Are NParks' $2,200 bikes too costly?

SINGAPORE - The National Parks Board (NParks) has bought 26 bicycles for its officers to use on patrols.

But the purchase has raised some eyebrows.

Some Singaporeans, including netizens, are asking if the chosen bikes - foldable Brompton bicycles costing $2,200 each - are too expensive.

The British-brand bikes - which cost $57,200 altogether - were bought after a tender was issued in January.

The purchase has attracted much attention in online forums, with some netizens comparing the Brompton bikes to the $575 Herman Miller chairs bought by the Ministry of Manpower last year which caused a stir.

Said a netizen in a HardwareZone forum: "Why do you need to spend $2,200 on a bicycle? Don't tell me a $220 (bicycle) cannot (be used)?"

Netizens also pointed out that BikeHop is not the authorised distributor of Brompton bikes in Singapore. The official dealer is Diginexx.

According to the NParks tender notice, which was posted online, the bikes had to be:
- Foldable
- Can be brought onto buses and MRT trains
- Have 16-inch wheels
- Between 11kg and 13kg
- Be at least a six-speed bicycle
- Suitable for long-distance use, on both road and off-road terrain.
- The supplier should provide at least one year's warranty and free basic servicing

Following the tender, there was only one bid - from bicycle shop BikeHop, which offered the Brompton bicycles.

When contacted, bike shops told The New Paper that there are cheaper models which match those specifications.

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