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The Real Cost Of Cycling In Singapore

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The Real Cost Of Cycling In Singapore

There may be hidden costs on every dollar you spend. The Real Cost, a SingSaver Series, uncovers all the unexpected expenses you’re incurring.


Sun on your skin, cool breeze with car exhaust in your hair and a gush of adrenaline that makes you forget the ache in your legs from hours of pedalling. Yes, it is cycling’s turn to get calculated. 

Not just reserved for neighbourhood errand runs or a last-mile solution, cycling can be a low-impact sport for all ages, or an endorphin chasing adventure.

In recent years, perhaps due to the number of triathlon races in Singapore or as a self-prescribed cure for cabin fever during Circuit Breaker, cycling has been given a breath of new life.

If you’re looking to pursue cycling as a hobby and serious about pushing the pedal to the metal (quite literally), here are all the numbers you need to get started. 

For the purpose of the calculations involved, they will be based on activities by Barney and Clare. Barney cycles for leisure on alternate weekends with his family and friends. Clare, however, cycles competitively to take part in biathlons and triathlons, and does so at least three times a week. 

Last updated on 22 March 2021. Prices of safety gear, bicycle, cycling gear and maintenance items are subject to change without prior notice. The calculations below are estimates, and prices of apparel, equipment and bicycles mentioned may vary depending on actual quantity needed, credit card discounts, among others. As far as possible, mid-range items from mid-tier brands are selected for this guide.

Cost of cycling safety gear

Safety first! By that, we mean wearing a sturdy helmet, just in case of mishaps. Due to the sheer amount of bicycle helmets available and their varying price ranges, we’ve selected two helmets for each cyclist in order to obtain an average price. 

Barney, the leisure cyclist

Keeping it simple, Barney will require a standard helmet to stay safe while cycling. 

Type of safety gearName of shop/brandPrice
HelmetDecathlon
MTB Cycling Helmet
$20
HelmetBontrager 
Solstice Helmet
$63.99
Average price for a leisure helmet$41.99

Clare, the competitive cyclist

Clare would require the additional cycling glasses and gloves, not just to complete the ‘pro cyclist look’, but for extra protection on the road.

Type of safety gearName of shop/brandPrice/average price
HelmetDecathlon
Racer Cycling Helmet, $60

Abus
ADURO 2.0, $115
$87.50
Cycling glassesRockBros$14.60
GlovesMonton, half-finger coverage gloves$25
Average price for a competition helmet$127.10

Why are knee and elbow pads not included in the list? While they are strongly encouraged, they are optional as they aren’t exactly considered life-saving — unlike a helmet.

Besides, would you actually wear them when going for a leisurely ride at the park connector behind your house or to get rojak from the nearby coffee shop? Our point exactly.

Gloves, on the other hand, are essential to provide a better grip and more control when travelling at high speeds. This is especially so for those who have sweaty palms. 

Cost of bicycle

This is the part of cycling that costs the most, but thankfully you’ll only need to make this big purchase once every couple of years. 

Like with other exercise equipment, prices of bicycles are dependent on brand, type, material and size, and can vary from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands (not kidding). 

Similar to helmets, because there are just so many options and varying price ranges, we’ll be listing three bicycles each to obtain an average. 

Barney, the leisure cyclist

As a leisure cyclist, Barney will require a basic bicycle that will get him from point A to point B, safely and comfortably. 

Brand and/or model of bicycleBicycle shopPrice
Harris, 26” 18-Speed Mountain BicycleMKP Bikes$199.00
ROCKRIDER, ST 100 27.5 21SP Sport BicycleDecathlon$350.00
Diamant M260 Foldable 20” 6-Speed BicyclePedal Werkz$439.00
Average price for a leisure  bicycle$329.33

Clare, the competitive cyclist

For competitive cyclists, it’s not just about how fancy a bicycle looks. Its height, weight, handlebar position, seat placement, size of wheels, etc. have to be considered. 

This is similar to buying a pair of running shoes. There are tonnes of options that come in all brands, shapes, cushioning levels, arch heights, colours and sizes, but not all might fit your feet or running style.

As these bicycles can cost a few thousand dollars, we’ve made the conscious decision to pick those with a friendlier price tag.

Brand and/or model of bicycleBicycle shopPrice
Polygon, Strattos S3 Road Bicycle*Rodalink$999.00
Giant, FastRoad SL 3*Tay Junction$1,150.00
Specialized, Allez*Specialized$1,500.00
Average price for a competition road bicycle$1,216.33

*These are highly popular models (perhaps due to its price tag), so they tend to sell out fast. On the bright side, the stock is replenished frequently, you’ll just have to keep a close eye on its availability.

Cost of cycling apparel

Dress to impress, even for cycling? Well, that depends. Barney doesn’t exactly need any specialised cycling apparel, but Clare does.

