frequently asked questions
This page contains questions and answers on three main subjects: Guided Rides; Rental Bikes; and Cycling in Singapore.
Guided Rides FAQs
1. You offer "road bike" guided rides; what do you mean by "road bike?
Singapore has some bike tours companies who offer slow-paced tours visiting Singapore's main tourist attractions on simple city bikes. This is not Flat Spoke Cycles' market. Our service is aimed at keen road cyclists who have reasonable level of skill, fitness and endurance, and who are comfortable riding in traffic.
2) Can I rent a bike for my Flat Spoke Bikes guided ride?
Yes, but we have only a limited supply of road bikes as our service is primarily aimed at cyclists traveling with their own bikes. However, we can arrange bike rental through our friends at Valley Cycles.
See the adjacent column for more questions specifically dealing with bike rentals.
3. I have a mountain bike, can I go on one of your guided rides?
Yes, we’ll happily accompany mountain bikers, but our guided rides are (for now) sticking to the roads. We have a mountain bike in our fleet, so will ride that if a client is on an MTB. Obviously the suggested times for each ride might be a bit longer if done on mountain bikes.
4. How many riders can you cater for on a guided ride?
Our main focus is on the solo rider looking for a personalised experience of cycling in Singapore. For now, our upper limit is three riders per guided ride.
5. Can I start my guided ride at any time of the day?
Our operating hours are 6am-8pm, so we can start a guided ride at any time from 6am onwards. At the other end of the day, our guided rides will not run past 8pm unless by special arrangement.
Being situated just north of the equator, Singapore enjoys a year-round 12 hours of daylight, with sunrise coming around 7am (+/- 15 minutes) and sunset around 7pm (+/- 15 minutes).
6. Do you offer year-round guided rides?
Yes ... as long as we are in Singapore. We are a small-scale operation, but vacation and racing dates aside, we can offer guided rides Monday through Sunday, January till December. Our availability calendar will be updated on a regular basis.
7. What is the estimated speed of your guided rides?
As mentioned elsewhere in the FAQs, our service is aimed at keen cyclists with a reasonable level of skill, fitness and endurance. The guided rides will suit people who can maintain an average rolling speed of at least 25kph for two to three hours.
If you're looking for something faster, our lead guide Alan Grant has been racing at a decent amateur level for the past 13 years and is happy and willing to accomodate higher average speeds.
8. Do you provide insurance for your guided rides?
No. We are simply accompanying you while you ride around Singapore. We strongly recommend that all our clients take out a travel insurance policy that covers recreational cycling. We will ask all our clients to sign a disclaimer, waiving us of responsibility for any accidents that might occur.
9. Can I stop and look at Singapore's main tourist sites during the guided ride?
Our service is aimed at people who want to ride at a decent clip and take things in while they move. However, while our rides don't typically visit the famous tourist landmarks, the client is king (or queen), so just ask us if there's something you especially want to see and we'll work out whether or not it's feasible to fit it in.
10. What if it rains? Will the guided ride still go ahead?
Yes, we are all-weather cyclists and if our clients want to ride in the warm rain of Singapore, we are happy to lead. Lightning storms are different. Such conditions will result in a delay, cancellation or mid-ride break to take shelter. While there is a distinct rainy season (December-January), it can rain on any day of the year in Singapore.
That said, precipitation often falls in short, sharp bursts (even in the rainy season), meaning that only a temporary delay or mid-ride break is required. An excellent state-run, real-time weather radar service takes a lot of the guesswork out of riding in Singapore.
11. If the rain is too heavy and causes the ride to be cancelled, will I get a refund?
For any guided ride cancelled on the day of the ride because of rain or other adverse weather conditions before the designated start time, clients will be eligible for a 50 percent refund.
For any guided ride cancelled mid-ride because of heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions, clients will not receive a refund. But we will endeavor to rearrange the ride for another day.
12. Isn’t it too hot to ride in Singapore?
While tropical Singapore undoubtedly feels hot to visitors from more temperate parts of the world, it rarely gets exceedingly hot. The record maximum temperature in Singapore ever is 36 degrees Celsius, but it seldom gets anywhere near that. The mean daily temperature is 25-27 Celsius. While we can schedule a guided ride at any time between 6am and 8pm, it is definitely cooler in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening.
Click on this link to view the Singapore government website for full information on weather maximums, minimums and averages.
