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Thread: Racer Sportif

  1. #1
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    Racer Sportif

    Some feedback on Racer Sportif. Located in Bloor West Village in Toronto. I've been buying stuff from this store for a year. Started with some upgrades to my 2002 Devinci Podium. Eventually went on to build to essentially build a new bike around an Aquila Titanio frame.

    Had some trouble with the front crankset installation (FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue). It had a very slight wobble in it which caused it to hit the inside of the front derailer or the crank arm. Racer Sportif initially adjusted the front derailer limiting screws twice. On the third try Dennis reseated the cranks which had to be turned to different position on the bottom bracket. They rotate true now. My old component set (105) has been used to build a cyclocross bike around another Aquila frame.

    Overall I'm quite please with Racer Sportif. They have been quite helpful and always friendly. I'm in there enough that they know me by first name now. I've read from other posts that say they cater to the wealthy (Bloor West Village) and can be elitist. I've found them quite down to earth and easy to work with. I would recommend their store.

    G

  2. #2
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    I've mail ordered small parts from them and have always been pleased. I can't comment on the quality of their Aquila line.

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    I've been a shopper there for a few months, and they aren't elitist as far as I can tell. Do they cater to the rich? Perhaps, they have some amazing bikes in there and they are a little expensive. Not that they are ripping you off, they are just great bikes that are expensive.

    The staff I've talked to there are great, and they always seem to have whatever part I need.
    I just finished a 6500km bike ride across Canada. I raised over $100 000 for kids with cancer. Read all about it: http://www.cyclingforcancer.ca

  4. #4
    Erfahrener Radfahrer
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    I used to shop there when I lived in Toronto in the early '90s. At the time, they were one of the better shops around. I only ever bought one bike from them, a Concorde Prelude SLX with 8sp Dura-Ace, the first STI, and they were great with their service.

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    Exclamation Cervelo isn't happy with them.....

    From the Cervelo website when you do a dealer search for Toronto:

    "IMPORTANT NOTICE
    Please note that Racer Sportif in Toronto, ON is not a Cervélo dealer, and never has been. Please be warned that all Cervélos at this store are second-hand and as such are not covered by our warranty. Those who have purchased a Cervélo from this store and have been led to believe they were new and covered by Cervélo's warranty are encouraged to contact us.

    To avoid confusion Racer Sportif in London, ON is not related to the store by the same name in Toronto. Racer Sportif London is a bonafide Cervélo dealer."

    I've heard other unflattering things about them as well - enough so that I don't do business there.

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    Dennis will unload frames and parts on the ill informed.

    Sizing for these people is whatever he needs to unload.

    If you are experienced and well informed you stand a fighting chance. But personally I would go down the street to Wheels of Bloor.

  7. #7
    confirmed masher
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Dennis will unload frames and parts on the ill informed.

    Sizing for these people is whatever he needs to unload.

    If you are experienced and well informed you stand a fighting chance. But personally I would go down the street to Wheels of Bloor.
    I hope nobody knowingly goes there.. Even if you knew your stuff would you really want to shop there?

  8. #8
    Road Monkey
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    I'm not a big fan of the place. The one time I went in there Dennis was pretty rude and I thought screw this, there's like 100 other bike shops in town what makes him so high and mighty. I did even bother with them in my search for a new bike this year.

  9. #9
    jjspike
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    Bait and switch masters

    These guys are big-time bait and switch artists. They pull you in with the Colnago's and Cervelo's (not even a dealer) that are in the window. Once in the store they basically tell you "you don't really want that" and they push some Aquila (their own house brand - cheap crap) frameset on you. It is funny how many people I ran into over the past two years that went through the same thing with them. I am sure that many of them are here.

    Check their website to see what their primary bike brand is. Wheels of Bloor gets my business.

  10. #10
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    Don't get me started!