Barney, the leisure cyclist

As a leisure cyclist, there isn’t really any specialised cycling apparel needed. Versatile exercise wear that can be used for a myriad of other exercises will do, and that’s what we will be calculating below. 

Type of cycling apparelName of shop/brandPrice
T-shirtAdidas, AEROREADY Sport Tee$30.00
ShortsUnder Armour, Launch SW 5” Shorts$49.00
SocksDecathlon, Kiprun Invisible Running Socks$5.00
ShoesNike, Zoom Rival Fly 2$139
Total$223.00

Clare, the competitive cyclist

You can tell a competitive cyclist from a mile away just by their apparel. 

Competitive cycling is a high-intensity sport that will leave you gasping for air and in a puddle of perspiration. The high-energy activity requires specialised cycling jerseys and tights. These are mostly made with moisture-wicking and breathable material that doesn’t weigh you down, regardless of how much you perspire. They are also usually designed with bright colours to keep you safe on the road. 

Not to mention, cycling jerseys have dedicated back pockets for a towel, first aid kit, CO2 canister and adapter (in case of a flat tyre).  

Padded tights are also needed to prevent chafing and bruises on your rear end due to the lack of cushioning on road or mountain bike seats. 

Then there are cycling shoes that ‘lock’ your feet into the pedal, allowing you to use more of your leg muscle (instead of just calf muscle) for each stroke and not worry about losing your footing when pedaling at high speeds.

All of which, Clare will require. 

Type of cycling apparelName of shop/brandPrice
JerseyCanyon, Classic Women’s Jersey$80.95
Cycling shorts (with padding)The Cyclist Mess
NNPQ
$69.00
SocksDecathlon
Van Rysel ROADR500 Cycling Socks
$5.00
ShoesThe Bike Shop
Shimano SH-XC300 MTB Cycling Shoes
$129.00
Total$283.95

Cost of cycling maintenance and miscellaneous items

Apart from the basic items, there are a few additional ones needed to ensure that your bicycle remains in tip-top condition and secure.

Barney, the leisure cyclist

There are definitely more items that can be added to this list, but we’re just calculating the bare basics here. 

Type of maintenance and miscellaneous itemsName of shop/brandPrice
Bicycle chain lubricantWD-40$14.90
Tyre pumpDecathlon$20.00
Bicycle lock and chainSteve & Leif$7.90
Bicycle coverOEM$5.50
Water bottle holder + cage mountDecathlon$10.00
Total$58.30

Clare, the competitive cyclist

Clare would require similar items as Barney with the addition of CO2 cartridges, CO2 cartridge adapter, bicycle mount (as competitive bicycles don’t have kickstands) and a full maintenance session for her bicycle. 

Why CO2 cartridges? Well, they help inflate flat tyres quickly on the road and are extremely portable. 

Type of maintenance and miscellaneous itemsName of shop/brandPrice
Bicycle chain lubricantWD-40$14.90
CO2 cartridgesTOF$19.90 for 10 cartridges
CO2 cartridge adapterWest Biking$7.25
Tyre pumpDecathlon$20.00
Bicycle lock and chainSteve & Leif$7.90
Full maintenanceHup Leong$180
Bicycle wall rack/mountOEM$15.00
Water bottle holder + cage mountDecathlon$10.00
Total$274.95

Conclusion

ItemBarney, the leisure cyclistClare, the competitive cyclist
Safety gear$41.99$127.10 
Bicycle $329.33$1,216.33 
Apparel and shoes$223.00$283.95 
Maintenance and miscellaneous items$58.30$274.95
Total$652.62$1,902.33

Surprised at the numbers? We are too. 

To put things into perspective, pursuing leisure cycling in Singapore would set you back an all-inclusive 4D3N trip to Bangkok.

On the other hand, competitive cycling would cost you an all-inclusive 6D5N trip to Australia.

In the grand scheme of things, cycling doesn’t really cost that much (if you don’t splurge) — especially if you pit it against exercises like yoga, CrossFit or High-Intensity Interval Training.

The only thing that might hurt your wallet a little is the upfront cost. Fortunately, most cycling equipment and gear, with some care, will see you through a good couple of years. Thus, you’ll only need to re-invest in new gear after you get some mileage out of the old ones.


Looking to get some cycling gear? Don’t forget to charge them on the right card to earn yourself some cash back. Apply for one using our comparison tool and you could get rewarded* with cash or prizes!

*Rewards may change at any time. Terms and conditions apply. 

Read these next: 
10 Best Online Bicycle Shops In Singapore To Buy Cheap Bikes
The Real Cost Of Fitness In Singapore
Virtual Marathons To Participate In To Run Away From Your Problems
Yoga Classes In Singapore For Every Budget
4 Reasons Why You Need Personal Accident Insurance If You’re Into Sports


By Geralyne Ong
A lover of gin and all things Nigella Lawson, Geralyne’s a big believer of #Adulting. She spends her leisure time serving fur-babies and doing as many mountain climbers and kettlebell swings as she possibly can.