's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Buying bike goods abroad... what about import duties?(19 posts)

Buying bike goods abroad... what about import duties?Marc in Montréal
Jun 6, 2001 8:22 AM
Hello all! I bought from two pairs of Energy shoes that I have received home more than 8 weeks ago... I assume that import duties laws in the US and Canada are probably the same, so do you believe I'll receive sooner or later a bill from the Government asking for money (for féderal tax and local tax)? Those of you who buy stuff abroad, do you receive a bill from IRS or other goverment agencies requesting sale tax, state tax etc... to be paid to them? THANKS a lot! MARC in Montréal, CANADA
re: Buying bike goods abroad... what about import duties?pmf
Jun 6, 2001 8:46 AM
In the U.S. the charges vary according to what you buy. For bikes its 3.9% Look around the web and you'll find something on this.
re: Buying bike goods abroad... what about import duties?Ken
Jun 6, 2001 9:52 AM
The folks at this online store has some info on customs duty.

Canadian duties explained.Marlon
Jun 6, 2001 11:00 AM
Import duties are not quite the same... Duties are imposed by Customs Canada when the parcel first arrives into a bulk freight area, and are usually paid for by a brokerage firm. This firm then bills you later via mail, and payment for them is usually by cheque or through the telephone by credit card. I find generally they send out their bills anywhere from a month to two months after you get your goods. Avoiding payment is NOT an option (sigh).

GST and PST are charged on all goods coming into Canada (therefore, it pays to be in Alberta at the moment). As well, extra duties are imposed depending on the goods and the country of origin. As a rule of thumb, for European goods, I estimate that I'll pay about 20% more on the priced item I'm buying - this generally covers duties and taxes. For American goods, I only calculate GST and PST most times, as NAFTA's legacy has made most imported goods from the States duty-free. If there's a sharp customs inspector though, he'll charge more if he sees that the product being imported was NOT made in the States - duty-free items are mainly restricted to those articles MANUFACTURED or assembled in North America.

One way to often get around duties (with smaller companies and smaller articles such as bike parts and clothing) is that they can understate the price of the article, or make the article seem insignificant to customs inspectors, who won't bother charging duties on them. This only works with articles shipped via US Postal Service - shipping firms such as UPS very faithfully declare true values. An example: I bought a set of Ultegra STI levers and kit for $160 from a small company, and they shipped it via US Postal, regular parcel mail in a non-descript box with the description "misc. bike parts". Canadian customs overlooked it and the result was no GST/PST and no duties charged. Undervalued items (ie under $20 CND in value) are also not charged duties or taxes - most of the time.

The exact duties charged for items depending on country of origin can be found with a bit of looking around on the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency website (go to The process is long and complicated though and may require a fast internet connection, as you'll have to search for the exact item and work your way through a lot of legalese.

Last but not least, be careful when sending in stuff for warranty work if you buy it abroad. Not only may the warranty not be valid, as it was bought abroad, but there may also be taxes and duties imposed if them warrantied article is shipped back to you from a repair or service center not in Canada! If you're lucky, you can argue with Customs Canada to get your money back, but it may take a few months to clear up the issue.

Good luck!
Thank you so much for explaining in details! Marc in MontréalMarc in Montréal
Jun 6, 2001 11:18 AM
Really doesn't matter-blue bayou
Jun 6, 2001 10:22 AM
Assuming you are correctly fitted to your bike, the seat height(and resulting seatpost "showing")is of no consequence. Correctly fit, your bar height adjustment follows. This can be achieved through various means.

If you are fit correctly and can control the bike, I see no problem.

