Mail Order Madness - Are Wiggle Buying Chain Reaction Cycles?

Feb 10, 2016 at 6:15
by Pinkbike Staff  
Reputable UK bike industry news source, BikeBiz, believe that mail order giant Wiggle is on the verge of absorbing its main rival, Chain Reaction Cycles. It's said to be highly likely that the sale will go through next week, according to multiple sources.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles

"Founded in 2009 as an offshoot from a Portsmouth bike shop, Wiggle grew and grew and was sold to Bridgeport Capital for GBP180m in 2011.

Chain Reaction Cycles sprang from a small bike shop in the tiny town of Ballyclare in 1989. The shop is now a barber's shop, a very small barber's shop. This was the second shop. The first, started in 1984, was Ballynure Cycles an even smaller operation. The business was founded by George and Janice Watson - their first sale was a chain link costing 11p.
When, in 1998, the business moved to Ballyclare the decision was made to change the firm’s name, and Chain Reaction Cycles was born. The website was launched the following year.

Almost 40 percent of CRC's sales come from outside the EU, as dealers in Australia and America know only too well. Wiggle and Chain Reaction have been fighting head to head for many years, with Wiggle moving ahead of Chain Reaction in 2013 when sales at the family-owned firm dropped six percent to GBP145m. The Watson family is said to have a personal fortune of GBP200m."
-BikeBiz

MENTIONS: @ChainReactionCycles




169 Comments

  • 172 0
 they better bloody not do, competition is needed
  • 77 1
 There goes customer service
  • 81 30
 It probably is for the best. These are both shops that make lbs' go out of business. With less competition in the online world, the prices might become a bit less low and other bike shops might stand a bit more chance again. Note that shops like CRC often sell their stuff cheaper than an LBS would pay their distributor for that exact same part.

In the end I am pro online shops though, since my experience is that most bike shops simply fail to offer the knowledge and service they claim to have, what you apparently pay extra for. Also, if you're in that small percentage of people who know more about bikes than most bike shops, why would you pay them for something you know / can do just as well, or here in The Netherlands, many times better? I also really hate it when I do feel generous and go into the lbs to support them, to find out they never have the exact part I need in stock and they tell me it will either takes months before the next shipment from the distributor where tthey can include my order, or I will have to pay €20 extra worth of shipping costs AND pay full retail price AND wait one or two weeks for the package to arrive to their shop. While I can order the same part from the UK for cheaper, plus I save €16 on shipping costs (WTF?) plus I have it delivered to my house within 3 days. I'm sorry LBS' you need to step up your game because times are changing and you guys are the grumpy CD-stores who go bankrupt one by one complaining about the world, instead of stepping up your game and see this pressure a reason to get out of your comfort zone and create something unique and become better than you've ever been.
  • 68 4
 The LBS needs to rethink what it does and how it does it. The old model of retailing will lead them to going out of business. People can read reviews of products online, including video footage, so the LBS has to become something different than a "wait for a guy to walk in" retailer. The shops that figure this out will still be strong.
  • 16 4
 The trouble there @Mattin is that as a local bike shop. You can't stock every part everyone wants. One person wants this, the next wants something completely different.

However, when someone comes in and asks for something we can't get quickly we do recommend a few places to them. Sounds counter productive since someone is taking money away from us since we don't have it, but they come back to us. So we get future sales. A little loss for a customer who then spends more.

Although the difference CRC, Wiggle etc has made on sales of small products (lights etc) is massive. We are pretty lucky with bikes though, since we stock Trek, Whyte and Electra as our main brands you have to come instore to buy one. Something I respect those companies for. You still can't get a bike serviced through the internet though lol
  • 1 3
 I challenge you. Kom eens langs????
  • 55 4
 #LeaveCRCAlone
  • 16 2
 @WECustomizeBikes : I know you personally and I know you don't belong in that majority of lbs' I'm talking about. You are providing that extra service that I was talking about when I said "be creative". You guys anodize parts, give clinics, have very good bike knowledge etc, etc.

I don't want to name bike shops I had bad experiences with, but I had salesman trying to sell me a semi-integrated headset because I was looking for an a-head style headset with a low stack, once ordered a 160mm disc adapter for the rear and they ordered me a 160mm disc adapter for the front and had no clue there was a difference between them when I told him it's the wrong one, even though the packaging said 160F/140R. And this isn't even 10% of my list, and this actually happened in a bike shop which claimed they are specialized in MTB and road bikes.
The problem I think is that these shops will hire anyone, also people who don't ride mtb / road bikes. Just random folks who learned from their heads that this Cube costs €999 and has an XT derailleur.

