First Look: Time Ergodrive Handlebar

Carbon bits are expensive, especially one from a renowned company such as TIME where its bicycle frames and accessories are made in France. This is rare in an era where companies would rather outsource its carbon production to Taiwan or china as manufacturing stuff from carbon is fairly labor intensive. People love carbon stuff as its light, strong and it doesn’t corrode (important to me!)

Enter the Time Egrodrive Handlebar, saw it on massive discount and without even thinking I grabbed one. The model that I have is a 2013 model, but Time is still manufacturing these bar as this article is being written. It looks impressive, it does come in a variety of colors such as black, red and white but when I purchased it, the only bars left in my size was white. The packaging is impressive, showcasing its product in a transparent casing.

Whats included in the package

  • Handlebar
  • Removable Housing Cover
  • Installation CD

The bars itself is not relatively light at a claimed weight of 230 grams (in comparison the 42cm Egronova LTD weights in at below 200gram) Mine bar came in at 228 grams with an addition of 18 grams for the housing channels.

However, what I do like about them are the features. The bar features an aluminum clamp bonded into the carbon to increase the rigidity, and the gripping surface is added at both the shifter clamp area and as well as the stem clamping area. The bar also features an unique cable housing channels with an removable housing channel cover (which are the 4 screws and the plastic sleeves). This means that you don’t need to use ugly electrical tape to tape your cables to the handlebar.

Time makes its entire product from carbon inhouse and this includes the carbon fiber weave and as well as the impregnation of resin into its carbon tubes. This makes the Egrodrive bar super stiff, though I have not tried the bars.

The shape of the bar follows the compact design similar to that of the Egronova, an flat, egg-shaped top mated to a shallow drop. I like it compared to an classic shaped handlebars, flat tops means being able to rest your arms on the top and cruise your way around. Shallow drops means you don’t need to have the flexibility of a gymnast to maintain your positions on the drops.

Time will tell whether I would like the bar (I would be mounting this bar on my mini velo but I am still in the midst of planning future upgrades for it) but as for now, I like the bar, 50 grams of weight gained is an OK trade off for the amount of proprietary technology on the bar. The bars are pricey given the pedigree of its manufacturing processes and the country of origin. TIME has cut itself a niche in the market as a premium manufacturer and this bar shows it.


  • Time Egrodrive 42cm bar in white
  • Made in France
  • Claimed weight 230 grams, real weight 227 grams (raw weights without housing channels)
  • Removable housing channels for cable routing

The author was not sponsored nor paid by Time to review this product. This product was paid for and purchased by the author (who has no working relations with Time)

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Tighter rules for E-Bicycles

Recently, LTA has decided to introduce tighter rules for E-Bicycles , and I welcome the toughened rules. Besides having a more stringent rules, they also increased the fines for illegal E-bikes. However, in my opinion, this has not solved the root of the problem which is that of E-Bikes inconveniencing pedestrians walking on foot way.

Currently, there are 6 rules which relate to the construction, the speed, the weight and the standards which the E-bikes must adhere to. The crux of the problem, in my opinion doesn’t lie in the construction of the bikes, but rather in enforcing where these bikes should be allowed to travel on.

At 25kph, they are too slow for the roads, and too fast for travelling on pavements. One solution proposed would be to increase the legal speed of e-bikes to 40kph (where it is 10kph higher than the average speed on aertial road according to LTA 2014 report) LTA, however would need to ramp up the enforcement of e-bikes not being allowed on pavements through the usage of officers and cameras.

Excessive modding of the motor should not be curbed by fines, send the offending e-bike at the owner’s cost, to de-modify the bike back to its original state, and at the same time levy a fine.

There are other further legal issues involved such as when there is personal injuries or property damages involved, but that can be tackled at a later date.

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Sims Avenue Park Connector

The Sims Avenue Park Connector is the latest park connector to be added to the growing park connector network in Singapore. It is situated in the east and runs all the way from Paya Lebar MRT to Kembangan MRT where it links up with the Siglap Park Connector. Unlike the older Siglap Park connector, this refined park connector features many amenities and safety features aimed at enhancing park user safety.