I get the feeling you are uncomfortable with your set-up. Am I right?
Too flat--blue bayou
Jun 6, 2001 4:28 PM
Yes, you could be "too flat". The guys I ride with (me too) have 3-4 inches difference in height from seat to top of bars. Any more and I hope you have really long arms.
I am 6'2" and ride a 59cm VaMoots, I show...Biking Viking
Jun 6, 2001 11:49 AM
...a lot of seatpost, too. I've actually increased my seat height it after the picture was taken - and my Thomson is now sli-i-ghtly above the MAX mark. I see no disadvantage of the small frame/tall seatpost setup - this bike fits me like an extenstion of my body. If yours does too, you shouldn't worry.
I am 6'2" and ride a 59cm VaMoots, I show...Skip
Jun 6, 2001 12:20 PM
What's your stand over clearance? If it's more than 1", seems you should have a larger bike. I never could understand this. With the exception of the disporportioned riders, it would seem that as the riders got taller and the bike "grew" with the rider to meet his/her dimensions, and as long as the fit is correct, that all measurements should increase porportionately - yielding the same overall "appearance" of exposed seatpost to TT, ST, standover, etc. Yet there sure seems to be an over representative number of bikes with more than "normal" exposed seat posts. What am I missing?
The Eurotrash ride-a-frame-one-size-smaller bayou
Jun 6, 2001 12:27 PM
All the cool guys are doing it. ;)
My stand-over clearance is about 2"Biking Viking
Jun 6, 2001 12:36 PM
But does it matter?

I (living in CA) got the bike from a very good bike store - Sore Saddle Cyclery in Steamboat springs, CO - close to the Moots Factory. I knew if was risky with respect to fitting, but getting it from a local shop in the Bay Area would have been $1,500 more + Sales Tax. I gave them all my vital paramters and we ended up with a 59cm. Speedgoat came up with the same size. This is my first roadbike, so, as a mountain biker, I felt uncomfortable on it for the first couple of weeks. Main problem, I felt too stretched out, which is common for mountainbikers making the transision. Just to be sure, I took digital photos of myself on the bike and sent them to the shop. They had Kent Eriksen at Moots (the frame designer) review them, and he said I looked good on the bike.

Now, 13 months and 5,000 miles later, I feel extremely comfortable on this bike. Why should I have a bigger frame if I'm happy with what I've got?

Just for reference--and keep what cha' bayou
Jun 6, 2001 12:45 PM

Then click on "Ergobike: Competition Bicycle Size/ Proportions Analysis" and at the bottom of the new page that opens, you can choose your inseam measurement. The program then calculates all the other measurements that are "average" for someone with your inseam...
My stand-over clearance is about 2"Skip
Jun 6, 2001 2:00 PM
I surely didn't mean for any personal attack, and I know that the smaller Eurostyle frame with more standover, and the sloped TT bikes are the in vogue style now, but... To me the strength and stiffness come from the primary and secondary triangles of the frame; and to lighten the weight of the bike by selecting the smallest frame (greatest standover height) and using 10 - 15" of exposed seat post diminishes the integrity/strength/stiffness/etc. with such a long fulcrum/moment arm.
But back to the bayou
Jun 6, 2001 2:18 PM
Assume you have a frame sized by fitkit or other standard proceedure. Next, calculate your beginning seat height by multiplying your inseam measurement times 83.3. This product becomes the distance from the pedal(at bottom stroke) to the top of the seat, regardless of the frame size(nearly) or slope of the top tube. The bars are adjusted with the seat as a basis, not the other way around. The amount of exposed seat post is not a factor.
one answerthe obvious one
Jun 6, 2001 11:50 AM
when it's above the minimum insertion line
with a traditional style frame, it should be close to the lengthrailer
Jun 6, 2001 12:00 PM
of your headtube. In other words, shorter riders should show less, and taller riders will show more. This is just a guideline, but I feel it is pretty much correct give or take a few cms.
Inseam * 83.3=distance from pedal to top of seat. Start there nmblue bayou
Jun 6, 2001 1:04 PM
There's always the old "one fist" rulecory
Jun 6, 2001 12:30 PM
The standard used to be that you should have one fist's worth of post showing--if you grabbed the post, your hand should just cover it. Much smaller frames are in style now, though, so most people have a lot more than that.
Personally, I like to have the bars about even with the saddle. If you're comfortable standing on your head, though, I can't think of a reason not to do it.
according to Grant Peterson right?railer
Jun 6, 2001 1:02 PM
ALthough it is comfy on an old style fitting like this, I dont think its perfect. Also for a guy thats 5'3" this is gonna feel almost like a "euro-style" fit. ANd for a guy thats 6'3" its gonna feel conservative.