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My Canadian friends - where are you buying your gear?

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My Canadian friends - where are you buying your gear?

Old 11-25-18, 01:28 PM
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NoWhammies
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My Canadian friends - where are you buying your gear?

As someone who lives in Canada, we get screwed when it comes to ordering bike gear on line. Either in shipping costs, or the dollar conversion, or even items that aren't allowed to be shipped to Canada for one reason or another.

That said, where are folks ordering your gear from? Have you found an online retailer that a) has a good selection of gear - tubes, tyres, gloves, clothes, etc and b) that is indeed cheaper to buy from online?

Many times I've come across something that I think is a good deal - like a Shimano chain for example - but after I calculate taxes, shipping, and the USD conversion costs I'm better off buying the chain from MEC. Looking forward to what you have to suggest.
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Old 11-25-18, 03:04 PM
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Back to the question: what to do to tap into reasonably priced bike parts? Keep in mind, due to the existence of an inefficient, redundant parallel wholesale network in Canada, bike retailers pay more that you can buy stuff mail order from the UK. So as far as cost-effective domestic purchases, basically you're boned... Only out I can think of is to get a mail box in Blaine or Pt. Roberts, and when you're making your weekly runs across the border to buy gas, cheese (well, and everything else you need to live), and at the same time, pick up your bike parts.

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Old 11-25-18, 03:53 PM
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I buy at LBS in Ottawa, Chainreaction, and Probikekit. I get most components from the latter two. If you pay for courier shipping using DHL form Chainreaction, any duty is covered.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:22 PM
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Chain Reaction/Wiggle, Ribble and Merlin Cycles all out of the UK (Evans as well, but they've been taken over and are not shipping outside the UK right now). I've looked at ProBikeKit and Sigma Sports but not ordered from either. My LBS gets some of the action as well...
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Old 11-25-18, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Another example: why is there a French language labelling requirement? Because this creates an entire industry where goods are re-packaged.
...because it's a bi-lingual country...

all goods produced for export have labelling and packaging requirements specific to the intended market. SOP.

Canadians have a larger, more prosperous middle class, far more economic mobility and lower crime rates than their southern neighbour. It has the most educated workforce in the world (in terms of % of people with degrees) and is the only G7 country with free trade agreements with ALL of the other member nations.

Bike stuff costs more.

The industry supply and distribution chains don't work anymore. Things are transitioning and we are living through that chaos. The bike industry is not alone in this.
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Old 11-25-18, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
Chain Reaction/Wiggle, Ribble and Merlin Cycles all out of the UK (Evans as well, but they've been taken over and are not shipping outside the UK right now). I've looked at ProBikeKit and Sigma Sports but not ordered from either. My LBS gets some of the action as well...
Yeah, I do a lot of business at my LBS too. Interesting to read about Wiggle though. I ordered from them and paid a lot of extra fees in duties, taxes, etc. So much so that it turned me off ordering from them again.
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Old 11-26-18, 03:15 PM
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LBS, Chainreaction, ProBikeKit and MEC for me. Not ideal, but good enough.
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Old 11-26-18, 04:13 PM
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CRC and Wiggle are my go-to's. I will patronize the LBS, and even MEC, but prices in the UK are much better.

Also, clothing wise I order stuff from eBay. It's hit and miss, and if you can accept that, then you can save a bunch, even factoring the misses.
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Old 11-26-18, 04:30 PM
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Admittedly I buy almost all of my cycling gear locally at my LBS and don't buy much on line. I will buy the odd thing from Amazon though, and sometimes will order something from MEC.
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Old 11-26-18, 06:19 PM
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I used to buy a fair amount from Ribble but they were bought by new owners not so long ago and their selection seems to have suffered. Also, they are now charging shipping which can still work out if it's what you want and the price is good. Some from CRC and Wiggle and Merlin as well. You have to be careful with taxes being added and fees from Canada Post for collecting GST/PST. I generally keep my purchases below $100 CAD and they slide through without having to pay extra. I stay away from private shippers like DHL etc as they will charge tax no matter what the amount and a service charge as well. I have friends across the border and do US stuff to their address and pick up when I'm down visiting. I bring it back tax-free as part of my allowance.
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Old 11-27-18, 01:57 AM
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MEC ... or places in the UK.
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Old 11-27-18, 10:40 AM
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@canamdad that's a good tip about keeping the purchases under $100. I'll have to do that myself.

MEC and my LBS tend to get the majority of my purchases. I have bought some tools from Amazon because I couldn't find them locally for the same price. Not to mention shipping is usually free too.

Perhaps I'll give some of the shops in the UK a try again. They do seem to have good deals, although I did get burned on taxes for the clothing.
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Old 11-27-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
@canamdad that's a good tip about keeping the purchases under $100. I'll have to do that myself.

MEC and my LBS tend to get the majority of my purchases. I have bought some tools from Amazon because I couldn't find them locally for the same price. Not to mention shipping is usually free too.

Perhaps I'll give some of the shops in the UK a try again. They do seem to have good deals, although I did get burned on taxes for the clothing.
Canada keeps such an artificially low de minimus rate (i.e. the amount you can import before taxes), that almost any order is a lottery on whether you'll be taxed or not. Once NAFTA 2.0 gets ratified, the amount changes from $20 to $40.... most countries are in the $300-500 range. The government loses money on every package they tax that is worth less than $200, but we have to protect...well... everyone it seems other than consumers.

If you have packages sent through the mail system, you have a CHANCE of it going through untouched; couriers will ALWAYS process duty and taxes and add a handling fee. Often it is cheaper and quicker to select a courier prepay option than not.
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Old 11-27-18, 05:54 PM
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Agreed @Beach Bob. If I can get the package for some regular USPS I will always opt for it.
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