NParks has build this Park connector mostly under the EW MRT Tracks, which I think is a rather clever use of maximizing usage of space in land scarce Singapore, It also serve a dual purpose of providing shelter when there is rain.

The other thing that I really like is the usage of curve paths to reduce speed of cyclists. These paths are not for your 45 kph road bike warriors, but rather people choose a more leisurely pace. At grade crossing at road junctions make it rather hassle-free and painless to move around. Though I think safety can be further improved with the addition of mirrors and zebra crossing lights at junctions. With cyclists travelling relatively fast as opposed to pedestrians walking or running, drivers might not be able to stop safely in time as they might not notice the cyclists till they are too late.

Other amenities on offer include seating for resting points and the designers have even managed to squeeze in a playground. There are also multiple static exercise station located along the pathways.

The Park connector is unfinished as the link to the Siglap park connector is still not yet completed. The park connector will probably be connected to the nearby Geylang Park connector but as at the time of writing, there is no groundwork being done yet.

Disclaimer: The author has noticed its construction for quite awhile as he stays nearby,.Upon finding out that the park connector is close to completion, he decided to try it out. This post is not sponsored by Nparks, nor have I been contacted to write an article about it.

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Merging of data overlays with sports action camera video

I went for a quick 30 mins ride on Saturday and decided to record my ride using my old trusty Garmin Edge 200 and a SJ4000. Merging of the 10 mins segments into one video was done using windows live movie maker and the data overlay was done using the garmin virb programme . In total it took around 6 hours or so to transfer the data onto my computer, and to upload it to YouTube(without edits), which isn’t very ideal in the fast paced world of today. The data was slightly out in the video as I started the Edge 200 after one full round.


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Raleigh MV8 Review

All along, I had a certain fascination on mini velo, they look really small and are designed to go longer distance as opposed to a BMX. To put it simply, they are in my best description described as non fold-able folding bicycles. My interest in the MV8 waned or increased depending on how much I looked at it. Just recently, I started work in Central Singapore and thought about commuting by bicycle as it was faster, and a great way to get a workout. Working in an industrial area made it crazy to ride my merida to work and my thoughts went back to the MV8. Managed to get it and as of now, I done roughly a day’s worth of commute roughly 30km shuttling back and forth places.


The MV8 costs roughly the price of the wheelset on my Merida (Fulcurm Racing Quattro) To be honest, I did not expect much from the bike, given the cost of it, but still I am pleased at the package offered by Raleigh. They skimmed on certain parts but to me, the highlight of the bike is that they somehow managed to spec a branded (Shimano Claris) rear derailleur.

The Build
I wanted a dropbar version of the bike due to the variety of holding postions avaliable on the bar. I stripped my old road bike and transferred the cockpit as well as the saddle(which gives me the option to mount the fizik saddle lights. After a few hours of tinkering in the bike shop, the final product came out well, to my expectations.

Frame and Fork
I was surprised to find that the frame came with internal cable routing,a feature that is found instead on most of the road bikes on the market nowadays instead on a S$400 bike. I accdentally pulled out the whole cable and housing while re cabling to the tiagra shifters, putting everything back though was a hassle and best done by a bike shop. The frame and fork offers a variety of mounting points should you decide to upgrade. For brakes it offers, V brake, Disc Brake(edit: was advised that the mounting points are actually for fenders) and Caliper brakes. It offers a variety of mounting points for fenders and racks as well. The bike however has a pretty standard geometry, ( I only measured the top tube which was roughly 52cm) it is relatively long compared to its wheels. It’s wheelbase is super long compared to other bikes that I ridden and it gives a very cushy feel. Huge rear triangle is not very stiff coupled with the seat tube gives it a very comfortable ride.

