www.khcycle.com.sg to check out the RRP of Scott
bikes. Shop pricing could be between $50 to $100 below
the RRP, sometimes even more. E.g. Scott Montana at
KH is $650,
and at CycleCraft, its $580.