Copy

The latest version of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” comes to us from Look Cycle. Stating that the sale of counterfeit 695 and 695 Lite frames recently came to their attention, Look is warning against purchase of Chinese copies. Closely resembling the Look 695, the bikes are not actually made by Look and will not be covered for defects, quality issues, or frame failures. Look stresses that since there is no control over the quality of the frames, the counterfeits post a safety threat to the rider.

After a quick search online, the frames in question are fairly easy to find and include a large amount of information copied directly from the Look catalog. Look recommends purchasing their bikes only through authorized dealers and distributors and asks for anyone with uncertainty towards the validity of a frame to email Look at siteinternet@lookcycle.fr.

42 COMMENTS

  1. I just searched eBay and couldn’t find any 695 copies. Found a ton from a California dealer, though.

    I guess Look had them removed from eBay under copyright claim?

  2. After inspecting a number of frames, fake frames always are a cut below the generic ones, some even come with major defects. They don’t have to protect their reputation, even generic frame suppliers have to protect their reputations with wholesalers.

    Fake frames rely on hanging off the coat tails of a reputable brand, and hoping the buyers have low expectations because they’re a fraction of the price, and will be happy with something that looks more expensive than it is, like a fake Rolex.

    Out one side of their mouth, they will tell you they are the OEM supplier for many brands, and the quality as just as good. If you bring up a problem, they’ll insist things like cracks, misaligned bearing seats, etc, are small negligible problems and justified by the low price.

  3. It’ll be the most expensive bike you’ll ever own after the steerer tube sheers off during a descent and you need $30,000 worth of dental repair, $5,000 emergency room visit for your collarbone and a week or more of lost income. Don’t be the Fred who buys this junk.

  4. An update on this post with pictures of specific features that are incorrect would be nice. Just as a guide for what to look out for. Meaning, it is unlikely that a bike shop employee would buy a fake, but a unwitting customer might come in with one.

  5. I don’t like when they include the decals to make it look like an oem, but that being said, I own a raw frame copied from a Scott foil, and another copy of a bmc impec. They are super light, stiff, and have no apparent defects that I was able to find. Many of them are made by the same factories in China that the primal comes from. Keep in mind that the oem generally buys their frames from China as well, before slapping decals on them and marking them up for 400-500% of the price. And obviously, oem frames are not always flawless either. I think the “safety” issue is mostly just an excuse from the manufacturers to justify their absurd mark up. I’ve been riding the foil clone for two years now without a problem.

  6. Come on John, when you make such claims than also prove it with solid evidence. The Chinese manufacturers know quite well how to make carbon frames, many no-name frames are high quality. So why wouldn’t it be possible for such a manufacturer to make a perfectly safe knock-off.

    To be clear, I will never buy such a frame and won’t advice anyone to buy it. But all those stupid stories about frames or forks snapping suddenly in half…

  7. mark.

    i had a guy bring in a fake pinarello to my shop the other day, he didnt know any better, but his headset was loose.

    i took an extra second to look at it, and it was actually the frame… the fake one had an alloy insert bonded in to the headtube which came apart and was rattling. at the same time the headtube was starting to split down the front center too. customer had no clue…

    the issue is that they try to cut corners with parts that dont fit together correctly, and their tolerances are way off. when there is an issue like that, they try to mask it with more epoxy or resin… doesnt work… as stated earlier theres no quality control.

    this pinarello frame wasnt the first one i have seen either, nor was it the first one that i have seen with frame issues.

  8. swim.

    i have seen packing labels for distributors FOB pricing. companies purchase frames and bikes from the distributor with approx the same margin that the bike shop purchases from the bike company. many cases an even lower margin too. so simply said that 400-500% markup is a very inaccurate statement.

  9. I don’t support counterfeits, but agree that the Chinese make solid frames. There are plenty of stories on how ‘legit’ carbon frames had failures, anyway.

  10. @swim
    Pretty much no R&D went into that fake Impec, I’ve seen one before, while decent, the steerer tube was not round, and it’s a pretty cheap and bad “copy”. You can be sure that these knock-off frames that have a 0% chance of even being made in the same molds have R&D and QC on the low end, and there’s no way they can even sell these to reputable rebranders. Even if it’s the same factory, which is isn’t, QC is not the same.