The bike was speced with a promax (no model number could be found) V brakes, To me, the overly shiny calipers looked cheap to me, but they do their job just fine. Fitting them to work with a road shifters posed no issues though I needed to squeeze the brake calipers more to get more braking power

Seatpost and seat clamp
The seatpost are promax branded. They are good value and are surprisingly easy to adjust.It is a one bolt design with the cradle seating on the seatpost and a clamp goes over it. To adjust just shift the cradle up and down and it is done! Simple and easy to adjust.

I swapped the stock seat clamp which was using a lever to a seat clamp that uses a bolt to clamp the seatpost as I do not want it to drop due to lack of grip (which happens often to seat clamp that uses a adjustable lever)

Drive train
The drive train consists of a KMC Z72 chain, Promax square taper crank(with a chain guard), mated to a Shimano Claris rear Derailleur and a epoch hyperwave 11-25 cassette. I swapped the cassette out as I prefer using a name brand cassette and though it looked shiny(and cheap), I would rather use my old PG850.
I like that they spec the rather new Shimano Claris rear derailleur. The shifting isn’t exactly the best with the old shifters but the bike is too new to tell if its cable adjustment or equipment mismatch or just poor tuning.

The ProMax is not exactly the best crank out there, I could feel it flexing when I mashed it really hard. The chainguard is there to prevent the chain from falling off, but if the derailleur is properly tuned, such incidents should not happen. It looks abit flimsy, but then again the bike doesnt costs alot of money!

Wheels and Tires
The bike came with Innova Tires and Quando wheels. The tires are rather comfortable due to its width. The wheels however are is a big let down. Wheels are a let down in my opinion. Wheels are supposed to be relatively true out of the box and smoothness of the bearings is a secondary issue. This wheels, however are not true and the bearings feel rough. The bearings feel is very noticeable, particularly at high speeds (over 30kph) and the wheel was untrue enough that brake rub was very noticeable even when the v brakes are calibrated. The hubs looks shiny, but it doesnt perform as it is supposed to look like.

While the hub reads. “Quando, High Performance Hub” It definitely doesn’t feel high performance to me.

This is my first foray into the world of mini velo but despite the drawbacks, I am still quite happy at the purchase. One shouldn’t purchase the bike thinking that it will perform like a S$1K bike, and it isn’t. The frame offers great upgrading options should you choose not to use their stock parts. If Raleigh is able to offer their frames separately, that will be good (around the 150-250 price point will be good) I am considering future upgrades to improve the flaws. For now, I just have to wait for the magical item that makes the world go round to regenerate.

Reasons to buy the MV8

  • Compared to its even cheaper brother the MV7, the mv8 comes with a freehub which offers a relative cheap upgrade path to 9,10 speeds if one has enough spare parts from other bikes.
  • Frame has variety of mounting points for different types of brakes and additions like rack and fenders.
  • Relatively long frame means that it is stable.
  • Fat wheels means that potholes and drain covers have no problems.
  • V brakes offer relatively strong braking power, good for those who are new.

Reasons to not buy the MV8

  • Wheels are not exactly the best, it might be a Quality control issue
  • Square taper cranks are hard to install and remove
  • Fat wheels are not meant for people who want to go fast

Full Specification as reviewed

Raleigh, or any other companies mentioned did not pay nor sponsor me for this post. The bike was paid for using the author’s cash. I am not affiliated nor working with any of the companies mentioned. The above experience is the author’s own experience and end user experience may be different.

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Suggestions for a key cycling Route-Bishan To Gardens by the Bay

Recently, Straits Times reported that URA is conducting a study on making the Bishan-Kallang Park Connector a seamless route. If the study is successful, it could pave the way for other similar “commute” route for cyclists and runners who wish to commute other ways. besides public or private transport. I applaud the idea, as it could be a way for cyclists who are afraid of the road to commute safely to work without incident.

