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Anyone ever bought from R & A. Impressions? If it matters, and I assume it does, I plan on going to the store and not buying online.
 

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eminence grease
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smartyiak said:
Anyone ever bought from R & A. Impressions? If it matters, and I assume it does, I plan on going to the store and not buying online.
I predict you're going to get a real mixed-bag of experiences from this crowd. (The question has been asked previously)

I bought two bikes from them via phone. The delivery was fast, the set-up was impeccable and the price was right for a fully built bicyle. They did everything they said they would, when they said they would. If I hadn't evolved into building them myself, I'd use them again. The guy I dealt with was very straightforward but not overly pleasant. Business-like to be sure. Which is fine with me, because I wasn't looking for a new friend to shoot the breeze with, I was looking for a well-built bicycle. Many people have been less generous in their description of these guys though. In particular, people who visit the store.

I'll leave those descriptions to people with direct experience. But, the general summary of this store seems to be that you can get a decent high-end bike for a reasonable price with the small burden of dealing with less than friendly people.

My recommendation - if you're going in, know what you want and don't expect to be coddled. In other words, be an informed consumer.
 

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gastarbeiter
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Excellent advice from Terry.

I bought a TCR Comp 0 there at the end on December. As Terry implied, they have a spotty reputation as far as customer service. That's one of the reasons that I never went to the store in the 7 years I lived in NYC.

Last summer, when I finally did go to the store because I was in the neighborhood - on a weekday - the service was fine, I even had 3 people ask if they could help me in 5 minutes, when all I wanted to do was admire the stock.

When I bought my bike the guy who I dealt with was pretty much like Terry described - businesslike. As Terry suggested, know what you want. I knew what I wanted, asked for it (like upgrading from the FSA carbon cranks to DA cranks) which was fine with them, although it cost a bit more.

Seeing as it had been 13 years since I had a professional fitting, I asked for one. Felix, their fitter, did a thorough job.

All in all I had a good experience. Maybe I was lucky, or maybe it's just a good idea to show up early on a weekday morning?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input. I had see R & A discussed in other threads, but I couldn't find it in a search.

I think I may go there as I pretty much know what I am buying and just need to see if a 58 or a 61 fits better. (It's the Soloist AL).

Anyone else?
 

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I bought a bike at R&A March of 05. The store is very busy so it can be hard to get someone's attention, especially on the weekends in season. Now that I've spent some $ there - one bike, pedals, shoes, some accessories - they are starting to recognize me and help. It was a little tough at first. Good advice above. It really helps if you know what you're looking for, you'll get more friendly conversations from the other customers than the sales people.

I'll probably go back this fall when I upgrade from my entry level bike.
 

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Similar Experience

My experience is similar to the others. I bought a TCR Composite 2 there in September 2004. I have been there several times since and have bought some other items so they know recognize me.

It is a business like transaction. Salesman will spend time with you but the assumption on their part is definately that you should know what you want and what you are doing. As someone said above, they are not there to coddle you. I do not know if they sell lower end bikes but on the high end, they really have everything. Maybe the attitude is that a guy dropping a few thousand on a bike has probably already done some research. It is surely not a place where you can expect a salesman to spend an hour with you so you can figure out what you might want. Some might construe this as not being friendly but the attitude appears to be that the shop is there to sell stuff so the staff only spends time with people they think will actually buy.
 

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Avoid them if possibile

I live about 3 blocks from the shop, have for the last 8 years, and while I have gone in there
to look at some stuff (I'll give them credit for having a great stock of high end stuff), I have been in there plenty of times, and I'll tell you that it's not shop that I like to give my money to, for the most part they have no knowledge of bikes, nor do they really care about the customer at all, yes if you go in there flashing 5K+ they will be friendly, but otherwise they just give you the cold shoulder, of course I understand that it's a business and they are there to make money, but I would rather support a shop that has guys that ride, and care about the sport somewhat.
After hearing this from lot's of people that I ride with, and getting the cold shoulder every time that I went in there to buy small things, Last year when I was in the market for a new ride, I decided to give them another shot, but when I went in and spoke to the guy, he was talking such crap, it was obvious to me that he just didn't know much about bikes, so I took my money elsewhere. then just two weeks ago at a business meeting this guy that knows I ride, comes up to me and asks if I know that shop on 5th ave (ra). turns out that he lives up the street, he went in there looking to buy a hybrid (yeah only $500 not $5000) and the treated him like he was a bum that just walked in off the street, needless to say he bought his bike elsewhere.
So... while I will give them credit for having a great amount of cool stuff in stock, I would suggest you take your hard earned $$ to someone that values your business and knows
a thing or tow about riding a bike.
If you live in NY there are some other nice shops, and if you are going mail order, well then, there are so many good ones to choose from.

sbindra said:
My experience is similar to the others. I bought a TCR Composite 2 there in September 2004. I have been there several times since and have bought some other items so they know recognize me.

It is a business like transaction. Salesman will spend time with you but the assumption on their part is definately that you should know what you want and what you are doing. As someone said above, they are not there to coddle you. I do not know if they sell lower end bikes but on the high end, they really have everything. Maybe the attitude is that a guy dropping a few thousand on a bike has probably already done some research. It is surely not a place where you can expect a salesman to spend an hour with you so you can figure out what you might want. Some might construe this as not being friendly but the attitude appears to be that the shop is there to sell stuff so the staff only spends time with people they think will actually buy.
 

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I mail-ordered a Colnago C-40 from R & A. The service was professional, and the packing was impeccable.