    @Mark
    There are also smaller operations that only care about making a buck selling counterfeits, and don’t care at all about the quality of what they sell, as long as they can sell it. I would stick with something that’s not a knock-off from a somewhat reputable seller.

    It’s entirely possible for them to make a safe knock-off, but there’s a whole lot of incentive to skip those steps to increase profits, and not a lot to lose from it.

    @Robert
    I’ve seen boxed invoices for Chinese carbon frames. What they charge you 400%-500% of the $100 they claim it is. Maybe that’s what he meant.

  11. @swim…@robert is correct….that 400%-500% statement is incredibly inaccurate and pretty ignorant.
    Bike brands that purchase off-the-shelf frames work off of 30% margins, at best, if they sell wholesale to dealers and can squeeze out 50% margins if they sell direct to consumer….keep in mind, those are Gross Margins….GMs a lot different than Net Margins.

  12. l own three Chinese carbon bikes of various kinds and love them. My R-029 which is a Tarmac clone, some 29Er frame and a Ltk088. I bought them all matte carbon and painted them and made them my own creations. I would never in a million years buy a knock off thats for sure. Before one blows one off they should ride one and check out the great quality most of the bikes have.

  13. My true storys about buying direct from China:
    12 Frames: one cracked frame after 6 months, (no backup)
    15 Forks: 1 steerer separated from crown after 24 months. All front hub spacing out by -3/6mm
    (no backup with any)
    20 carbon rims: (all cracked when tensioned, no backup)
    20 carbon seatposts (no problems with any)
    80 Aluminium rims, 20 with spoke holes too big (no backup)

    Would I still buy direct from China? Yes, (the odds of getting an adequate product are ok)
    Do I know there is a risk? Yes.
    Would I buy a counterfeit product. No, it’s a bit immoral really.
    Do I think I am going to have any warranty on anything? No I’m that naive anymore.

    To those who think there are huge margins in the bike industry. You guys have no idea. If a company makes 10% net profit at the end of the year they are doing well, very well. @kenai is correct, 30% gross margins at best.

  14. I feel like I should say, poor R&D and QC doesn’t mean every single knock-off carbon frame is going to explode.

    What it means is there’s no liability if something does happen, there’s no standards testing to see if it will explode or not, there’s no mass recall if someone gets hurt.

    Poor QC means just because someone else had a good experience doesn’t mean you will. Poor QC means 1% defect rate. God awful QC means a 10% defect rate, and there’s going to be 9 happy people for every one person who got burned.

    Sure there are authentic frame failures. You have no idea what the ratio of failures to units sold there are. What I do know is that most companies will at least try to take care of you if something happens. If you buy a Chinese frame and it fails, you can count on a bunch of forumites with knock-offs berating you and accusing you of being an industry shill.

  15. First, I should say that I am a qualified expert and have testified in court for defendants and plaintiffs of carbon fiber frame failure that causes injury. I also have my own law practice where at least half of my cases are based on carbon frame and part failure that causes injury or death.

    Second, counterfeit frames are incredibly dangerous. It is bewildering to think ebay still allows them to be sold. I have a clients who have suffered great bodily injury. They are not the same frames, they are not made in the same factory, or by the same workers. No bicycle company remain in contract with a company producing sub-par frames in their molds. The money made from the contract of producing authentic frames and the money made from producing counterfeit frames doesn’t come close. It simply doesn’t make any sense to risk losing it, especially when the barriers to entering the market are so low.

    Counterfeit frames are actually clam shell molds from authentic frames that look similar on the exterior, but are far different on the interior. Sometimes they use foam or wood to replicate a real frame, then make the mold from that. There is no quality control or defect inspection. The types of carbon are far less quality and the frames are not tested. Most of the time, the testing photos you see are juts stolen from each other online and used by others.

    When the frame fails and causes injury, It can be very difficult to locate the original manufacturer of the frame or part. It takes a lot of investigation and man hours to locate them. If you do find them and get a judgment for damages, it is very hard to collect. They are typically located in China. No, China is not Taiwan. Taiwan is very reputable and makes almost everything in the industry. Not that many counterfeits come from Taiwan because the manufacturing is actually more expensive than the rest of Asia. There are many resellers in Taiwan and ride on the name quite a bit to sell their products. It is hard to believe, but there have actually been counterfeit parts made IN THE US. Criminal penalties and civil judgments can be very severe, if they are applied at all.