The small amount of bike shops that are actually really good, are the small ones from very passionate cyclists. Good examples are you WECB, Soulcycle, Meesterknecht and shops like that. These are the only kind of bike shops I still go to. The big known shops which have over 100 bikes in their store generally do lack knowledge and service.
  • 11 4
 If online is killing a LBS it's because they have a bad business plan. Around here LBS's are thriving. They cater to most people. It's only the die hards that visit Pinkbike and forums that are obsessive and search out upgrades and the next best thing and try to get it at the lowest price. 90% of bike riders arn't like that.
  • 12 0
 bingo. To be a successful bike shop your business needs to cater to enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts. All types of cycling and drop the pretentious bs. Also, If I owned one I would attempt to work off a smaller margin for upgrade parts because honestly they just don't sell at all in today's marketplace. You simply won't sell a given part for 30% more than it can be bought online to an enthusiast who knows this. This is going to sound harsh but I know good bike shops that do stock some parts I want, because they track parts sales and keep up on trends. I understand it's difficult and expensive to retail - but it can be done. Find revenue elsewhere, focus on retention and customer service. Reduce turn around for service and repair. Offer higher level service and repair like suspension tunes, ect. I can not feel sorry for a bike shop where you just sit behind the counter and expect people to throw money at you. I know this is not all bikes shops but it's a lot of them. Sorry for this brutal truth.
  • 6 0
 90% of riders? You definitely haven't been to London lol But yeah, we're focusing more on servicing here due to the high count of commuters.

And @Mattin, spot on. Most of the stores I've had issues with have nearly always been the large bike chain stores. Evan's Cycles, Halfrauds Wink etc....
  • 5 0
 @DARKSTAR63 Dammit. I always hoped I would be treated like a pole dancer.

I need a change of career I guess.
  • 1 0
 I think everyone's market is different of course. Like around here, you gotta do road. We have a lot of wealthy road cyclists, so you would be crazy not to be good with that crowd.
  • 2 2
 hahaha @charlie079 I mean no disrespect to anyone who works or makes a living in bicycle retail. Plenty of shops out there killing it. But I call it as I see, and I see shops struggling and often have an idea as to why. It would be nice if people always supported local and had the money to do that, but the reality is you have to adapt.
  • 1 0
 Haha, only messing around. Yeah, a lot of shops round here haven't adjusted to the current situation were in. So in turn, a lot have closed their doors. Sad to see but no one apart from themselves could of helped.
  • 6 1
 If the only value an LBS provides is that of exclusion (i.e. You must come here to buy brands X, Y and Z) they won't do well. Those that offer more should survive but I think many of them will struggle in the coming years. A starting point would be to (figuratively) embrace the YT owners walking through the door wanting service.
  • 12 0
 I've only ordered from wiggle twice an both times they got it wrong. Long time CRC customer and why not? When I can order stuff Thursday morning an it turns up at work 24hrs later.. For free postage..

I have an lbs but they're primarily XC, road an commuter. I've had brakes bled an a wheel trued by them. I felt no difference in the brake an the wheel was loose as hell after one ride. My nearest GOOD shop is an hours drive away
Petrol is very expensive!!!

I have even heard an admission from another lbs owner of ordering from CRC cos it's cheaper an faster than his supplier!!!
  • 2 1
 Wiggle sells Kona, I wonder what that means for Kona. If CRC carries Kona after the merger, will we be able to order Kona direct from CRC? that would be great!
  • 1 0
 the only benefit to them buying CRC is to close it down. they are in direct competition. so if its true you will still be ordering your kona from wiggle and CRC will be gone. it's a very expensive way for wiggle to reduce the competition.
  • 7 0
 Or maybe for bridgeport capital to run both? Wiggle are better known in the road an triathlon scene. CRC the mtb scene

Fingers X'ed as I'm a sale rail shopper that lives on CRC's bargains.....
An wiggle sucks
  • 12 0
 yeh, that would be ideal but I doubt it happening.

I also agree CRC is great
wiggle just isn't very user friendly (and its compulsory on here to hate anything roadie orientated)
  • 4 0
 Only place that is any cheaper than CRC is the German Websites. Discountbikes.de etc. Stuff straight from the factories over there, so they get it dirt cheap. Only downside is the shipping time, normally takes a week.

@nojzilla As for stuff being ordered from CRC by shops.... You would be silly not to if this was your business. We get stuff from them all the time. The amount of times I've phoned suppliers asking them to match a company online. I do feel sorry for them though, having to deal with us lol
  • 2 0
 @Downhillrider441 ... never mind customer service. There goes the prices!
  • 1 0
 @charlie079 wow! That owner I was talking too said, he only does it when he can't get parts for a customers repairs in time!
  • 3 3
 To be honest if I had a cycling company I would allow online bike shops to sell it. But I would warn them from the first moment that as soon as they start selling under the recommended retail price, I would permanently stop shipping new products to them. Only exception being on older stuff from previous years.
  • 2 0
 If you haven't tried the Google.de thing yet then now is the time!
  • 1 0
 I work at a corporately owned sports store and often the prices from CRC are better than what I would pay at cost from the store distributor. CRC has been a great alternative because we don't have a lbs where I live.
  • 4 1
 @doek - wiggle could close CRC down, but there could be huge advantages to keeping both going. As someone said, make wiggle the road and tri specialist, CRC the MTB specialist. There's money to be saved in combined warehousing, distribution, website maintenance and staffing. This could work out well for both of them.