13. Are their frequent opportunities to refuel on your guided rides?
Of course! Our rental bikes will come with two full bottles of water and we can stop any number of times to buy more drinks. Petrol stations and convenience stores are abundant all over the island and our guided rides will never be far from one of them. Singapore's famous hawker centres and coffee shops are also great places for a refueling stop.
14. What if I get a puncture on my guided ride?
Our guides will carry tools, spare tubes and CO2 canisters, and will assist with any punctures or minor mechanical issues if on your own bike. If you're on one of our rental bikes we'll do all the work :-)
15. What are your rates?
Visit our "Bikes" page for guided ride rates for both "ride only" or "ride and rental".
16. Can I pay for my guided ride in cash?
Certainly. Although we may ask for a 50 percent online deposit to paid online at time of booking.
We are small-scale operation and prefer cash, bank transfer, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Rental Bikes FAQs
1. Can I rent a bike for my Flat Spoke Bikes guided ride?
Yes, but we have only a limited supply of road bikes as our service is primarily aimed at cyclists traveling with their own bikes. However, we can arrange bike rental through our friends at Valley Cycles if what we have doesn't suit your needs.
2. What bikes do you have in your limited supply?
A bike rented from us will be either a Specialized Tarmac (size 54, medium), a Specialized Venge (size 54, medium) or a Specialized Allez Sprint (size 56, large); these three bikes are well maintained and equipped with rim brakes. We also have a medium-sized Litespeed CX bike equipped with disc brakes and slick road tyres. Visit our "Bikes" page to see the bikes. All rental bikes cost $100 per accompanied ride.
3. What pedals do your bikes have?
We can fit Look Keo, Shimano or flat pedals. These come as part of the rental price.
4. Can I rent a helmet from you?
Yes, if you rent a bike a helmet comes included.
5. Can I rent cycling shoes from you?
No. We recommend that you bring your own shoes ... and pedals too ideally. While we have Look Keo and Shimano pedals, there's nothing better than clipping into your own pedals.
6. Can I rent a bike from you and ride on my own, i.e., not go on one of your guided rides?
No. We only offer rentals on an accompanied basis. Please contact our friends at Valley Cycles if you require overnight or multi-day bike road bike rentals. Singapore also has a multitude of cheap bike share schemes for tourists just looking to potter around the city
7. What if I get a puncture on my guided ride?
Our guides will carry tools, spare tubes and CO2 canisters, and will attend to any punctures or minor mechanical issues with a rented bike.
Cycling in Singapore FAQs
1. What are the road conditions like in Singapore?
In a word, excellent. The road surface is invariably smooth tarmac with non-slip paint used for road markings. Potholes are few and far between, with the government offering a phone-in service which sees reported potholes usually filled within a day or two.
As in any big city, traffic can be an issue, especially during the morning and evening rush hours, but our recommended rides will try to avoid the busiest roads and times.
Singapore is also home to an extensive network of bike paths known as the Park Connector Network (PCN). These are shared facilities open to pedestrians, runners, skaters, etc, in addition to cyclists, so lower cycling spends must be maintained on the PCNs. While we can offer tours that primarily stick to the PCNs, we mostly stick to the roads.
2. What in the terrain like in Singapore?
Singapore is predominantly flat. There are a few sections of roads with rolling hills, but for the most part, cycling in Singapore is mostly a big-chainring affair. That said, Singapore does have a few “nice” hills, although the longest climb is only 2km in length. We offer a Southern Humps and Bumps ride that takes in the best of these.
3. Are there any group rides I can join in Singapore?
Yes, there are many. Singapore has a thriving cycling community. Many group rides exist catering to different speed levels. We can point you in the right direction or can even join you in a group ride in case you get dropped!
Most midweek group rides start in the pre-dawn hours to help the locals beat the heat and the traffic before going to work/school. Many club weekend rides start pre-dawn too, although there are plenty that start once the sun is up.
4. Can I ride my bike from Singapore’s Changi International Airport?
No. The airport is only linked by expressways, on which bicycles are not allowed. There is no footpath option either. Public transport (bus, coach, mass transit rail) or private hire vehicles (taxi, maxicab, Uber/Grabcab) are the only options for leaving the airport.
Most taxis can cater to a solo traveller with a bike box, which goes in the back seat, with passenger up front. Don’t let the taxi uncle say no!
Maxi cabs ($60 flat fare) can take up to two bikes boxes and passengers easily, and with a bit of squeezing, an extra one of each shouldn’t be a problem.