Pros and Cons of Using VoIP for Business

With the demands of a growing business and the sophisticated technology used in today’s business, it’s essential for any enterprise in Singapore to upgrade its existing PBX phone system to keep up with its competitors. Opting for a hosted VoIP system both has advantages and disadvantages that you should keep in mind. There are also various types of VoIP solutions that must be considered based on the number of users and the type of services you need.

Below is a list of the pros and cons of using VoIP for business.

Using VoIP is Cheap

Regardless of the type of VoIP solution you want to use, if it’s a hosted VoIP system, such as cloud VoIP or an on-site VoIP (an IP PBX telephone system for example), the initial cost and the monthly fees are affordable for any type of business. If your office already has traditional telephony, you need not worry about replacing the hardware, because the existing PBX phone system can be upgraded using minimal setup and phone adapters. Small businesses that cannot invest in a PBX phone system can partner with voip in Singapore for a cloud VoIP, because there is very minimal payment—or even none at all—for the setup, maintenance, and upgrade of the hardware and software.

VoIP Needs Reliable Internet Connection

One disadvantage of a hosted VoIP system is that the company will be relying on the quality of service of the VoIP provider. This means that if there are delays, disruptions, and technical problems on the side of the provider, the companies that rely on their VoIP service will also suffer. In a hosted PBX system, the company has no control over the reliability of the connection and even the security of the data. If the Internet connection goes down for example, a cloud VoIP setup can disrupt office operations and will leave the personnel without any phone service.

To offset this problem, even if it is rare, the VoIP provider will advise its clients to keep some of the traditional phone lines open in case the VoIP service is interrupted.

VoIP is a Flexible System

As already mentioned, traditional phone systems such as the PBX phone system can be upgraded to an IP PBX telephone system. There is no need to stop using the traditional telephone lines when switching to VoIP. The company also has an option to add telephones based on the bandwidth of their Internet connection, which means that you need to upgrade once it reaches its maximum capacity. For example, if the business is planning to expand or add more personnel, you need to call your VoIP service provider to upgrade the system and add more telephone lines, so everyone can be connected.

Voice Quality May Vary

Not only will a hosted VOIP system or a hosted PBX be dependent on the VoIP service provider in Singapore, but the quality of the VoIP calls will also be dependent on the Internet connection. This means that the connections should have enough bandwidth to get the same voice quality as when the traffic is low.

Make sure to discuss this with your provider if the office has a high volume of calls daily. Some aspects of the operation that is beyond the control of your VoIP provider (for example, you have different Internet service provider) can also affect the quality or the performance of the VoIP system. That is why you should also subscribe to a reliable Internet provider in Singapore to avoid these problems.

VoIP is User-Friendly

Even if your company does not have its own information technology department, there is no need to hire more personnel if you set up a cloud VoIP. The VoIP service provider will provide the expertise set up and maintain a hosted VoIP system. But what if you are new to the technology? Don’t worry because there is no need to train your employees to use the VoIP system.

This works pretty much like traditional telephony, but it has extra features that will make office operations a lot easier. VoIP includes not just making voice calls, but your employees can also do the following: send e-mails, video conferencing, record-keeping, auto-attendant, call routing, voicemail to e-mail transcription, call screening, manage extensions, custom hold music, three-way or N-way calling, virtual extension, international virtual numbers, and many more.

VoIP Can Affect Latency

Latency refers to the duration of the delay before data transfer starts right after inputting the instructions. In VoIP service, this refers to the jitter, which is quite common in packet switched and connectionless networks. The problem is rooted in the division of the voice packets and the delivery of the packets which might be sent through different paths before they reach the receiver. The result is a poor-quality voice call if there are delays and congestion in the VoIP system. To ensure that this problem doesn’t affect the quality of voice calls, the acceptable latency for VoIP should be maintained at 150 ms or less. If you are not sure what this means, the best you can do is to contact crystal voice in Singapore for detailed information about this matter.