I'll miss CRC if they go though. Amazing selection, great prices and fast, cheap shipping to Canada, couldn't ask for more.
  • 4 0
 The LBS, must build their business plan around bike maintenance....that is the one place that onlines cant reach....sales must be a secondary field to them or a complete online solution....
  • 42 1
 As a long time bike shop employee and mechanic, I feel a like I can share my experience. I HATE the mantra that LBS are some endangered species that is to be deified and worshipped at all costs.

Too often the over-priced, low-quality work, that takes too long, and over priced parts just aren't worth the cost. Not to mention the opportunity cost of actually getting yourself to the shop and hoping to deal with a competent employee. Let's be honest, retail shops in just about all industries are nearly obsolete (see Amazon.com).

Internet business is faster, more convenient and cheaper than a brick and mortar shop almost every industry. And yes, I order from CRC because their parts are often cheaper than my local distributor and most times faster (and I'm on the west coast of the US!!). We don't go to a artisan shoe maker for our boots, or to a custom tailor for all our clothes. Retail is dead. You have to adapt to survive in any industry as they're constantly evolving.

LBS need to focus on the non-tangible goods that create a positive experience... atmosphere, camaraderie, knowledgable-passionate employees, quick turn around on service, guided shop rides, skills clinics, repair clinics, custom bike build consultations, bike fits.... the kinds of things you can't buy on the internet or take too much time/work for the average customer to research.

I also agree with a few others above, you have to appeal to the types of riders in your specific area; create a niche, but be flexible. We work on and sell all bikes at our shop. But we happen to be on a massive bike commuting corridor; so what do we stock and sell mostly? Racks, fenders, bags, tubes, tires, tune ups, shitty $500 commuter bikes. I went through five other shops before where I'm at for the same reason you all hate most LBS... slow service, clumsy employees, and mostly the prevailing idea that bike shops are some kind of charity case that deserves life support. And every I check out another shop, or give them a chance it reminds me why I hate most bike shops; I could have just done it faster and cheaper online.

No you're not a bad person for ordering online, you're smart. No your LBS doesn't deserve your charity, they have to earn it. Maybe I rambled a bit there...
  • 4 1
 No rambling dude just 100% sense. Best thing I ever read about lbs, if only more of em saw it this way.
  • 2 0
 +1 @dinero. I too worked in shops and was a wrench but it was just as online stuff was starting to really blow up. I will say though I struggle with this even this week as I consider purchasing a new handlebar. My shop will even do their best to match online prices. The fact is though, I don't need service or a recommendation on this particular item (that's what I have you good people for). It's also out of my way to drive to the store and then...I have to pay sales tax.

