Like many of us, Kelvin Tan enjoys the experience of riding a bike - but this year, he turned his hobby into a business.
“I’ve been road biking for 15 years but this year I decided to switch to mountain biking with a group of friends,” he said. “We realised quickly that we couldn’t find a good shop in the West for accessories so I thought I’d start a hobby shop of my own.”
BikeSuite opened its doors in August 2020 at Suites @ Bukit Timah. “I chose to locate the store near my home because it’s in proximity to great mountain biking trails, eating joints and easily accessible via the MRT. More importantly, I know the community and the community knows me.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned more people into avid cyclists and it has been a great way to explore neighbourhoods and trails that one may not have considered in the past when travel was so easy and open. “It is also a solid outdoor workout, of course, and Singapore has more trails to explore than one might expect.”
But how does BikeSuite differ from its competitors? “The pandemic has further digitized the way we shop. Instead of walking from shop to shop, we let our fingers do the walking on the internet,” said Kelvin. “But when it comes to accessories, especially if the customer is new to the sport, there is immense value in being able to speak to the store before purchase because there are so many good options available in the market and they need help figuring out which one works best for them.”
Kelvin has 10 years of experience working in sales and purchasing for a bike chain store in Singapore and recognized that bike shops are so focused on selling bikes that they tend to neglect bike accessories. With BikeSuite, he offers the top three variants of each accessory category from helmets and lights, to tyres and more.
“Plus, I have been cycling for 15 years so I combine my industry expertise and my personal experience to help my clients, whether it’s in person at the shop or through WhatsApp,” he added. “While I’m building an online shop, the interaction with customers is always going to be most valuable.”
“Technology has been a game changer because it’s easy for me to hear my customer’s concern or request, share product photos and get immediate feedback. It’s ultimately a win-win scenario for everyone.”
Visit BikeSuite at Suites @ Bukit Timah, 68 Jalan Jurong Kechil, #01-19, Singapore 596180. Opening hours are 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm on weekdays and 12.00 pm - 3.00 pm on weekends.