MEC to distribute Ghost bikes in Canada

Feb 1, 2012 at 16:03
Feb 1, 2012
by Tyler Maine  
 
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Leading retailer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, has announced a partnership with German bike manufacturer Ghost Bikes, becoming the first North American retailer of the respected brand. Exclusive to MEC, Ghosts won’t be found anywhere else in Canada.

Ghost Bikes are designed in Waldsassen, Germany, with every model reflecting meticulous attention to detail. Already well-established in over 30 countries across Europe and Asia, Canadians can now enjoy Ghost’s excellent reputation for manufacturing bikes that offer excellent performance, beautiful designs, and superb German engineering.

MEC is initially carrying seven full suspension mountain bike models, two hardtail mountain bikes, plus one road bike – which will be available in stores across Canada.

Ghost AMR 7700

Ghost AMR Lector 7700 Bicycle


bigquotesWhen we looked at expanding our mountain bike offering we knew we had to partner with one of the industry's leading brands. Ghost was an obvious choice for us due to their complete offering of bikes and cutting edge technology across their line. Up to now, Ghost has had no distribution in North America, instead focusing on European and Asian markets. We're excited to offer this awesome brand to MEC members and finally give them the chance to own a Ghost bicycle, -Tim McDermott, Bicycle Product Manager at MEC

Some highlights of the line include the high-performance Ghost AMR Lector 7700 XC bike, featuring a super-lightweight carbon fibre frame and high-end Shimano® components, as well as the Ghost HTX 29 Aluminum 7000 hardtail 29’er with a lightweight aluminum frame and sophisticated details like hydroformed tubing and specific chainstay length.

The Ghost line will complement the existing line of MEC brand road, urban and hybrid bikes.

bigquotesWe are proud to announce our partnership with Mountain Equipment Co Op and are convinced that we have the best possible partner to become successful in Canada. At Ghost, a member of Accell Group since 2008, we design and manufacture high tech bikes. Olympic Gold, World Cup victories, and World and European Championship medals have proven how good Ghost bikes are. We develop bikes that passionate riders consider a premium class product, combining pioneering frame technologies, perfect geometries, innovative design, and quality without compromise. -Jens Steinhauser, Senior Manager of Business Administration at Ghost

For more information, please visit mec.ca/ghost.


About MEC
Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada’s leading retailer of clothing, gear, and services for active lifestyles, including climbing, hiking, cycling, running, camping, paddlesports, yoga and fitness. MEC has more than three million members throughout Canada, whom it serves through 15 destination stores in six provinces as well as mec.ca. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of 1% For The Planet and supports various outdoor recreation and environmental initiatives through its community grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.

About Ghost
GHOST-Bikes GmbH (Waldsassen, Germany) is a leading brand in the mid-range and higher segment of the bicycle market, and is active in more than 35 countries internationally. For more information, visit ghost-bikes.com.
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134 Comments

  • + 32
 MEC isn't all bad. If you were to go to the one in Vancouver, you'd notice a plethora of other smaller outdoor stores (including bike shops) clustered around MEC. Why would they choose to set up shop next to MEC? Well, you see, they get heaps of spillover shopping from MEC patrons. I've even been told on numerous occasions from MEC employees that I should check out the other shops on the block. Same reason that MEC is closed on boxing day - they don't have sales (only "clearance items", you'll notice), so why take business from smaller shops on one of their most profitable days of the year? They aren't malicious in any sense, only trying to keep outdoor gear affordable (we can't all afford $650 arc'teryx jackets...).

In fact, many local stores advertise similar prices to MEC, and still make a healthy profit, and get my business over MEC.

I'm not going to buy a bike at MEC, though, as they aren't bike specialists. If you want good bikes and good service, stick to your local shop. All the MEC bashing is ridiculous. They have simply established a different business model (they are Not for Profit, as well, so they give all their profit back to co-op members, environmental causes, and store development).
[Reply]
  • + 26
 I have to laugh at all of this fuss over a strong Canadian company that is doing new things in an industry that (to this girl anyway) sounds like a group who could learn a thing or two about class and competition. There is room for everyone in the world of bikes - if LBS's want to continue to provide bike enthusiasts with their needs, then perhaps they should get ready for the new riders turned into geeks by gateway companies like MEC (sorry the last I checked Walmart wasn't exactly the equivalent of my neighborhood specialty grocer - the comparison is truly laughable). As more and more people are getting into cycling across Canada - LBS's should be happy to have such a well respected (and responsible) retail leader on board getting more and more folks into their sport - perhaps people (who like me) are intimidated to go into a bike shop for fear of being seen as a 'newbie' can be inspired in a retail environment they trust and are comfortable in. It's not black and white and the only folks who should be scared are the ones who will be closing regardless - due to arrogant and annoying entitlement issues and a general (and systemic) lack of good customer service. Grow up folks!
  • - 7
 Seems as if you've completely missed the point. Local bike stores are frustrated that MEC continues to enjoy massive tax benefits as a co-op and has grown beyond the acceptable mould. They're to get these benefits as they provide a service that is otherwise not there, last time I checked there is no need for a co-op to provide bike services in Canada...

That's why MEC is full of sh*t selling bikes and getting to eat their pie too. The Canadian government should wake up and start taxing this 'corporation' just the same as it does every other store!
  • + 8
 Maybe somebody needs to start a bike co-op to take advantage of this tax advantage. Sounds like there is a sentiment of resentment over MEC's success.
  • + 1
 Once a company has co-op status it can't be revoked. MEC's success is because of the fact they are a Co-op. Its not about resentment over their success. I am a memeber and they are an awesome company but they should not be considered a co-op within the bike industry. Being able to offer the same product as 50 other stores cheaper because they get tax breaks is just wrong especially when they are getting into this market so late. Its not why co-op's were estabilished and it is 100% taking advantage of the system. The bike market has enough competition. Skoland is right on the money - Its a great company but its not where i will ever purchase a bike. PS - when was the last time anyone ever saw thier dividends from MEC, i haven't received a check in the mail. Cambiegirl - try walking into 95% of bike stores and i bet you'll be surprised, bike stores are full of passionate bike people yes but most of them will be a ton more helpful than at mec, even if you don't know what cog is.
  • + 2
 I got a cheque last summer, $53 and change though technically its not a dividend cheque, its a share buy-back. All members buy into the coop for one share purchased (that's the $5 initial membership fee). Then in good years, members receive dividends in the form of additional shares (or fractions thereof) based on how much they themselves spent in that year at MEC (more you spend, more you can potentially get back in shares if the co-op as a whole has profit to share with its members). Every few years, the board authorizes a buy-back of outstanding shares from the members so that essentially nobody has more than ten additional shares (over their first one). You can always BUY more shares though whenever you want, as an investment opportunity but you have to bear in mind the board can choose to buy them back from your account whenever they want without your prior consent.