On the other hand, I have purchased 3 bikes from from local shops in the last 2 years. ALL of them have had warranty issues with 3rd party components where I was happy to have my shop on the phone with the rep. It was during those experiences that my shop earned my business.
  • 1 0
 @doek - I highly doubt such an acquisition would solely be to close the competitor. I assume the UK has regulators over large corporate transactions and they would likely stipulate ongoing operations of both brands for a period of time. And if the capital investors thought they could service their competitors customers and win them over through one of the sites they would invest in the company not buy the competitor. You buy when you recognize the other competitor has something of value you cannot acquire on your own or replicate in a cost effective manner. They will surely harmonize back end operations, negotiate even better pricing (from parts to shipping) and I suspect it is safe to assume each brand will slowly differentiate toward different target markets. There are many parent companies that operate seemingly competitive offerings because it gives them broader exposure to the market and lessens the risk should one of those markets falter. Fox-Marz; Dorel-Pacific Cycle in the bike industry; IAC owns Match.com, PoF, OKCupid and Tinder; there's literally countless examples in nearly every industry. This is just a sign of the bicycle industry reaching the early stages of maturity where consolidation begins... and there is lots more to come.
  • 1 0
 Anyone remember CompUSA and Circuit City? me either. Two tech companies who didnt feel they needed to change their business model to compete with the internet
  • 1 0
 @robwhynot Seems like Wiggle have been branching out a lot into general outdoor gear and other sports, might make sense for them to gradually funnel more of the pure cycling business into CRC and more 'other stuff' into Wiggle.
  • 1 0
 For me what you have said there is bang on!
  • 2 0
 its funny that I'm buying mtb stuff online since 2010 and i've never heard of wiggle before today
  • 2 0
 You're not missing much
  • 1 0
 I manage an LBS and I agree with this
  • 70 2
 Never heard of Wiggle before
  • 7 0
 They more renowned in the road cycling world.
  • 14 1
 Likewise. Never heard of Wiggle. Maybe they've come up in searches, but CRC usually has the best price, and such a great (IMO) website. Very easy to drain my wallet there.
  • 4 0
 They're more Road and Tri than CRC, Wiggle also doesn't really have any MTB brands of it's own. They have DHB kit but nothing as good as Nukeproof and Vitus. I hope this turns out to be untrue, my experiences with Wiggle have been fine, but my experience with CRC has been better, more than that those two companies under one roof would be catastrophic for competition.
  • 1 0
 wiggle is CRC's big brother but as has been said it leans more towards road and Triathlon
  • 1 2
 If wiggle buy crc they will sell everything crc had therefore making one kick arse website for gear
  • 2 1
 CRC is already one kick arse website for gear Smile having everything under one roof does not necessarily make it better. But, times changes, so.... get ready I guess!
  • 1 0
 I think CRC is a little bit better than wiggle, but I like having both. They stock some different stuff which is useful.
  • 66 0
 Every time I've looked on wiggle their prices have been higher, its a harder website to navigate, and a lot less range. So I don't know if this will be better or worse.
  • 55 0
 I agree....CRC seems superior.
  • 3 0
 Maybe that's part of the reason they want buy them, so they use their scalable architecture and better site.
  • 6 0
 If they're smart, they'll leave CRC's business model as is and just profit from their continued success. Or Bridgeport Capitol thinks they control a massive portion of the market and they will increase prices, cut costs in other areas (such as customer service as others suggested) increasing their profit margin which in turns makes it seem like a way better investment... it could go either way its just up to how much Bridgeport wants to appease the shareholders.
  • 1 0
 @freeriderayward, totally agree, CRC's web is more user friendly, has far better range and more competitive on pricing. The only thing I can say for Wiggle is there order turn around is faster, as ive often ordered things from CRC & Wiggle on the same day for Wiggle to beat CRC on delivery by over a day most times, often with CRC still processing the order! Wiggle do sell some things CRC dont that I use, but its only a small number of goods!
  • 30 1
 Chain reaction is great. Good customer service, prices, etc. Wiggle is always higher priced and sorry lbs but theres no way im stopping by when prices are lower somewhere else online
  • 5 0
 Not always higher. I purchased twice from wiggle last year as it was cheaper than CRC. Guess it depends what's on sale, when.
  • 6 3
 I rarely buy from CRC anymore. There are not cheap and "sales" prizes are a joke!
  • 1 0
 yup it depends on the item. the pike i bought from CRC was cheaper than wiggle, but xtr cranks and brake levers were much cheaper on wiggle with a better selection of sizes (for cranks).
  • 2 1
 I've seen discounts up to 85% on CRC. How is that a joke? I'm always about 20-25% cheaper off when buying through CRC than if I would buy it at full price.
  • 6 0
 Because a lot of CRC listings have falsely inflated MSRPs. One example in my mind: A 2013 NS Soda Air was 3700 CAD MSRP, but CRC listed it for ~4500, on sale for 3700 CAD. hmmm.....
  • 3 0
 @baylenc1

I recently bought 3T Team stem and 3T team bars for my new 29'er and Wiggle were £12 cheaper on stem and £15 cheaper on the bars.

I shop with both Wiggle and CRC, choose the best price or stock availability, no real difference in shipping times, both very easy to use and cheaper than buying products through our trade suppliers in the bikeshop I work in.

Recently I bought some Shimano road wheels for my road bike, £100 cheaper from Wiggle than using our trade supplier (Madison a.k.a. Shimano UK)

internet has changed the game - our shop focuses on bike fitting, bike servicing, expert customer service, selling protected bike brands and soon offering training, yoga, pilates, wattbike studio, coffee shop, etc. adapt and survive!
  • 1 0
 @ j-t-g: Exactly!
  • 1 0
 Have you tried bike discount? Few items I recently compared were cheaper...
  • 1 0
 I think wiggle might be better if you like swimming, triathlon and juggling.
  • 24 1
 I thought It would be the other way around ; Chain Reaction Cycles buys Wiggle.
  • 4 0
 CRC is a smaller company and with wiggle catering more for roadies and their deep pockets it doesn't surprise me.
  • 2 0
 wiggle owns the DHB clothing line, which i find pretty good (for road stuff). They also had they're own bike brand (verenti) so it probably helped with revenue. Also, they have a womens road team.
  • 1 0
 They also recently bought Eastway bicycles so have their own bike brand
  • 23 2
 Thank goodness that theres still Bike Discount de, Pricepoint, Jenson USA, Competitive Cyclist, TBS, Fanatik, etc.
  • 10 2
 pinkbike, ebay, facebook trade pages etc..
  • 3 0
 Merlin and Ribble are pretty awesome too.
  • 12 0
 Also Bike24.
  • 23 3
 All non-Canadian based mail order companies are a moot point for anyone ordering from Canada. Right now we are lucky if we get seventy US cents for one Canadian Dollar. Add in the fact that revenue have cracked down on imports like these and the fact CRC insists on sending items DHL instead of parcelforce (the later often flies under the radar tax and duty wise where DHL bend you over and precharge the maximum duty and taxes plus a service charge for doing so.