VoIP is Portable

As long as the employees are connected to the Internet and they have a VoIP phone, transactions and exchange of information can be made anywhere outside the office. But that’s not all, because some VoIP service providers also provide a Web interface with the same VoIP services available even without access to a VoIP phone. As long as the employees have access to the Internet anywhere in the world, they can still make cheap calls. This is an advantage for companies in Singapore that have employees who travel frequently.

The Importance of Branding Your Coffee Cart Catering Service

Now that you have your coffee and your start-up appliances and gadgets to start your very own mobile coffee catering service, you need to think about how you want your customers to see you – this is where the branding aspect of business comes in.

Branding is big, and is even a big business in and of itself. Many successful companies and businesses have strong ones, and the biggest and most successful have ones that you look at every day.

You see these brands all the time, and unless you live in a rural area, it can be hard to not encounter a single brand. You wear brands, you eat brands, and you use brands – you might even recommend them to your friends over a latte fresh from your mobile coffee cart.

A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs starting out on their own business focus on the income aspect so much that they forget about their brand. But why is this important for your humble coffee push cart? Here are three reasons to convince you to put some thought on it:

1. The brand is more than the logo

In short, it’s not so much the brand itself as the recognition that the brand generates.

When you look at the green minimalist logo of a two-tailed mermaid, what is it that comes to mind? Starbucks. When you look at it, you instantly think things such as mocha, latte, or even cappuccino. The same could go vice-versa, and for other products and brands as well.

Believe it or not, your brand is how people see you and know who you are, as well as your ethics and values. This is how they know exactly what your business DNA looks like, and how you want to continue your coffee catering business in the future.

When customers think of a certain product, they will associate that product with your brand and be more inclined to purchase from you in the future. So how do you want people to see your mobile coffee cart?

2. Branding boosts morale (or at least, it’s supposed to)

Mobile coffee is great, but do you know what could make it even greater? Mobile coffee that’s so good people recognize you just by looking at your logo.

When starting a mobile coffee catering service, it’s important to see the brand as a person. A common problem among marketing and leadership teams is not being unified in how they believe a brand should communicate.

Brands are more than just fonts and logos, and you shouldn’t just think of them that way. Think of them as people – they’re born, they speak for you, they age, and they can even die. We love some brands and hate others, and these help us make choices.

How does your brand speak? If you haven’t one yet, how do you want it to? How do you want it to stand and act? Having a personality about the coffee cart from Singapore brand can help you figure out how you want it to behave, and this lies in how you want to resonate with your audience and how you want your audience to receive your message.

The process of figuring this out may take some time. It would even need a bit of research into how your target demographic responds to the latest trends in products and services similar to yours. But when done right, a solid personality will give you something your audience can latch on to.

3. Strong brands generate referrals

And lots of them. Once you’re able to reach a sizeable base of loyal patrons, you’ll be able to clearly see the effects of having a brand associated with your mobile coffee cart. These effects come two-fold, and you’ll see them taking place during as you make your daily rounds with your coffee cart.

You can bet that people will talk about the brands that they love, and if they like what you offer, they will refer you to friends and family. With this, you’ve essentially doubled or even tripled your number of patrons with little effort, and now you have to get another coffee cart to serve more customers.

Depending on your popularity, you might even have to get not a cart, but a trailer and more cappuccino makers. If you’re still not convinced, a strong brand might even be a reason for other business to work with you in order to sell their products to more customers – a win-win for everyone!

Now that you’re convinced that you should give your brand a thought or two, here are some tips you can use to help you realize it and how you want it to speak for you:

• List an inventory of your skills. What are you especially good at? And since you’re selling coffee, what makes it different from that sold by other brands, such as Starbucks, or even McDonald’s? The things that make you unique will be the basis of your brand.

• Find out what your customers need. Every brand will set out to differentiate itself based on a particular need that they see from the customers. If you see that customers are looking for a home-brew alternative to commercial coffee, for example, then position your brand in such a way that it reflects this need.

• Keep your focus on what makes you unique. This may require a lot of thinking and creativity, as well as a good amount of effort and legwork to pull off. The trick is to look for that particular balance in both specificity and uniqueness with the ability to expand and diversify to allow for further growth for your business.