BUT...if you rarely spend any money there, don't expect to ever be in a position to see one of those cheques. I've been a member twenty years and it was the first one I ever saw.
  • + 0
 I believe that if you think it will help local bike shops you are sadly mistaken. Apparently people love MEC on pinkbike though.
Not supporting a business because your too scared to go into the store is just ridiculous argument. Whenever you start something new your a "newbie" and everyone was a newbie at one point.. admit your a newbie and walk in, its not different at MEC then any other bike shop.
  • + 1
 It's true that both your LBS and MEC want to talk to the "newbie". Having worked both, I can say it's more exciting getting someone stoked on a new sport that they are interested in than talking tech with a seasoned rider where the conversation sounds like a clip from "Shit Cyclists Say". But anyone rockin' two wheels is cool in my books.
  • - 3
 I guess there's enough MEC fan-boy's to hide my post from above.. I guess the truth hurts.

"Seems as if you've completely missed the point. Local bike stores are frustrated that MEC continues to enjoy massive tax benefits as a co-op and has grown beyond the acceptable mould. They're to get these benefits as they provide a service that is otherwise not there, last time I checked there is no need for a co-op to provide bike services in Canada...

That's why MEC is full of sh*t selling bikes and getting to eat their pie too. The Canadian government should wake up and start taxing this 'corporation' just the same as it does every other store!"

FYI I have nothing to do with any LBS and while I buy much from MEC I would never purchase a bike part there.
  • + 2
 They DO tax them... just because they're a co-operative and not a limited owned partnership or some big publically traded company traded on the TSX, does not mean they get some amazing tax breaks. They're taxed the same as any other corporation of their relative size. They contribute payroll taxes (CPP and EI premiums) as well. Small shop fanboys just seem unwilling to accept that fact, or admit that their favourite shop can't compete because of far more sinister reasoning... they're simply not smart enough to adapt and change to meet customers demands today.

Consumers today, do NOT want to keep paying thru the nose for stuff they can shop for via the internet, just because its locally sourced. Businesses either need to adapt and offer something better than consumers can't get when they shop online, or they need to just shut the hell up and stop whining about their competitors who can and HAVE adapted to the 21st century marketplace.
  • + 1
 The get more tax breaks as COOP. Pay little to no corporate income tax - as it is allowed to be reinvested in the co-op. Thats the benefit of being a coop. It's not about adapting to the 21st century its about Corporate Social Responsibility and corporate morals. But either way they're going to sell them.
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  • + 18
 In Victoria, MEC has actually PAID staff members to do trail work for the local bike club in the past. They also regularly dontate tons of product to be given away to trail builders on maintenance days as well as for raffles. Those trails allow more people to ride thereby increasing EVERYONE's bike sales. You get what you give and MEC really does give a lot.
  • + 7
 Yeah I'm a mechanic at MEC and an LBS. I love my LBS, but MEC pays me very well to get training and they support volunteerism (by paying for things like trail maintenance). Not to mention here in Ontario, we might be doing some trail head tune ups for people. We are trying to work out a way to bring a tent and work stands to the trails and set up an area to do free safety inspections, adjustments, tire pressure, ect. Maybe a ghost bike demo as well.
  • + 5
 In Kananaskis MEC awarded a large cash purse to the Moose Mountain Trail Society to help build and maintain the growing trail network outside of Bragg Creek. Thats awesome support that many LBS get the fallout business from all the riders who hit these trails and pledge allegiance to a certain bike shop. I say it's a pretty good deal for all of us. Many who will buy from MEC wouldn't go to an LBS and vice versa. Finally they are only selling two brands MEC and Ghost. So unless you find your dream bike in that limited selection then it's off to another bike store to check their wares. Any small bike shops that feel threatened by this might have to re-asses their business as this seems like a good thing over all.
  • + 4
 Living in Calgary and knowing about this I came here to say it too. MEC is great for the general outdoor enthusiast who want to also take up mountain biking. They can go there to make a first purchase but if they take it further and become more evolved in cycling they will want more. This is where the LBS comes in as they can offer endless choices of these things that the customer has now read about and seen out on the trail. MEC does a lot of great things for the communities they support that small independent shops can't do because they're not raking in boatloads of cash. A lot of profs and students in my program have a lot of beef with MEC but I just can't see it.
  • + 5
 lightningskull makes a good point. There are only two brands and limited models of both at MEC. When we opened the bike department we had to buy tools from an LBS. He appreciated the business. And with our limited selection I have sent members to every LBS in the area and usually recommend that they visit all the LBS in the area before making a decision, and even offer to help them decide on a bike from outside our store. Our motivations are always service and never sales. A lot of times in the bike department of MEC good service means making no sales even if the potential is there. We all ride and want to see members choose a bike they like, not we like.

And the LBS we bought tools from recognizes that he has an increase in business since we opened and calls to thank the bike department employees for sending him business if a customer comes their way and mentions MEC sent them in.

As someone mentioned down further that the market is "finite". It's most definitely not. Most members coming into MEC own a bike, but it's from Canadian Tire or Sport Chek and it's a mountain bike that's never been on a trail. They are not the same customer that an average LBS receives. If anything the members I talk to end up understanding what they need to use their bike for it's intended purpose, or that they need to find a different style of bike to enjoy themselves. Thus re-introducing riders into a growing market.
  • + 2
 I would say that hits the nail on the head
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  • + 13
 listen, the bottom line of ANY business is profit. don't kid yourselves. the LBS doesn't make money from capable customers who are looking for the best price - they make it from clueless people who can't even change a tire. some businesses are better at making money than others. that doesn't make them evil. with that said, the real villains are the distribution companies.
  • + 2
 "Bottomline of any business is profit" is exactly as saying as bottomline of any human is just to care for himself, eventually for his family - at any cost. It isn't, very few are "that bad" - just accumulate, accumulate not giving a sht... It is called "homo-economicus". It doesn't exist as a person, it does exist however as a corporation (Raj Patel "The value of nothing"). When company gets big enough a shift happens: you focus on money as a mean of achieving of all other important to you things, crossing out the fact that you can do it without money.

The role of business is to provide well being for its employees and clients, with "profit" as one of the means (like self satisfaction, sharing knowledge, profit etc.) - problem isn't profit - problem is: generation of profit surplus

I recommend: "The Ecology of Commerce" by Paul Hawken OR "confessions of a Radical Industrialist" by Ray Anderson. Or if you really don't want to read then youtube for Ray Anderson: Interface. Story how to do large business while doing good and without destroying the environment.
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  • + 9
 That's an interesting move. I would have expected a Canadian brand like Rocky signing on with MEC. I suppose by going with a brand not sourced through any local bike shops they can avoid some of the arguments that they kill local bike shops bottom line on products they compete on. MEC will now be selling two brands (Their house brand and Ghost) which they will not be competing with any LBS' on. The closest MEC isn't worth the 4 hour drive and my LBS is phenominal so this likely wont effect me. Not a pairing I would have predicted.
  • + 8
 Awesome observation and comment ^ By selling a brand that no LBS in Canada has they're not really competing with others selling the same product. If you want a Kona, go to a store that sells Kona, if you want a Rocky go to a store that sells Rocky, and if you want a Ghost, go to MEC. It's pretty basic really...
  • + 2
 That's my thoughts exactly. At first i was like "why not sign a partnership with a canadian brand instead of a german one?" but they would have entered direct competition with a lot of LBS. Pretty sure they had the raceface "incident" in mind when they chose a brand that wasn't distributed in canada. Wise move.
  • - 1
 yea but it still adds another bike brand to the equation... Nobody would have ever thought of buying a Ghost if it wasn't available... Now they will be selling Ghost bikes to buyers that would have purchased a Norco or Rocky or whatever from the LBS...
  • + 1
 have only seen 2 Ghost bikes through my workshop:

a DH bike (high single pivot design with chain roller) which had serious frame alignment problems - constantly chewing through shock bushings and really badly finished with inadequate pivot / shock mounting hardware

a XC bike (high end aluminium hardtail) which had a badly aligned disc brake post-mount - could not set up the rear brake without rubbing