Chainreaction was a dream when they shipped via mail and the Canadian dollar was at par or better than the Yankee greenback.
  • 5 1
 I haven't looked in a while but the euro was still fairly weak and I've ordered from bike discount and paid minimal or no duties.
  • 2 0
 planet X/on-one are pretty stellar for getting things cheap, but mostly only does the UK and US,
  • 3 0
 @STRMTRPR - CRC exclusively shipping DHL is old news. Due to the incredible backlash, they relented (another sign of a great company) and gave us the choice of Royal Mail > Canada Post. Select Standard Postal - Free vs. Standard Tracked (DHeLL) and you get the good old Royal Mail/Canada Post service.
  • 2 0
 For me,it's not a problem what happened with CRC.Not even now i don't understand their success. German sites are cheaper even if in some cases you have to pay the transport . So, www.bike-components.de , www.bike-discount.de , www.hibike.de , www.actionsports.de etc.,RULZZZ!
  • 1 0
 24 bikes, probike and chain reaction but delivery takes a while to France
  • 1 0
 @STRMTRPR yeah! TBS is our new good friend! If they don't have what you want, you can still see with Jensonusa what would be the final price with duty, at your door, and sometimes it is a good deal, sometimes not!
  • 1 1
 Realistically I think things will stay the way they were, two different webshops, just the same owner. Kind of like how Fox bought Marzocchi, but Marzocchi stayed Marzocchi and didnt become Fox. It could have a bit effect on the proces though, but I even douwt that, as Wiggle is manly for roadies and CRC is mainly for MTB.
  • 20 1
 I don't know how to feel
  • 11 0
 Just look into your heart and see what's there
  • 1 0
 @witica It doesn't know what love is...
  • 3 0
 Put on Adeles album. If you just press the stop button, you're fine with it. If it makes you want to kill yourself you're not fine with it.
  • 1 0
 Do you feel some type of way?
  • 1 0
 Cut your Barnet into a combover and relax fella.it comes to us all.
  • 8 0
 Crc has gone expensive now anyway. Great website and range but there's no bargains to be had anymore. It's all full retail price with a fake discount tagged on. Had a few smaller things of wiggle cheap mainly chains ect no problem but have to look hard the Web site is useless. I'm lucky I live next to merlin who do good prices but there getting a bit roady so not much selection. Excellent wheel builders to. But for the love of God avoid tredz like the plague! The most incompetent lieing useless company ever. They never get your order right or on time and charge you for returns that they caused and don't refund the postage costs, total scum don't wish people outout of a job but the world would be a better place if they did something else for a living
  • 9 0
 Never heard of Wiggle. CRC has been awesome based on my previous experience.
  • 3 0
 Same here, although I don't order from CRC much due to whole customs charge thing which I know they don't control but it makes it not to economically advantageous when buying from the US.
  • 2 0
 Same for me. I actually buy from Art's or Worldwide Cyclery now...and they offer a 10% discount on every order, so even a better reason to keep money in our economy.
  • 6 0
 I've bought from CRC for years because of their service and great website only going to Wiggle if the item I want is on sale for allot less. Also at Wiggle I get free shipping on $75 CAD or more while CRC is $99 CAD and up so it depends on the size of my order. No use for bike shops as I build my own wheels and bikes, also service my own suspension. I would hate to see CRC and Wiggle combine due to less competition but if they do and prices go up someone else will come along and set up a new online store. In most of my shopping apart from food + building supplies it's all online because of lower prices and better service. Like it or not it is the future. Buy the way........Wiggle is a really stupid name (maybe a roadie thought it up).
  • 1 0
 I think prices are probably fine. It's not like they won't have competition still, they'll just have much larger market share and be able to leverage their buying power even more. So they can keep prices the same by selling more under one brand than two.
  • 8 3
 I always buy online,easy peasy process and never really had a bad experience.went down to evans in leicester when it opened last year,and swore never to go back again.the problem for me was being served by (hipsters i think they're called)young dudes with skinny jeans and twat beards,talking to me like I knew f*ck all.theres another in leicester that sell giant and they're just as bad.buying online means I don't have to deal with these knobs.more online the better.
  • 10 2
 P.s the next one who says "hey guys" to me,I swear I'm gonna smash em.
  • 2 0
 this is why i love the Brits
  • 7 0
 Hipsters can suck it! They're trying to ruin bikes, beer, beards, and tattoos for the cool people!
  • 6 0
 Also, wiggle can suck it too if they kill crc.
  • 5 0
 I bought a Rockshox dropper post from Alltricks in France and a Fox rear shock paid in Euros the dropper post was 32GBP cheaper than CRC free shipping by UPS collect at your local premier convenience store took 3days
  • 6 0
 crc is 10 miles away from me. can drop into their shop if need something urgent. Been buying from alltricks and a few german places as its cheaper. Never buy from wiggle as its far too expensive..
  • 3 0
 I bought also from Alltricks in France. Way cheaper than CRC/Wiggle, free shipping by UPS and way faster!
  • 3 0
 Alltricks was my LBS for a few years, weirdly and they have a nice showroom full of decent, helpful, knowledgable guys in there too. I'm sure it's much the same with CRC and whatnot but having a (perceived) human side to things really made me consider them differently for some reason. Also, a set of next year's XT brakes for 140 odd euros doesn't hurt...
  • 4 0
 CRC's website interface is way better than wiggle's not to mentioned better product mix. But Wiggle's live chat and customer is tough to beat. Still can't believe the deal's not the other way round.
  • 3 0
 Have to agree with a lot of the comments about the local LBS having to step up their game as they will never be able to compete based on price. The sooner the distributors are gone from this game the better. In BC they are useless and routinely are out of stock. Why does the shop have to order through them for a product from a local company like Raceface or Chromag. If parts are cheaper online than through the distributor, get your stock online and add a markup for having it in stock.. Brake pads, cassettes, deraileurs, etc will always sell. It is a joke that I sometimes have to call several shops to find them.

