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Niagara Cycle apparently bankrupt

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Niagara Cycle apparently bankrupt

Old 08-22-18, 09:21 AM
  #1  
PeaceByJesus
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Niagara Cycle apparently bankrupt

Niagara Cycle was my main supplier basic bicycle parts like 20'' tires (from 7.00 and derailleurs from 5.25 to 8,000+). However as of around Aug. 6 week their web site has been down for maintenance, and nothing comes from the phone or email. So I called a local bike shop in Niagara Falls and they said Niagara Cycle went bankrupt, owing suppliers.

Any suggestions for another place for inexpensive parts like tires and tubes? Dans comp has a coupon for free shipping for orders over $50 (or 10% off over $60) (see unlisted coupon page ) in which I was able to find some $10 size 20 x 2.20 tires for $10, which is the closest to the $8.31 I was able to get such from Niagara from. Amazon has some good buys (like a 27X1.1/4 tire for $12.99 ), and Ebay is good for such things as patches . But nothing comes close to the variety and low prices Niagara had.

Of course, the cheapest place is alibaba , but which is for wholesalers since you need to buy like 500 to 1,000 or more units at a time. Its retail branch,aliexpress.com, does not seem any cheaper than the others mentioned here (and its search function does not work well).

Any other suggestions are welcome.
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Old 08-22-18, 09:50 AM
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Bummer. They were great for small parts and often had high end name brand products such as Arundel cages and XPEDO titanium pedals for very low prices.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:03 AM
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They were not to be undersold.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
They were not to be undersold.
They pretty much could keep that, but now the question is, will they be sold? Recent BBB reviews could have warned us.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:42 AM
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My first order from Niagara was about a month ago and it was filled in a timely manner. Their price for a DT Swiss hub was about $90 less than any other USA source. I went looking for something just the other day and got the website down message. I ordered directly from their website but given that their inventory was available on Amazon as well, it's not surprising that they are in financial troubles, especially if many of their sales were coming from Amazon. Lowest prices and commissions to Amazon don't necessarily bode well for long-term viability.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:52 AM
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I was beginning to wonder, because even while their site was still up, they seemed to have fewer and fewer things actually in stock.
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Old 08-22-18, 01:08 PM
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If they were using Amazon the fees certainly could have been killing them. A company I worked for in the powersports biz tried to negotiate with Amazon, but we fell short when they would not budge. Guess we were too new and not a big enough player. The fee structure was too much and our already low prices were not sustainable if sold through their site. No way we could have one price on the Zon and another price on our site.

I do wonder what killed them off. Retirement and could not find a buyer?
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Old 08-22-18, 02:19 PM
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Such a tough business, I notice their website is history. I can't see it's worth the stress, I doubt anyone was getting rich.

Given the rise of Amazon, Walmart, big box, at el., a smaller retail operation hasn't much of a chance. In 2017 approx. 6700 retail stores shut down, a record.
I wonder how ASI is doing -- hope Nashbar rides out the storm.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Bummer. They were great for small parts and often had high end name brand products such as Arundel cages and XPEDO titanium pedals for very low prices.
I was buying the 4.99 a pair Sunlite Grabber Bicycle Pedals, 9/16". Just a little difference
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Old 08-22-18, 02:31 PM
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I knew they had issues. I bought lots of stuff from them. A couple of months ago I placed an order for something in stock and it didn't ship for two weeks.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
If they were using Amazon the fees certainly could have been killing them. A company I worked for in the powersports biz tried to negotiate with Amazon, but we fell short when they would not budge. Guess we were too new and not a big enough player. The fee structure was too much and our already low prices were not sustainable if sold through their site. No way we could have one price on the Zon and another price on our site.

I do wonder what killed them off. Retirement and could not find a buyer?
Perhaps part of the reason is that Chinese bikes are so cheap that you could not build one for the price they can sell a $55-100 20" Walmart bike for. Thus rather than fixing them the dads and or moms just buy a new one. Therefore bicycle shops themselves are far and few btwn. In the NE city I live of 20,000 people per square mile there is not even on, and the closest is 5 miles away.

Amazon fees must be higher than Ebay, at least on items under $20 or so, because many of the same things you can get on Ebay for under 5.00, like a motorcycle chain breaker (grind pin down for bikes) will cost about twice as much on Amazon.

But sometimes I have found some real deals on Amazon, thank God, like 20'' tires for about 4.00, and which prices raise greatly in one day.
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Old 08-22-18, 03:21 PM
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So they had the absolute cheapest prices around and people are wondering why they went bankrupt?
While you may have gotten a few good deals, the company apparently couldn't pay their suppliers and guess who ends up paying for that? Yes. All their other customers.
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Old 08-22-18, 03:41 PM
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What chapter are the filing bankruptcy under?
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Old 08-22-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
So they had the absolute cheapest prices around and people are wondering why they went bankrupt?
While you may have gotten a few good deals, the company apparently couldn't pay their suppliers and guess who ends up paying for that? Yes. All their other customers.
I bought hard to find 24 inch 520 tubes from them through Amazon about 3 months ago and had no issues. I liked that they had hard to find items. As mentioned in this thread it's getting tougher for businesses for specialized parts since there is such a small market.
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Old 08-22-18, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
If they were using Amazon the fees certainly could have been killing them. A company I worked for in the powersports biz tried to negotiate with Amazon, but we fell short when they would not budge. Guess we were too new and not a big enough player. The fee structure was too much and our already low prices were not sustainable if sold through their site. No way we could have one price on the Zon and another price on our site.