2/2 bikes with frame issues is not a good record for QC....
  • + 1
 @ScaryGerry. you're right that MEC may be fighting for a larger peice of a finite pie, so to speak, in regards to consumer bases, however, if you are buying a Norco or Rocky because Ghost, Intense, Santa Cruz...(you name it)... isn't availible, the problem may be less that the market is flooded and more you are not doing your job as an informed consumer. I would hate to buy any product, as solid as it may be, based simply that more options were not availible. That said I fiercely support my local bike shop and rarely purchase else where. I buy from my LBS not out of ignorant loyalty or a lack of other options but because the things I value, which include: supporting my local riding community, informed guidance relevant to area, and support/ maintinance that is dependable and skilled, are provided there (Favorit Cycles).
  • + 2
 That's all nice of course. It should actually be an after school special. I think us hardcore bike fans that ride 6000 dollar rigs are not the targeted customer here. I doubt MEC will be selling Ghosts full line. The bikes that will be sold by MEC and that occupy 95% of the market are the bikes sold under 1500 bucks. These buyers will look for "adequate" drive train and pretty colors. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with MEC or Ghost, I like both brands and will be one of the first guys over at MEC to check them out when they arrive. I'm just adding my 2 cents to the discussion. Also, my LBS on the South Sore of Montreal has some sort of Monopoly for the type of riding I do and honestly, I think they know it so they price their goods and offer the service accordingly. I feel no loyalty towards them nor do they towards me.
  • + 1
 Fair enough. If my shop didn't warrant loyalty I wouldn't give it. Even related to cheep lines, if you are a bike shop that does good business simply because you have no competition, you are setting yourself up to lose some of your client base when better options become available. I've never owned a bike shop but have worked in a few outdoor gear shops in my days. I know that the smaller ticket items with bigger mark ups can balance a spreadsheet at the end of the day but the same rules should apply. That's capitalism love it or hate it and it's also why products, shops, etc. are motivated to evolve and get better, stick with proven formulas, or make way for those that do. I just hope people are factoring the non monetary related factors into their decisions for purchasing and realising that in healthy communities, paying a bit more sometimes to support your community goes back into your community.
  • + 2
 @ScaryGerry you make some good points, however MEC will be selling a large part of the line, including bikes upwards of $3000. It should also be noted that MEC does operate on a not for profit basis, and they do put a lot of their $$$ into various different causes, including trail maintenance and lobbying etc. I believe that depends on the individual membership of the store involved, but don't take my word for it...
  • + 1
 So what if there is a new brand around? If they make quality bikes at a more affordable price wouldn't it force manufacturers to lower the msrp to stay competitive? It's a basic economic principle where the consumer wins. I've always paid a little extra to get a local bike (nice paradox) but I find it quite sickening when a bike is sold for nearly as much as a brand new small car. It's a lot of money for a small thing that depreciates quite fast.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I wonder how many of the "Support your LBS!!!" brigade work in bike shops and therefore enjoy big discounts on all the gear they need/buy? I wonder if they'd all be so keen to slate MEC and Chainreaction if they had to pay $200 for a rear derailleur every time they snapped one off? Or maybe everyone on pinkbike is WAY richer than I am? And while I seem to be in the question asking mood, I wonder how many of them buy all of their groceries from the organic deli down the street and how many of them buy their food from Wal-Mart like I do?
  • + 3
 Supporting a bike shop doesn't necessarily mean buying every single part for bike there. My definition of a person who supports their LBS is someone that buys a bike from them, and gets the occasional part as well as participates in rides they do. Now buying something at your lbs where you can get it for half that online just doesn't make sense. A bike shop is there to support you and a good one will do whatever they can to accomplish that. Setting prices to compete with the online marketplace would drive them into the ground faster than you can learn how to pronounce Mondraker. At the end of the day, the shop is there to make money and they have bills to pay. If people are going online to buy such cheap essentials as tubes and brake cables, you won't have a LBS for long. They thrive on the cheap necessities such as those and rely on you to go there and buy them. Instead of making your donation to the walmart of bike parts over there in ireland, put some money into your local economy and support your LBS.

Disclaimer: I do work in a shop and while I do not necessarily support every decision that is made, I will stand by what I do and do everything I can to make both sides happy.
  • + 1
 And just for the record, I flat out refuse to step inside the doors of WalMart. That place is absolutely disgusting.
  • + 1
 You make some valid points lilandy, but at 17 yrs old I'm betting you live with your parents still and don't have to pay for your groceries yet? Maybe I'm wrong?
  • + 0
 You're correct, but we aren't talking about groceries. I buy my own food whenever the opportunity presents itself, but I don't have to support my parents financially.
  • + 5
 I know what you mean about the LBS complaining about online stores... Even other online stores complain about other online stores(Competitive cyclist vs CRC). Retail is a pretty cut-throat business and we all work hard for our money. If you're a capitalist company you'll be engaging in forms of protectionism(Fox, Santacruz, GoPro) by cutting up the global market and charging an artificial premium based on how well you can contain the customers within by agreement with local merchants(your "friendly" LBS).

What goes around comes around and if your business model works that way, instead of presenting value you try to lock down the market or work a premium you might end up on the wrong side of the fence. Considering now customers are very global and can escape from under your thumb with the click of the mouse it is something to really worry about. Don't espouse capitalist values and then cry foul when somebody comes along and plays it harder through the magic of the internet.
  • + 1
 I not once said anything about LBS complaining about online stores. Hell, I didn't even touch on the competition. I'm just saying that paying a little more to buy something locally will have a benefit that buying online will not.

I am against a LBS trying to "work a premium." We have one like that in our area and the only customers they have are doctors and lawyers. A guy came into our shop over the weekend on a Pinarello with a Super Record groupo because his front brake literally came off during his ride, after they had just been installed at another shop.

Over charging customers for the sake of making a couple more dollars is complete BS, but you can't be charging bargain basement prices and afford to feed your family at the end of the day.