There are a few local shops doing well such as Dunbar who have also got an online presence and were smart enough to start servicing suspension a few years back. Not rocket science. Sort of what I would expect any shop should be capable of. Why do I have to get my Reverb sent out? Why would you want to refer out that high dollar work? Pay your mechanics well to keep them long term and offer them overtime when things are busy. People are wiling to pay a bit more for quick turn around and quality work. Enough of this "We are booking next week" crap. Big reason I do most of my repairs now up to even doing bearing replacement. Tired of being sidelined mid season. Whistler shops have the quick turn around dialed. Why haven't other shops learned from them.
  • 2 0
 I used to order from CNC before it was so big then the prices seemed lower, not on discounts items are maybe cheaper then some other websites such as bikemailorder.de or other. Well they usualy don't have such a big selection, but atleast with a litle scouting you can find all the items you need most of the time.
  • 2 0
 chain reaction were great ,the bigger they became the worse the service in my opinion and wiggle aint that great ,never have been..there is a lot of know nothing cunts working in bike shops but two shops I have been to where the service and staff were good is don skene in wales and skyline afan wales ...wish we had more like them up this end of the uk. online I get majority of stuff from merlin or evans as I can pick it up at local evans store and I don't even have to speak to the know nothings .p.s nirvana cycles just outside of dorking are pretty friendly and helpful up this end, I forgot about them, credit where its due haha
  • 2 0
 I guess it means higer prices from the both, even thought they will realise savings though larger order value. Online competition is inevitable though. Where there is the opportunity to undercut a big player, some one will take it.
  • 4 0
 I have not bought anything from crc for the last 14months Just too expensive. Bought a German bike and parts from german webshops i saved crazy amounts of money that way
  • 2 0
 I'm surprised there's such split opinion on wiggle and CRC. I've always found them to be more or less the same. CRC's site is definitely better though but as I've always found them so similar, I normally always check one if I've looked for something on the other. CRC used to deliver quicker but since that slowed down a bit a few years ago, wiggle seems to be more consistent on decent delivery times now.
  • 2 0
 Let's see...go to Wiggle, click on Full Suspension MTBs. Here's what I get:

What are full suspension mountain bikes?
Why are full suspension mountain bikes good?
How do I choose a full suspension mountain bike?

Um, yah...won't be shopping on this site. Average Pinkbike user is apparently not the target demographic.
  • 1 0
 I buy bikes and get difficult repairs from my LBS, service and simple repair at home and buy parts online. If this goes ahead any price hike will be shortlived as other discount retailers will pick up the slack. If anything the driving force will be lowering prices. As competitors they are in a race to the bottom, as collaborators they can combine their bargaining power and squeeze manufacturers and competitor's margins. What they will have is such huge buying power that manufacturers will have very little control over pricing, same thing big supermarkets have done to farmers and small stores .
  • 2 0
 Is there a decent mail order option for Canadians anymore? The dollar has us bent over and Companies that ship DHL or UPS will turn what was a good deal into a waste of time right quick.
  • 4 0
 CRC has always been great, but I have nothing but contempt for Wiggle's customer service. This is a very bad thing!
  • 2 0
 And their sites shite
  • 1 0
 Wiggle is a good company, or at least i have done a few orders and have been satisfied. That said, the website just isn't as good, something about the dull colours that isn't appealing, they don't stock many brands that I would happily buy from, and don't have a great range. I guess they are more road orientated?

CRC on the other hand has great stock, great website - really good customer service as well, but their prices fluctuate a bit, although still lower than wiggle I think (mostly)

If I had to say which one was bigger my opinion would have been CRC, had no idea wiggle was actually a bigger company and so not doing a partnership, but taking over CRC.
  • 1 0
 Shops need to advertise online, make better websites, and MOST IMPORTANT be involved in there biking community!!!!
seriously its sad...
The first time I visited my only local bike shop 'Arrowhead Cycles'. I asked if they knew of any Downhill trails in Bishop CA... They responded with, "downhill mountain biking isn't an endurance sport, and we dont really suport it.", and that, "the nearest trails were all the way in mammoth....."
You could imagine how pissed off I was being a DH rider, especially sence I had just finished riding a Downhill trail in Bishop, called 'Break Burner.'
  • 2 0
 But how ??
CRC is so much better than wiggle - hardly ever buy from Wiggle unless I have to.
I would have expected that it would more likely have been the other way around with so many people using CRC.
  • 1 0
 Unfortunate to say that wiggle don't have a clue when it comes to knowing what's what when ordering plus no tel no to speak to someone ( yes there's a call back option but no good if staff don't know answers to wuestions ).