    In one case, I found through discovery requests, that nearly 50% of the ebay/ali express unbranded frames fail at either the steer tube, fork blade, chainstay, or a simultaneous downtube/headtube failure. I searched thousands of emails from angry customers around the world. The replies to them ranged from “You misused the product” to “We don’t speak english.” Many are constructed with fiberglass, cheap glue, even tape. You are probably thinking “I have ridden a hong fu frame for years and I am fine, so you are wrong.” Your instance does not represent the issue as a whole. I have seen photos of hundreds of broken frames, broken necks, legs, cracked skulls, punctured ribs. Just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t happen. I have also seen people completely abuse them and end up being fine.

    The truth is there is no such thing as a completely safe carbon frame. This is not an opinion, but something that arbitrators, judges, and juries have found to be a significant factor in many suits. This fact has been established by engineers and experts (not your LBS mechanic). Most of the people who experience failure on name brand, tested, and quality checked frames are bigger people. That is another issue. Compare it to a car tire. A safe, inspected, and tested car tire can be deemed “safe,” but there is always a chance it will blow a high speed and cause an accident.

    The disturbing thing about the bike industry is that large companies still release products after “research and development”, have many failures by consumers, and never issue recalls. Sometimes the public is the research and development and companies wait till they start to fail, then create a new version based on the faults the public experienced. Specialized, Focus, Cannondale, and Zipp are terrible offenders of this method and only stopped doing it a few years ago. An Example is the Focus Izalco. It breaks so commonly that AG2R rides a bike manufactured by a company different than the one they give to the public.

    EDITOR NOTES: It would be impossible for us to fact-check all comments, but since we have had a manufacturer contact us about this one, we’ll add this here:
    Focus claims that they have had the Izalco Max sold commercially for 2 full years and have had ZERO frames or forks returned for having broken. Also, ALL of the bikes ridden by AG2R are in fact made in the same production facility as the commercially available versions; Izalco Team SL, Izalco Max, and Mares CX. The only difference in the team bikes is the use of a clamp-on front derailleur vs. some consumer versions’ braze-on mounts. Focus also claims that in 2 full seasons of races (from cobbled classics to grand tour stages), the team has had NO broken frames except FOLLOWING race crashes, which does happen.
    OK, that’s all for us pointing out some facts.
    Back to the comment.

    Those are just frames too. Handlebars, stems, seat-posts, and wheels are equally dangerous. Even the Cervelo founder called for an industry awareness and action to brittle steer tubes. Companies love to dismiss product injury and warranty (which are two different concepts) by saying the product was misused, and they are not liable. The rep on the other line doesn’t know that even foreseeable misuse, like riding your road bike off a curb, hitting a pot-hole, or even crashing, is foreseeable and has been established law longer than carbon fiber has been around.

    Last, manufacturing cost and sale cost is not the end profit. Even the counterfeit frames have substantial overhead to create the mold, but materials, labor, shipping, etc. Think about it as a prescription drug. It may cost 25c to make and $20 for the pill, but it costs hundreds of millions to develop it.

    The best thing you can do is buy a brand name bike, even if it is a licensed or open mold frame. It is the cheapest insurance policy you can get. The company has a face and reputation to uphold. All manufacturers are bound by product standards in the US if their product is sold here or it is foreseeable their products will end up here. If you get hurt, you want someone to sue.

    Before you go and rant about how we live in an overly litigious society, cycling is inherently dangerous, and all bikes are the same, think about this true story. A young 27 year old guy with 3 kids, wife, and parents to support works 10 hours a day 6 days a week as a tow truck driver. He is strapped for cash and worked Sundays for 6 months to save enough money to piece together an unbranded frame that looks like a Pinarello from a popular Chinese website. He gets up every day at 4:30 to ride because he loves it, rain or shine. He never raced, but had the fitness and talent of a fast Cat 2 racer after a year of riding. While on a big descent, his bike breaks in two with no warning and his limp body cartwheels so gruesomely, witnesses on the group ride thought it was a miracle he lived. Now he paralyzed from the neck down. There are no funds to pay for his care. His wife works 70+ hours a week at multiple jobs at minimum wage. His 80 year old mother and father make a few bucks from the state taking care of him. His kids won’t go to college and see their Dad suffer through his entire life. The manufacturer and distributor of the frame refuse to acknowledge any liability, or even show up for court. Even the judgement against them can’t be collected because the Chinese law refuses to cooperate. The careless construction of a knockoff/unbranded frame ruined his life and ruined his family’s life. That is how serious this unbranded/counterfeit issue is. Also, that is just one case. There are hundreds of injuries every year that are incredibly similar. It goes far beyond just having to find another frame too. If that doesn’t enrage you, tax payers will be shelling out more than $20,000,000 for care costs if something cannot be collected. I have a feeling the guy in China making the frames doesn’t have 20 million.

