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All:

I am looking at Colnago v Pinarello for my next bike. My LBS is a Pinarello dealer, so no problem there. I am having difficulty locating Colnago dealers in the Washington, DC region. I actually live in Maryland, but work in the city.

Any recommendations?

Also, does anyone "in the know" have information on distribution, etc? What is my best bet for purchase, with regard to manufacturer support? It seems that a lot of shops have dropped Colnago (or vice-versa). Any info?

Many thanks in advance!
 

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Easy. Bicycle Pro Shop in Georgetown has been selling Colnagos and other top end road bikes for years. They're located at the Key Bridge end of M Street. They just built up a 2009 C-50 for me and did a beautiful job. I've bought other bikes from them over the years and I can't say enough about how good they are. Everyone in the store knows their stuff. Do yourself a favor and go there.
 

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Colnago America said:
27davidson - THANK YOU for pointing in the directing of Authorized & Official Colnago Dealer and wanting to support you US based LBS.
I'll support my "US based LBS" when they start charging prices comparable with the rest of the free world. Paying double for everything is not my idea of a good time. For the price difference between US based retailers and those overseas (authorized included!) I'd rather buy from the UK and if there's a problem, heck I can fly myself and the frame over there with the $$ I've saved.
 

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I'll second that. I bought my Cristallo and C50 from Andrea Bellati at Bellatisport in Switzerland. Check out www.bellatisport.com If it turns out that he can no longer sell the frames over the Internet, I'll have my cousins in northern Italy buy the frames for me and ship them here.
 

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Ray,

I was going to mention this shop down in Georgetown, but the few experiences I have had with them have all been bad ones. I took my Cristallo, the first frame I bought in 20 years, to them in early 2007 to have the headset installed and I got a song and dance about buying from overseas, even though I bought the headset from them. When I got my frame back with the headset installed, the fork had a pretty long scratch in the clear coat. I hadn't noticed it until I got home, so it was too late to complain about it. When I was leaving the shop, I had asked them to track down some spokes for me so that I could build a wheel, and they never got back to me. Then, I called them on the phone to order a nut for my Campy Record brakes because I had stripped it, and they said they would get back to me about it but never did.

For the next frame I built, a Colnago Arte, I spent $400 on the headset tools and now I don't have to go to an LBS for anything. I build my own bikes and my own wheels. If you want to look at some Colnagos, stop by my place. You can look at a C50, Cristallo, Arte, and Oval Krono. I want an EP or EPS, but that would lead to a divorce right now, plus I cannot really justify it since I never feel any of my current frames flex. I am working on the C50 build right now, but an air brush artist in Ellicott City screwed up my bars and saddle, so I am ordering new ones and setting the botched ones aside as evidence for the Court hearing. That should be a fun trial.
 

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But you do expect that your LBS will support you when you show up with a frame purchased from a grey market dealer! I think the word for you Gentlemen to learn is loyalty - to your LBS, with the times we all are facing any action/purchase to keep US jobs, shops in busines should be done. With the new pricing that we have announced your local Colnago Dealer has become so much more competitive as there is no distributor in the middle. Please note that with each frame a Colnago branded Seat Post & Head Set has been included in the price, a step to offer added value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all for your helpful and enthusiastic suggestions!

I will stop by the Georgetown shop and see what I can see, ride the bikes. As to the purchase, we will have to see what materializes...
 

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No, I do not expect my LBS to support me if I have a problem with my frame. I expect Colnago frames to be extremely good, and for the $2,500 I saved between the Cristallo and C50 frame purchases, I would just go out and buy a new frame with the money saved if Mr. Bellati cannot take care of the problem. If I had a second issue with a Colnago frame during my lifetime, that would end up being the last Colnago frame that I purchased.