I like so many left crc many years ago after shite service, I do believe they try at times maybe still even.

I tried wiggle of late and not impressed having spent a huge wedge for it to turn out to be 2 yrs older model frame which had suffered damage to hanger due to no real packaging in a big bike box to then have only £50 reduced on an expensive frame.

All I now take away from those kind of experiences are not to go back unless there's a small item cheap instock compared with comp.

THAT IS WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO at end of the day.
Overpriced metal we're all falling head over heals to have but to have on mass scale and cheaper prices.

There are pros and cons to wiggle taking ownership of crc and that's what an individual customer may or may not want to consider...
  • 1 0
 Wiggle Customer service is the worst. they charge me double and they wouldn't refund it. After countless emails back and forth with no lock the case was handed over with help from my bank to nets Denmark which is the Nordic provider of payments to get the funds hold lifted 3 months later I got my money back and i am never buying anything from them again
  • 1 0
 The only thing I've always wonder and not sure about. Any UK bike shop sells a 2016 model bike anywhere you look it's usually same price no matter to me as a business that's making lbs work into a Cartel environment which is not a good thing tbh. So my question is online stores like Wiggle an CRC do discount bikes but lbs don't? Just not sure as it can't be due to a profit margins because I know myself exactly say a RRP £2,000 cost trade they make a fair profit. Before we start its overheads, staff etc it's not!! I ran a model shop for 5 yrs we reduce the price of kits sold more and made more profit so my question is why do lbs etc sell bikes at full RRP not bring there prices down perhaps it'll bring more business into lbs?
  • 2 0
 CRC has, at times, had astounding deals. I bought two sets of wheels from them that were priced at 1/3 of what my LBS could sell them for. Wiggle rarely has deals that good. I hope this is just a rumor.
  • 1 0
 Honestly? I often tend to check on Amazon, Hibike, Bike Discount and private sellers before checking on CRC, because I feel that CRC has lost its edge as its prices are not that far off from other websites.
Not sure how this business move's gonna affect us, though.
p.s. never been a fan of Wiggle, which I always found more expensive than CRC.
  • 1 0
 Enduro mag says it's true. I had herd a rumour a few months back that SRAM was pulling there product from CRC, but didn't come to pass as for nuke proof I hope the brand stays around and I can't wait to see Sam Hill get his wiggle on..
  • 1 0
 Wiggle's customer service is just awful (an epic about a 15mm hope hub adaptor spring to mind), I much prefer CRC - I think this will be a bad move all round tbh if true.

I moved my business to bike-discount.de and bike24.de this year however, so far so good.
  • 1 0
 I order from CRC a lot. I find everything about them great. Prices, shipping, customer service, etc..... I also support my LBS through bike purchases, service, ASAP products and little stuff that doesn't break the bank if i don't get a deal. I have never ordered from Wiggle.
  • 2 0
 With the number of Englishmen commenting on this article, one would hope that at least one other person noticed the glaring grammar error in the title: "Are Wiggle" should read "Is Wiggle".

Come on, Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 Find some comments on here fairly ignorant. How does a one-man band compete price-wise with online where they can benefit from big discounts due to larger stock orders. Small shops can't afford to hold much stock and generally order as and when needed. They rely on bikers who are willing to pay the extra for a face to face. Where they win is involving local communities but a lot of this will take up more and more of their time and a lot of these guys are like the rest of us with families to see. My lbs helps me out when I am in desperate need and because of this I will buy through him whenever possible. A bit of give and take is what these guys need, not unrealistic expectation. Sure there are poor lbs's out there but it's up to you to find a decent and and to decide what your priorities are. My bit, is all.
  • 2 1
 This is wined up... CEC is bigger and better than Wiggle. Wiggle is good, but not as good. CRC have greater stock and are more well known world wide. Their pricing is still better than LBS and Wiggle, for the latter, on almost all things sold... I suspect that Wiggle could be brought by CRC. Northern Ireland needs CRC. It is a success story after years of terror.
  • 1 0
 Well said. CRC is great. It's still an LBS with two bricks and mortar shops, one in Belfast, and another in a small town about 15 miles out, creating plenty of bike industry jobs in Northern Ireland. I used to go to the original CRC in 1992 and still shop at their retail stores when i'm back home in Belfast. The founders did really well, congrats to them.
  • 1 0
 I've been buying more from Ribble (for road) and tried Merlin (for MTB) in the past 6-12 months. I find their prices are often cheaper than CRC. Even if it's only by a few bucks. Ribble has the road tires I want for $6 less than CRC. Why wouldn't I buy from them for $6 when shipping/service/etc. are all the same.