You really can't see the business side of this, can you?
  • + 1
 Here's a business scenario for you lilandy...
Last weekend I came off my bike and bent the blade on my saint brake lever. I went into my LBS and asked if I could get just the blade on it's own as the rest of the lever is fine. I was told it would be $75! Then I called up another LBS and they told me that I couldn't buy the blade seperately and in fact I couldnt even buy the whole lever seperately and I'd have to buy a pair for around $250. I went on the internet and instantly found a left hand whole lever for £61.
Now try to imagine that you are a few years older lilandy, and you have rent, and bills and a family to support, and a car to run and money is really tight, AND YOU DONT GET BIKE PARTS AT DISCOUNT PRICES BECAUSE YOU DONT WORK IN A BIKE STORE. What option are you going to take?
  • + 1
 Correction, the lever was $61 (not £)
  • + 1
 That scenario was addressed in my first comment, here: "Now buying something at your lbs where you can get it for half that online just doesn't make sense."
  • + 2
 Andy is just saying that LBS's survive off of the little things. Cheap family bikes, tubes, tires, labor, etc. That lever isnt going to make or break a day of business for them. These online shops can sell the products at a greatly reduced price, and if the LBS tried to compete with that, they would be losing money doing so. Now, you buy that lever, are about to head off on en epic ride in the swiss alps...and the lever fails. Well, shit. Is that online shop going to hook you up with a solid loaner set of brakes because you bought a faulty product off of them? Hell no, they are a bunch of pixels. You buy that lever from your LBS, and it fails, the shop owner will bend over backwards to get you riding again. Speaking from a bike shops point of view here, you can take your business online. It doesnt really affect us.


PS: Not saying you dont do your own work, but if you buy that lever from the LBS, chances are they will toss it on for free. You buy it online, you need to pay a high labor charge to have it installed. And you can bet your bottom button that that shop is going to charge you top dollar for the labor because you didn't buy it off of them.

More factors to think about than just the cost of the product.
  • + 3
 *Hell no, they are a bunch of pixels*
Thats the best description of e-business I've ever heard. I might have to re-use that one.
  • + 4
 Yeah, most of the complaining about MEC has come from people who work from a shop or are sponsored by the shop and hence pay way less for parts than the general public. They all ride these $6000 bikes they prodealed, and of course everyone else is jealous. If they really cared about their LBS, they would pay full price, instead of taking stock off the shelves (that could be sold for MSRP). Also as someone else said, no one is preventing the bike shop from applying for co-op status. Unreal prices on those bikes, should start seeing a bunch of them around.

LBS's are going to have to step it up go the extra mile in terms of providing a service if they want to stay competitive against co-ops. That means having knowledgable staff who can get you the right stuff, not some greasy kid behind the counter who knows nothing.

There are some quality bike shops in Edmonton that provide great customer service and have a great variety of product (something which MEC doesn't really have: only 2 lines of bikes!). I wish I could say the same thing about ski shops...
  • - 1
 Just a clarification, we do not take products off the shelves, but rather place a personal order through the distro.
  • + 1
 I will go the extra damn four miles if it is the difference between a customer leaving our shop for the last time, and having them leave happy and seeing them again. I don't know about your LBS's, but the ones that myself and Bubbaleech work at both have good intentions. It's a really touchy business where one negative experience can completely change the way you look at the shop, so we try our best to make everyone happy. That doesn't mean we are going to sell someone an $8,000 mountain bike and make no money on it just for the sake of making them happy, but we aren't going to stick around and try to make them buy the bike and rip a gaping hole in their bank account either. The thing that you won't get from ANY online purchase is the service that comes with buying something as simple as a pair of grips from your LBS.

The moral of this whooooooole story and the point I have been trying to get across this whole time is this: support your local bike shop when you have the opportunity and the resources, but don't go trotting on in there and expect them to lace up your new rims that you bought online for free.
  • + 6
 lilandy i wasn't replying to you above. If I need some part from the LBS I will pay for it, probably at a premium of course, but I am certainly not thinking of them as bicycle charity. Even though the LBS is not a co-op like MEC, they're both still types of capitalist businesses. What the first post above failed to talk about is how massive middle men distributors(QBP,Lambert, OGC) sit on top of the bicycle retail industry here. Maybe in America you can deal directly with Fox, GoPro and etc, but here it is dominated by a middle man who picks your pocket for the privilege given to him by anti-competitive agreements with the all the LBS and Fox. This is why i like MEC and why Raceface got stonewalled at LBSs by OGC for daring to disobey OGC and supply MEC with products.

I don't mind service from the LBS, at least that isn't artificially marked up. CRC and other online stores have saved me thousands in parts likely. I find it shocking and would probably be riding a stoneage bicycle without those options.
  • + 4
 In Edmonton we have Revolution Cycle and the service there is exceptional. I don't purchase most components from the LBS, as I don't need the LBS to instal or maintain my components. If I needed a mechanic, it is always best practice to purchase the part from the shop the mechanic works for. Online purchases are great for home mechanics. If you purchse from a shop, many places will instal for free or at a huge discount, offsetting the purchase price.

On the other hand, I do purchase cables, lube, tubes, tires, chains etc from the LBS. A crank or fork, not a chance unless the price is within 25%, then the support of the LBS is worthwhile.
  • + 1
 @Willie1 the problem is that a shop like Revolution makes a decision as to whether or not you're worth their time. I am not hardcore into the sport, just like to ride, and have never gotten them to even give me the time of day.

How is that sort of elitism supposed to grow the sport/market? There needs to be a comfortable entry point and shops like Revolution do not provide it. I believe MEC is filling this role, and by adding Ghost they are taking the next step for the folks that recognize the benefits of dealing with MEC.

I'm not saying turn away from your LBS - if they're giving you what you need then, by all means, support them! I just don't get why there has to be a bad guy and a good guy. It's reminiscent of GW Bush - if you're not with us, you're against us. Close-minded BS, if you ask me.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Ok thats cool. MEC selling bikes. MEC makes some quality gear but I still would rather buy a bike from my LBS..............just saying.
  • + 21
 !!!Support your LBS!!!
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  • + 6
 Interesting how MEC has changed it's colours... Back in the late 80's MTB's were viewed as environmental terrorists by MEC. Even when I worked for MEC in the mid 90's, and we sold MTB accessories, the old school guys there still frowned on it.
  • + 5
 Hey peace love and granola...........have u seen the price of granola lately.........cha-ching!!!
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  • + 6
 Talking to staff at the Ottawa MEC today I learned there's gonna be a delay on the Ghost's hitting the floor because apparently they're taking the step to have ALL the wheelsets rebuilt (they already have all of them at the distribution center), because of some problem with them. That's a more concerned for the customer step than most LBS/IBD's would ever take, where at best, they take the wheels to the truing stand for a few mins while doing the bike assembly.
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  • + 5
 MEC being a competetor is a good and bad thing, yes it brings in customers that may not have gone to an LBS. But offering goods at a price that is not fair competition is not good either. A greater evil is the price diference between what LBS customers pay in Canada and the price payed for the goods in the US. It's completely unfair, and is price gouging. Last year my LBS called OGC to ask them if it would be easier to just order his Intense bikes from Go Ride because they were going at cheaper than canadian wholesale. Someone is gouging the Canadians, ratehr its on the other side of the border or our own and it's not fair at all. I am a sponsored rider and I can understand why people order their parts off the net. It's hard to pay 110 CAD for one minion. If I payed full price my tire's my tire budget for biking would be more than my truck per year. It's gross.
  • - 3
 the higher price of items like Minions at LBSs reflects the lower volume of product they usually bring in [ although Dunbar Cycles orders 300 minions at a time and sells them for almost half of your stated figure, while i have seen them at MEC for a $100 each ] ...but here is where it may be worth paying extra for : ever try to get the same quality of service at MEC compared to your LBS ? possible, but not usual and almost never to the same degree [ IE; Dunbar Cycles had a month long FREE suspension service wether you bought anything or not ! ] smaller shops almost ALWAYS will go the extra mile with care and service since most are riders and rider owned themselves - ultimately i support LBSs because they support the community [ jobs etc ] in a way that MEC will NEVER; they are corporate driven and i believe any grassroots efforts on MECs part is a disguised con [ Mountain Equipment Con ] very much reflected in their 'co-op' membership that takes in millions of dollars but offers NOTHING in return for it except your privilege to shop there - never any members deals, advertised sales - NADA ! [ occasionally they have discounted junk that no one wanted or discontinued etc but that's it ! ] and yes, i know this cause i once shopped there till i grew a brain and saw the co-op label and cost as a fraudulent scam.
Anyway that's my rant and to each their own -
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  • + 5
 I just love how many yankees are commenting how MEC will destroy their LBS.

