Bike-sharing has finally hit our shores which has placed the government’s similar bike-sharing scheme on the racks.
Instead, two private Chinese companies, Ofo and Mobike have made their way to our little red dot and launched their bikes islandwide. But a homegrown startup, oBike, has also entered the race and is seen more frequently throughout the country.
All three have released their own unique bikes which come with different pricing systems and usability. But which of these has the most value, is easy to use and the most comfortable to ride around with?
We tried out all three bikes in different parts of Singapore (so you don’t have to) to find out which bike-sharing app is suitable for you.
GETTING A BIKE
oBikes are the easiest to find amongst the three. We found an abundance of them at HDB void decks and it’s even easier to spot them outside MRT stations. If you're about to leave the house and want to save time scouting for one, the app gives you the nearest one to you on the map and even lets you reserve it for 10 minutes.
Once you find one, you can simply scan the QR code using the app and it will unlock within seconds.
THE RIDE ITSELF
The oBike comes in two different variants: the silver with orange highlights and the white with orange highlights (which is also the newer model). We rode both of them and found the silver model to be much heavier. On the flipside, that means it's sturdier and easier to balance. There aren’t any gears on either model and getting it moving is the hardest. It requires more force possibly because of its weight and might be tiring for some, especially when you are pedaling uphill.
The white model is a lot lighter and easier to pedal with despite not having any adjustable gears. Both models come with baskets on the front for you to place your belongings but the newer model has a deeper one for you to place more of your precious barang-barang.
You just need to find a bicycle parking area and turn the lock at the back of the wheel down to end your session. You won’t have trouble finding a parking area and if you live in a HDB apartment, chances are you'll find one just below your block.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Before you can even rent one, you need to pay a S$49 deposit while students only need to pay S$19. Your deposit will be refunded to you within 1 to 14 days.
Once that is done, your ride will cost S$0.50 for 15 minutes of use. You should note that oBike is generous with their promotions, giving free rides on certain public holidays and weekends to encourage you to ride. You can also get a S$3 coupon if you use a friend’s referral code.
It’s affordable for everyone and you won’t have any trouble finding a bike. It might take some time to get used to riding the bikes but the newer models are undoubtedly better.
4.5/5 - Easy to find, affordable (sometimes free) and a sturdy ride. But try to get the white variant if you tire easily.