    Quote Originally Posted by theWdotY
    I'm not a big fan of the place. The one time I went in there Dennis was pretty rude and I thought screw this, there's like 100 other bike shops in town what makes him so high and mighty. I did even bother with them in my search for a new bike this year.
    Haven't been there in a while and didn't like them back then. Another store in Scarboro and Etobicoke just turned me off. Can't remember the names but there attitude was horrible..
    Re-My in Streetsville is my favourite.

  11. #11
    Road Monkey
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    I go to Chain Reaction, my brother knows the owner there, get some good deals from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleT
    Haven't been there in a while and didn't like them back then. Another store in Scarboro and Etobicoke just turned me off. Can't remember the names but there attitude was horrible..
    Re-My in Streetsville is my favourite.
    Let me guess,
    The store in Scarborough is probably D'Ornellas & Etobicoke is Chain Reaction.
    In Jan. 2005, I was looking for a small Giant TCR Comp frame from D'Ornellas and the Sales guy (Neal?) wanted a deposit to check on the availabity of the frame!! - what a goof.
    After I received my TCR Comp frame (from Cycle Solutions), I called Chain Reaction (Apr'05) & asked how long would it take to assembly a frame plus bike kit. Their reply was ONE month & $250!!
    So, La Bicicletta built my TCR Comp w/Chorus for $100 & only took THREE business days.
    Never let Racer Sportif service a Campagnolo bike.
    I only trust La Bicicletta, in Toronto, with my Campy bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Dennis will unload frames and parts on the ill informed.

    Sizing for these people is whatever he needs to unload.

    If you are experienced and well informed you stand a fighting chance. But personally I would go down the street to Wheels of Bloor.

    this comment is absolutely dead on!

  14. #14
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    Racer Sportif Rules

    I've been a customer of theirs for the past year and just purchased a new Aquila Prima road bike from them. Perhaps I should have spent more on a Colnago or Scott but why. I have done some research on the Aquila line and they have great reviews. I also have shopped at Duke's on Queen but I find Sportif to be an incredible store and I'm on a first name basis with Dennis, Frank and Chris. I was sized with A-line insoles by Frank which has totally cured my previous knee issues. So in my mind, they are an incredible shop and I'm quite ashamed of all the bad mouthing they get. I've been to Wheels of Bloor and never felt welcome there. Even though I could have easily bought a bike at Wheels, the customer service attained at Racer Sportif was far and above what I have ever received at any other bike shop. So please be your own judge. I give them 2 thumbs up.

  15. #15
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    Everyone will have a different experience. It's good that you find good service from them. I have had no dealings with them over the past 8 years. I was soured on going there when I was shopping for a Ti bike and considering Litespeed / Merlin etc. As previous posters indicated, I went into the shop because of the Litespeeds showcased in the window. Of course, I was redirected to the Ti Aquilas which Dennis insisted were made in the same Russian factories as the Litespeeds. In fact, since I was so stuck on Litespeed, he offered to stick Litespeed stickers on the Aquila frame since they were the "identical frame". I contacted Litespeed and they knew all about Dennis and his practices. Obviously, I wasn't the first complaint. Based on that one interaction at Racer Sportif, I have shunned them since. If that is how he conducts business, I'd rather find someone more upstanding.
    1987 Miyata Pista
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    A quick note...they are not an authorized Colnago dealer. The Colnago website states that the frames being sold are used.

    http://nt1.adventuresports.com/shops...ago#California

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    you wanna be ripped off by a polak ?

    go to racer sportif and bring some grease.

  19. #19
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    yes they are rude. And becareful if you buy multiple items, They wont give you an itemized receipt and try to give you one number verbally including tax then just ring that number up on the cash register. Yet ive witnessed them writing out a full receipt for one that bought a full bike and clothing.
    And i agree they try to pawn off that they are a pinarello and colnago dealer when they are not. Did i say when you talk to them they are rude? Go down the street to Wheels of Bloor. Better place to shop.

