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  1. #1
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    Canadian mail order bike parts?

    Anybody know of a Canadian mail order bike part place. Or at least one that doesn't have ridiculous shipping costs to Canada?

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    Order from England. Usually a better deal than the US. I like http://www.chainreactioncycles.com . Sometimes your lbs will be able to get parts in on a better deal.

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    No, it sucks. Canada has very high taxes and imports on bike parts. It does not really matter where you buy from because once it hits customs, customs hits you. This is why it can be frustrating seeing bike parts listed on Rei.com etc in the US for so much less money. But then you can see what happens when a country does not have taxes!
    Check out the bike shops and ask for what you want. You are in Vancouver, one of the better places to be a cyclist in North America, so you should be able to get what you want. Many bike shops in Vancouver are Velo Orange dealers which can be sort of affordable. Ebay is good. Even better is to have an american buddy to forward you stuff, or take trips to Seattle and either mail the stuff to yourself as gift, be selective about what your claim, or hope you've been the US long enough to not have to pay for what you have bought.

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    Junior Member Anothercanuck's Avatar
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    If you order online from a US retailer have it shipped to one of the many shipping point shops in Point Roberts such as TSB Shipping. You will get cheaper shipping costs, as Pt. Roberts is considered part of the lower 48, and when you bring your parts across you will be "clearing" the goods yourself and will avoid those charges. Often if your purchase is less than $100 they will wave you through. Drive south as if you're going to the ferries. It's not that far and the traffic and border line-up is not that bad on a Saturday.

  5. #5
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    I have great luck from British sites. I've ordered frames and parts to build 2 completes bikes and a variety of other parts, tools and clothing. Usually at 1/2 the price of my LBS and 2/3 the price of US mail order places.

    I use Pro Bike Kit and Ribble. Pro Bike Kit shipping is free (They do surcharge for Frames and wheels though) and Ribble it is cheap. Both ship by mail and it usually takes 10 days or so. For most orders under $100 I usually do not get charged any taxes or duties. Over $100 Canada Border services usually carges GST/HST and Canada post tacks on an $8 service charge for colleting the tax.

    At Ribble the shipping calculation is weird, often you can save a lot by breaking your order into multiple smaller orders.

    Landau.

  6. #6
    Tax Payer Frenzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
    If you order online from a US retailer have it shipped to one of the many shipping point shops in Point Roberts such as TSB Shipping. You will get cheaper shipping costs, as Pt. Roberts is considered part of the lower 48, and when you bring your parts across you will be "clearing" the goods yourself and will avoid those charges. Often if your purchase is less than $100 they will wave you through. Drive south as if you're going to the ferries. It's not that far and the traffic and border line-up is not that bad on a Saturday.
    I agree with this method if you're in Vancouver. Just don't lie when going to and coming back from TSB. If you are not prepared to pay for some duty (one day they will make you pull over) then don't. You will still end up paying FAR less than local retail even if you are asked to pay for taxes/duty. I use TSB and have saved a ton of money.
    Burton

    "If you want to be Chinese you have to eat the nasty stuff." - Chow Yun Fat

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    I've ordered a few parts and accessories from the US and UK, and I've never even been charged GST to pick them up. Nor duty, despite being manufactured in Europe.

    If you order parts from the US that are made in North America, there's only GST on imports, no other duties (NAFTA doesn't allow any duty on made-in-North America imports). If the parts are made in Asia or Europe, the game changes, and a lot is in the hands of the customs agent, but they're busy people and often just wave retail-scale orders through.

    Planet Bike is good for shipping to Canada. I've only ordered bits and pieces from them, which they'll ship free. I bought my Ortlieb stuff from bikebagshop.com, and the shipping cost was reasonable enough to still see huge savings over retail.

    I've also used the CTC store (through wiggle.co.uk) to get steep discounts on Brooks saddles, and decent prices on other bits and pieces. Again, free shipping and never saw any taxes or duties, though there should theoretically have been some.