What You Should Know About International Freight and Logistics

It’s no surprise that trade among different nations makes the world better off. International trade allows markets to expand their goods and services to a larger client base so that they are more available, making them cost cheaply. They also make certain products available when they otherwise aren’t.

Since the first days that air freight and sea freight traffic have expanded worldwide, the exchange of imports and exports worldwide has led to the booming of cargo transportation services and freight forwarding, where logistics services are offered in order to coordinate with one shipping company or more to ensure the on-time delivery of goods.

For freight forwarding services like freight master from Singapore and businesses in Singapore looking for a reliable one to ensure that their products are shipped on time, it’s especially important to stay up-to-date on the state of both international and regional trade. However, what’s lesser known is the state of the freight market.

What is the freight market? What is the difference between local freight and international freight? Here’s everything you need to know to get you started.

Introduction

When firms or individuals buy certain goods that are produced abroad, there are two kinds of entities that are responsible for the movement of these goods. These entities are the shipping company and the freight forwarding agency.

The shipping company, on the one hand, is the entity responsible for the actual transportation of the goods, as they have the capacity to operate carrier transports (i.e. rail, air freight, or sea freight) that can hold the goods as they move from one part of the globe to another.

The freight forwarding agency, on the other hand, is the one that’s responsible for coordinating the shipments. They liaise closely with clients to advise them on the costs as well as the necessary arrangements, and then work these arrangements with the shipping companies and the different customs authorities to provide the necessary documents for clearance, arrange the payments, and ensure that the shipment is delivered on time and in peak condition.

Who are the Freight Forwarders?

Freight forwarding agencies go by many names, such as “non-vessel owning common carrier” (NVOCC), multimodal transport operator, global logistics company, supply chain manager, and even information broker. However, you should know that these are essentially the same, with their names simply the result of more recent marketing efforts.

Freight forwarders like http://www.freightmaster.sg/ in Singapore are generally classified into three groups:

• Local companies – These are single-office enterprises that deal with the local customer base in Singapore and specialize in local freight operations and logistics services. They typically operate at a seaport or airport area where they can best specialize on different types of traffic.
• National companies – Many freight forwarding services have offices in different ports and airports as well as in large industrial cities, and often have their own handling depots or warehouses where they can operate their own services, such as consolidating customers’ shipments.
• International companies – An international logistics company would be easy to identify as international companies have their own offices overseas, which gives them more coverage as well as a wider range of services to offer.

Size should not be the criteria to look at when considering a forwarding agency, as different criterion that come into mind when choosing a service tend to overlap. You should also keep in mind that the industry is made up of different firms that have their own specializations.

Over the years, freight forwarding companies have become more sophisticated in order to better cater to present and future client bases. They have also become more available at all levels of the supply chain, in turn becoming a crucial service to companies both big and small.

What Services do they Offer?

As mentioned before, forwarding agencies are basically in charge of coordinating the movement of goods to ensure that they arrive on time and in peak condition. Forwarders are usually appointed either by importers or exporters to pick up the goods at a specific address and generally act on their behalf.

Freight and Transportation

The two biggest means of transporting goods are air freight and sea freight, right next to transportation by means of land (via trucks) and rail (train). Because forwarders are the link between the seller and buyer, they will book space on either mode/s of transport after advising the customer on the best route available.

Their key function is to arrange for space on the transport and to take careful documentation not just on the nature and quantity of the shipment, but also on the transport’s route and destination. Once the goods arrive, the forwarders then forward the goods, collect them, and coordinate the delivery to the buyer.

Air vs. Sea

The main difference between air freight and sea freight is simply that the latter is meant for heavier shipments, while the former is for lighter ones. This explains why there are more terms that you should know relating to transporting goods by sea rather than by air.

While ships are good for transporting heavier goods, they do have their drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that they take longer to reach their destination. They are also more likely, in some instances, to be handled poorly unless registered under high priority.

Transporting by airplane, on the other hand, limits the quantity of goods that you can move in one shipment, and having all your goods moved by plane may require multiple flights.

