Cycling: How to equip yourself for OCBC Cycle without splurging

An OCBC Cycle participant cycling a Mobike while wearing a helmet under the watchful eye of OCBC Cycle's Project Training Wheels coach Michael Lyons at the Sports Hub.
An OCBC Cycle participant cycling a Mobike while wearing a helmet under the watchful eye of OCBC Cycle's Project Training Wheels coach Michael Lyons at the Sports Hub.ST FILE PHOTO

For those who are contemplating taking part in this year's OCBC Cycle, you need not break the bank to enjoy a safe and comfortable experience.

"Gloves and proper cycling attire are always good to have but all you really need is a helmet if you can't afford the rest," said former national cyclist Timothy Lim.

"You can turn up wearing a T-shirt and shorts and, as long as you have a helmet, you can cycle."

This year, participants who do not own a bike can rent one from bike-sharing firm Mobike.

This service is free for those who signed up for the event online and have a Mobike account.

Helmets are compulsory for the May 5-6 event at the Singapore Sports Hub.

In the event of a fall, they are also the most important accessory to prevent serious head injuries, said Aaron Wong, 33, assistant manager of Shimano Singapore.

Shimano is a multinational manufacturer of bicycle parts and cycling accessories. A good helmet would cost between $50 and $150, according to Wong.

Lim said riders must ensure it fits snugly when shopping for one.

A helmet that is too tight may cause headaches, while one that is too big may not provide adequate protection during a fall.

"When you move your head, your helmet should also be moving with your head," said the 31-year-old.

Besides helmets, riders are advised to have appropriate protective gear for the longer routes to ensure an enjoyable experience, said Wong.

Good gloves, which provide a better grip on the handle bars and protect the hands during a fall, can cost upwards of $35.

"The average rider will take about one hour to complete the 23km route so it's best to wear gloves for more comfort," said Lim.

Added Wong: "In our hot and humid climate, it's recommended to get half-finger gloves as they're more cooling."

While riders can wear any kind of sports shoes to cycle, court shoes are preferred over running shoes. A decent pair of court shoes costs less than $100.

"Court shoes are better because they are flatter and have a harder base to protect the feet," said Lim.

Participants are also advised to wear fitting light-coloured clothing made from dri-fit material to keep cool and minimise wind resistance.

"You wouldn't want your shirt to be flapping in the air when you cycle," said Wong.

Sunglasses are also an important accessory when cycling outdoors.

More than just a shield against ultraviolet light, Lim said sunglasses also protect the eyes from dirt.

• Online registration for OCBC Cycle is now open, with early bird discounts up to $14 until Feb 28. For more information, visit www.ocbccycle.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2018, with the headline 'How to equip yourself for OCBC Cycle without splurging'. Print Edition | Subscribe