I just wasted 3 hours trying to find some (one) place that I can order a 50m box / roll of Shimano SP41 derailleur cable housing and 2-3 packs of 10 of the sealed nylon endcaps. I can't find any online retailer in North America that has stock on both and does not have ridiculous costs to ship to North Vancouver, Canada.
If I log into Bike Discount.de they have have them both (at the usual killer German pricing) but will no longer ship to North America. If Shimano was going to enforce this embargo, they could at least have fixed their f****d up supply chain here in Canada first. Why has no one in North America started an online store that actually has a full catalog like the German ones? Even the big boys in the US such as Jenson USA barely have half of what is available on the German sites and most of what they do have is out of stock (they do have my housing but not the sealed nylon ends). Every time I try to order something from a local bike shop all I get are run arounds, delays, frustration at trying find someone who even wants to help me or just general excuses.
(On a similar vein, I could start a whole thread about the number of times I've had to call one local shop to just get a set of Sapim spokes and nipples for a wheel I want to rebuild - I know there are supply chain issues but the level of disorganization and poor communication is just mind boggling to me - once I finally get my order I guess I'll move on to yet another shop to try in the future).
Anyway, that's the end of my rant. I really wish someone in Canada would step up their game and fill this hole. TBS? Dunbar? Comor? MEC? They all have an online presence but their online catalogs and the amount of stuff they actually stock all currently suck. At present I hold out the most hope for TBSBikeParts but its got a long long way to go before it rivals Jenson USA let alone its German counterparts.