Commercial Plumbing Problems that Need a Professional Plumber

Maintenance of a commercial building’s plumbing can be stressful especially if it’s plagued with a lot of problems. Knowing when to call a professional can be crucial to maintaining the daily operations of the business or office. Watch out for these common commercial plumbing problems that will need the attention of a reliable plumber in Singapore to prevent interruptions in the building.

Faucet Leaks

Faucet leaks are easy to ignore in most commercial buildings, but failure to address even this most common plumbing works problem can result in major repairs and renovations later. All the unused water will also add up to your monthly water bill and can even cause damage in other parts of the plumbing. Hire a reliable plumber in Singapore to fix this issue by replacing the washer. It’s also a good idea to schedule an inspection and maintenance with a plumbing services company to detect any leaks that might not be visible right away.

Clogged Drains

If there are slow or clogged drains in the office, this could cause accumulation of waste water and debris, resulting in bad odor and dirty restrooms and sinks. Clogged drains can be solved easily by a licensed plumber in Singapore like www.superplumbers.sg who will make sure that there are no waste material or debris trapped in the pipes of the sinks or toilets that are possibly blocking the flow of water.

Clogs could potentially damage the structure if not addressed right away, that is why it’s also important to hire a plumbing contractor for regular maintenance and inspection even if there are no visible defects.

Toilet Leaks

Silent leaks in the toilet are more common than you think, and public restrooms are especially prone to this issue because a lot of people are expected to use the toilets. Untrained eyes will not be able to detect the cause of the leaks right away, which is why you should only hire a reliable plumber in Singapore if you suspect there are any problems.

Running toilets are also a common problem, especially if there is a problem with how the handle works. Hire a 24 hours plumber if there are problems in the flapper valve, tank, fill tube, or the float. Sometimes silent leaks can be detected through regular maintenance and inspection with a plumbing services company.

Sewer Odor

If your restrooms and kitchens give off a bad smell even after thoroughly cleaning them, there might be problem with the sewer. The stink can come through the drains especially if there are debris and blockage in the sewer lines. You do not want to gain the reputation of having stinky restrooms among your customers and clients, so make sure to hire a plumber in Singapore to perform regular checks. The plumber can inspect the sewer for any blockages that might be causing the stink.

Septic Tank Leaks or Breaks

If there are any surface damage on the ground where the sewer line runs, you should call a licensed plumber to see what caused the problem. Any leak or break might be caused by damages to the piping, unsealed septic tanks especially if the plumbing works are old, damage to the septic tank cover, and rust or cracks in the septic tank.

Broken Pipes

While it’s easy to detect leaks in pipes that you can easily see, it’s not that simple if the water pipes are hidden from view. If you suspect that there are leaks in your plumbing or if there are sudden changes in the water pressure and the water bill, hire a licensed plumber in Singapore to perform a thorough inspection. Leaks are usually found at joints, and replacing them can be a difficult task. Call a 24 hours plumber such as Singapore super plumbers if there is a broken pipe, because it is considered an emergency repair.

Hairline Leaks

Hairline leaks refer to those tiny cracks in concrete where the plumbing works are found. You’ll find these mostly on the basement of the building and on the ceiling, because the water leaks come from either the water supply lines or the floor drain assembly. But in a large commercial building with several bathrooms, kitchens, and sinks, the leak could also come from the shower pan or the cracks between the tiles or grout. Call a professional plumber to assess the problem.

Water Heater Issues

Water heaters are essential in some businesses such as hotels, but maintaining them can also be a headache. Some of the most common problems that will need the expertise of a plumber in Singapore are buildup of sediment in the water heater, changes in the water temperature, unusual noises from the water heater, discolored water, water with foul odor, low water pressure, and leaks.

Low Water Pressure

In some old buildings, the water pressure can be affected by the buildup of sediments and deposits on the plumbing works, specifically on the faucet aerators. Call a plumbing contractor in Singapore to inspect your plumbing works or if your office uses a filtration system that has not been inspected or maintained for some time.

Sometimes, the low water pressure may also be caused by breaches in the pipes leading to the building, and this is considered an emergency plumbing work with a licensed plumber because the water that leaks from the pipes could potentially damage the building.

