The spotlight may have recently been cast on foldable bicycles or foldies as they’re affectionately known to enthusiasts, owners and retailers alike; with the daily papers dedicating numerous pages to the discussion of the pros and cons of whether the bikes in question justify the two thousand odd dollars shelled out by the government on a certain British brand of foldable bikes for use by staff. Either way, the publicity highlights a class of bicycles fast gaining popularity here in urban Singapore.

But our concern here is not about the pros and cons of foldies, since we don’t sell them. We’ve observed the trend and are pleased to share it. We’ve got household names like Brompton plastered across the headlines, others like Dahon, Tern, Bike Friday and Flamingo are up and coming. What we like, are the really special handmade ones, purpose built with real thought behind them—Tyrell bikes.

It has since become a yearly affair for Tyrell designer and principal frame and wheel maker, Mr Masato Hirose to make a yearly trip down from Japan to Singapore to meet and greet customers, clients and the media; in the process, sharing with them his design philosophy and insight behind the construction of the Tyrell range of bikes and small wheels that are distributed exclusively by Onesport and retailed by shops like My Bike Shop outlets here in Singapore.

At this year’s workshop, held at My Bike Shop Too in Midview City, Togoparts had the opportunity to meet the man, Mr Hirose himself and get to know more about Tyrell bikes. While the Tyrell brand name originated from the movie “Bladerunner”, My Hirose’s favourite film, the design philosophy behind the Tyrell range of bikes stems from something far less complicated—freedom. This refers to the sensation one gets when riding, where the wind is felt between one’s hair and where just being on a bike brings immense pleasure. Based on this basic principle, Tyrell bikes have been created to be convenient and efficient for use anywhere, boasting a creative one-of-a-kind cross-tube design engineered to convey the joys of cycling in a bicycle that brings together form and function.

Handmade in Japan, Tyrell bikes are painstakingly put together in Japan under the strict supervision of Mr Hirose to ensure that only the highest quality products are delivered to customers around the world.

Speaking openly with guests, Mr Hirose shared with us that the FX range of foldable bikes remains one of the best-selling Tyrell models. While it’s quality finish and ease of folding and excellent ride quality are one of the reasons for its success, Mr Hirose also shared that it was a decision to keep the wheelbase long to afford more control and comfort while riding with owners having a choice of 18 or 20 inch wheels.

Upcoming for Tyrell, Mr Hirose shared that he intends to experiment with new materials and play with more colours in the 2013 model-year bikes. A full carbon foldable model, the FSX is currently in the works and set to appear in the first quarter of 2013. While he did let in on other upcoming projects which include a handmade full-sized racing model, Mr Hirose preferred to keep the exact details to himself and coyly added that it will be revealed soon.

Whatever it is, given our experience with the Tyrell test bike at the workshop and its immensely comfortable ride quality and efficiency, there is little doubt that upcoming Tyrell products will continue to gain traction here in Singapore. Perhaps then, large agencies looking to procure quality bikes for operational purposes should look towards the land of the rising sun instead of good ol’ Britain.