[BIKING] The Commuting Thing

Seriously, buying ANYTHING in Canada sucks.

We get shit all in terms of support, distribution, the works. And then, because the selection and supply is so shitty, when we go outside (to countries we have “Free trade” deals with) we get fucked on duty and shipping too.

Example.

I had picked out my bike. I was going with a Pure Fix single-speed, specifically, the Romeo. I was gonna add Bullhorn bars, and a set of glow-in-the-dark wheels to that (because pretty much everyone I know insisted I had to).

.

Total for all my stuff? $550:

Imagine my surprise when, after I hit the total, it’s actually closer to $700: $150 added on for shipping. Fair enough, I realized I forgot to add the “Free99” coupon code to get free shipping.

Which drops the price to $660.

Wait, what?

After a long discussion on twitter (@PFCycles, and they’re EXCELLENT at communicating via social media) it turns out, they don’t do free shipping to Canada. They just do a $40 discount on that shipping (what it costs them to ship inside the continental USA). so, to get what i want, I still have to pay $110 in shipping. Of course, I’m also gonna get hit with $100-$110 in duty as well.

Something, it should be said, US buyers DON’T get hit with when they buy from a Canadian seller. Which is bullshit, quite honestly.

And what it means is, I can’t buy the bike I wanted, from the company I wanted to buy it from. I can’t justify the extre $200-$250 in expense JUST to have it sent to me. At that price, I can buy the $800 Opus FX.

So, I’m searching again. I’ve found a couple of design-online Canadian sellers, and a few pre-builts that look like what I want, from inside Canada. THey all offer cheap ($70) or free shipping. The free shipping option is the Design-your-own shop, SingleBikes.com. At $550, plus tax, they’re still the most expensive of my Canadian options.

Regal Bicycles is still in the running: With bikes on sale for $427, tax and shipping in, from Toronto, they’re good. I just don’t dig the styles: they’re too relaxed and retro. Turns out, I’m still looking for a fairly aggressive bike. And I really want the bullhorn bars. By the time I add them, I’m into the ballpark of other retailers.

My other option is to hit JoeMamma bikes here in Ottawa. In my quest (lets start that fucking quest again) I discovered SE Bikes, and they make a bike called the Lager:

JoeMamma sells it, when it’s in stock, for $479. That’s pretty damn reasonable, AND I can go in and fit it to me better, too. It hits my buttons (flip/flop hub for fixed or single-speed, front & rear brakes (because I’m not fucking stupid), and fast (but bounceable) 700x28c tires. the only thing I’d need to do pretty quickly is swap out the flat bar handlebar for a bullhorn, but I can do that very, very affordably.

I’m also looking at an UNO PRO from Red2bicycles which is very affordable. What I’m waiting for on that one is whether or not they can pre-fit a rear-brake. It’s just one of those things. I know that a fixed/single-speed is “Supposed” to be ridden brakeless, or at least, front-only, but I can’t do it. I’m too old, and traffic is too unpredictable. I got nothin’ to prove, and I want that back brake. If they can do it for another thirty-bucks or so, then this bike:

And, as per the email I just got from them, yes, they CAN provide me with a back brake, cable, and lever. Awesome.

So, that will probably be the one I get, as it then hits EVERY want for me (f/r brakes, single/fixed cogs, and bullhorns) as well as being 4lbs lighter than the Lager, as soon as I verify they have the right size for me. If not, well… maybe I just go for the Red-accent version of the same bike

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4 Responses to [BIKING] The Commuting Thing

  1. Pingback: [Friday Wants] The Gettin’ Shit Done Edition | Life, the Universe, and Everything

  2. Joe Mamma says:

    It’s nice to see that you are doing a lot of research. The best way to shop is to be informed. I just wanted to point out that the SE and the UNO are very different bikes. The Uno is definitely a great bike for the price but is very different from the SE. The SE is a much less aggressive cockpit than the Uno. As well the Uno’s tire/wheel setup is designed more for speed/efficiency and the SE is more for comfort/durability. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

    Joe Mamma
    (found the link to your blog via the link to our site)

    • markramsden says:

      Thanks for the advice!

      I definitely want the aggression. I’ve got a lot of KM’s on a (now ancient) Devinci Stockholm, and I bought an Opus Stern for distance and some off-road, last year. Now, I need the commuter and bang-around-town bike.

      I’ve just put another post up:
      https://markramsden.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/biking-i-still-havent-found-what-im-looking-for/

      I’m still considering the Lager, but I definitely want a different set of bars on it.

      And while cost is a consideration, before adding the bars, the Lager ends up about.. forty bucks more than the Uno, after tax (and in the Uno’s case, shipping). So, makes no never mind to me either way, honestly.

      I’ve got a crazy week, but I definitely want to get in and check out the 58cm Lager you (may still?) have in stock.

      Again, thanks for the advice. much appreciated.

  3. Pingback: [BIKING] I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For | Life, the Universe, and Everything

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