    Retail prices in Canada aren't just about taxes. Rent and labour costs in Canada are substantially higher than the US, and this drives up retail prices. For mail-order, USPS is heavily subsidised (loses billions every year) while Canada Post operates more or less break-even, turning a small profit most years.
    Last edited by neil; 08-19-11 at 01:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Anothercanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenzy View Post
    I agree with this method if you're in Vancouver. Just don't lie when going to and coming back from TSB. If you are not prepared to pay for some duty (one day they will make you pull over) then don't. You will still end up paying FAR less than local retail even if you are asked to pay for taxes/duty. I use TSB and have saved a ton of money.
    Absolutely. Trying to smuggle stuff through would not be worth it at all. And while you're there fill up and enjoy up to $0.25/litre less at the pump. Declare that, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenzy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
    If you order online from a US retailer have it shipped to one of the many shipping point shops in Point Roberts such as TSB Shipping. You will get cheaper shipping costs, as Pt. Roberts is considered part of the lower 48, and when you bring your parts across you will be "clearing" the goods yourself and will avoid those charges. Often if your purchase is less than $100 they will wave you through.
    I agree with this method if you're in Vancouver. Just don't lie when going to and coming back from TSB. If you are not prepared to pay for some duty (one day they will make you pull over) then don't. You will still end up paying FAR less than local retail even if you are asked to pay for taxes/duty. I use TSB and have saved a ton of money.
    I use a similar service, Package Express in Sumas, and more than once have declared as much as $300 of merchandise on a pickup run (spending less than 15 minutes in the US) and not paid any taxes or duties.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
    And while you're there fill up and enjoy up to $0.25/litre less at the pump. Declare that, too.
    I never declare gas. I assume they assume that everyone fills up before coming back.

  10. #10
    Member Pandayboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landau View Post
    I have great luck from British sites. I've ordered frames and parts to build 2 completes bikes and a variety of other parts, tools and clothing. Usually at 1/2 the price of my LBS and 2/3 the price of US mail order places.

    I use Pro Bike Kit and Ribble. Pro Bike Kit shipping is free (They do surcharge for Frames and wheels though) and Ribble it is cheap. Both ship by mail and it usually takes 10 days or so. For most orders under $100 I usually do not get charged any taxes or duties. Over $100 Canada Border services usually carges GST/HST and Canada post tacks on an $8 service charge for colleting the tax.

    At Ribble the shipping calculation is weird, often you can save a lot by breaking your order into multiple smaller orders.

    Landau.
    What about a complete bike? I find out that shops here in Canada don't have a lot of selections. I've been looking for a reasonable bikes like Schwinn or Raleigh and for some reasons they don't have the size or don't have the product in their warehouse. If I tried inquiring in the US who carries these brands, they don't ship to Canada or they would ship it to a APO something.

  11. #11
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandayboss View Post
    What about a complete bike? I find out that shops here in Canada don't have a lot of selections. I've been looking for a reasonable bikes like Schwinn or Raleigh and for some reasons they don't have the size or don't have the product in their warehouse. If I tried inquiring in the US who carries these brands, they don't ship to Canada or they would ship it to a APO something.
    Try Mountain Equipment (Vancouver, North Van, Victoria, probably more cities). They've started selling bikes, and the components and accessories they sell are at reasonable prices. Their house brand tubes are cheaper than what you can get in the US. And the Planet Bike "race blade" fenders are FAR cheaper than in the US! They are the only bike shop I deal with in Canada, unless there are big sales (blowouts) going on, such as Cap's South Side in Surrey each year.

    Complete bikes are probably a good deal in Canada, as the retail strategy of most bike shops is to take only a small margin on the bikes, but soak the customer on the parts, service, and accessories. Plus, the warranty issues on the bike are greatly simplified when you can just take the bike back to the local place you bought it.

    REI in the US used to have good prices on bike stuff, but they've gotten considerably more pricy in the past few years. But it's still the first brick & mortar I'd go to in the US. LBS's in general tend to crank up the prices. If I need parts, I usually order online (PBK, Wiggle, Chainreaction in the UK. eBay, Nashbar, Bike Tires Direct, or whoever has the lowest prices online for what I need in the US). I do all of my own service, including wheelbuilding. Probably the only reason I'd have for going to an LBS would be to buy spokes for a wheel I'm building, and it would be to an LBS with a wheelbuilder who would know what size spokes I would need.