MEC's mission statement is about getting people active in the outdoors. If that means more people riding bikes, particularly mountain bikes, that means there are more voices for the mountain bike community - more trails, more lobbying power, more opportunities. Can't be a bad thing.

I'm a fan of MEC bikes - they make great commuters, and surprisingly, their mountain bikes are great quality and very well spec'd for the price. With that said, I still support my LBS for specialty parts and service I cant get at mec.

Additionally, MEC has a stigma about it - and no, not just the smell of patchouli. Take for example the high end hardshells - technically identical and much cheaper than high end companies like Patagonia and Arcteyrx; they are still considered middle-market compared to them. More people may get into bikes because of MEC and it's laid back hippie approach, but you'll see a lot of people move on to more boutique brands / stores. But then again, maybe not - its not like riders are brand snobs, or prone to spending ridiculous amounts of money to get the latest and greatest.
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  • + 6
 Wow, $3800 for a carbon-fibre all mountain bike with an XT drivetrain AND made in German! That price is pretty impressive, I don't think even Giant has anything that can compete with that on price. I wonder how it rides?
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  • + 5
 What I’ve heard is MEC has gone with a European Brand because the LBS’ have pressured the Canadian bike companies and distributors to not supply MEC. Thus in order to get into the MT Bike market place they have had to look elsewhere, and the logical place is some of the quality products that can be found in Europe. I think they had the same thing happen when they got into paddling, and went to P&H (out of the UK) for Kayaks. It seems like a short sighted view by the LBS’ and hints of the LBS’ using anti-competitive behavior to try influence the market, which is not in the best interest of me (and you) the consumer. MEC has a the track record and service ethic to build a brand, evolve a market, and embrace competition. I wish the LBS’s would take a similar road. Competition is what bring improvement, this of it this way – “just because some highly skilled DH ride joins the DH race circuit, doesn’t mean you try to get him banned because you think he’s going to beat you every time, instead use that new competition to push yourself to go bigger and faster. In the end you’ll be a better rider.”
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  • + 5
 Just so people aren't being mislead, the arguments above that MEC has an unfair advantage isn't true.

Regarding taxes, MEC (and other co-ops in Canada) do in fact pay corporate taxes - MEC's tax rate in 2010 was 29.3% per their audited financial statements.
(www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary/AboutMEC/Governance/HowWeMeasureUp/FinancialStatements.jsp)

By contrast, your LBS would likely be paying between 13.5% - 16% depending on the province, due to the "small business deduction". That's a big difference, so your LBS definitely has the advantage there.

MEC gets its advantage in other areas, like buying power, and the fact that they are not trying to make a profit from you like your local LBS is.

MEC exists to serve its members, not generate a profit; MEC's profit before tax was less than half a percent (0.38%) in 2010 - that is equivalent to making only $3,800 in profit on every $1 million in sales. Then MEC takes the profits and donates some to outdoor organizations, and returns a portion to the members, which other businesses don't do.

So don't say MEC has an unfair advantage, because it doesn't.
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  • + 4
 Some good ole fashioned competition will serve everyone in the bike retail industry well. Anyways in my opinion it is over-hyped paranoia. As with most retailers MEC does somethings well and some things poorly. i.e. if I am looking for a utilitarian pack that gets the job done, is overbuilt and priced well I go to MEC, If I need a specialized pack for a specific use I probably will go somewhere else. I generally find MEC does a good job with the non sexy items like duffels, packs sleeping pads, pack covers, tools, socks etc In response to another poster, MEC most likely did not get Rocky MTN bikes because they would be way to expensive for the market they are targeting.
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  • + 5
 I can't wait to come back to this and read some of the comments later tonight..... Don't let me down PB users, don't let me down.....
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  • + 2
 I was going to comment on all this BS about MEC and LBSs, yes I know this is a comment, but all I'll say is the majority of you don't understand how the bike industry actually works. Respectfully, YOU DON'T!

I support local shops, my brother shops at MEC. We're all snowflakes. Besides the internet will kill them all, right?

Now to the point of this thread. Ghost looks like a pretty decent line of bikes, this is the result of Specialized patent on FSR in north america running out this year, there will be a flood of European bike brands that have been able to use FSR without paying for it, coming into north america, but to be fair a bike is more than the sum of it's parts so the real proof will be in the ride. If you're going to ride an FSR you might as well go with the company that invented it and has perfected it over the last 20 years. Buy a Specialized.

But this might be a cheaper alternative to so called "boutique shop" bikes, and I say might because there is absolutely no mention of price of these bikes, there's no guarantee they will be less expensive.

Feel free to negative props me.
  • + 1
 there is also a very good reason to ride Specialized

they have the #1 warranty and aftermarket backup of any brand in the bike biz

speaking from experience here...
  • + 1
 The FSR patent is ending for Specialized/Merida? Is there an article online somewhere reporting that? I would love to read about it.

Last I heard, the FSR patent is not a global patent and Specialized "negotiates" who can use the FSR patent for resale of non-Specialized branded bikes in the US.

