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Wheels of Bloor

Posted by Derek Flack / Posted on April 20, 2011

Wheels of Bloor bikesWheels of Bloor is where to go if you're a road cyclist looking to buy a dream bike. Although not the only shop in Toronto that carries bikes that cost as much as cars, few stores are so unabashedly narrow in their focus. This ain't the place to buy sub $1000 bikes, but if you're looking for performance road machines, it'd be difficult to find a store that's better stocked or more knowledgeable about their products. While I didn't buy my bike here (thanks to an irresistible deal on Ebay), I have brought it to Wheels for all manner of work over the years, including a full group upgrade (from 105 to Ultegra) after a particularly bad crash wiped out the shifters on my old bike.

Wheels of BloorFor a shop that deals almost exclusively in the high end bracket, the attitude is kept mostly in check, though I have detected a bit of snootiness on a couple occasions. I'd peg this on one or two individuals rather than call it a store-wide vibe. In fact, certain staff members — namely one Peter Adach — have proved both super friendly and helpful over the two or three years I've frequented the store. I bring this up because shops like Wheels can be intimidating places for people just looking to get into road riding, but guys like Peter make the experience as enjoyable as it should be (until you get to the cash register, that is).

Wheels of BloorBrand wise, Wheels of Bloor carries a wider range than most other stores, regardless of specialty. Here you'll find BMC, Felt, Devinci, Argon 18, Ridley, Colnago, Look, Time and, of course, Cervelo — the bike for which the shop is probably best known. If you're looking for a bike designed by this upscale Canadian company — whether it be an R5, S3 or the wind-dodging P series bikes — Wheels is probably the best place to go in the city. As far as price-point is concerned, you're looking at anywhere from $1000 to $20,000, but the two sweet spots are $2000 for a 105-equipped mid-level set up and $5000-$6000 for a bona fide race machine.

Wheels of BloorAs should be the case, when you purchase a bike here it comes with a thorough fitting. After your position has been determined, the store will swap out components of different sizes (think stems, rear cassettes, handlebars and crank arms) to get the bike as customized as possible. I can't underscore how necessary this is. Despite the deal I got from Ebay on my frame, I ended up forking over $200 to a fit specialist in Milton when my new ride was taking its toll on my back. An in-store fit can help customers to avoid such problems.

Wheels of BloorInterestingly, Wheels will also do free basic fits for people who don't purchase a bike from them. Although this won't be as thorough a process, they'll nail down your frame size and the fore-aft position of the saddle. I'm sure this strategy is driven by the desire to get prospective customers into the store so that they might make future purchases, but nevertheless it's a valuable service that I'm sure more than a few people could benefit from.

Wheels of BloorService at Wheels of Bloor is unsurprisingly tailored around road bikes. Though the mechanics are happy to work on any bike that they have the parts for, my recommendation would be to skip getting tune-ups done here unless you have a pretty decent road bike. It's not that they won't be able to work with low-end or older models so much as the fact that other places will do this for less money. Worthy of note is that bikes purchased from the store come with a three-year service plan, which includes tune-ups and basic maintenance.

Wheels of BloorThe accessory selection isn't huge, but all of the best road-affiliated brands are accounted for, including Shimano, Campagnolo, Mavic, Zipp, Shimano, 3T, Speedplay, Look, Time, Continental...basically all the good stuff. The clothing selection is similarly limited, but features solid brands like Assos, GORE, Hincapie, and Castelli. Oh, and if you need chamois cream, they've got that too (I'll hold back on offering an explanation of what that is for those who've never used it).

THE SKINNY

Who the store caters to: Performance-oriented road cyclists

Bike price range: $1000-$20,000 (Sweet spot $2000-$5000)

Service capabilities: Specialist in high-end road repairs and maintenance

The tune-up: For $75 you get complete external adjustment of the bike (bikes, gears, bolts) and your wheels properly trued. For $150, you get a full overhaul in which the bike is stripped, cleaned, lubed and rebuilt.