I'm done with Merlin though. I bought two Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires. The two tires arrived with different SKU's. One tubeless ready, one older, non-tubless ready version. I contacted Merlin and they said "The description doesn't tell you which sku you will be getting. You got two Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO tires, exactly as the description, so your order was sent to you correctly". They are technically right, but it's inexcusable to send two different SKU's when I ordered one part number (x2 qty) from them. At least have the quality assurance in your processes to ensure customer gets the same SKU, eventhough another customer gets a different two SKU's. Every since that experience, I have refused to buy from Merlin.
  • 1 0
 I've tried to support my local shops, but am always disappointed. I think it's ridiculous that I have to drive an hour away for an actual good shop. You don't have to blindly support shops with condescending staff who treat you poorly. I happily drive past about 10 shops to get to the right one. In between visits, I use mail order. Those of you who have an awesome local shop are lucky, but there actually are bad shops out there. Why be loyal to a shop that isn't loyal to you?
  • 1 0
 Had a broken XT cassette from Wiggle. Had to send it back from NZ at my own cost and risk for them to decide if it was a warranty claim. I didn't bother in the end. Had a broken XT cassette from CRC. Sent me a new one straight away free of charge without having to send it back. Amazing service. Always go with CRC now.
  • 1 1
 You can pick up the phone to wiggle if you have a question or issue. you can do this with CRC, i recently purchase something from wiggle, it was faulty and when i wanted to call them i couldnt so i asked for a refund and purchased elsewhere because of this.
  • 1 0
 I knew Mitch who started wiggle after he sold butler cycles, I thought he was mad to go to online sales! Really nice guy glad he got the £180 mill for the business back in 2011.
  • 4 0
 I keep buying in bikediscount , undoubtedly the best prices....
  • 3 1
 Crc customer services and shipping is second to none. The lbs is pants. Hope they don't change a thing. It's can't be improved just run it as it is. Successful!!!!
  • 1 0
 I hope they do remain separate entities, CRC is slick but when they don’t have something in stock I find the Wiggle process far more clunky.

Oh' and Wiggle's delivery is a joke
  • 3 0
 There goes the wiggle room on prices
  • 4 0
 I do prefer CRC though
  • 4 1
 Wiggle also has sod all , CRC is so much better
  • 3 2
 In the MTB world yes, big difference in the Road discipline.
  • 1 0
 There'll still be competition even if this does go ahead. bike-discount.de have always been excellent and the prices are just as competitive.
  • 1 0
 I remember the days when CRC were cheap, often delivered items next day and Michael Jackson was black ... oh gone are the days ...
  • 2 0
 ahhh what does this mean for the state side guys? no more cheap shimano stuff?
  • 1 0
 Well I'll be dammned. At least if they blend Wiggle's site will be better, that one's just nasty. I go CRC as I can search what I want easier.
  • 1 0
 I wonder what this means when buying bikes and need a warranty solution? I was thinking about ordering a new Cube Stereo in a month, but I may need to rethink that.
  • 2 1
 I just hope Wiggle read these comments. Compared to CRC they are simply hopeless. Buying, absorbing and closing CRC would make no sense at all.
  • 3 0
 Don't do it!
  • 2 0
 And here we go good bye competition and welcome high price's.
  • 2 0
 It's been cheaper to shop my lbs than going to CRC since the dollar tanked last year. Frankly I'm surprised any Canadians would be fretting about this takeover.
  • 2 1
 Try pricing a m9000 drive train and tell me lbs is cheaper than crc!!!
  • 1 0
 trooper - I usually check with my LBS for prices before ordering online, and except for the odd clearance priced part, they are way more expensive locally (even with the current exchange rate). Do you have examples? I do, one LBS quoted me $1600 for a Pike fork. Would you buy that locally?
  • 3 1
 chain reaction used to be cheap...
  • 2 0
 Hope not, wiggle customer service is the worst
  • 1 0
 I used to by Sidi's from CR, they were half the price as in the US, but had funny names.
  • 2 0
 What's gona happen with nukeproof?
  • 1 0
 It's nukeproof, so I guess nothing.
  • 1 0
 my 2016 mega order was delayed 2 months about 8 hours after this story broke
  • 3 0
 #LeaveCRCAlone
  • 1 0
 CRC is not cheap. Bike Components, Bike 24 and Bikester are cheaper. Dunno how it is in the States though.
  • 2 0
 Which one ? Anthony? Dorothy the Dinosaur? .. Has to be Jeff
  • 1 0
 Sam to YT at contracts end. calling it.
  • 2 1
 Online shopping sucks , support your local shops !!!
  • 1 0
 There goes delivery in less than 24 hours.
  • 1 0
 I want to know what this means for the CRC dh team...
  • 2 1
 Who cares. Support your local shop.
  • 6 6
 Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle...
  • 3 5
 Kurwa
  • 1 2
 Mac
  • 1 0
 Oh wow.

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