Bicycle component retailing in Britain

markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
edited March 2014 in Road buying advice
What's special about the British market for bicycle components. The reason I ask is that I'm always seeing on the likes of American, Australian forums etc that people have ordered components to be delivered from the UK. Are we so much cheaper, or what?


  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Not entirely sure but its certainly competitive & we are well served by on line bike shops with a decent range of products & often good service - Wiggle, CRC, Merlin etc.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Wiggle and Chain Reaction are usually a good deal cheaper than the US as they avoid the distributor costs - which they can't seem to avoid over there.

    But check the German sites - they can be a little cheaper than here.
  • mm1
    mm1 Posts: 1,063
    Ribble, Merlin and loads of others also offer great prices and good stock. Ribble, for example, have been at it for a long time. Doesn't the UK have a higher proportion of online retailing than most of the countries, which must affect quality and speed of service? I understand that uk online retailers do well in Australia too. A nation of shopkeepers turned shoppers...
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Are we so much cheaper, or what?
    American here and yes, many items are cheaper to buy from the UK. I don't know why but some things such as tyres and groupsets are consistently quite a bit less expensive than even the sale items here. No VAT helps and many offer free shipping. We also don't have any online retailers that can compete with Wiggle, Chain Reaction, Ribble, Merlin, etc. with the huge variety of gear they stock. :?
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I bet it is down to the lack of control distibutors have on supply in europe we have E.U free trade rules (there you go the E.U does some good after all), the U.S does not. I think that means the U.S distirbutors have control over the market. Maybe no grey imports there as the non offical importer could be take to court. It will have to be something like that as the U.S has a saturated internet market like the U.K does. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    Actually the German online shops often seem to have the edge these days!