    Luis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    It does not really matter where you buy from because once it hits customs, customs hits you.
    That sounds like a government policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    Try Mountain Equipment (Vancouver, North Van, Victoria, probably more cities). They've started selling bikes, and the components and accessories they sell are at reasonable prices. Their house brand tubes are cheaper than what you can get in the US. And the Planet Bike "race blade" fenders are FAR cheaper than in the US! They are the only bike shop I deal with in Canada, unless there are big sales (blowouts) going on, such as Cap's South Side in Surrey each year.
    Mountain equipment coop are very good for bike parts. It's always my first stop if I need something.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

  13. #13
    Member Pandayboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    Try Mountain Equipment (Vancouver, North Van, Victoria, probably more cities). They've started selling bikes, and the components and accessories they sell are at reasonable prices. Their house brand tubes are cheaper than what you can get in the US. And the Planet Bike "race blade" fenders are FAR cheaper than in the US! They are the only bike shop I deal with in Canada, unless there are big sales (blowouts) going on, such as Cap's South Side in Surrey each year.

    Complete bikes are probably a good deal in Canada, as the retail strategy of most bike shops is to take only a small margin on the bikes, but soak the customer on the parts, service, and accessories. Plus, the warranty issues on the bike are greatly simplified when you can just take the bike back to the local place you bought it.

    Luis
    I finally bought my bike and after two months of researching and inquiries in Canada and US, I decided to go with OPUS a Quebec manufacturer. I got a touring one called Legato. Good components, triple butted cro moly and high quality workmanship. I fell in love with it when I went to an LBS that I've frequented for the past 6 years. I was aiming for Raleigh Port Townsend and Jamis Aurora but when I saw this one, I've decided right there and there. I'm happy.

    legato-2012wht__large-view.jpg

  14. #14
    Member Pandayboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Closed Office View Post
    Mountain equipment coop are very good for bike parts. It's always my first stop if I need something.
    Yeah, I always bought my accessories there. I looked at their bike selections and they are pretty decent for the price. They designed their bikes but they are manufactured in China. I'm looking to pick up panniers to get started on my touring stuff but I could easily find special deals online.

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    I got the MEC Col last year. It was a much better value than comparably spec'd bikes at the local shops and I’ve really enjoyed the bike. On Saturday morning, I was doing some maintenance and I noticed a small crack in the frame (on the little tube that's welded between the chain stays, just behind the bottom bracket). I took it back and they offered me a refund or a new bike no questions asked. This year's model had a few lower spec'd parts and I've upgraded a few so they also offered to swap whatever I wanted from the old bike to the new one. They said the new frame would be covered under the same warranty with practically no time limit. I couldn't believe this level of customer service and I think I'd have a much different experience at another shop.


    About the quality of the frame: To put things in perspective I weigh 225lb and have put 7000km consisting of mostly short rides full of intervals on this bike, so I think it has had a pretty hard life in the year I've owned it. I can't say how any other aluminum frame would have held up and my frame probably had a defective weld, but overall I believe that the quality of the MEC frames is comparable to any other brand name frame in a similar price range. After all, almost all of them are made in a handful of factories in China and I think MEC wouldn't have chosen to save a few pennies by going with one of the less reputable ones.

    Based on the value and customer service/warranty, I would definitely recommend buying a bike from them.

    As for parts, I’ve had good luck with Ribble and have never paid GST or duties.

  16. #16
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomecki View Post
    About the quality of the frame: To put things in perspective I weigh 225lb and have put 7000km consisting of mostly short rides full of intervals on this bike, so I think it has had a pretty hard life in the year I've owned it. I can't say how any other aluminum frame would have held up and my frame probably had a defective weld, but overall I believe that the quality of the MEC frames is comparable to any other brand name frame in a similar price range. After all, almost all of them are made in a handful of factories in China and I think MEC wouldn't have chosen to save a few pennies by going with one of the less reputable ones.

    Based on the value and customer service/warranty, I would definitely recommend buying a bike from them.
    I was surprised you had a crack in the frame until you mentioned that it was aluminum. I really don't think any other aluminum frame would have held up any better. I own one aluminum frame, but it's a track bike and only gets loaded from acceleration, not acceleration up steep climbs!

