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Mountain biking
Photograph: NParks/Facebook

The best mountain biking trails in Singapore

Helmet, knee pads and gloves on – head for the hills and put your riding skills to the test at the great outdoors

Cam Khalid
Written by
Cam Khalid
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Beyond the modern skyscrapers, old shophouses, and iconic tourist traps are beautiful nature parks filled with an abundance of flora and fauna. While the green spaces are great for a much-needed scenic escape from the busy city, it's also ace for mountain biking enthusiasts to work on their speed, strength, and stamina while overcoming challenging obstacles – think lung-busting climbs, sharp corners, muddy paths, and rocky roads. From novice to extremely difficult courses, here are the best mountain biking trails for some thigh-burning adventure.

RECOMMENDED: The best hiking trails in Singapore and the best cycling trails in Singapore

  • Things to do
  • Bukit Panjang

Take a walk – or rather, bike – on the wild side of Singapore via the 20-kilometre Western Adventure Loop. Start off slow from the lush, green space of Choa Chu Kang Park before picking up speed as you wheel through the parks and greenway. For a proper challenge, take on the rugged terrain of Zhenghua Park where pockets of vegetation are deliberately left wild to add to the park's rural charm. Then head for the 75-hectare Dairy Farm Nature Park, located in a rustic environment complete with hiking and biking trails. Traverse the hilly terrain before taking a break to soak up the stunning views of the nearby quarry and lake near the south-western end of the park.

Mandai Track 15
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Raffles Place

Located in the Northern region of Singapore, Mandai is home to Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and River Safari. And right next door is where you can start your two-wheeled adventure. Also known as T15 to mountain bike enthusiasts, the 12-kilometre-long route goes through the lush forest and open clearings. While the slopes and tracks are relatively smooth, expect to work those leg muscles at a number of hilly runs, making it a great for beginner and intermediate-level riders. Look out for rare bird species such as the bulbul and munia making rounds above too.

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  • Things to do
  • Pulau Ubin

Take a ride on the wild side at the southwest end of Pulau Ubin. The area boasts lush greenery and abundant wildlife, drawing nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the many wonders of the granite island. The challenging trails are designed based on the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Trail Difficulty System, so don't expect a walk – or rather, a cycle – in the park. Expect obstacles such as boulders, logs, steep climbs, drop-offs, sharp corners and narrow routes in the ten-kilometre track.

  • Things to do
  • Bukit Panjang

Affectionately known as BT, this 1.64-square-kilometre nature reserve is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. But gear up for its biking trail – it's extremely rugged. Exert more pedal power as you manoeuver through the 6.5-kilometre route which is covered with rocky terrain, sharp descents, long climbs, muddy corners, and knotty roots. It definitely tests the rider's stamina and endurance – great for intermediate-level riders and pros. As Bukit Timah is also home to wildlife, expect to encounter long-tailed macaques, Malayan pangolins, among others.

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Chestnut Nature Park
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Water Catchment

Split into North and South regions, Chestnut Nature Park covers 81-hectares, making it Singapore’s largest nature park. Clearly marked out here, the mountain biking trail features winding slopes and a pump track where bikers can practise their stunts. Keep it rolling at the circuit which comes with rollers and berms. It's split into four zones that range from easy to hard. Challenge yourself further at the Double Black Diamond route that features tricky rock gardens and terrain. The nature park also has hidden streams and lakes along the trek, as well as squirrels and endangered bird species such as the straw-headed bulbul, the banded woodpecker, and the orange-bellied flowerpecker.

Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trail
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Raffles Place

Got a need for speed? Go full throttle at the Kent Ridge MTB Trail where there's a short two-kilometre but technical single-track mountain biking trail that's relatively quiet on most days. Despite the smooth-flowing layout, the downhill course starts with a steep climb before encountering sharp, winding corners, drop-offs, and berms of various sizes. It makes an ace spot to practise your grip, balance and control. After, take a breather and check out the Reflections Bukit Chandu museum, located at one end of the Canopy Walk for some interesting nuggets about World War II.

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  • Things to do
  • Punggol

Good thing you don't even need a ferry to get to the island, just a bike – and good walking shoes – will do. This ecologically sustainable park uses timber from fallen trees for all the signages, benches and boardwalk over the mangrove swamp, while sand, stones and gravel make up most of its bumpy terrain. Suitable for rookies, the tracks aren't as challenging for you to attempt your first jumps. Its free-to-roam tracks also make a good practice ground to work on your riding and freestyle skills. Everything on the island is kept rustic and as it is, so expect hidden beaches and some wildlife out and about too.

Where to buy or rent mountain bikes

  • Shopping
  • Sentosa

Crank n' Chain fully embraces the cycling lifestyle at its concept store which also houses a café with coffee imported from Bali. The store stocks mainly road and triathlon bikes – and there is also a light range of mountain bikes as there is an increase of cyclists keen to hit the adventure trails in some of the nature reserves and parks. You can also find some of the best bicycle brands at the store like BMC, Bianchi and Cipollini –known for their high-quality bikes and style.

  • Shopping
  • Bukit Timah

Set up by a community of cyclists in 1974, Specialized in Binjai Park is the ultimate store for bike enthusiasts. The team pride themselves on always being first when it comes to the needs of the cycling community in Singapore. Quality tires, mountain bikes for cruising in the dirt, and even setting up a Specialized Foundation for kids struggling to focus in school – this place is more than just a store. The staff are mostly riders themselves and you can ask them anything – from help selecting your very first bicycle to bike repair and maintenance. 

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  • Shopping
  • Bukit Merah

It's worth making the trip to this warehouse in just to browse or shop. With over 400 bikes on display across a massive showroom space, there's plenty of variety – depending on what level of biking you're into. Browse through the selection of some of Singapore’s best road, leisure and mountain biking bikes here. You can even build your own custom bike at the showroom and don't hesitate to ask any of the staff or mechanics for help – most of them are bikers as well.

Decathlon Singapore Lab
  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Kallang

At 5,000 square metres, Decathlon Singapore Lab is the biggest one yet, with more than just equipment, gear and everything you need to be living your best sporty life. Plus, biking in the city doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you’re looking for mountain bikes, city bikes or road bikes (from $89.90), Decathlon’s got you covered. Don’t forget to check out its line of biking accessories and other sports gear while you’re at it. The store also has active stations where you can try out the bikes before making a purchase – it's a win-win. 

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  • Sport and fitness
  • Cycling
  • Western Islands

Prefer to rent than buy? We hear you. Make your way to Coastline Leisure in Area B1 and E2 of East Coast Park. For years, the store has become an institution for bike and skate rentals – so you can enjoy the beach and keep fit while at it. Choose from their range of mountain bikes, road bikes or tandem bikes. Rates start from $12 for three hours. 

More trails to explore

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