I know for a fact that a bicycle manufacturer in Canada can use the FSR design freely if they're only selling in Canada. Whether Ghost is impacted internationally or in North America somehow by that patent I have no idea but I suspect it's a brand by brand scenario.
  • + 1
 Specialized never had a global patent for their FSR technology (which was developed from work by Mr. Horst Leitner of AMP Research)

their patent only covered North America (not including Canada)

this is why Devinci bicycle could offer their FSR-style horst pivot 4-bar frames and bikes to Canadian dealers and European dealers, but not in the USA

this is why for 2011 onwards, they licensed Dave Weagle's Split-Pivot tech. so they could sell into the USA without a lawsuit from Specialized

the thing with Specialized is that they are one of the most professional outfits alongside Trek and Giant, and their FSR tech. is substantially different to the original patent that other, smaller companies are still copying

and for private consumers buying Specialized bikes from authorised dealers, you get the best backup in the bike biz if you ever need warranty work, or have any issues

I regularly deal with warranty issues (as a workshop manager for the UK's leading quality cycle retailer with 45 stores and GBP£110 million annual turnover) and Specialized is the one telephone number that I rarely call for "warranty" despite being one of our highest volume selling brands
  • + 1
 Yeah, I was mostly responding to "gozerthegozarian" but I find it interesting how suddenly "S" and FSR are being mentioned.

Your experience with S is your experience. I know plenty of shops of varying sizes and ages in western Canada who have had all different types of experiences dealing with them, good and bad. And they definitely have their own warranty issues just like every other brand, at least in western Canada.

Regardless, MEC bringing Ghost in to Canada will be interesting and probably not that earth-shattering but it makes for great Thursday afternoon banter! Smile
  • + 2
 "hampstead" is correct about Specialized global patent, as for their warranty and service I think if you look at any of the big three Spec, Giant, Trek you'll see a similar level of professionalism and quality. People always gripe about how expensive these brands are but honestly their construction methods and quality is far a head of most other brands. That being said when you produce the volume of bikes these companies do there are bound to be issues, and as has been my experience most warranty issues are with OEM parts not the frames.

All that aside the point of my post was just to point out that Ghost is using FSR and if you compare their current designs to what Spec is doing, it's about three generations behind, but it still looks like good quality stuff. Like I said it's all in the ride, who cares how cheap/expensive a bike is, if it rides great, it rides great. And vise versa.
  • + 1
 I used to work for a distributor / retailer selling 3 smaller brands alongside Specialized - Ellsworth, Mythic (Banshee for UK) and Devinci

of these 3 smaller brands, Devinci had the best quality control, design prowess, manufacturing and warranty backup, but still not up to the same level or value for money as Specialized - Devinci was moving to be a larger player like Santa Cruz with proper resources

my experience of boutique brands (including working on Banshee, Ellsworth, Turner, Intense, etc.) is that they are not the same quality as Specialized or Trek, and do not have the money to invest in expensive R & D and manufacturing tooling

a good example is cold forging of frame components (i.e. dropouts, pivots, yokes, etc.) where the smaller brands can only afford to CNC billet materials to make these parts

or using cheaper swaged tubing instead of more expensive hydroformed tubing (Devinci was unusual for a small brand in actually having their tubes hydroformed in TW before being shipped back to Quebec)

when you consider how huge and wealthy companies like trek / specialized / giant are, they have resources that small companies can only dream of, and pay strict attention to QC because it has a big impact on their profitability and reputation and the willingness of their dealers to constantly buy product from them

1 of the 3 brands we sold had a return rate of 60% for warranty stemming from piss poor QC in their TW factory leading to numerous problems for our customers and us as a distrib / retailer, many of our customers were actually moved across to Devinci using a warranty exchange programme, and had no problems since then!

I have seen large numbers of frames from many small brands through my workshop with terrible QC and more basic frame manufacturing technology / dated geometry / undeveloped suspension systems or stock shock tuning, despite more expensive price tags than the big companies
  • + 2
 @gozerthegozarian - Well put! The Ghost bikes do look like fun to ride. Plus, in the end, isn't it more about the rider? Wink

Although, consistently in Canada, the challenge to the smaller brands in fact IS the pricing power of the "Big-3", making it difficult to compete. They're aren't more expensive, in fact, less expensive most the time.
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  • + 2
 What I’ve heard is MEC has gone with a European Brand because the LBS’ have pressured the Canadian bike companies and distributors to not supply MEC. Thus in order to get into the MT Bike market place they have had to look elsewhere, and the logical place is some of the quality products that can be found in Europe. I think they had the same thing happen when they got into paddling, and went to P&H (out of the UK) for Kayaks. It seems like a short sighted view by the LBS’ and hints of the LBS’ using anti-competitive behavior to try influence the market, which is not in the best interest of me (and you) the consumer. MEC has a the track record and service ethic to build a brand, evolve a market, and embrace competition. I wish the LBS’s would take a similar road. Competition is what bring improvement, this of it this way – “just because some highly skilled DH ride joins the DH race circuit, doesn’t mean you try to get him banned because you think he’s going to beat you every time, instead use that new competition to push yourself to go bigger and faster. In the end you’ll be a better rider.”
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  • + 4
 That's actually really cool. and based on their MEC branded offerings they may stock some things with decent components....
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  • + 1
 This is what MEC is doing to expand their ottawa location... this is not an evil company that is only concerned about making a huge profit off its members/consumers.

www.ottawacitizen.com/news/ottawa/planning+major+expansion+Westboro/6144682/story.html
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  • + 2
 Can't comment on MEC but my local bike shop stocks Ghost. I ride a 7700 Lector its a fun, lively, trail bike. Component spec on the UK models is good too (Just ditch the needle roller bearing bushes)
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  • + 3
 Why are all the comments about MEC, and not about how cool it is that we're getting Ghost Bikes in Canada? I've had my eye on their DH bike for a while.
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  • + 2
 Way better that wal mart... I doubt you can put fox 40's on any wal mart frame!!!!
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  • - 1
 Really great to see so many people voting for "Support your LBS". It is a hard thing to do, sometimes stuff costs double than in online store, but whatever you say - it is the right thing to do", and nobody said: doing right things is easy. It is hard, only mediocrity is easy.

Mountain Biking is a luxurious sport (as comparison to let's say running or basketball) and MTB products should be expensive and I mean: even the regular stuff should be expensive so we respect and cherish what we have. Right now, instead we have super cheap stuff of low unsustainable quality and lots of unnecessary super expensive things that are getting more and more marketing bullsht on them. The regular stuff should get better like SLX crankset, Deore disc brakes. Sustainable but necessarily "affordable".

Soon Fox Kashima forks or carbon frames or clutch equipped derailleurs will come with "best before" date on them! They already come with unwritten "cool until"

All the best! Support your LBS!
  • + 5
 MEC is one of my LBS's.
  • + 3
 I disagree with your argument (or perhaps its just not clear) re: saying mountain biking is a luxurious sport and stuff should be expensive. We should be trying to grow the sport and make it more available to others. Sports activities need to grow and not be stymied by barriers to entry (i.e high cost products). We need to have quality products and a decent price, this is what eliminated barriers to entry(i.e. more people) . When we have this balance better, we have more people that are doing the sport , then we have the louder the voice and we have more trails we can get built.
  • + 1
 Why grow? Why more people should do it? When is it enough? What is actualy good in Moar MTBers?

