RA Cycles?

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Anonymous's picture


Posted the same question to Roadbikereview, and was recommended to try here for better response:

Any one with experiences with shopping from RA Cycles, www.racycles.com ?
I'm considering to place an order there, as the product range and prices are tempting compared to Norwegian shops.

They've got mixed feedback at RBR...
Mostly people complain about the mechanics. Same as here in Bergen, Norway. Shops are nice, mechanics are not. Guess it kind of works, though: I've got my own tools by now.

Anyway, I'm not to worried about the reputation of their repairs. Won't ship something from Norway to US to be fixed anyway...

Regards from
KE in rainy, but lovely Bergen

with two and a half week to go before the annual Trondheim-Oslo 540km race :-)

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)
I've purchased from them

I bought a Kestrel from them a few years ago. They built it up from scratch per my specs. I'd give them a solid B score.

They have an amazing selection of high end bikes and know a lot about them. They do have a bit of tude. With a ceiling full of hanging Colnagos and Kings in every size and color, I sort of felt like my nearly 3 grand bike wasn't quite as big a deal to them (as it was to me!).

They put my bike together well but there were a couple of details they missed (They used a brake cable with the wrong kind of ferule that eventually caused a jam in the lever. No big deal but a good mechanic shouldn't miss that kind of thing)

I did a fitting with them and they were pretty thorough and helpful.

Overall, if I was buying another high end bike I'd probably go back to them. Also they have a great selection of shoes in all sizes. And as I mentioned, they probably have every freaking size of every amzing frame you could think of. If they don't I'd bet on them to find it faster than other places.

Just my 2 cents

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Den Store Strykeprøven.

You might be interested in knowing you've connected with a club several of whose members have ridden the Trondheim-Oslo event, Den Store Strykeprøven, including one becoming the first American to do so and complete it in 1985.

Of my bike trip to your country, lasting, as I recall twelve days, it rained...twelve days. Nevertheless, I will tell you, after cycling in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, it--at least the west coast--is the most gorgeous place I've biked.

Here was my trip following Den Store Strykeprøven:

Otta, Lom, Gerainger Fjord, (bus to Andalsnes), Romaldshorn, Trollstigen, Gerainger, Hellesylt,Stryn, Olden, Briksdal, Byrkjelo, Jolstravatnet, Balestrand on the Sognefjorden, Gudvangen, Voss, Alvik, Bergen.

It was gorgeous. But wet. But gorgeous. ...But wet.

As for R&A, I will tell you this anecdote about its owner, Phil: the day before I was to fly with my bike to Europe, I decided that would be a great time to completely disassemble and overhaul my rear cassette hub...in the course of which I lost a pawl spring--three of which could fit on the finger nail of your small finger.

I called R&A, which, being in Brooklyn, is some distance from me in midtown Manhattan. And Phil did the unbelievable! He took a pawl spring from a bike he had, and had someone bring it to me!

For that alone, he has my affection. Moreover, he let me be a nusiance to him and his shop for a couple hours as I photographed wheels there--taking them from his shop, climbing over bikes on display, and generally being a pain. He accepted that with good cheer.

Lastly, two of his salespeople attended a club meeting and brought a great many freebies, some not at all inexpensive, that were raffled off.

This doesn't answer your question, but thought you might enjoy hearing one's person's take on the shop.

...And one person's envy for where you live as a cycling paradise--except for that damn rain.

Richard Rosenthal

Anonymous's picture
Norwegian (not verified)
Den Store Styrkeprøven


Thanx for all the anwers. What I'm after is essentially a triathlon wetsuit, as Norway, with it's 4.5million inhabitants, have very few triatletes, and thus even fever shops who carry gear at a reasonable price.
I might also get some DVDs while I'm at it, though.

Glad to hear that you liked the West Coast, or perhaps wet-coast of Norway. It is true that we do have some rain, but I also reckon you were a bit unlucky with your visit. Last year I did my first Trondheim-Oslo, and it did start to rain some 8-9 hours into the event, but just when I managed to pull on a raincoat, it stoppped. So, all in all 15 minutes of wet roads where the lot last year.
I happen to live in Bergen, biggest city on the west coast. unfortunately I had to skip the annual Bergen-Voss race due to fever and throat infection. It seems gone by now, so I hope the shape for Trondheim-Oslo is ok, still.

So, if I can manage to get a triathlon wetsuit, and also manage to learn swimming sufficiently, perhaps I'll se some of you at the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon next summer?http://www.nxtri.com/
If things fall into place, I think I'll give it a shot.

