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Categories: Events
| On 2 years ago

We Tried Singapore’s 3 Bike-Sharing Platforms – Guess Who ‘Wheel’ Come Up Top?

I’m sure many of you have seen numerous yellow and orange bikes sprawled around the island recently. They appear at void decks, near MRT stations, and even at pretty questionable places like being chained outside houses… Well for the most part, these bikes can be found in public parking areas.

They hail from three private companies that have gained popularity in Singapore since early 2017— namely, Mobike, oBike, and ofo.

I have always been interested in trying out these different apps to find out which is the best. Lucky for you, I’ve hunted these bikes down (from each of the aforementioned companies) and put them all to the test.

They are ranked from bottom to top based on my experiences. Let’s begin with:

3. ofo

The key advantage of the ofo bike is that deposits are not needed. However, there are several teething problems with this app — there is no way of finding an ofo bike through the app and I had to physically walk around and find one by myself. I also found several ofo bikes lying around that were spoilt in some way (e.g. pedal missing).

The bike seemed like an awkward design as the handlebars were too far from the seat. There was also no basket on the bike. However, the seat was quite comfortable and brakes worked well, and three gear changes are available.

A rather major flaw of the ofo bike was the unlocking system. The same lock code can be used again even after locking the bike and exiting the app. This glitch allows users to use the same ofo bike as long as he/she remembers the same bike number and same lock code.

Despite the key advantage that deposits are not needed to rent an ofo bike, I would not recommend using it given the difficulty in finding the bike, and the unlocking system that is easy to take advantage of.

Finding the bike: Difficult (lack of in-built GPS)

Deposit: None

Price: S$0.50 per trip (free for now)

Renting the bike: Easy

Riding the bike: Moderately difficult

Returning the bike: Easy

ofo: Website | Facebook

2. Mobike

This orange bike did well despite my initial reservations. The deposit cost quite a bit, but at least it was quick and easy to put in my credit card details. There were only three bikes close to where I was, and I located one of them using the in-built GPS.

The Mobike was the easiest and best to ride out of the three companies I tried, as the bike was of a good design and the seat was comfortable. Also, the bike’s brakes worked well with no major issues and a basket was available to place my things in.

Mobike stood up pretty strong against the other two competitors, but my only issue was the lack of bicycles. I’d still recommend giving the Mobike a try if you see the bikes around!

Finding the bike: Moderately easy (in-built GPS available)

Deposit: S$49 (refundable)

Price: S$0.50 for every 30 minutes

Renting the bike: Easy (scan QR code)

Riding the bike: Easy

Returning the bike: Easy

Mobike: Website | Facebook

1. oBike

Out of the three apps, oBike gave me the best experience. It was very easy to find an oBike as the GPS showed a big cluster of bikes near me. In addition, they approved my eligibility as a student within an hour, which meant that I only needed to put down a smaller deposit.

The oBike was also the most sturdy, with a comfortable seat and a basket available. However, it was slightly heavier as compared to the ofo and Mobike, which could make the oBike more difficult to ride.

Finding the bike: Easy (in-built GPS available)

Deposit: S$49, S$19 for students (refundable)

Price: S$0.50 for every 15 minutes

Renting the bike: Easy (scan QR code)

Riding the bike: Moderately difficult (slightly heavy)

Returning the bike: Easy

oBike: Website | Facebook

All in all, I recommend using the oBike and Mobike app. Did you know that oBike is Singapore-based? It’s always great to support local and get some exercise at the same time! Tell us about your experiences, we’d love to hear from you and make comparisons.

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Joey Tan

A typical hooman learning more about this world (of harsh and fun alike) with my pesky little Jack Russell Terrier.

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