Velos at Vertex: Big bike brand presence in Singapore

After my inaugural visit to Decathlon’s super-sized store in Bedok, I hoof over to Eunos and Kampong Ubi to once again gatecrash one of my favorite areas. Hidden in the Ubi Vertex area, among an Autobacs car service station and several furniture shops, are a smattering of bike shops occupying the same huge building.

JH HOBBY CYCLE

JH Cycle is the comparative minnow in today’s tour, catering to a lower price bracket.

While they carry saddles, apparel and tools, I’m most impressed by their folding bike parts and accessories. Check out those wheelsets. The Decaf wheelset shown here, in particular, apparently sports deep-section carbon fiber rims.

There’s quite a selection of folding bikes, too. Most of them are built around the 20″ wheel size and made by a Chinese concern called Langtu.

SCOTT BICYCLES

Kian Hong Cycle Pte Ltd operates the Scott Bicycles big-box store.

The sheer amount of choice inside is rather mind-boggling. In addition to Scott, it stocks rides from French maker Look and the rising Indonesian player Polygon, both in mountain and road forms. Check out that full-suspension Polygon MTB in the foreground.

Scott’s road bike lineup is shown here. I noticed the absence of their cyclocross steeds, the Speedster CX and Addict CX, though.

Scott also makes helmets, and their current top-dog Cadence road helmet is shown here in black and green beside the mirror made from a Lightweight rim.

It’s amazing how many more brands Kian Hong carries. Sharp eyes will no doubt have already spotted Mavic’s screaming yellow helmets hung on this wall, too. Apparently they carry Effetto Mariposa tire and tubeless sealant products as well.

And what is Mavic without its wheelsets? Among this sea of MTBs is a display stand for them.

To cap things off, Kian Hong Cycle is your go-to place for Campagnolo components, Castelli road cycling apparel, Selle San Marco saddles, servicing Fox suspension parts…basically the only thing that seems alien to them is cyclocross.

The three remaining shops are literally smooshed right next to each other.

SPECIALIZED BICYCLES

Specialized has a Concept Store here operated by Tay Junction. Like other places of its kind, it’s basically a showroom for all of the brand’s high-zoot, high-priced bikes – especially in top-whack S-Works form.

In the foreground here with the orange trim is the brand-new 2017 S-Works Roubaix disc-braked endurance bike, now sporting the “FutureShock” suspension cartridge. I’m told that for Singapore customers, they’re all sold with the firmest spring option as the asphalt is pretty smooth.

While I’d agree, I’d also question the necessity of riding a Roubaix around Singapore in the first place. The bike was made to compete in the cobblestone-riddled roads of the Paris-Roubaix one-day race, for crying out loud – the suspension would be a waste here and would just add complication.

At the other end of the pallet sits the disc brake version of the Venge ViAS, the brand’s flagship aero road bike. When it first came out with its proprietary hideaway rim brakes, many complained that the brakes simply didn’t work well or feel great. The disc brakes should solve this problem.

What hasn’t changed is the price, though. At S$6000 (~PhP206,000), the Venge ViAS is still pretty expensive.

Climb a flight of stairs and you veer away from the S-Works stuff into cyclocross and fitness bikes. Shown here is the Crux, their cross bike, sporting a 1×11 SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes.

GIANT BICYCLES/LIV

Tay Junction also takes care of the Taiwanese behemoth’s bikes in Singapore, under the name Cappa Trading Pte Ltd, as well as the Liv women’s-specific range. At the very back of this picture is a brand-new 2016 TCX SLR 2, which is a bit more expensive than in Manila at S$2000 (~PhP68,700).

Dangling from the roof is the Propel aero bike in top-spec SL Team form, at S$6200 (PhP213,000). The Venge ViAS Disc suddenly sounds like a better proposition.

We’ve got the Defy endurance bikes and the MTBs here too. I believe the Glory is Giant’s downhill mountain bike, built to take a massive beating bombing down trails at high speed. Cappa stocks Hollywood racks and adapters.

Finally we’ve got the Anyroad lineup, including the top-whack Comax model made out of carbon composite, sitting below the Trinity time-trial/triathlon bike. I’ve yet to see an Anyroad Comax in the Philippines; the S$2400 (PhP82,500) price tag should be indicative of what you’d expect to pay if it made its way to our shores.

In addition to the bikes, the store also stocks Shimano’s and Giant’s own cycling shoes.

CANNONDALE

My last stop on this tour is Cannondale’s big box store, managed by Cannasia.

They also sell other components under the Cannondale umbrella, such as Fabric saddles and multi-tools.

I have a soft spot for these guys because they have a good selection of Shimano parts…at a decent price. This was where I bought my SM-BB91-41B bottom bracket, a Dura-Ace-level part, for S$45 (PhP1550). Everywhere else I visited sold it for twice that.

Cannasia also sells entire Shimano road and mountain groupsets.

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