The Park connector network was originally conceived as a walkway/path to connect to all the parks all over Singapore. Commuting was never thought out of as it concentrated mainly on making parks easily accessible via jogging or cycling.  The material of choice for the connector varied within park connectors (most are using tarmac now but there are places like Siglap park connector which uses bricks for some part of the connector) Commuting was thought of as impractical (due to the hot weather) or the government had confidence in the current transportation system and saw no need for a walk/cycling commute.  Thus, there wasn’t a need for no grade crossing or relatively wide path for people to use.

The PCN idea is able to evolve further, into a park connector which has no grade crossing across roads with exits and entrances for park users, which is similar to the idea used in Amsterdam.

Special Thanks to bicycledutch.files.wordpress
This can be done via a combination of tunnels and bridges. Tests could be done to see if the grade of the bridges is gentle enough for cyclists to cross without falling off while riding. Curved bridges could also be employed if there is insufficient places  to construct a straight bridges or tunnels.

While the ideas of scholars are refreshing and insightful, I hope that the government could ask ordinary people (the ones who actually use the route) to give feedback on not only the bridges used, but also the width of the pathways. What works in theory may not work as well as in practice, thus I personally feel that users must be included in the pilot study and not people who wear suit and ties who drives to work without knowing what is going on the ground.

Lastly, I hope that by building the route, I hope that the government doesn’t force all cyclists off the road and onto park connectors, while park connectors were originally conceived as an connectors of parks,  there may be cyclists who choose to use the roads instead as it is faster or lack access to a park connector.


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Review: Fizik Tri Gel Pad

Aerobars often come stock with cloth elbow padding, which may suit some people. For me, I do not like to use cloth based padding, as they will stink under Singapore Humid weather and they come out easy after the cloth padding starts to give way.

Enter Fizik with their revolutionary “Technogel™” elbow pads. According to Chain Reaction Cycle description of it “Technogel™ won’t harden, lead, break down or migrate. When pressed, TechnogelTM moulds itself to the individual’s shape, by deforming 3-dimensionally along horizontal, vertical and diagonal axis.” According to the description, I purchased it as I thought it will be a viable long term solution to solving the cloth pad dropping out after awhile. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a variety of aerobars.

Long term review
When I purchased it some time back from Bike 24, I still had my vision aero bars. The pads looked cool and  you can also cut it to suit the shape of your elbow, which I did not find a need to.

The Good
What I particularly like about them is that the pads are not that thick and do not deform when elbow pressure is applied to them, this flat yet comfortable base might take a little to get used to but it is good. They also do not seem to need washing as it does not stink at all, compared to cloth pads which may  need some washing after some usage.

About a year later, I switched to 3T clips on and the vision shaped pads still fit well !

I find it cool that you do not need to install/epoxy new stuff to install these baby on, simply rip out your old cloth pads and install these on!

The Bad
Unfortunately, Technogel™, while sounding futuristic and cool does degrade after some time. First it turns yellow probably due to the exposure to UV rays from the Sun, before turning into a sticky, messy gooey pads that is quite disgusting to rest on, I have ripped the left pad out simply from the adhesive strength from the sticky residue.

End of the day, I still re-purchased the pads. They are comfortable to ride in and do not stink which is the main reason I purchased it. It is no maintenance at all, no cleaning or whatsoever till it decides to turn sticky. On CRC, they are priced cheaper than some cloth pads which make it a bargain. Still, I do not mind the stickiness, as it means washing one less bike component. If Fizik is able to make it un-degradable, they could have a product that is the best aftermarket pads out there. For a relatively low-tech product, I am surprised at the innovation Fizik has thought out when coming out with this pads. I have tried rotating the bike so that the elbow pads will have minimal exposure to the sunlight when its parked at home, hope the pads can last longer.

Do not need Washing

Warning! It degrades under regular exposure to sunlight
Sticky residue might make you think twice about riding the elbow pads

This review is not paid nor sponsored by CRC,Fizik,Bike24 or any other companies mentioned. The 2x Elbow pad set was paid for using the author’s money with no discount other than the price listed on the sites. The above review is the author’s opinion on the product and end user experience may be different.

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