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Old 07-10-09, 11:12 AM   #1
MegatronRx
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Toronto Bike Store - Get Online!!!

So I've been obsessing over buying a new bike this past month. Like many in my age demographic I use the internet to inform my purchasing decisions and find the availability of products. When purchasing electronics, using the internet is a snap. Reviews are plentiful and almost every store has an online portal that lets you purchase the item online, gives you a price and inventory at their locations.

When it comes to bike shopping, however, most LBS have either no presence or a very feeble presence online. The only exception I can think of is Sweet Pete's, Broadway Cycle and the Urbane Cyclist. However, even those stores can be made a lot better.

I can't tell you the number of times I've gone to a LBS's website clicked on their Bikes link only to find a page of links to the manufacturers and not the specific bikes they have in stock. So frustrating!!

Wow you carry Gary Fisher bikes!!! I'm assuming you carry every Gary Fisher bike that has been manufactured since you don't bother mentioning what you have in stock.

You also need to consider that many individuals looking for a bike don't have a car handy and going to these far flung places is very difficult. For me, if a store doesn't tell me the bikes they have in stock, I'm not even going to bother going there.

I completely agree that you need to try out a bike before you buy it but if you're looking for something specific it helps to know before spending the time to get to the bike shop that they at least have something that piques your interest.

So this is my plea. Hire some out of work web-page designer and get your store on the web. You don't even have to sell stuff online. Heck, you could just take a quick course online on how to make a web page, and make it yourself.

Just let people know "Hey this is what we have and this is how much it costs. Drop on by and give it a spin" You'll be surprised at the number of people who will find your site and go out of their way to visit your shop.
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Old 07-11-09, 09:59 AM   #2
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And because the LBS do not publish their phone number, you have no way of asking them what is in stock.
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Old 07-11-09, 10:25 AM   #3
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I agree that most GTA/Canadian LBS websites suck. I do check out their stuff on their outdated websites and then usually give them a call to see if they actually have stock. Sometimes, I find out that the prices on their website are outdated... like in the case where I was looking for a pair of wheels and checked out La Bici's website. I called the shop and it turns out they had the same wheels for hundreds less compared to what was published on the website. In other cases, the website shows the product (Bike Depot) but when I ask if they have it in the store, they don't.

I usually buy from my favorite LBS but I also get stuff online... mostly from BikeTiresDirect.com which knows how to ship to GTA/Canada without incurring excessive duties. Stuff I buy online are those that many LBSes here don't carry... specific brands of handlebars, stems, tires/tubes (which are cheaper online), etc.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:39 PM   #4
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There are about 3 decent bike shops on Bloor between High Park and Jane, and another at Keele and Dundas. High Park is a great place to do a test ride including steep hills.
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Old 07-12-09, 03:30 PM   #5
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Wheels on Bloor has a decent website.
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Old 07-12-09, 07:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by duckbill View Post
And because the LBS do not publish their phone number, you have no way of asking them what is in stock.
A lot of LBS websites are crap you have to admit. Many sites are never updated with any info. If you have a website you need to keep it up to date. I'm not suggesting that LBS should become an online store....but when the last update was a year ago....
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Old 07-13-09, 10:49 AM   #7
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Wheels on Bloor is okay. They only show their bikes on sale. It'd be nice to see other bikes they have there.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:38 PM   #8
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Cycle Solutions, this is the one i go to all the time http://www.cycle-solutions.com/
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Old 07-23-09, 08:03 AM   #9
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I know you guys are talking bikes but I wish that there was a good Canadain online bicycle parts store. Trying to find a US store that ships to Canada and uses USPS can sometimes be tough. Sometimes even though they quote you a USPS shipping rate it ends up at my door on a UPS or FEDX truck and I am paying more in brokerage fees than the item is worth.
I don't know why the bicycle parts supply system in Canada is set up so that you either have to pay more for the item online or are forced to order through a LBS. I often just buy a item off my LBS just as kind of payback for the great and often free service and advice they give me. Still it bothers me that sometimes I am paying a lot more than I can find it online in the US.
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Old 07-23-09, 08:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cyberpep View Post
I know you guys are talking bikes but I wish that there was a good Canadain online bicycle parts store. Trying to find a US store that ships to Canada and uses USPS can sometimes be tough. Sometimes even though they quote you a USPS shipping rate it ends up at my door on a UPS or FEDX truck and I am paying more in brokerage fees than the item is worth.
I don't know why the bicycle parts supply system in Canada is set up so that you either have to pay more for the item online or are forced to order through a LBS. I often just buy a item off my LBS just as kind of payback for the great and often free service and advice they give me. Still it bothers me that sometimes I am paying a lot more than I can find it online in the US.
+1 !!!!!!
I often find I just need one part and that my local LBS can't order it (or won't be bothered) but I can find it online in the USA. In these situations I would love to order from a Canadian parts store!
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Old 07-24-09, 06:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cyberpep View Post
I know you guys are talking bikes but I wish that there was a good Canadain online bicycle parts store. Trying to find a US store that ships to Canada and uses USPS can sometimes be tough. Sometimes even though they quote you a USPS shipping rate it ends up at my door on a UPS or FEDX truck and I am paying more in brokerage fees than the item is worth.
I don't know why the bicycle parts supply system in Canada is set up so that you either have to pay more for the item online or are forced to order through a LBS. I often just buy a item off my LBS just as kind of payback for the great and often free service and advice they give me. Still it bothers me that sometimes I am paying a lot more than I can find it online in the US.
I had a good experience with https://bikepartscan.com/ -- they price matched the major US online retailers and brought in parts not listed on their website. It took a little longer to get the parts than they originally stated but they were great with communication, replying back regarding my concerns within 24hrs.
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Old 07-24-09, 10:39 AM   #12
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i buy a lot of stuff from online UK and USA stores, UK usually ships for free, USA online retailer are scrouges they always use the brown guys.

i never had any problem with them, just i hate their rates.

I prefer FedEX over the brown crap guys, i don't trust USPS, lost several thing via them.

the price works out about the same as if you buy it locally after shipping and duty fees (Tax)

so buying from UK is actually cheaper as they don't charge for shipping, it's only duties (tax) to pay.
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