    Only recently Chinese courts and authorities have been cooperating. It was only after a woman used a fake iPhone 5 cable that caused her phone to electrocute her, and she died. Another horror story I have heard is that the counterfeit cologne and perfumes form China are filled with known carcinogens, and some are even outright illegal to be in the US they are so unhealthy. Animal fur in clothing is from tortured dogs and cats who are brutally slaughtered. There is a 12 year old boy in Florida who got counterfeit beats by dre. headphones from his parents who thought they found a good deal online. He was electrocuted so badly he is now def. Imagine dealing with that as a parent.

    There is also a cultural problem in Chinese business practices where many don’t feel responsible, legally or morally, to address the problem. Many cultural business experts claim it is the effect of capitalism on a culture that has yet to adapt to the rest of the world. Not my words, but something I have read. Interesting nonetheless.

    If you want to learn more about it, check out the documentary called Counterfeit Culture. Interesting stuff.

  16. Why is the post called “Be On the Look Out” when there is no information on what to “Be On the Look Out” for? Look needs to do what many other manufactures have done in the past and post some pictures that clearly show the difference between their frames and the “copy(s)” so we can “Be On The Lookout”.

  17. AliExpress(Alibaba) is filled with tons of fake Look frames.
    China who is the IP thieves of the world will stoop to the lowest level to make a buck. History of crap coming out of that (deleted) country proves this.

    Several LBS bike shops and social ride meet-up groups in my area will kick out and won’t allow riders to participate in our group rides with known fake frames purchased from China or elsewhere.
    Even debagged carbon is suspect and are told not to join.

    Should be a standard policy amongst all LBS and ride groups to shun these fakers.

    I’d rather ride a real legitimate cheap bike than ride a fake counterfeited carbon from China.

  18. @lawyerknowitall- thank you for the eloquent look into the litigious world of manufacturing. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I think part of the problem in the united states is that most consumers have lost a sense of what quality is and how it affects them. We have become such a throwaway culture that cheaper is fine and the better the discount the better the experience. The shocking thing about that is cycling is one of the only industries where peoples outright attitude is so misguided. If I handed a knockoff iphone to somebody they would throw it in the trash, they won’t test drive a chinese bmw clone, but a pinarello knockoff is o.k. because pinarello is just ripping me off. R&D costs a fortune, insurance costs a fortune, as does sponsorship, but people fail to take that into account. I have worked in this industry for 15 years and have a shop in an affluent neighborhood. The shocking thing is I see more stupidity from wealthy customers than poor ones. Some of my cash strapped customers may buy one of these frames ride it while saving for a name brand frame and then dump it. I can’t tell you how many customers I have that make 6 figures bring me these knock offs and gloat on how good of a deal they got and how I and other shops didn’t get to screw them. I have heard this line a million times “it looks like a pinarello so it rides like one”. It’s like you said, when there is a legitimate manufacture, there is a chain of liability. If your butt is in the ringer you watch yourself. These vendors/resellers know that there is no recourse, so why in any logical reasoning would they do everything they can to ensure that the product they are dumping on you is top notch. A friend of mine is Chinese and his cousin back home was hired by a back door reseller to ebay electronics that were knocked off. He said he quit because everyone in the office hated dealing with whiney Americans that thought a stereo that cost 1/8 of the price came with any guarantees, he told one guy that if he wants a warranty buy the real thing. He said the guy was flabbergasted that they wouldn’t give him better service like his friend had though the real manufacturer .