2nd Location: Wheels of Oakville is a news addition to the family and offers a bigger showroom.

Discussion

29 Comments

?? / April 20, 2011 at 10:28 am
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God. Bikes and graffiti vandals.

Is there anything else going on in this city to write about?
cultureshot replying to a comment from ?? / April 20, 2011 at 10:49 am
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Boy, you sound like an interesting and fun person.
?? / April 20, 2011 at 10:58 am
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Yes, because only talking about bikes and vandalism is considered interesting and fun?

99.7% of this blog is dedicated to the asinine debate over bikers/cars and if somehow graffiti is considered "art".

Wouldn't you ever like to read about something of greater importance?

Derek Flack replying to a comment from ?? / April 20, 2011 at 11:06 am
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Hyperbole only works when you have a solid point to make. We publish around 10 stories a day, a minor percentage of which are about the topics that seem to upset you. So, here's a free tip. Given that the headlines are pretty straightforward, don't click-through on the articles about bikes or graffiti.

Duh! replying to a comment from ?? / April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm
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Don't like it? Read something else, idiot!
YooMegs / April 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm
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Who doesn't want to read about bikes?! Keep it coming!!
Bob / April 20, 2011 at 01:14 pm
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In lieu of rising gas prices why not more articles on the use of E-bikes for urban transport?
Laura replying to a comment from YooMegs / April 20, 2011 at 04:48 pm
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Agreed. Bikes, bikes, bikes! More, more, more!
jaaaaaaaaat / April 20, 2011 at 05:45 pm
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bikesdirect.com - the cheapest place to get a bike. but thy wont help you find a size, will not make substitutions, and you have to have it delivered in USA to avoid tariffs. . . .


electric / April 21, 2011 at 10:38 am
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Hahaha, more bicycles... please.

?? has a point, they seem like the type of person who can't appreciate what other people like. There is a clinical term for acting like that... hmm.
Peter / March 12, 2012 at 04:47 pm
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So - this is the first time I have written in a review - and let me get started by saying I have a $5000 Carbon Fibre Bike set-up and have put in a few thousand of kms. I called them on March 9th 2012, at approximately 11 AM to ask about 700 CC tires, and what where the price points - first response, guy with a european accent said i have tires for $20, 40, 60 and $80 - what did you want ? - rather rudely, but whatever (I only mention the accent so everyone knows who I am talking about) - I asked him what brand, and he puts the call on hold for someone else to answer. Then someone else comes on the line, and starts to give me more information - I started to write this down, just to show what information I got - $60 for Conti Ultra Sport, $80 for Conti Grand Prix 4000s - Now - since the first guy told me there are also tires for $20 and $40, I asked what's available - the person on the line repeats for $40 - then a break and I believe the guy that first answered the phone starts saying something about me to the other guy at the bike shop - but imperceptible. Then I hear laughter - and then the guy on the line says something like 'forget it, ok for $40 and then the line goes dead - so THEY HUNG UP ME - or I believe the guy with the accent closed the line on both of us. Really. Anyways, I included all the details, the prices, the date of call, and if they need the time it was 11:42, duration of call 4 mins:22 seconds (should be about 30 seconds less if they didn't take the time to insult their customer). Hmmm - First review, very detailed - do you think I am making this up ??? I guess the shops knows for sure that I am not - I will be talking to all cyclists including a friend of mine that bought a cervelo and zip wheels there in 2009 - Finally - avoid this shop - they are a blemish to the toronto cycling community - and its horrible to support shops like this as they should be our advisor in advancements in cycling, not rude sales people. I am sure if you walk in to spend thousands they will be nice, but call them up on the phone and you may get this service.
Jill Frankis-Rouse / March 21, 2012 at 04:45 am
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GOD IS A VERY INTERESTING PERSON ACTUALLY !!!
Jeff / April 2, 2012 at 02:32 pm
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I recently bought my first road bike from Wheels of Bloor and found that service was pretty good. I was looking for a high end entry level bike as a point of reference. I shopped around at stores like La Bicletta, Dukes, Gears, the Trek Store and this place.