  20. #20
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    Agree with most posters here -- Dennis is rude. I refuse to shop there, even after growing up thinking that his store was the pinnacle of bike stores in Toronto, because of numerous rude encounters with Dennis. And now, after reading the notices by Cervelo AND Colnago, I'm even more resolute in never shopping there. But, if you really want to hear someone who dislikes Dennis, talk to the guy who runs High Park Cycle up on Dundas. A mere mention of Dennis' name sends him into a crazed rant about what an a**hole Dennis is.

    Radek at Wheels of Bloor can be just as rude, but Peter more than makes up for it. Plus, Wheels conducts their business in an honest manner.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchy23
    A quick note...they are not an authorized Colnago dealer. The Colnago website states that the frames being sold are used.

    http://nt1.adventuresports.com/shops...ago#California

    Interesting that it says the same thing about La Bicicletta!! Weird...
    I find it hard to believe that the frames at both La Bicicletta and Racer Sportif are used. Grey market? Maybe.

  22. #22
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    A few years ago I used to live just West of Racer Sportif on Bloor and have dropped into the shop a number of times, I thought the rudeness was a one time event as maybe they were having a bad day. When I brought in my Kona for a spoke issue that I was having with a Shimano wheelset I was treated like dirt, and yes they tried to sell me an Aquila when all I needed was a few straight pull spokes. Wheels of Bloor gets a nod as I have had good experiences with them as well as La Bicicletta who helped me with some ridiculously tight Vitoria tires.

    I live on the opposite end of the city now so I don't get over to Bloor West often.
    Dukes gets the majority my road business now (and most of my mountain bike business too), Michael, Mark or Greg always have time to answer any questions I may have without any attitude. And yes, they are a registered Cervélo dealer and no i can't afford one this year no matter who's selling.

  23. #23
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    SUPPORT YOUR OFFICIAL LBS - ON ALL PRODUCT LINES!

    RACER SPORTIF in Toronto, ON is NOT an Official authorized COLNAGO DEALER. ALL purchased COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES are NOT covered by the COLNAGO/VELTEC SPORTS, Inc. warranty. Be warned that ALL COLNAGO’s from this shop are second hand and are therefore NOT covered by our warranty. Those who have purchased any COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES from this store and have been led to believe they were new and covered by COLNAGO’s warranty are encouraged to contact VELTEC SPORTS, Inc. La Bicicletta in Toronto, ON is NOT an Official authorized COLNAGO DEALER. ALL purchased COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES are NOT covered by the COLNAGO/VELTEC SPORTS, Inc. warranty. Be warned that ALL COLNAGO’s from this shop are second hand and are therefore NOT covered by our warranty. Those who have purchased any COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES from this store and have been led to believe they were new and covered by COLNAGO’s warranty are encouraged to contact VELTEC SPORTS, Inc North American Bici in Missisagua, ON is NOT an Official authorized COLNAGO DISTRIBUTOR OR DEALER. ALL purchased COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES are NOT covered by the COLNAGO/VELTEC SPORTS, Inc. warranty. Be warned that ALL COLNAGO’s from this shop are second hand and are therefore NOT covered by our warranty. Those who have purchased any COLNAGO FRAMES or COMPLETE COLNAGO BICYCLES from this store and have been led to believe they were new and covered by COLNAGO’s warranty are encouraged to contact VELTEC SPORTS, Inc.

  24. #24
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    Hello,

    I dropped by to the Racer Sportiff in Oakville a few days ago. I was introduced to the Aquila line. Anyone have any experience with this brand? Any links to reviews? The two models I looked at was the Prima and Corsa.

    The help I received was actually really good.

    Thanks.

  25. #25
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    I have been to Racer Sportif. They are the least helpful and least reputable shop in town (ok, save for Igor, but he is out of business now).

    You go to the LBS for the service. If you just want parts at a good price, you can go to dozens of online retailers that will have it in stock for a better price than any shop in Toronto.

    So ask yourself this: if your LBS

    1. treats you like crap
    2. is willing to deceive you
    3. will attempt to rip you off

    Why are you going there?

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