  19. It used to be in the cycling industry that you got (the value) what you paid for, meaning that there was a good relationship between price-to-quality.
    I believe the expensive bike parts sold are fairly priced to offset their often very high r&d costs x low volumes of sold products. The bike industry seen as a whole is very competitive, margins are low, and sales volumes of sold products are in general low (high end Pinarellos, etc, etc, are not a typical mass market super market product).
    What I’m trying to say is that, there’s a good reason why prices are high for the latest / fastest / lightest stuff in cycling, and if you want to have that “edge” that this stuff could potentially give you, then you have to be prepared to pay for it. Don’t expect to buy the latest and greatest for cheap.
    There are good reasons why cheap are sold cheap. Have you ever seen real diamonds sold cheap? I’ve seen nice cars sold cheap, but looking carefully they are usually damaged in some way or another. Returning to cycling, the only thing that’s between you and a serious road scab / head wound / amputation / paralysis is the frame and wheel under your body. Why would you want to go cheap and compromise quality on that? Sure, my ego would enjoy seeing me on a Pinarello, but my children would much rather see me happy, healthy and present with them. It’s better to think and work smarter to earn the money to buy the proper stuff than to buy some looks-expensive-but-compromised-and-will-not-take-complaints-call product that potentially could ruin your life.

    @ Be Careful: A question: would it not have been cheaper to buy the real stuff instead of spending all that money and time buying the parts over-and-over and always running the risk that the part could brake catastrophically when riding it?
    Also, I guess you must be in the importing business since you seem to have the necessary time and relationships with the Chinese sellers claiming your products and getting them to ship to you? I’m in the importing and distribution business (non-bike area), have done the business trips and buying from China, and honestly, I rather spend my time riding my bike and being with my family instead of making a thousands call a day to someone in China trying to buy a copy product cheap.

  20. There are no pics of the differences between real LOOK bike and fake ones because they just don’t want to show to counterfeiters how to make it closer look to the real product…

  21. I owned very expensive Specialized, Gios, Tommasini, Trek and Giant mountainbikes and racebikes over the years. I always rode these bikes with pleasure but could not really understand the steep prices of most of the products. Especially if you compare them to motorbikes for example. The last few years I ride an LTK023 29’er mountainbike and a LTK036 racebike. Both frames are no copycats! I bought these directly from the manufacturer in China. The frames are well designed, stiff and light. Also it was a breeze to install everything on the frames.

    I couldn’t be happier with these bikes and I am convinced that these products are as good as the big brands that are sold for 3-4 times as much.

  22. My elite/U23 team used to have a sponsordeal with a store who was an authorized dealer of bianchi.

    He gave a huge discount for Oltre and Sempre Frame’s
    About 8 oltre frames and 6 sempre frames were sold.

    Now 2 years later,
    – 9 Oltre Frame’s have been returned for warranty (yes, one broke twice) All warranty frames have been sold because riders did not feel safe.

    Some were crashes, as that is common practice in racing. One was for sitting on the headtube before the race started.
    Some cracks appeared after bumps in the road, One rear fork Failed during a mass sprint.
    And one rider hit a pavement and cracked his just replaced oltre in 5 places.

    For the sempre it was doing better, only two failures,
    A crack with the derrailleur clamp (could be human mistake)
    The aluminum dropout disconnected with the carbon frame during mass sprint.

    They just wanted to make their frames too light.

    Few people of our team ride chinese open mold products (not replica’s) some which i provided.
    Many handspoked wheelsets over 40 pieces, (chinese rims). Only one failure, a crack after a puthole in the road. Not fatal in any way. I got instant warranty for this issue, so above mentioned you would not get warranty is not true in all cases , and to be honest, it was a huge puthole. For frame’s, no issues so far.
    Also i got safety testing documents of all products i ever bought.

    Mainpoint is, Cycling can be dangerous, riding a car, flying a plane can. Even buying food can. I would say it is one of the most dangerous sports out there. How strong your frame might be, having a flat downhill at the wrong moment and you are fu**ed.
    Cars can too, any product can. Because they are all made and designed by human’s. And humans make mistakes. Fact remains. I do trust an open mould frame wich is sold by many smaller brands which are a little above 1000 grams and have been on the market for a few years more than the extremely lightweight products of some big brands.

    Many may know FFWD a dutch wheelbrand, started out buying Chinese rims, and still do and are now sponsoring world tour teams.

    What not many people know is that a few big factories produce for different brands. And many resellers buy from these brands. An good quality open mold frame could be as good and as save as any highly expensive brand bike. These factory’s are mainly taiwanese but production will be in china. And they shouldn’t be ashamed of it, the most expertese is in the biggest chinese factories.
    (Some italian brands excluded)

    Do not forget, high marketing cost, sponsorship, stock, distributors, bikeshops all need money without making the bike any safer or better to perform.