In the end, Wheels of Bloor had the bike I wanted for the best price. I didn't find them overly friendly or attentive but I'm not a high maintenance shopper and I usually know what I'm looking for so I have no complaints.
Bikefx / May 28, 2012 at 12:16 am
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Good stuff Jeff. Peter, take note. Don't be high maintenance by calling any business and expect them to run around and answer trivial questions about such things as....tires. Im not surprised they hung up you. And i'll bet you didnt try a phone call like that again, so please, quit your whining and complaining.
rbingham replying to a comment from Peter / July 9, 2012 at 07:06 pm
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Hmmm. I can see how this experience would put you off. However, by contrast, I bought my last bike there in October 2011 (Argon 18 Gallium) -- got a great price for it, Peter sold it to me after a lot of useful discussion & about 3 visits. I never felt pressured, and I think he did a great job of matching me to the bike. The initial fitting was excellent, the follow-up adjustment & tune-up was quick and effective, and the service was polite & professional. (I even got a call from the tech working on my bike to double check about a request I had made.)

Peter, you sound like an experienced cyclist so I'm a bit surprised you didn't have a handle on what sort of tires you'd want in the first place; there are a world of resources online for this. I'm sure if you called and asked: "Do you have Vittoria Rubino Slicks in stock, & what do you charge for them?" you would have got a different response. It's a really busy shop. Tires are a low-margin item. Time spent going over tire price options with you on the phone (esp if you're just shopping around) is time not spent on the hundred bikes (like mine) getting serviced in the back or sold in the front. I also suspect that if you were actually in the shop you would have got more help; but then, there would be a MUCH higher likelihood of a sale. It's a business, not a public resource: they gotta make a living, ad sometimes that means a bit of triage with a suspected unprofitable time-suck.