Installation of Pipes, Sinks, and Tubs

If you need to install new pipes, sinks, or tubs in a commercial building, you should hire a reputable plumbing services company to provide you with experienced personnel and quality products. There will be fewer problems in the future if the new fittings and fixtures are installed professionally.

Plumbing Maintenance

Plumbing maintenance is a must for any commercial property in Singapore to prevent issues that will affect office operations. You could schedule an inspection and preventive maintenance with a plumbing contractor every few months to prevent major plumbing problems that will cost more.

What Are the Different Kinds of Commercial Kitchen Equipment?

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant. Not only is it where the food is made, but is also the workplace of your chefs and cooks, who will need commercial kitchen equipment to make your dishes.

Without a proper functioning workplace, you will have a hard time getting your specialty dishes out to the tables. And much like any workplace, your kitchen needs commercial kitchen equipment to bring the best that your restaurant has to offer.

As an soon-to-be restaurant owner, it’s important that you not only know the different kinds of kitchen equipment that you’ll be needing, but also to know exactly how each one works and how to keep them in good shape to last you a long time.

Essential Appliances

While you may already know the different kinds of basic equipment used in the kitchen, it never hurts to refresh your mind on how each one works and what they should be used for.

    • Oven – What makes ovens a versatile must-have appliance for your kitchen is that not only will you be using an oven for your pastries, but you will be using one to heat up food quickly and with little delay.

    • Stove Range – There’s a good chance that many of your main dishes (as well as appetizers) will need to be prepared over an open flame, and a commercial stove range is always the powerhouse of the kitchen. Commercial stove ranges can either be powered by gas or electricity.

    • Grill – Grills are used to make a plethora of meat dishes. If your menu will consist of having two or more of them, you will need to make room for a grill to make things easier.
    There are different advantages of having a grill to cook your meat dishes instead of cooking on the gas range with a wire rack, the biggest of which is allowing the fat of the cut to easily come out and render the meat.

    • Deep Fryer – Because no dish is complete without a side, a deep fryer from a kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore is a must-have for your restaurant when it comes to getting food out quickly. Deep fryers are designed to quickly fry as much food as possible, and mainly consists of a temperature-regulated pool of oil with a strainer to strain the food from the excess oil.

    • Food processors – Whether you need a batch bowl, continuous feed, buffalo chopper, or a combination of any or all of the previous three, you will always need one of these to process all types of ingredients to a consistency that your recipe needs while saving time, and you can also add different attachments to collect the chopped/processed food.

    • Freezers and Refrigerators – No commercial kitchen or restaurant is complete without a freezer or refrigerator to store frozen goods or perishable ingredients. Refrigerating is a wonder of modern technology that allows these kinds of ingredients to last longer, which make them a necessity in any kitchen.

    This is one piece of equipment that you can easily get from any kitchen equipment supplier, whether new or used, without much fuss about its safety – this is because industrial refrigeration units are designed to meet the needs of the food industry in Singapore.

    There are many kinds of refrigerators and freezers available, but mostly fall under reach-in and walk-in types of units.

Other Kinds of Equipment and Appliances

As much as you need the aforementioned appliances for your restaurant in Singapore to operate smoothly, you also need to install the following to make sure your kitchen stays in top shape:

    • Shelving – From plates, spoons, and forks, to glasses, and even pots and pans and ingredients, you not only need a cool, dry place where they can be safe from falling off and breaking, but also to keep them away from pests. A good shelf that’s high enough to do this but also within reach for your staff is a must-have for your kitchen to operate smoothly.

    Shelves also free up a lot of space for your staff to work with, which makes it easier for them to cook safely without having to worry about knocking over stacks of breakables as they move about from station to station.

    • Sinks and Preparation Counters – Sinks are not only where dishes get washed, but also where the meats are thawed and the vegetables are washed. Preparation counters are where the cooked dishes are placed to cool down for a minute or two before being served.

    • Safety Equipment – Safety and sanitation equipment are two of the last, but not the last, things you should keep in mind when starting a restaurant. Be sure to contact your local fire department and health department before purchasing any of these types of equipment to make sure they are up to code and adhere to current regulations.