I do wonder what killed them off. Retirement and could not find a buyer?
It's also possible that Amazon started competing with them directly. It's hard to compete when Amazon charges the same price but with no fees and better shipping terms.
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Old 08-22-18, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I was beginning to wonder, because even while their site was still up, they seemed to have fewer and fewer things actually in stock.
Eh, I still believe all those drop shippers connected to the same backend. Tree Fort and Niagara's "stock" almost always matched one another, even if Niagara seemed to offer more of the catalog.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
It's also possible that Amazon started competing with them directly. It's hard to compete when Amazon charges the same price but with no fees and better shipping terms.
That is possible, but Niagara Cycle never said much about themselves, or to our knowledge notified anyone re their demise, and the reasons why they went belly-up are hidden in secrecy. I had called the local Chamber of Commerce in Niagara Falls seeking info, but they said Niagara Cycle was not a member and they knew nothing. I also had called their business neighbor, Advance Auto, but he said a lot of people would come in his store asking when Niagara Cycle would be open, but he knew nothing about why they were closed.

They never raised their prices much, or had much of an advertising budget, and business. Also, Manta reports "Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 288928 and employs a staff of approximately 2." Note "estimates." There is also a Niagara Cycles Works in Lewiston, NY (a little North of Niagara) which I think is related but they do not answer the phone. Manta says it has an annual revenue of 60881 and employs a staff of approximately 1.

Anyway, thank God there are other options. Dan's comp among other should pick up some business, though restricted to BMX bikes. BTW, https://shopballardpacific.com/collections?page=1 is the supplier for certain cheap Walmart bike parts, such as complete 20" micro drive rear wheels for $10.00 (yes, 10 dollars, with the drive). However, the shipping is 35.00 for one item, so one is not worth it considering the quality.

Last edited by PeaceByJesus; 08-23-18 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 08-23-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PeaceByJesus View Post
They never raised their prices much, or had much of an advertising budget, and business.
It is quite possible that Amazon (and Google) comprised the bulk of their advertising budget.

And it likely was a pretty big expense.

And, they should have invested a bit more in their website, and probably better product descriptions.

I bought some 48h hubs from them, but even once I found them, they were never easy to find again since they tended to abbreviate all the terms in the description, and common search terms just didn't pick them up.

I'd usually locate them on Amazon, then use the Amazon name as a key description to Google the Niagara site.

There some "related items" fields, but one couldn't easily jump between black & silver, or front & rear.
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Old 08-23-18, 05:05 PM
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agree with jefnvk
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Old 08-23-18, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It is quite possible that Amazon (and Google) comprised the bulk of their advertising budget.

And it likely was a pretty big expense.

And, they should have invested a bit more in their website, and probably better product descriptions.

I bought some 48h hubs from them, but even once I found them, they were never easy to find again since they tended to abbreviate all the terms in the description, and common search terms just didn't pick them up.

I'd usually locate them on Amazon, then use the Amazon name as a key description to Google the Niagara site.

There some "related items" fields, but one couldn't easily jump between black & silver, or front & rear.
Yes, they had a lot of parts. I usually saved the orders with the linked items, and which worked to return to the same product. Same with Ebay items. No so much with Amazon and Walmart. But most of items are basic parts for fixing kids bikes out on the sidewalk (free labor) in this city, and thank God I can even get the part I do. Just wish Niagra was still in business.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:04 PM
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Unfortunate about Niagara Cycle Works, but I'm not surprised. I ordered from them quite a bit back when I was building random single speed bikes, but it's been over five years since I've placed an order.

What drew me away, personally, was the availability of similar parts (for my needs) at similar prices from various vendors on ebay - and with much faster shipping. Other vendors would deliver in 2-7 days, and Niagara was reliably ~2 weeks.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
What chapter are the filing bankruptcy under?
the epilogue
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Old 08-23-18, 09:00 PM
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A long time ago I ordered from them via Amazon. It took them over a week or so to actually ship.For some reason they didn't have the same article on their website or didn't match their own amazon price. Since then i mainly order from CRC (free shipping over $49) or bike24.de (20 euro shipping no matter what). Even from Europe it is faster. They also have great websites to search for items, which is important if you don't know yet what you need (i.e. just want to see all MTB 11-speed RD etc.).

For some small cheap items ebay or amazon due to free shipping.
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Old 08-25-18, 11:42 AM
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Just getting back into fixing bikes and was pleased to find they were somewhat local....
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Old 08-27-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
It's also possible that Amazon started competing with them directly. It's hard to compete when Amazon charges the same price but with no fees and better shipping terms.
They also might have seen this coming: Trek: proposed tariffs would cost us $30 million a year

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/indu...0-million-year
Full list: https://www.regulations.gov/document...2018-0026-0001
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