I just wish I would have known the seat tube angle on that bike would increase my reach so much over my other bike (my bad). Now I am better informed. :rolleyes:

I would buy from them again if they had something I really wanted.
 

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R&a

I got my bike at R&A about 3 yrs ago. But I walked in pretty much knowing what I wanted, and it took me probably 7 minutes to pick out the frame and make the deal. Fitting was right on, and the set-up was excellent. Recommendations for wheels, and handlebar worked out very well. All in all a good experience.
 

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Thumbs up here.

Four years ago I essentially mail ordered a bike from them. I wanted a year old model Look in a particular team color, and they had it in my size. It was mistakenly advertised as having a Look fork with curved blades (don't remember the model #'s), but came with a straight bladed fork which apparently came with that team's frame. They agreed to accept a return of the fork and replace it with the curved fork. While it was in transit back to them, I noticed they sold the Reynolds Uzo Pro fork for the same price as the Look forks, so I called them and they agreed to send me the Uzo Pro fork instead. I agree it was an all business attitude, but no problems here with that--I knew what I wanted and they had it at a decent price; with the fork swap, I'm a happy camper.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So this weekend I traveled to Brooklyn armed with the advice y'all gave me. I knew what I wanted ('05 Soloist w/ Centaur). I also got some extras (helmet, pedals, cages, computer).

I must say that it was an extremely pleasant experience. I got to the store at about 11am. I received customer service w/i 10min. The guy showed me everything I wanted and some alternative stuff. They brought the bike in from the warehouse and said it would take a couple of hours to set up. (It was really busy, beautiful Saturday in NYC area).

I walked around Brooklyn and had lunch and when I returned my bike was set up. Felix fitted me (that took awhile, but they have a cute blonde girl to look at so it's not so bad). I left at about 3pm and was home by 7. I got a new bike at a good price and they even threw in a pair of R&A tri-shorts and top gratis.

So chalk one up for the "good service" team.
 

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A rotten store..

Frankly, this store is irresponsible, unethical and and full of thieves. I rode down one afternoon from Manhattan to check the store out. The salesmen looked at my bike and said my Mavic Open Pro rims were about to go. They were dangerous and unridable...his words. So, upon his advice, I bought a great new set of Mavic Kysirium Elites for $650. Since my Open Pros were still under warranty I sent them back to Mavic and.......Guess what? Nothing wrong with the rims. R&A ripped me off. I spoke to the Mavic rep he contacted the store, I wrote to the store half a dozen times, and still no response of any kind. What a bunch of crooks...Shop there at your own risk.
 

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I was there recently to buy a bike, they were pretty helpful. The main reason I didn't buy from them is they wouldn't let me test ride the carbon frame bikes. They said I could test ride a low end aluminum bike only. Coming from a mtb background & looking to get a good entry level road bike, I couldn't take the "leap of faith" that the sales person told me about carbon bikes.

I ended up buying elsewhere.
 

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Hey -- if you know what you want and they have it at the best price, then buy it from them. Who cares if they ride or care about the customers. I bought a Litespeed Ultimate frame and fork from them several years ago. It was about 40% less than the retail price. I was on the phone all of 10 minutes. The frame showed up a few days later. Everything went as advertised.

These folks whining about them either seem to want to be coddled, or don't have the ability to assess the condition of their equipment.
 

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They don't seem too cheap to me...at least on their website. Comparing wheels, group, and frameset that I have been shopping....they are not close to my LBS or several other sites.
 

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ps2maddog said:
Frankly, this store is irresponsible, unethical and and full of thieves. I rode down one afternoon from Manhattan to check the store out. The salesmen looked at my bike and said my Mavic Open Pro rims were about to go. They were dangerous and unridable...his words. So, upon his advice, I bought a great new set of Mavic Kysirium Elites for $650. Since my Open Pros were still under warranty I sent them back to Mavic and.......Guess what? Nothing wrong with the rims. R&A ripped me off. I spoke to the Mavic rep he contacted the store, I wrote to the store half a dozen times, and still no response of any kind. What a bunch of crooks...Shop there at your own risk.


what a bummer, but:
1- know your equipment
2- don't buy things cuz the salesman sez so
3- what's stopping you from going back and talking to the mger?
 

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I've been a bunch of times to buy various things. My friend bought a Look 566 fully built up and Felix did a great job on the pro-fit.They are definitely a more straight forward less "hand-hold-y" kind of shop. Some people like that some people don't. I trust them to fix and fit anything perfectly. Their prices are kind of all over the board. A lot of times it will be cheaper in the store for some things then online or you will just find stuff that they have that's not online. Alot of times they are the only store that carries some of the high-end stuff (though i didn't do an exhaustive search since I knew they were carrying what I wanted) vs other shops in the city.

My friend bought the bike from them because in the end he just had the sense that they knew what they were doing and that they would take care to make sure he got fit right on any bike. We went to a half dozen shops all over the city. Some were more "friendly," some didn't have a clue, some didn't care to help.

Once he pulled the trigger, they swapped out the frame size, went to 48cm bars (who the hell carries that width) and swapped out the seat- the fit took something like 3 hours because Felix wanted to make sure it was perfect.

I have to agree that no test ride rule is a bit odd, but what is a ride around the block really going to tell you-- "Wow this bike is way better than my POS beater that I've been riding." If you can't do a long haul test ride it is pretty meaningless IMHO, but then again how can you tell about the geo? so I'm split on that.

Anyway, to each his own I guess.
 
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