1. Peloton Coffee & Juice Bar
Image: ST/ Chew Seng Kim
Located at Changi Village, Peloton Coffee & Juice Bar is a cafe-cum-retail store selling triathlon gear. While Wheeler’s Yard at Balestier and Coast and Company at Siglap also sell bicycles, Peloton goes one step further by targeting triathletes. They can browse racks of triathlon gear and merchandise, with a price range from $3 for energy shots and gels to at least $2,000 for full carbon monocoque bicycle frames.
The cafe also has a build-a-bike service, where customers can choose the frames and components of their bikes and have these custom-built by a professional bike mechanic hired by the management. The service is free of charge if the parts are bought in-store, but will cost between $120 and $150 if customers use their own components.
Peloton is the sole distributor in Singapore for the triathlon-specific Ceepo bikes, a popular Japanese brand. Prices start from $4,000 for the full bike set-up.
Mr Fir Iqbal, who opened the boutique in March followed by the cafe in June, believes there is a market for Peloton, especially with the growing interest in cycling. He adds that the large number of park connectors here has also made cycling safe and alternative means of transport.
Says the 32-year-old cafe manager: “Compared to other cafes, we have a sports-driven theme. We feel that working on the sporting aspect would give us more mileage than ordinary trends.”
His cafe sees a steady flow of cyclists passing by throughout the day as Changi Village is a popular cycling destination.
Even non-cyclists are drawn to the place because of its trendy decor.
The look is “raw, cosy and quirky”, as Mr Iqbal describes it, thanks to concrete flooring and a concrete bar, as well as tables, chairs and menu boards that the staff made out of wood and painted themselves. He says: “The handmade furniture cultivates the hands-on aspect of our cafe because it’s like how we build bikes.”
The espresso drinks, which are seasonal blends using selected beans from micro farms in Colombia, Honduras and India, start from $3.50 and the fresh juices are from $6 to $7. The cafe serves light snacks such as tortillas ($6), savoury pies ($6) and cakes and tarts ($5 to $8).
Mr Iqbal hopes that Peloton will continue to expand as a community hangout for people who participate in triathlons and cycling, as well as pique the curiosity of the public to find out more about the sport.
2. The 7th Cylinder
Image: ST/ Desmond Wee
Themed around motorcycles, the cafe located at Jalan Pisang was born from a desire to ignite a passion for biking among Singaporeans.
Four army mates came together to set up the cafe in March. A Vespa Exclusive takes pride of place in front of the counter inside the 30-seat cafe, which is filled with knick-knacks that pay homage to the two-wheeled vehicle, such as fuel tanks, engine oil cylinders and motorcycle decals. Several rows of helmets are displayed on a wall and a collection of framed photos of bikes also hang from the walls. Outside a Kawasaki Estrella is parked at the entrance for display.
The menu is engineered to fit into the theme as well. Some of the items are given names such as The Road Hog (pork honey ham meat with focaccia bread, $10.90) and the V-Twin (espresso with Thai tea and latte, $6.90). Road Hog is slang for a large and powerful motorcycle such as a cruiser and V-Twin refers to a type of engine.
Mr James Hoe, 34, one of the founders, says: “We see lots of cafes but none that cater to motorcyclists, so we wanted a place they could relax in and where we could promote the motor-cycling community.”
One of his clients, Mr Brandon Wang, 28, recently proposed to his girlfriend at the cafe. Says Mr Wang, who works in advertising: “The cosy size is just nice for the number of guests I’d invited for the proposal.”
He has been going to the cafe occasionally since it opened for the food and also to meet fellow motorcyclists.
“There are many riders who go there, so I can make friends within the community and chat over motorcycles or organise riding gatherings.”
This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on August 8, 2014. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.