So, sorry they pissed you off, but to call them a blemish on the Toronto cycling community just because you didn't get exactly what YOU wanted from them seems to me a bit... I dunno... entitled? I'm sure you'll never darken their door, but I think if you did you would find that WoB overall level of service is is pretty fine.
rbingham replying to a comment from Peter / July 9, 2012 at 08:10 pm
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Sorry, correction: Paul @ WoB sold me the bike.
Peter / July 10, 2012 at 07:31 pm
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Dude. They hung up on me. Nothing like stop in, we can take time to explain it to you. As for mysterious bikefx. Next store I called I bought a set of Michelin 3. no attitude. How can you guys justify someone with a business hanging up? That's why sites like this exist. I think that any business that handles customers like this has to deal with the power of peer review.
Frank replying to a comment from Bikefx / August 20, 2012 at 04:33 am
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You work for WoB. Admit it.
Frank replying to a comment from Bikefx / August 20, 2012 at 04:34 am
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(that last comment was directed at BikeFX.
DJ / September 11, 2012 at 09:49 am
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I just got my new Cervelo S5 at WoB. Great store and great service. I was assisted by Peter Ardach. He was very helpful. Insisted I ride the bike I wanted and try 3 or 4 others (as many as I wanted). Store stayed open late as he was still fitting me and when a couple knocked on the door they let them in too. While I was inside a woman came in to get air in her tires (on a bike she clearly didn't buy there) and they were more than happy to help. And the store was plenty busy. Great store, great products and great service.
Alex / September 14, 2012 at 09:29 pm
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I've bought 3 bikes from WoB - two road (one was a super great deal - full carbon MASI on sale and another was CERVELO with a very reasonable discount) and one hybrid, plus tons of different stuff - components, accessories and clothing. I've always been happy with the service and price (given that you are shopping in rather high-end store). The staff was always friendly and helpful. And because it is a busy store on some days, you have to understand you order in the cue.
After a few purchases, the store guys were recognizing me, offering good discounts and entertaining friendly chat.
Overall, I'm more than happy with my experience at WoB and would recommend this store to any of my friend who are interested in that kind of cycling.
Oldmancycle / February 22, 2013 at 06:18 pm
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Last year I was looking for an entry level carbon road bike. I was upgrading from a 26 year old steel roadie... I spent a lot of time and made several visits to WOB and was given the opportunity to make several test rides on various bikes, and although I didn't buy my bicycle from them (only because I live in the east end) I found them extremely courteous and willing to help me weed through the numerous bikes and price points they had and eventually find the right bike within the price range I was looking to purchase in. So while I as I said I didn't buy from them they still deserve bonus points for service. I recently called them because I want to upgrade the crank set on my bike and the call was short, sweet and to the point. They had the crank set I was looking for at a reasonable price and would only be happy to install it for me during my next visit to the. Thanks Wheels of Bloor - job well done.
365er replying to a comment from Bob / April 24, 2013 at 09:31 am
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Because E-bikes aren't bicycles. Don't get me started.
louis vuitton bags us / April 28, 2013 at 01:40 am
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Tired replying to a comment from Peter / August 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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You own a $5K bike and have to tie up staff for 5 minutes to figure out what tire to buy? I haven't seen a single comment from an actual cyclist in any of these "BlogTO" comments.
Go online and read about tires then go buy them. Ask a shop what their prices are, then go buy it... or not! Don't expect them to sit on the phone discussing thread counts, compounds, etc. They have better things to do than educate you, Mr Awesome Cyclist, about f@cking tires! What a pretensious twit.
peter / October 3, 2013 at 07:12 pm
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Tired. You like stores to hang up on you? Could have said sorry we're busy. Never asked about compounds. Threads as most experienced road cyclist realize what comes on road tires. So ya. I'm a pretentious f@ck and I guess your not judgemental and more stores should act this way. Incite behavior you like... Right?
Al replying to a comment from ?? / March 18, 2014 at 10:38 am
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Any business that treats any customer,(no matter how small the purchase) like shit and actually hangs up on them doesn't deserve a dime and should be run out of business.
ORB / June 16, 2014 at 11:54 am
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I made my first trip to WoB this weekend to look at a Felt S32 entry level TT/Tri bike that was on sale at a great price (almost half price), for my 15 year old daughter to use instead of her road bike for Triathlons.
We were helped by a guy called Camillo (I think that was the spelling). He, with input from another guy, spent probably close to 2 hours fitting her on the bike, adjusting the setup, swapped out the stem for a shorter one, even cut down the seat post slightly to get just the right fit for her. Then they fitted her for shoes and pedals and gave a discount on those too.
I was very impressed with the attitude, helpfulness and the time spent for what was only a $1200 sale on a busy Saturday morning. Plus the bike was a great deal in my opinion.
Its a long way from home for us, but I wouldn't hesitate to go there again for a bike purchase!
Chris / August 17, 2014 at 07:03 pm
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I, and 3 of my friends have bought bikes from these guys and yes, they are busy but they go above and beyond to help us out. They've let me try (and borrow) 3 saddles until I found the perfect one; they replaced the entire frame of my friends bike because it turns out the first one was the wrong size, and they consistently throw in discounts every time we pop in to grab bits and pieces.

They are a busy shop and the phone is constantly ringing. They hung up did they? Or did someone accidentally press the wrong button and the line was dropped. Did you call them back? Did you visit them personally to find out what they are really like? Or do you just make assumptions and crucify someone based on your side of the story?

It's a moot point anyway: they provide great service, a fantastic reputation and a loyal customer base. There are plenty of other bike stores that I'm sure would love to hang on the phone being a personalized parts catalogue instead of simply referring you to the price lists on their website.

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