And if someone wants to start riding, and looks for an affordable bike - buy a used one! - as simple as that! Nothing good comes from constantly buying new either super expensive stuff or cheap ass sht... enough quantity and surplus in this (northern) world
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  • - 1
 Anyone who thinks MEC is great, change jobs with a retailer for one month, You will have finally done all your research on Co-operatives and how you can't enjoy the same benefits and then you will have a very different viewpoint. Do you think your LBS should have the ability to market like them to get your business?
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  • + 1
 Pumped to see some affordable well designed and spec'ed bikes for new comers - remember buying your first bike!
  • + 1
 I like how everyone seems to think these bikes will be cheap just because it's MEC selling them. I guess we'll see.
  • + 1
 I love how so many here are speculating on the pricing of the bikes. Anybody think to check the website? Its all there for anyone to see.

www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cycling/GhostBikes.jsp
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  • + 2
 i've got mixed feelings about this.
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  • + 2
 Hmmm - German bikes why not Canada ?
  • + 2
 Why canadian bikes? Other than some of the devinci lineup and super boutique brands like exprezo and transition... most canadian brands don't actually produce their bikes (other than paint/assembly) in canada anyway. Besides which, why would MEC want to offer a brand that in most major markets (where the MEC stores are... its not like there's a MEC store in Aylmer ontario, or Red Deer, Alberta, etc) there's probably a crapload of LBS's already offering another "canadian" brand to try and compete against. There's roughly five dealers apiece for Norco, Kona, and Rocky Mountain in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. There's ZERO dealers for Ghost in canada. Seems like a no brainer to me.
  • + 2
 "Why canadian bikes? Other than some of the devinci lineup and super boutique brands like exprezo and transition... most canadian brands don't actually produce their bikes (other than paint/assembly) in canada anyway."

The interesting thing about your comment is that Ghost isn't technically German and do not produce their bikes either. Yes the factory is in Germany where they assemble the bikes for sale but frames are outsourced to asia just like any other major brand.
  • + 1
 ^^

this

GERMAN designed and assembled (bike components bolted onto the frames)

frame are TAIWANESE manufactured
  • + 1
 Most (but not all) LBS leap at the chance to put a major non-Canadian bicycle brand on their floor first, ahead of any Canadian brands for many reasons (some good, some bad). Some of them happily don't have a single Canadian brand and some of them use a Canadian brand to attract the customers who want them.

"why would MEC want to offer a brand that in most major markets".....brand name recognition. It's what drives most bike shop owners to carry the lines they do.

"Transition" isn't a Canadian brand.

Would I rather see more Canadian brands in my LBS than non-Canadian brands, heck yes. However, I agree that it's not a bad idea for MEC to sell Ghost because there will be a "newness" to the brand in the eyes of the consumer which will certainly attract some sales, plus the brand isn't in 4 other stores in the same town.

Having said that, people will still go from shop to shop and compare parts, color and price between multiple brands for the most part.
  • + 4
 Well let's see... in the cities where there are MEC's, there are usually multiple independant bike dealers... who already carry canadian owned brands, although if you go by ownership then cannondale, gt, and schwinn are now canadian also since they're owned by Dorel in montreal. In any case, a large sporting goods / outdoor adventure shop company becoming the distributor for another bike brand in a particular country is not unusual. Sportschek's parent company was the distributor for Iron Horse for a good number of years, and without them most canadian buyers would never had had a chance to own one.

Personally I see this simply as a repeat of the sky is falling crap that happened when Raceface announced they were going to be selling their bottom tier components at MEC, and Cycles-Lambert threw a hissy fit and declared they would no longer distribute raceface. Big F'ing deal... Raceface simply and logically decided as a canadian company, they had no need for a canadian distributor and canadian IBD's could simply order direct from them, cutting out the useless middleman that caused a price hike for the end user. As it stands, there are IBD's in canada selling raceface components for less than MEC does. So... where was the great threat to IBDs that the dealer association and distributors were whining about?

MEC gives great staff service, have an amazing guarantee policy that far exceeds the manufacturer warranties, and they have profit sharing for all the members as well (last year I got a cheque from them for something like $53 after they did one of their share buy-back things). The real reason independant stores and their lackies whine about MEC is because the founders of the company had the forward thinking attitude to start a company as a co-op to get stuff that other canadian dealers couldn't get them, for a fair price, and to grow that company into the largest outdoor sporting goods company in canada, after now THREE decades of work.
  • + 1
 Interesting. I need to read up on co-ops in Canada to get a better understanding of how that all works. Sometimes I feel like Capers (Whole Foods) and Safeway should be sending me a cheque at the end of every year too - haha!

I don't see MEC selling Ghost being the same as Sportcheck selling Iron Horse. The Iron Horse bikes Sportcheck sold weren't much better than a WalMart quality and you had no idea who was assembling them. At least with MEC the staff is getting some training for servicing of the bikes they sell.

RaceFace had never had a Canadian distributor until they partnered with Lambert and now they're back to distributing their own product in Canada.

True, there are Canadian bicycle brands on store floors in almost every town in Canada, including the cities where MEC is selling bikes but the percentage of floor space and sales given to those Canadian brands by the LBS is noticeably lower on average than any of the big 3 brands individually.

I don't think we can say there's one "real reason" bike shops "whine" about MEC. Frankly, my guess would be it's mostly because in the cities where MEC is currently selling or is going to sell bicycles, there's already more than enough LBS trying to make a living without anymore unnecessary competition. Having said that, I'm pretty impressed with MEC's efforts in supporting cycling here in Vancouver and the surrounding area.
  • + 1
 Because no Canadian bike brand would put their bikes in there. Companies like devinci already have way more retailers in Canada than the few stores MEC has. Your average bike store sells way more bikes than any MEC location will.
  • - 1
 @ shimaceo - you make it sound so personal, warm and fuzzy- as if MEC knows you and cares - BS ! they care about the $$$ you are willing to spend for the wonderful opportunity of joining their fake co-op for 5 bucks [ what the hell is co-op about it !? you pay as much as anywhere and don't get any 'membership' deals whatsoever - only the luxury of paying retail the same as anywhere AND helping them grow into a BIGGER BIG BOX BONANZA...well, i suppose you see as whining, but we'll see who whines when they drive all the real bike shops out of business and just like chapters end up offering LESS [ of everything : product service etc ] FOR MORE.
  • + 1
 see my comment above.
  • + 2
 JC - I don't understand what I made sound warm and fuzzy. As I said in my last post,"Frankly, my guess would be it's mostly because in the cities where MEC is currently selling or is going to sell bicycles, there's already more than enough LBS trying to make a living without anymore unnecessary competition." I agree with that sentiment, the last thing the average LBS needs is a company like MEC selling bikes.

I don't see anything as "whining". If you read my last post I put "whine" in parenthesis to quote how DEEEIGHT used it in his previous post.

Every business cares about the $ you spend and they will market themselves to the best of their ability, whether it be with traditional advertising or the guise of being a co-op, to sell the product they have. I have an MEC membership I purchased about 18 years ago and haven't used in about 12 years. There's a lot of discussion about the legitimacy of their co-op status and I'm interested in knowing more about that.