Happy cycling,
Kjell Eirik Henanger
Bergen Cykle Klubb

Anonymous's picture
Eloy Anzola (not verified)
RA not good.

"Check out this other thread about RA:

As I stated then:
RA is the single WORST bike shop in New York City.

If you are looking to buy online check out:
and, of course ebay...

If you are buying in New York, Conrads, TOGA, Sid's, Verrazano are all excellent choices.

hope this helps,


Anonymous's picture
Jeff Dreiblatt (not verified)
R & A


I bought my bike from them and it was quite an investment, and I feel they have a big attitude problem. Not helpful, then or at any time. I wouldn't recommend them.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

I thought they were pretty good, I was especially happy with the fit. I walked in told them exactly what I wanted then picked it up a few days later. I got the feeling that they may not be too interested in you if your not spending ‘real’ money. It goes without saying that the range is spectacular.

If you get one from R&A remember to get it tax free; it should save you 8 and a bit percent.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
R&A is just fine.

R&A is just fine. Good to great prices, most items in stock – and stock they do have: frames and complete bikes, gruppos, clothes, shoes, tech, DVDs, eyewear, wet suits, tri bikes, food, etc.

R&A also seems to get a preference from manufacturers. I once ordered a bike in August 2001. I was told I’d have to wait 2 days for an 02. No deposit was needed. I called the manufacturer and asked when their ’02 series come out. November was the answer. I then told them my situation and when I mentioned R&A, I was told that R&A well, is R&A, a pro shop, the largest shop in the Eastern USA. They get advances. Two days later, I received my 02 ride; I received a great fit, bought new shoes and some other things and road away smiling. Similar things have happened to other riders I know. R&A still tweaks my ride for this and that as needed.

Yes, a bit of attitude – mostly from over-work – the place can get crowded, and the phone and computers are lively. Also, some customers think they are good enough to be asked to join a European Div I pro team; they act … pretentious. R&A gives it right back. OK, I’ve heard a couple bad service stories, but no more than any other establishment. The mechanics are OK – they used to have a great one. He’s gone. I still use him to true my wheels.

R&A is a fine shop. Not perfect, but if they have the bike you want at a good price … go for it. They ship constantly and all over.

Anonymous's picture
Eloy Valverde Lombardi (not verified)

I'm sure JP is not refering to my DIV 1 attitude. It is well known that my attitude was downgraded to Division 2 for 2004. :-)

I live a few blocks from RA, my experiences with them are basically negative.

I work close to Conrad's and SID's, my experiences with them are very positive. Specially at Conrad's.

I am, of course, the same person in all of them.

Anyway, it's good to see positive comments about RA.

RA's best people and focus seems to be online and mail order. If you are buying from Norway, it'll probably be fine.

In the odd chance you have a problem, don't let them dismiss it, insist and they'll fix it.



Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
"Juan ""Hold the Mayo"" Ventoux Euskaltel-Euskadi"

No, not you Eloy. I don't believe I've had the pleasure.

No, I'm talking about those riders, good and bad, who just demand attention because, for example, they have a full Campy C-50 or just joined USCF as a Cat 5 - WOW!!. They want to go ahead of everyone else in the store and think they know more than the staff. They are probably the same folks that never return a HEY! on the road, cut you off on the GWB just to gain 2 seconds and ... well, you know. Poseurs, retentives, $%^&%^&^&, ;-)

I have had good experiences at R&A, but know of others who have not. And I would agree with your posts in a past thread - not great wrenches. But as a store, they have just about everything. I live nearby too and avoid the shop when it's busy - yes, some attitude. But go in on a slow day, chat with the Cat 1 Gold Medalist manager, get fit by and laugh with the talented fitter, watch a race on the monitor ... R&A is just fine. Try them again, if only a look. WTF! Look at the new $375 Carnacs. Wet suits. New helmets. The commerative Colnago C-50 and golden De Rosa Merak in the window are reason enough to smile - even if you don't have a dicretionary $10,000.00 :-(

BTW, Mayo smashed the old TT record on Ventoux today. Other rider - start your worries!!!

Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)
R&A mail order

Several months ago I ordered a pair of Vredestein purple 650's from their website since they had exactly the tires I was looking for and I didn't feel like making a trip out to Brooklyn.

Well...I got the tires, but in grey. No email or phone call to ask if I wanted the grey since they didn't have the purple. D'uh...If I had wanted the grey I would have ordered them. Needless to say I ended up paying shipping to NYC and had to make a trip to Brooklyn anyway to return them.

Not the end of the world - but an indication of a rather cavalier attitude towards customer service

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