Should You Buy Them New or Used?

The good news is that you can buy used commercial kitchen equipment in order to stay within your set budget. However, if you can’t, you can always resort to purchasing new equipment that you can sell later on if you don’t need them anymore.
You should talk with your kitchen equipment supplier about the equipment that you want to buy. As much as possible, aside from talking about the price range, take the time to ask questions about how long a particular piece of equipment has been around.

*This list is compiled in no particular order.*

Purchasing the Right Copy Machine for Your Business

Many years back, there was a major difference between copiers and printers. Today, most office printers here in Singapore are multifunctional. A single machine can copy, scan, print, download, fax and even email documents. Other units also offer more advanced features that improves productivity, such as image editing, wireless connectivity, WiFi ready and built-in security features like biometric authentication.

With so much variety of printers and copiers found in the market, shopping for the right printer in Singapore can become daunting. These tips will help you purchase a copier machine by providing you details about the types of copier commonly available and giving you a glimpse of the key features.

Types of Printers

One of the first things you should do is to decide whether to have a back-and-white or colour printer. Once you have decided, start comparing specifications of different copiers, while keeping in mind your needs, budget and office space.

Type of Office

Copiers and printers meant for small offices or home offices are usually in desktop sizes to minimize space consumption. You can find a laser printer for a home office for as low as S$60, but we recommend getting a more reliable one for around S$300. Low-quality ones are meant only for occasional printing and is less likely able to meet your small office’s printing needs.

Large Offices

Office printers are usually table-top size or are freestanding types and are intended for multi-person usage. An office printer that you’ll get from copier leasing in Singapore like this has the ability to connect to a network and include special features for more efficient scanning, printing, photocopying and faxing documents, as well as an option to print on various paper sizes. Prices of a good office printer usually start at S$600 and can go up as high as S$5000.

Production

For a business that performs high-volume printing on a daily basis and requires advanced-level graphic quality, a production printer or a graphic art printer will best suit your operational needs. Production printers vary in prices depending on the specifications, but an entry level graphic art printer in Singapore usually starts at S$6000 and may go above S$30,000 for higher level models.

Printing Volume and Speed

Printing speed is one of the important specs to check out before buying a laser printer. Look for ppm (pages per minute) info in the spec sheet. We recommend to buy printer with a minimum of 50 ppm for small companies.

Scanning

Almost all printers today have built in scanners, but not all have duplex scanning feature or automatic feeder. Automatic feeding on a copier is important if you regularly scan large volumes of documents. Similarly, duplex scanning is important for back-to-back scanning of documents. You may also want to consider the optical resolution of the scanner if you think you will be scanning word documents and images.

Paper Capacity

This is often listed on the spec sheet as ‘cassette’ or ‘tray.’ Make sure to check this feature out to know whether the sizes of paper that the machine can support meet your needs.

Ink

It is advisable to keep in mind how much the ink will cost you over time. Before you buy printer, know first how many sheets you can print out of every cartridge and how much every replacement would cost you. Also, find out if it is possible to use ink refills purchased from a third-party provider.

Memory

Usually, a digital copier has some sort of memory in it, allowing it to retain some scans and documents. A copier’s internal memory is just similar to any computer’s hard drive. Depending on how heavy-duty a copier machine is, the built-in memory can range from 256MB to 1.5GB.

Servicing and Maintenance

Typically, service agreements for copier machines include, drums, toner and maintenance and repair of all parts. This set up ensures to free up employees and office staff from tackling printer’s toner level and maintaining printer’s functionality in the long run. Cleaning blades, rollers and other parts of the copier machine that wear out easily are usually covered.

Common Mistakes When Buying a Printer-Copier

    1. Avoiding colour printer because it’s expensive

    Many companies and businesses in Singapore avoid buying a copier simply because it is a lot expensive than monochrome machines. When you try to check the price of a monochrome copier and the coloured one side-by-side, the black-and-white one is cheaper. But are you outsourcing colour printer? How often do you need to print coloured documents? If your answer to the first question is yes and you need coloured printing every day, purchasing a colour printer will save you significant amount of money in the long run.