Definition of COOPERATIVE: an enterprise or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services - I guess that's a start.

What's funny and cool is I know some bike store owners who dont mind what MEC is doing because it actually brings more people in their stores to have the bikes and parts adjusted and/or installed properly (as well as to buy bikes instead of at MEC).
  • + 2
 @ jcinkits - "BS ! they care about the $$$ you are willing to spend..."

Not sure if you choose not to read the posts above, but MEC staff regularly suggest shoppers go to another store when it's in the customer's interest.

MEC needs its members/customers to spend enough money each year so that they pay all their bills. After that, they return the rest of the money to the community through gear/money donations, paid trail maintenance days, 1% for the planet, video contests and tons of other community events. If they end up having a particularly good year for sales, they need to (by law) donate more money back to the community. They set their prices at what they predict will make a small profit at the end of the year, and they constantly change their prices (up & down) throughout the year. Geez, sounds like the devil to me!

And go an ask a manager of any of the dozen bike shops in the square mile of any MEC how they're being driven out of business ;-)
  • + 1
 @ bishopsmike - hmmmm. ok, i may have been a little hard on MEC with tunnel vision due to my desire to see LBSs survive - but overall i do not agree about your assessment that they are looking to make a 'small profit' - that is absolute nonsense; but i do agree they have some products [ i am talking mostly about bike related stuff ] that are priced very fairly [ like their awesome Planet Bike Locks ] and they do return 1% [ and you thing think is significant ?! ] That 1% and possibly all that gear and $$$ you say they donate sounds like...a tax write off ? as for paid trail building - whoa! first, i could be wrong, but i bike every trail [ mostly Downhill ] in and around Vancouver [ North Shore / Burnaby Mt. Etc ] all year round and have NEVER heard or seen them at work; as for all the 'tons of community events' please let me know where and when you last saw any of this - i just called MEC customer service and could get NO definitive answer about past or any upcoming events sponsored by them...maybe i was talking to the wrong employee - anyway, i am willing to take another look at MEC and try to find a more positive view of them - could be i am just very tired of large corporations conning consumers and driving independents out of business; as for asking any mgr of the doz bike shops how they are being driven out of business [ i am not certain what you are alluding to, but i know of two shops in the last year that went tits up, and others including John Henry are struggling in spite of putting on big sales, dirt jump events and other community related stuff - way too many riders are going to MEC type outlets, especially beginners who wouldn't know quality and specific needs if it hit them like a brick ] i am not saying it is entirely MEC big box stores, but it IS a substantial part of the reason. Bottom line: there is good in everything and the redeeming qualities of MEC may outweigh the criticism . thanks for your view, i'll give it another look.
  • + 2
 @ jcinkits - "overall i do not agree about your assessment that they are looking to make a 'small profit' - that is absolute nonsense"

For support in your search for answers to this question, take a look at the following link for MEC's audited financial statements:
www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary/AboutMEC/Governance/HowWeMeasureUp/FinancialStatements.jsp

MEC made 0.31% in net income in 2010, which is pretty close to breaking even and supports bishopsmike's comment. And for their community involvement and philosophy, take a look through the following report:
www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary/Sustainability/AccountabilityReport.jsp

Once you have done some more research, I am sure it will become clear that MEC is not like the box stores. As a bike shop employee for many years I sympathize with LBS's and definitely want them to continue to operate, but the challenges they face (internet retailers, real big box stores) are being faced by small retailers regardless of industry, and LBS's must adapt to the market and economic changes just like everyone else. MEC, with a limited-line cycling dept and only 15 locations Canada wide, could only ever be considered a very small part of the overall picture (and it is debatable whether the overall impact on LBS's is even negative at all (due to the spin-off effect of expanding the market, referrals, etc), as mentioned in numerous other comments).
  • + 2
 @ jcinkits - thanks for actually taking the time to write a quality response, rather than just hating. I definitely agree they sell some shite products, mixed among some goodies. Ghost bikes look like they'll be pretty sweet.

MEC has 15 stores across the country, so yes, it's definitely possible that some LBS's nearby to some MEC stores have gone under. I was saying that overall, the neighbourhoods around MEC's do quite well for outdoor gear competition.

Besides the trail-building & community events (don't have time to look all those up), MEC also supports things like the Canadian Avalanche Association and land aquisition (donated $250k to protecting the Skaha Bluffs from development). Obviously, if they've got this much money to donate, then they're certainly making a profit off us shoppers, but it's nicer to see it get donated to improving the planet rather than line some CEO's pockets.

I'm glad you're willing to give them a futher look, and not lump MEC in with SportChek or whoever.

And the 1% for the Planet is one percent of revenue, not profit, so it's pretty damn significant. Good thing for protected spaces everywhere. Happy riding.
  • + 1
 yep. it does appear that MEC merits another look and i need to 'look' a little deeper on my [ absolutism ] critiques - $250 large to help save some of Ma Earth is humbling...thanks for taking time to educate me
  • + 1
 the only thing I can say about the Ghost DH bike (the single pivot with high pivot point and chain roller) is that a good number of them appear to be quite "bent" (bad alignment)

I built 1 for a colleague in our shop and it was f*cked and I am starting to hear off other forums of riders with similar issues with the same frame Frown
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  • + 3
 That bike is sexy
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  • + 2
 it is about time MEC sold a real mountain bike and not a hunk of metal
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  • + 1
 Some one ought to bring in Whyte bikes
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  • - 2
 Personally I think MEC product is junk, at best. You can find decent bike parts occasionally, but they are usually out of stock, or more expensive the LBS. Ghost appear to be nice bikes, but I would never buy from MEC.
  • + 4
 It sounds like you are an MEC member though as it sounds like you shop there? And from what you say here - you do occasionally find what you are looking for (but it is more expensive than at your LBS). This basically flies in the face of what most folks are saying when they complain about MEC crushing competition with their low low prices? I also love that most people who jump all over a thread like this also happen to be lifetime members of MEC... It's always fun to villainize the 'big guy' - until you need them for something.
  • + 1
 @cambiegirl - you are right somewhat, as even i occasionally shop at MEC, but that is only when i cannot find the product elsewhere, and not because it is cheaper there - MEC has a purpose but for anyone who actually wants quality and service WITH BIKES, sorry, never gonna happen at MEC compared to [ most ] LBSs. [ ps. i doubt you have ever gone into an LBS since you seem to feel entitlement and poor service and high prices is their thing - Dunbar Cycles - for example - just finished a FREE fork service for one month whether you bought anything or not ! and, their Maxxis Minion Tires are almost 1/2 the cost of MEC price, AND service is very friendly, not pushy, and knowledgeable - is it possible you have a social issue of being intimidated [ your words ] in a more personal environment and feel better at MEC where you are just one of many and can be lost amid the crowd - just saying...
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 Not so big on MEC, but have always liked the look of Ghost's bikes...
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 I'd rather they sell Orange or Mondraker bikes!
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 pfff MEC. Im chalked full of bike snobery (im well aware) but i have no respect for MEC carrying bikes.
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 Thats too bad.
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