    I think aluminum is not such a good material for road bikes. It's too brittle, especially after it gets bent a few times. If you bend a steel tube, you can bend it back without it breaking ("cold setting"). If you try to bend back an aluminum tube, it will usually snap. Because they don't want the material to be bending under load, they have to make the frame much stiffer, so there is much less flexing of tubes under normal use. This results in an extremely harsh ride.

    I think that most alu frames have lasted as long as they have because they haven't had 225-lb guys doing hard intervals on them! I weigh 175, and in one season I broke 3 Performance titanium frames (made of "aerospace grade Chinese titanium"), but they were all under warranty. So I'm not a big fan of Ti, either.

    So it's good the alu frame is warranted. Otherwise, I'd stick with steel or carbon fiber.

    Luis

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mountain Mitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRoad View Post
    I never declare gas. I assume they assume that everyone fills up before coming back.
    It's simple: Gas in the tank is exempt. Gas in a container is not.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheik_Yerbouti View Post
    Order from England. Usually a better deal than the US. I like http://www.chainreactioncycles.com . Sometimes your lbs will be able to get parts in on a better deal.
    I also order a fair bit of parts from chainreactioncycles. Shipping to Canada is cheap or often free and I've never been charged tax or duty. I've even had tires and rims ship for free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    No, it sucks. Canada has very high taxes and imports on bike parts. It does not really matter where you buy from because once it hits customs, customs hits you. This is why it can be frustrating seeing bike parts listed on Rei.com etc in the US for so much less money. But then you can see what happens when a country does not have taxes!
    Check out the bike shops and ask for what you want. You are in Vancouver, one of the better places to be a cyclist in North America, so you should be able to get what you want. Many bike shops in Vancouver are Velo Orange dealers which can be sort of affordable. Ebay is good. Even better is to have an american buddy to forward you stuff, or take trips to Seattle and either mail the stuff to yourself as gift, be selective about what your claim, or hope you've been the US long enough to not have to pay for what you have bought.
    Lies and more damn lies.

    No there is no import fees/tarifs on bike parts, they do however have a 5% import tax (not gst) on assembled bikes.
    2 things:
    1. never use UPS they like to slap brokerage fees on for no reason. so to avoid don't use them or call ahead and get the tracking number form the bike shop where you ordered and then call UPS tell them you will self clear it- 9 times out of 10 you don't have to pay GST or their fees.
    2. use wiggle in the UK, cheap and kills the ****ty LBS, which are crap anyway.

  20. #20
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    MEC and Chainreaction UK are good,about 8 days and if you can make the order $100. +, shipping is free, $50 for free shipping with MEC and a good return policy.

  21. #21
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    Wiggle in the UK has worked out great for me, particularly drive train parts and tires which are easily 50% cheaper on many items. Of the five orders I made this year, none of them got held by the post office for GST. I'm all for supporting local shops, but I have a limited budget and can't afford to pay twice the price to make them feel better.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
    If you order online from a US retailer have it shipped to one of the many shipping point shops in Point Roberts such as TSB Shipping. You will get cheaper shipping costs, as Pt. Roberts is considered part of the lower 48, and when you bring your parts across you will be "clearing" the goods yourself and will avoid those charges. Often if your purchase is less than $100 they will wave you through. Drive south as if you're going to the ferries. It's not that far and the traffic and border line-up is not that bad on a Saturday.
    Agreed. I used to ship to TSB, but found that the Point Roberts border guards were typically more stringent about sending me in to pay duty (as I suppose the majority of people going down there in a given day are doing the same thing with various PO boxes). I now have a box in Blaine (www.mbistore.com), and find that the truck crossing & peace arch guards are much more lenient about duty. I've probably only had to pay two or three times in the past 4 years, and I often come back with several hundred dollars' worth of stuff (I declare every penny of it).

  23. #23
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    Found one:
    http://www.canadabicycleparts.com/co...s/saddles.html
    Selection is kind of limited, but now that the one Saskatoon shop that was carrying SMP no longer is, it's the only place to get those saddles.

  24. #24
    Senior Member timvan_78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
    Drive south as if you're going to the ferries.
    ?? There are no ferries from Pt. Roberts. If you tell the US border guard you are going to the ferry, he'll tell you that you are LOST. I guess you mean drive towards Tssawassen ferry and then turn south through Tssawassen to Pt. Bob.

    Also, near christmas time, the Pt. Roberts border lineups can get mental.

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