    The point i want to make is that one chinese frame is not the other.
    First i highly reject the use of replica’s as it is stealing in my opinion. And i truly believe that there are shitty one’s out there. and risk of bad quality frame is higher as if they don’t have any morals on stealing a brand, why would they have any concerning safety testing.

    Fact remains, they are in the racing peleton a lot. About quality of the replica’s i can’t tell. But i don’t notice them behaving different or failing more. I have seen some broken carbon bike’s, believe me (mostly bianchi’s tough), But can’t tell that the replica’s are over represented.

    And i promise you, you can find horror storys about any bike brand. no product is 100% safe. But you will have to accept that there are always things wich can happen. no matter what you do.

    I have seen a local bike store set up a giant (authorized dealer), cutting the fork too short by accident but continue and putting the sam only 60% connected. I noted it to the owner, he told me to mind my business, and told it too the customer afterwards as it might endanger his life, he did not care really.
    Bad manufacturing, assembling and low safety standards exist anywhere.

    p.s. @Be Carefull,

    If you buy 20 sets of carbon rims, you buy 1 to 3 sample’s first and test them i assume. If all rims cracked, that means the first sample rim did too. Why did you buy more if it had a 100% failure rate.

  23. “There is a 12 year old boy in Florida who got counterfeit beats by dre. headphones from his parents who thought they found a good deal online. He was electrocuted so badly he is now def. Imagine dealing with that as a parent.”

    Is there? Because I’m fairly sure that would be major news, and there is no such news. Sounds like utter twaddle. Also, you can’t be “badly electrocuted”, to be electrocuted is to die from electric shock. The ‘boy’ suffered a bad electric shock which left him “deaf” (not like the Leppard). I hope your legal knowledge is better than your grasp of English!

    Counterfeit stuff is of course really bad for various reasons. However, it’s massively naive to think eBay ‘let’ it be sold, they just can’t check every individual item to verify it. That said, it’s a huge leap from ‘counterfeit goods are bad’ to “this frame will explode and carbon shards will penetrate your heart and you’ll be killed to death and then your family will have to work until they’re a million to pay for your orphaned children”. Still, hyperbole is far more interesting eh?

  24. @Be careful

    Along with JW’s comment above, I also wonder who you sourced your rims from, as there are a number of extremely reputable brands selling many thousands of rims which don’t crack when you tension them.

    Let’s not get confused here between “Chinese manufacturers” and “crap manufacturers”, they’re not one and the same.

  25. @lawyerknowitall: nice to have a well reasoned, explored, and educated opinion on one of the comment sections. Thanks. That said, I hope you aren’t an internet goofball that loves posting fake personalities online.

  26. The ‘cycling market is over priced’ chestnut only demonstrates the average lack of any understanding on how a business is run.

    Compare cost wise some consumable item from another industry (eg. car tires?) and look at those prices. Then consider economy of scale, level of engineering and material costs. Add low units and high aftermarket service demands by customers. The pricing in the industry, especially on hard goods, is completely in line. The only place to cut costs and not corners is to remove a layer of hands that touch the item (distributor or retailer) and then you have the problem of not having any hands to look at it when it needs any remedial attention.

    Safety (your own and others), quality, continuing service and updated products et al is all sacrificed on saving a buck. The real irony is that it’s really not about saving money, we’re regularly wasteful in so many other areas of lives (just consider what we spend on fuel or heating/aircon). It’s all about getting a deal, getting one over/up/better, essentially at someone’s cost. Winning. There’s something really sad and tacky about it all.

    Too often re-arranging prejudices is equated with thinking.

  27. I am an actual lawyer who has worked at two major US based internet retailers. It is very clear to me that “@lawyerknowitall” is not a lawyer. To say that eBay “allows” a counterfeit to be sold shows a gross misunderstanding of legal and business realities.

    I can assure you that both major US internet retailers I have worked for will take down counterfeits expeditiously. Counterfeits are damaging to a retailer’s brand and they cause significant/costly issues with with brand owners.

    Alibaba appears to base much of its Ali Express cycling business on counterfeits. I assume they do not cooperate with brand owners in the same way US based internet retailers do. I can’t believe that such a widespread practice would go unnoticed by Alibaba CS/Legal/Management – or that it is limited to the cycling category. It is unfortunate that the market/analysts do not price this into the share price – or perhaps they have.

