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Premium Products Reign at the Toronto International Bike Show

At this year's Toronto International Bike Show, attendees spent big bucks on nice rides.

The self-proclaimed “best place to shop for a bicycle” had some hits and misses at its 26th edition.

Shiny new bicycles and skilled riders doing backflips on wooden ramps were just some of the spectacles at the Toronto International Bicycle Show. Held at Exhibition Place this past weekend, it was attended by more than 25,000 people.

Nicholas Gallant, a passionate cyclist, handed over 13 dollars to get into the event, in the hopes of catching the performers and trying the latest equipment. “Some of the bikes were very high-end, but you could test them all out,” he said.

Some people looking to purchase a bicycle found that the show didn’t deliver the deals it promised, however.

Ahsin Ashraf left empty-handed. “I thought the bicycles were very expensive. I looked around quite a bit, and the cheapest one I found was 700 dollars,” he said.

With multiple vendors at the show from elite brands like Porsche, the price tags on many bicycles were hefty. Some models cost upward of 1,000 dollars.

When attendees did buy bikes, they tended to go for a particular kind. According to the show manager, Carl Bastedo, street bikes are the latest bestseller. “They’ve definitely replaced mountain bikes as the most in demand,” he said. “The most popular are the kind they use in the Tour de France. I think this is happening because of the fitness craze. More people are using bicycles for recreational purposes.”

Mike Davis, who worked the booth for Bike Depot and Broadway Cycle, said the shop sold nearly its entire supply of equipment. “More than half of the bikes we brought were sold,” he said. “We also had hybrids—which are a cross between mountain and road bikes—and mountain bikes. The cheapest bikes we had were around 300 dollars, but many were 700 to 750 dollars.”

For those who weren’t buying, the exhibitions were entertaining—particularly the Mountain Bike Dual Race and Stunt Competition. Also, for folks who just couldn’t afford the equipment this time, the bicycles will return to Toronto for the 13th annual blow-out sale this October.


  • guest

    If the most expensive bike you found was only $1000, you didn’t look hard enough. Add a zero to the end of that and your in the right ball park. In your opening picture, some the wheel sets on those bikes cost more that $1000. Shimano’s top of the line groupset (crankarms, gears, derailleurs, shifters) cost over $4000. Campy’s top of the line groupset: $5500

    • GuestUno

      I was going to say….most of the bikes in the title picture are easily $3K+. I’ve been to the bike show before and if you get there early on the first day to can walk out of there with a top of the line Trek for close to 50% of for the 2011 models. I also wouldn’t have cited ‘Porsche’ as being a high end bicycle brand as my first choice. Think Bianchi, Trek, Specialized, Cervelo, Colnago, Litespeed, Scott, etc.

      • GuestUno

        …you* can walk…

  • Aaron Binder

    This whole article is strangely written; little research, bad logic. Porsche as a premium bike? I’m no gearhead but I do know there are actual cycling brands everyone thinks about before Porsche. Also, this following line is terrible writing logic -

    ‘Mike Davis, who worked the booth for Bike Depot and Broadway Cycle, said the shop sold nearly its entire supply of equipment. “More than half of the bikes we brought were sold’

    “More than half” does not equal “sold nearly its entire supply”

    Jacqueline, I would recommend doing a little more research next time and proofreading your pieces for weak logic. That being said the overall article is decent, keep at it.

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Aaron! Thank you for reading and commenting. At the show, the Porsche equipment was a showstopper. The show organizer cited it as one of the most popular pieces (as far as viewing from visitors was concerned). That’s why I mentioned it.

      • Aaron Binder

        Thanks for clarification, Jacqueline, it makes more sense now with that context in place. Keep on writing!

  • Mark Jull

    The bike show is a bit weird. It’s nice this article points out that most buyers are ‘recreational’ or ‘fitness’ types, which is not what (I think) most local bike shops here cater to. I saw somewhere else that most of people attending the bike show are from ‘out of town’ (905ers, etc.) where cycling is a ‘hobby’ or a ‘sport.’ I’d guess that most people in Toronto aren’t looking for $1000+ bikes, but something they can ride to get to work, visit friends, etc.
    My point is that this bike show doesn’t really ‘jive’ with most cyclists in Toronto.