    2. Under- or over-buying

    Under- or over-buying is a common issue encountered when buying office equipment. How do you ensure you bought a copier machine that’s just right for your business? Do you really need a laser printer or will a carbon printer do? Ask yourself these two questions while you’re on the hunt: “Is it fast enough?” and “Does it have all the functions I need?” If yes, then most certainly it will suit you.

    3. Buying a pre-owned unit

    For a cheaper option, many establishments buy pre-owned printer. Sure, it can save you money upfront, but think about how it will save you more in the future. The equipment is already used (and probably abused) and may only last you a few years, requiring you to repair or replace with a new one sooner than expected. It can also be hard to find supplies and parts for older printer models. Your best bet for better savings, purchase a brand new one with the features you need.

Shopping for copiers and printers is somewhat like shopping for a new car. Know every car’s key features and find out whether it caters to all your needs.

Important Bicycle Materials for the Intermediate Rider

Although the bicycle is considered a hobby by most people, some enthusiasts want to upgrade their biking skills and compete as amateurs or professionals. Most of the famous cyclists, however, began as intermediate riders to hone their skills. For this transition to competitive cycling, you need to find the best bicycle for your specific needs.

Here are important points you need to know when deciding to become an intermediate rider.

Bike Styles. An intermediate rider needs to travel at least 40 miles per day to be ready for more difficult challenges ahead. Purchasing the right bicycle at the bicycle shop in Singapore, however, can be difficult with so many styles and brands to choose from. Intermediate riders, however, are advised to stick to either the road bike or the mountain bike for a more intense training. Still, you can also pick other bicycle types depending on which style you want to master in the future, such as the BMX and triathlon bicycle.

The road bicycle is designed for paved surfaces, making them ideal for touring, racing, and riding; while the mountain bicycle is designed for off-roading on rough terrain. The BMX bicycle is designed for freestyle riding, racing, and jumping both on paved surfaces and rough terrain; while the triathlon bicycle is designed aerodynamically to make travelling faster.

Bike Frame Materials. Now that you have decided to pursue riding more seriously, you need to invest in quality materials that will last longer and will endure a harsher training regimen. Most bicycles you will find at the bicycle shop in Singapore are made from steel. Depending on the grade of steel, it is usually the best choice for beginners and casual riders because it is cheap, does not fatigue and has a spring, and will not easily rust if maintained properly. The bicycle shop in Singapore will not recommend this material to an intermediate rider, however, because it’s heavy and thin.

Ideally, an intermediate rider should use a titanium frame for the bicycle because it’s light, strong, does not fatigue, and will not rust. The material is difficult to manipulate, however, that is why it’s more expensive than steel frames.

Bike Features. You will not need the most expensive mountain or road bike you can find at the bicycle shop, but any intermediate rider must consider the following features:
1. Full Suspension. To travel more easily on rough terrain, pick a mountain bike with a full suspension instead of a dual suspension bicycle. Road bicycles on the other hand do not have a suspension, but if you’re worried about comfort, you should find tires that are wider or brands that comply to the bike’s fork and frame.
2. Suspension Forks. For mountain bicycles, you should look for models with adjustable fork suspension if you want to have better control when traveling.
3. Transmission. As an intermediate rider, choose a mountain bike with 2 x 10 or 3 x 9/10 chainsets to have better control over rough terrain. You can also opt for single chain rings with a speed cassette if you want to lessen the weight and make traveling simpler.
4. Wheels. As an intermediate rider, you can choose between carbon or aluminum wheels, depending on how much you want the bicycle to weigh.
5. Multiple Gears. Most road bikes will include two cogs on the front and 10 or more gears on the rear, usually up to a total of twenty-two gears. These are important when you’re planning to train in difficult and steep terrains.

Bike Accessories. Don’t forget to purchase quality bicycle accessories such as a helmet with polystyrene liner, knee pads, elbow pads, small bike bag with accessories for repairing your bike (including patch kit, spare tube, pump, tire pressure gauge, lubricant, and lock), and water bottle holder. These bicycle accessories will make your training easier and safer.