What exactly is a "gray market" dealer? Are Maestro and Bellati both gray market dealers, and if so, how do they get all these Colnago frames. Is somebody sending them out the back door of the Colnago factory? I find it hard to believe that Colnago does not know about Maestro and Bellati. What I really find amazing is the level of service that I have received from Maestro and Bellati compared to my snobby LBS. Both Maestro and Bellati answer e-mails within 24 hours, and Bellati kept me appraised of the situation the entire time regarding the delivery of my frames. Bike Pro Shop in Georgetown treated me like a 2nd class citizen. Maybe, just maybe, if they had treated me well with the Cristallo, I would have thought about buying one of my 2 Artes, my Oval Krono, or my C50 from them if they were only a couple hundred dollars more expensive than Maestro or Bellati. However, treating me like crap and having much higher prices isn't going to earn my loyalty. Loyalty is a two way street. They need to earn it and they need to be loyal to me too.
 
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RayWhitney said:
Thanks to all for your helpful and enthusiastic suggestions!

I will stop by the Georgetown shop and see what I can see, ride the bikes. As to the purchase, we will have to see what materializes...
BTW, when you go to Pro Shop - deal with Noel. I have known him for 15 years and he is a straight up guy. Call ahead of time and make sure he is in and only deal with him. Trust me on this. Everyone else is fine, but Noel is the guy you want to deal with.
 

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A grey market dealer - is NOT an Official & authorized Colnago dealer, they get their inventory from shops across Europe, their margins are in the 1 digit. They do not have all the inventory they claim to have - but reach out to their "shops" and that is the way they get their inventory. If Bike Pro Shop did not work with you, I agree with you - but there are other Colnago Dealers in the US that you could support. In the US & Canada only 2 shops can have web sales, R&A in NY and Wrench Science in CA. We feel very strongly about Colnago web sales.
 

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I have never experienced anything like what you're talking about at the Pro Shop in Georgetown and I have been going there since the mid 1980's. I've bought four bikes from them - two Bianchis back in the 80's when they were selling them, a 2006 Orbea Orca and now the C-50. Personally, I would rather support a great LBS like the Pro Shop where I can go shoot the s--- with the guys who work there, even when I'm not buying anything, than save a few bucks dealing with some faceless entity on the internet.
 

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BTW, when you go to Pro Shop - deal with Noel. I have known him for 15 years and he is a straight up guy. Call ahead of time and make sure he is in and only deal with him. Trust me on this. Everyone else is fine, but Noel is the guy you want to deal with.

THIS IS THE FEED BACK REG. BIKE PRO SHOP - From bikesarethenewblack
 

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I definitely didn't deal with Noel on any occasion when dealing with Bike Pro Shop. Maybe that was my problem.
 

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Then you should also feel very strongly about getting LBS's to carry Colnago's. I'm in the 20876 Zip Code and Bike Pro Shop is about a 45 minute drive for me. Who else in my area carries Colnagos? Maybe you should set up a website with a dealer locator, because trying to find a dealer that has any inventory is almost impossible. I bought my Cristallo from Bellati without every having ridden a Cristallo, or a Colnago for that matter.

I just thought about another dealer that carries Colnagos, the Bicycle Place in Silver Spring, and I saw a couple of frames at a Bike Doctor in Arnold. However, the Bicycle Place had all of two Colnagos built and neither were my size and the Bike Doctor in Arnold only had one built and 2 hanging on the wall, none of which were my size.

Now, more to the point. Are Maestro and Bellati gray market dealers? Personally, I liked the fact that I could get retro paint schemes from Maestro.

Let's also note that you represent the Colnago North America distributor, so you have a vested interest in having people buy in North America instead of from overseas.
 

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27Davidson,

You must be rich to think that $2,500 is a "few" bucks. If you are that rich and $2,500 isn't much, you could actually hop on a plane and go and visit Mike in England and Andrea in Switzerland. People on this board have. Further, both of them have welcomed me to come and see them in their shops.

You have all of 2 posts on the board so you probably have not read all the threads/posts about the great experiences that people have had with Maestro and Bellati.

As far as the Bike Pro Shop is concerned, every experience I had with them left a bad taste in my mouth, so we will have to agree to disagree about how good they are. Who knows, maybe they thought I was a troublesome customer that wasn't worth their time. If so, it has worked out for all of us.

Another thing to note is that the C50 in ST01 wasn't available in the US from Veltec, so for me to get the paint scheme I wanted, on the frame I wanted, I had no choice but to order it from overseas, even if price were exactly the same.
 
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