  28. @lawyerknowitall – Are you really a lawyer? Just seems that for someone who reads and writes English everyday as their job, you’d be a little more eloquent/accurate.

    Now, all the stuff you said could be true, or it could just be a rant about China.

    I remember growing up, there used to be some kinda joke about made in Japan. Then made in Hong Kong, now it’s made in China. Once the students that are western educated return to China and open their own high quality factories, with their low margins, that’s when things will change.

    I ride a Giant road bike. Made in Taiwan they seem to control a lot more of the process that other manufacturers. That being said, I wonder what the lifetime of any carbon frame is…and anyway I have some white (could be de-lamination) area at the back of the seat tube on my Giant bike. My LBS where I purchased it from have stopped selling Giants so I didn’t bother to get it checked out, although It hasn’t gotten any worse a couple of thousand miles since I noticed it.

    Perhaps I should just go steel or aluminum next, for the days when I’m feeling heavy and not so brave 🙂

    Then again, I remember working for a well known car company after leaving school, and seeing a plasma cutter demonstrated. The next thing they used that cutter for, was to open up a car that had come apart whilst being driven on the highway. It had come apart at the welds and could have been much more serious. Now that car company is no longer around, but the tech was sold to China to manufacture cars there.

    All in all I’m grateful we have the net nowadays, so at least we can make informed choices.

    One thing a manager of the car co. I worked at told me that I’ve never forget:

    Buy cheap, be prepared to buy twice.

  29. I mean, if you buy cheap, be prepared to buy twice.

    Also, just remembered something else. I went to visit a Honda factory that had a collaboration with the co. I was working at. Such a contrast. The co. I was working at had a running joke, don’t buy car made on a Friday. The Honda factory was opposite. White floors not black, everyone wore nice overalls and caps. Free drinks from the drinks machines…I could go on. It’s no wonder the Japanese way of manufacturing became the model to aim for.

    Do they make bikes in Japan? I know that they have some pretty high-tech carbon raw materials coming from there. The process and the attention to detail is the key.

    Don’t get me wrong, if I new some legit factory with good processes was making some carbon frame in the spare time, great. Descending downhill at 45+ MPH (which I regularly do) on a chinese no name copied frame from ebay or alibaba…I think I’ll pass.

  30. @Ronin
    Japan had Six Sigma. Counterfeits don’t. Most people realize Chinese made is fine, if there’s a company with a brand to protect that actually ensures QC there. That’s why people buy brand name goods made in China.

  31. Why so racist and prejudice label copy frame as Chinese copy?
    I think nowadays everything copy will be labelled as Chinese. Manufacturer will continue play the quality and safety card games when their price are marked up from China OEM manufacturer.

    I don’t agree that ALL Chinese manufacture are bad. If this is the case, why large bike company still source from OEM manufacturer in China?

    My 2 cent.

  32. I’m Chinese and I go out of my way not to buy “Made in China”. Not necessarily because the quality of goods is inferior, sometimes it’s actually rather good. I won’t (as much as possible) buy made in China, because I want to continue to support a middle-class worker in North America. It angers me when every product review I read simply lists the price and never country of origin. If we ever hope to hang on to the way of life we have come to enjoy, we need to stop merely looking for the lowest price, and look to where it’s made. Besides, why would I want to give money to a country and/or company for total disregard of IP. That’s my rant for today.

  33. @a –
    “And for all I know those could be exactly the same frames from the same factory, or from plans that have been “borrowed” from the original factory. That said, most people prefer buying from “well known” chinese manufacturers and generally dont want the “original stickers” on either.”

    Well, no.

    AFAIK, the look factories are in Tunisia, not far east. Same with the BMC Impec, it is the only bike in the BMC line that is made in Switzerland. They are obviously “cosmetic” copies.

    That’s the main issue with these “clones”. Some could be issued from the same molds with a comparable quality controls, others do not. But from our computer screen there is no way we can be sure. I bought 2 frames direct from chinese and taiwanese factories but they were original designs, not copies. It made me more comfortable with the purchase but there were still some QC issues (mostly alignement problems). A mate sell some under his own brand and told me he had to send back a lot of frames when he started his company before the supplier increased his quality control.

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