GEARS : Our Story

What began as a young boy’s journey in the mid 1980’s has grown into Ontario’s premier multi-location bike shop.

Balance : Ride 

Cycling connects people to freedom, nature, and community. It enables us to strive for health and happiness by balancing our everyday busy lives with exercise, relaxation, and fun.

GEARS has connected people to cycling since 1988

We provide our customers with an inclusive and pressure free bike shopping experience. We ask questions, listen and take the time to get to know you to be able to connect you to your perfect bike.

1988 : Our Start

Founder Kevin Wallace created a small bicycle repair business in his mother’s garage. With a young man’s drive and tenacity this little business soon became a neighbourhood success, with 50 bicycles filling up the garage.

Quickly outgrowing the garage, Kevin opened up a storefront location at the historic Clarkson Weigh Station. It was in this 400 sq ft building that Gears was born and the business remained here until 1996

1990 : A new Partnership

Gears’ future business partner, Ira Kargel joins the shop during the summer and helps Kevin with the day to day operations while Kevin focused on repairs and service.

1993 : A commitment to the Future

Following the passing of Kevin’s mother, Betty Wallace to cancer, Ira decides to stick with Kevin and honour the promise she made to Betty, that she would help Kevin run the growing business. All the while, completing her teaching degree at Queen’s University.

1996 : Early Success and Growth

From 1993 to 1996, the little stop is quietly extended to 1200 sq ft following some “midnight” renovations. During this time Kevin and Ira opened up a Cyclepath franchise and moved the business to a new location. The business was an immediate success, but unfortunately short-lived as the parent company was dissolved a year later. Undaunted, the Gears name was happily resurrected and business continued under this original brand.

Setting Firm Roots. Never shy of change and challenge, Kevin and Ira decide to make a Gears to a new location and the purchase the building across the road. Both “home” (for a while) and store, this location at the corner of Lakeshore and Mississauga Road quickly evolves into this shop is it today.

2000 : Refining the Brand and Building our Community

Renovation and upgrades to the building open up new opportunities, including a 36 bike spin studio. The Gears Spin Studio soon becomes another foundational aspect in the growth of the Gears business, its community and charity ventures, and was a mainstay at this location until 2018.

It was in 2000 that Kevin took on the Eco-Challenge with Team Sunlight in Borneau Malaysia. They were the only rookie team to cross the finish line. Lessons learned about collaboration, teamwork and personal sacrifice affected Kevin’s growth as a leader and businessman. Such lessons have help to positively shape the culture of Gears and the work ethic of its management team and staff.

2000 : Community Engagement, Activation & Team Spirit

Inspired by the need to support the community, Gear develops and produces the “Gears 24 Hour Spin” and between 2000 and 2007 this annual event, raises $4 million dollars for the Trillium Health Partners and helps to build the Betty Wallace Women’s Health Centre, named in honour of Kevin’s mother. A very proud moment in the history of Gears.

During this time, Gears Racing is founded with co-sponsors Mark Bonham and it quickly becomes one of the largest and most successful Canadian Mountain Bike Teams, competing in the North American circuit. Gears Racing becomes a “benchmark” team that gained a positive reputation and the proud honour of having with two of their athletes representing Canada at the Olympics. The Gears Racing Road Team, graduated on to become Canada’s Team SpiderTech, under the management of Cycling Legend, Steve Bauer.

2004 & 2006 : Goals, Challenges and Accomplishments

Kevin Wallace and (friend) Jeff Rushton, take on the Race Across America. Together they set a new record for the 2-Man Division. Learning from this experience, in 2006 Kevin decided to tackle RAAM once again, but this time as a Solo Racer. He complete the event in 10 Days, 3 Hours and 57 Minutes. Through these two events, he also raises another $250,000 for the Trillium Health Partners.

2011 : The Right Time to Grow

Kevin and Ira decide that the time is right to capitalize on the rising interest of cycling across Southern Ontario, particularly massive expansion of the road cycling market.  With this initiative, Gears rapidly grows from a single 10.000 sq ft location with 12 employees to three locations, with new shops in uptown Toronto and Oakville and 40+ employees.

The Toronto Leaside location quickly establishes itself becoming the “home shop” of the Morning Glory Cycling Club and a cornerstone of the local road-cycling community. In Oakville, we take advantage of massive warehousing capabilities allowing Gears to make purchasing and inventory decisions that secure its position as a benchmark business with both our vendor partners and the cycling marketplace.

2014 : A vision of the Future

Kevin, Ira and a select group of individuals from the Canadian Bicycle Retail Industry to visit Cube Bicycles in Germany to investigate a new product making waves in Europe… eBikes. Inspired by this trip and with a vision for the future of cycling, Gears begins to invest in this new technology, securing exclusive programs with the day’s top eBike manufacturers.

Fast forward to present day and Gears is now the top eBike retailer in Southern Ontario with brands and models that transcend all bicycle genres.


2016 : Supporting a new Vision

Gears opens up its Downtown Toronto location in the Canary District. Once vacant land, the area was developed as part of the 2015 Pan Am Games Athletes Village. Following the Games, these buildings transitioned into residential and retail spaces with a focus on healthy living, active lifestyle and complementary businesses. 

This growing and dynamic neighbourhood has embraced Gears and we’ve happily become a cornerstone of this new community. (In 2018, this new shop was voted as one of the top bicycle shops in Canada in a nationwide poll conducted  by Cycling Canada Magazine).

2019 : Confidence and the Gears Culture

With three decades of discovery, growth and development, Gears has evolved into a strong, experienced business. We have never forgotten our humble roots and the community that helped us succeed. We continue to embrace change and new challenges. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the ever-evolving world of cycling.

Beyond investment in new products, we’re also developing new services offerings. We’re beginning to experiment with Mobile Services and with each passing week we are witnessing increased traffic on our Webstore. Convenience for our customers is the driving force behind these initiatives.

Our values are based on Happiness, Health and Respect. Our Passion remains strong and together with these core values, we have built a business culture that strives to be inclusive, compassionate, collaborative and humble.

The Future

Always looking forward, we continue to invest in the Gears Brand and Culture. We firmly believe that eBikes will become a much bigger part of our business as they gain in popularity and riders become more familiar with these type of products. Together with our established genres and a growing demand for bicycles as urban transportation, the momentum we’ve been building since 1988 continues to growth as more and more people discover the joys of cycling.

Beyond investment in new products, we’re also developing new services offerings. We’re beginning to experiment with Mobile Services and with each passing week we are witnessing increased traffic on our Webstore. Convenience for our customers is the driving force behind these initiatives.

The world of bicycle retail is forever changing and evolving… and Gears is committed to being at the forefront of this change.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving