Counterfeit Carbon – Spotting Fake Bike Parts | GCN Tech Show Ep. 44

Counterfeit Carbon – Spotting Fake Bike Parts | GCN Tech Show Ep. 44


With Ollie away at the Taipei Bike Show and Jon in Belgium taking a look at some cyclocross tech, it’s up to Si and Chris to bring you this show. But fear not, Ollie gives us an insight into the dangers of counterfeit carbon bike parts.

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Ollie interviews Mark Vandermolen, the managing director of FSA about the propagation of fake carbon components in the cycling industry.

Last week Canyon announced the new updated and cheaper version of the Canyon Aeroad. Using the same external moulds as the more expensive premium SLX, they use a slightly less premium carbon fibre layup to create a frame that is as stiff and as aero as the top of the range versions, only a little heavier. The price is considerably cheaper too, Starting at €2699 you can buy an Aeroad CF SL 7.0 with a 105 groupset and Reynolds carbon wheels.

Enve have released new carbon forks and handlebars for gravel bikes which promise great integration and additional comfort.

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Si’s Moots Routt 45 Ti Gravel Bike 📹

Music: Epidemic Sound
Tipsy Hunter – Daniel Gunnarsson
I Play Colors – Justnormal
Feriado – Martin Landh
Peaceful Heartbreak 2 – Per-Anders Nilsson
Speak EZ – Matt Large
Guitars De France 2 – Stefan Netsman
Afternoon Tea In Polynesia 2 – Martin Gauffin
Guitars De France 3 – Stefan Netsman
New Found Love 2 – Peter Sandberg

Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /

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100 Comments on "Counterfeit Carbon – Spotting Fake Bike Parts | GCN Tech Show Ep. 44"


  1. I've raced a 1992 Specialized Rockhopper set up with 650b wheels and dropbars if ya wanna see! Finished 150miles of gravel singlespeed.

    Reply

  2. 7:17 Right on the money my brother why the hell am I going to buy a part for $700 when I can get it for $200 and it's the same weight looks the same and does the same thing (not cracking) as its name branded counter part??? Mind you I'm talking about non-namebranded products and not counterfeits, just those that are way cheaper, they actually work unless you are going to drop your bike off a bridge or have it ran over with a truck.

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  3. Back in 2003 I worked in the bike industry. Back then there was two or three factories in Taiwan that made mostly all the carbon frames. I discovered from industry people from companies that did clinics at our shops that the same factories just put decals from different companies on the frames.

    A few years after I learned that Cervelos were made in China. Now a lot of frames are designed in house like Germany and built in China and Taiwan. Now a lot of tube shapes are public domain, which means any factory can build using those tube shapes.

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  4. Look Olie has successfully transformed to a veteran reporter. Naturally handing a mic over while the guest has a mic on aye?

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  5. Hey guys… GRAVEL BIKES ARE MTBs WITH DROP BARS. Once you are over 35c tires it is a MTB, NOT a road bike. The bike industry acts like all this is new but it is not… I had a Trek touring bike with long reach brakes (Campy no less) that took 32c cross tires that I rode the snot out of back in 1989 or almost 30 years ago. A couple of years later I rocked drop bars with bars ends on a Univega Alpina Pro when I did some of the very few MTB races I rode. They were both fun, the Trek much more so because it was more fun to ride on roads of all sorts that you had to do on MTB rides in my part of the country. By the way, that steel Trek (wish I could remember the model) is STILL BEING RIDDEN. And it was used when I got it. Doubt the current generation of carbon gravel bikes will fare as well.

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  6. My wheels are unbranded 50 deep rims 25 mm wide with 350 DT Swiss Hubs tubeless ready. with Sapim spokes. they are not the lightest at 1680 grams but I love them, they ride really well. the roll really well and they look great.

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  7. I rode with a guy in the US whose neck was fused as his front forks delaminated and collapsed – it’s less about branded or unbranded and more about quality control and trust in the product.

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  8. What you have to remember is that if the counterfeit stuff was any good then they would be happy to put a genuine name to it.
    All they are interested in is making money and so as long as it looks like the original then they’re happy. Buyer beware

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  9. No. Carbon fibre structural parts design and manufacture is difficult. There are plenty of fails. Stick with branded alloy. For carbon fibre you can check out planet x, ribble, etc. for what is a fair price for such parts. I agree with others there are of course good ones. My local bike shop has a nice pair of fake rims that cracked.

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  10. We are promised a tutorial on how to "[Spot] Fake Bike Parts." We received a discussion of how the genuine article is prepared. Please show us some counterfeits next to the genuine article and pointers on how to tell the difference. Having said that, I give this GCN Tech Show a thumbs down for failing to live up to its headline.

    Reply

  11. That Diverge in the Bike Vault made me hunt for a good shot of a two-tone Cadillac.

    Excuse me while I try to NOT drool.

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  12. Yes lets see a gravel bike vs. retro mountain bike video! Also, Si, let weigh those old school MTB bars yeah?

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  13. I can't vote for either Eddie Merckx bike. If the carbon bike had Shimano groupset and disc brakes I would have voted for that. The old one HAS NOT aged well. The frame design now looks like if was done by a 3 year old. As the the colour. It looks like someone has been sick over it. Several times. In fact the colour of the old bike makes me feel queezy.

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  14. SHOCKED THAT YOU COULDNT EVEN SEE THAT WAS A COUNTERFEIT CERVELO S5 !!!!!
    AND THAT GUY WHO BUILT IT SHOULD BE SHOT WITH NICE AERO S5 CARBON BULLETS.

    Reply

  15. If your plan is to save money by buying cheap carbon make sure to factor in the medical and dental bills. If you really want cheap carbon, buy aluminum.

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  16. I have used unbranded products from China. I try and do some research and look for established sellers with good feedback. I'm wary about wheels, but I've had a lovely set of aero bars for a couple of years and they've handled everything British roads can throw at them. I've also had a carbon saddle that cracked, so you do take a risk.

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  17. I'd buy unbranded – PROVIDED it has gone through the same qualification and testing as any branded product. Canyon (for example) x-ray every carbon bar and fork they make – that costs a lot.

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  18. When make all components in China you should expect to have everything counterfeited. A lot of higher end counterfeit is at par with original parts visually and functionally. Only materials can be a problem. I bought Xpedo pedals on Amazon few years ago. Then someone told me my pedals are counterfeited but after comparing mine to originals in the store and to originals used for same period of time and under same conditions I didn't see a lot of difference. Mine even performed better and look better.
    Now really funny part. I left a review on Amazon saying pedals are counterfeited. Amazon removed it citing i have no real proof.
    I have seen a lot of FSA, race face C/F counterfeited handlebars on ebay and aliexpress for 1/3 of original price with hundreds and hundreds sold and nice feedbacks.
    Would I buy counterfeited parts knowingly for my MTB? Nope. Structural integrity is important when my life and health depends on it. 
    For my commuter bike? Yes without thinking twice about it.

    Reply

  19. Just to be clear, unbranded made out of carbon does not mean counterfeit! counterfeit is carbon or any other material that has a sticker on it that says it is another brand when in fact it is not the brand stated on the sticker. I wouldn’t want anyone to get confused and think unless it is a name-brand product then it’s not suitable for consumption, it is simply not true. The carbon has to be laid up somewhere, and it’s most likely not in the USA or the UK.

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  20. great britan (si) is obviously a cow-rare country in contrast to"stiff upper lipps". Thank you Chris for your passionate ringing ( my computer luckyly has a volume trigger).

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  21. Eddy Merckx's win on Stage 17 of the 1969 Tour is, in my opinion, the greatest bit of riding ever. And he took all of the classification jerseys for the '69 tour as well.

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  22. Last bike in the vault had to be just a nice, based on the position of the cranks alone. (As Si pointed out just as I was writing this comment.)

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  23. I said the exact same thing about the bikepacking episode. Drop bars on MTB makes no sense, That is what a gravel bike w/ huge tires is, it's an uncomfortable leanded over mountain bike.

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  24. The first carbon part I bought for my new build was an FSA seatpost. It has distinct UPC & QR Codes, it also has a UV watermark, the feel of the seat post soaking up bumps was more than enough to convince me to buy every thing else in carbon.

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  25. DARN YOU Jhon! I was at the super prestige in Boom, you picked the wrong event to be at 😛
    I would've LOVED to have met you!

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  26. My head was spinning befor i watched this video and i thought jon mentioned about a Dalmatian with customized Zipp logos on its wheels..

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  27. Ironic to sandwich this video against unbranded carbon in between video after video from ollie at the "World Unbranded Carbon Festival" know as Taipei Cycle Show

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  28. I'm turning my 90's carbon Gary Fischer mountain bike into a do all gravel bike with drops and 700c's. More because I'm curious than anything..

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  29. Great reporting on counterfeit. But there are unknown brands of carbon components frames stems posts etc that are rigorously tested and go through high standards . We get how your supposed to buy the name brand but what if it’s not counterfeit only a unknown brand? I agree to a point but can See the push to keep the money in brick and mortar vs. buying online. At the end of the day as long as more people are out on bikes that’s better than the alternative.

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  30. Okay lets get something straight in the era of Trump. ALL technology or innovation brought to China is considered THEIRS to do what they want with it. China has explained this from the early 90s and technically there are NO FAKES unless its name branded. They do not have to abide by intellectual property concerns that America or Europe do. This is the carbon composite manufacturing center of the world and FSA entered a agreement FULLY understanding that manufacturers are free to make anything of the tech that is brought over. The problem FSA and other companies have is the knockoffs are sometimes BETTER than the originals. They might be heavier but stronger. Does a carbon frame cost anywhere near the price manufacturers are charging for T1000 carbon? You have to make a whole lot of excuses to come up with the pricing and at this point its absurd. As a avid rider you would have to be STUPID to not buy the Chinese counterpart for far less. There are no 10.000 dollar road bikes in my world and mine is darn close to any competitive cyclist bike. There is no change with regards to the trade war because companies want cheap goods to sell at ridiculous prices. 10 years ago a good argument could be made about cheap Chinese goods, NOT ANYMORE and only suckers that dont know anything about bikes get taken nowadays. The WTO agrees with EVERYTHING I just talked about, but if you want that name then your free to do so.

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  31. To me it's like choosing an ethnic restaurant. If most of their patrons are of that ethnicity than the food should be pretty good. If the cycling parts distributer you're looking to purchase from online uses marketing photos directed at their own populace then the quality should be good. As with any online purchase, do your research. If description is not detailed enough, move on or question seller. Most all distributors cannot afford bad reviews.

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  32. My life recently got into cyclocross & racing cyclocross. She broke her chain this weekend on a bike that’s only three months old. What is the strongest chain for cyclocross ?

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  33. Speaking of carbon on this episode: the Deda Alanera bars (&stem) on Eddie's bike were not mentioned but drool-worthy!!

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  34. I think they should look at UNBRANDED carbon. Bit different to knock off parts. I have used many carbon parts from Asia and had zero problems. Do some research first of course but ultimately, it is your choice.

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  35. No no no guys. Canyon are profiteering. They have downgraded the Carbon in anything lower than Dura Ace the model and more or less kept the price. Look at the 2018 SLX models and compare the price to the 2019 SL models. Basically the same. What's worse you cannot buy ultegra SLX anymore! That was the one to go for. 2019 IS A TERRIBLE YEAR TO BUY A CANYON!

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  36. Jon, any tips for eliminating heel-lift? I have a pair of Giro E70 Knits which are great and fit well in all other respects but my heels lift when pedalling. The same used to happen with my old Specialized Audax shoes. Thanks for your help.

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  37. I took a risk and bought some Chinese carbon wheels (no decals, no IP theft). No problems with carbon after 5000 km

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  38. I bought original ritchey brand saddle from EU and it arrived with bent rails. From that point i decided to buy some cheap carbon parts from aliexpress, because I can not afford more originals with my low month income. For example 100€ original seatpost can not be 5x better than 20€ china seatpost, at least I cannot spot any differences between originals and fakes except China seatpost diameters are like 0,5mm+/- lol. The fact is that china carbon parts are probably not stress tested. I would recommend buying titanium quick releases from china as the best and cheapest upgrade (also weightsaving). And i think its better to go with high end, branded aluminium rather than china carbon wheelsets if using rim brakes.

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  39. I would like to see a video comparing a modern gravel bike to a retro mountain bike. My first "real" mountain bike in 1990 or '91 had a narrow bar that I and all my friends with similar rides took a hacksaw to, we cut an inch or more off each end. We felt more nimble and thought that we could squeeze through smaller gaps on the trail as well as in traffic (we were Seattle bike messengers).

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  40. I have brought loads of Chinese products from Ali Express and they are all still working fine. They're not fake products just because they don't have big name brand stickers on them. They're just Chinese brands, generally made for their huge domestic market. If you look at their sales figures you can see that done of them have sold millions of products so must have a good safety reputation and customer service.

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  41. Well – i cant agree this time with GCN i got an made in china ( Cipolini ) with made in china – handlebar, stem, seat post and carbon wheels – with original Sram Rival 11 speed – since november 2015, been riding almoust from 150 to 200 miles a month – no problem so far, also got a year a go a mountainbike carbon frame 29er with sram nx group set – so far all goods …chinise carbonframe its getting better this days …

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  42. Would never ride counterfeit products but China do some good no name stuff,this is what the likes of zipp,enve and stuff don't want you to know

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  43. I am telling you man I am buying an MTB and I'm putting drops on it. That's where we are headed, I might at least have proper suspension.

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  44. Came expecting to see a video about "Spotting Fake Bike Parts" but couldn't find it. Can you guys put timestamps in, please?

    Reply

  45. I Bought a some Ergosum 3T bars from DHgate back in 2013 and put them on an aluminum fixed gear bike in which i SPRINTED MY HEART OUT ❤ and now i have a chinese carbon bike i put them on and they are still going strong.best bars i ever had.strong stiff light.paid 40 bucks

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  46. Instead of bikes or parts most of the time looking at this 2……guys. Exactly that is the reason me NOT subscribe. I am seriously not interested to see u 2.

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  47. I've been riding a no-brand FR315 Chinese carbon frameset for the past 6 years and it's still going strong. No issues whatsoever except for the bad design of the seat post clamp which was later revised and improved. I've raced on this frameset and put well over 15,000km on it and for that reason I don't believe at all that it is worth spending big money on framesets and components made by big name brands. They're just screwing cyclists with their 90% profit margins all with the excuse that its expensive because of the R&D. Yeah right, not everyone is intoxicated by their Kool Aid.

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  48. Isn't it ironic: these firms outsourced production to china to maximize profits. Now it comes to haunt them .

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  49. I only purchase frames from China. On my 4th. One actually developed a small crack at the chainstay connection and the seller warrantied the frame and sent me a new one for shipping charges only.
    So far so good.

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  50. Perhaps if manufactures and big brand bike companies brought their prices down then maybe cyclists wouldn’t have to go and search for the cheaper fake option.

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  51. Buy a FSA handlebar copy on Ebay. What would happen if it snapped while you are on a bike lane next to cars going 50 MPH. I think of this often and it is not something you want to easily dismiss. There are a lot of junk manufacturers who think of merely selling and not making a proper name for themselves

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  52. i have heard rumours that all frames and gear are made in the very same factories in China, but i will never believe that Chinese companies, would hold themselves to the same quality standards that Specialized et al allegedly conform to, except at the minimal level legally required to ensure profit. why in god's name would i trust my life ( on a bike, you risk it always ) to some cheap ass chinese conglomerate, and if something went wrong with a Yoleo wheel set from there, what recourse would i possibly have??

    don't believe the hype. China will never make good stuff unless supervised ! where do you think these fakes come from?? China, of course.

    like my Castelli kit, for example. the exact same kit can be made in a variety of Euro countries, some of them conveniently poor, then some made in Italy. all the same price, but the crap stuff is slightly cheaper if current season vs last season Italian stuff at half price.

    , but the quality difference is noticeable. and noteworthy. the Italian tailors do not spare the thread to the shammy and leave a gap like the cheap ass eastern euro "stichers" ( they barely deserve that insult ) do !

    imagine only half the seams sewn , and the chamois exposed!!

    you don't always get what you pay for. better to wait for old Italian or American or English quality gear than new chinese crap.

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  53. Is no one going to mention the aero bars on the tandem bike? Their handling ability must be insane

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  54. If its chinese its fake .with so many frames snapping just snapping .taking account carbon fibre is supposed to be so durable and hard to break .

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  55. I would literally marry that eddy merckx bike. Gorgeous! On another note, you never see tandems in Oz these days. That's because Australians are smart.

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  56. I've been using a "no-name" brand of bars (Enve look-a-likes) made in China for 2 years with approximately 9000kms on them. Still good as the day I got them. Also have a seat post that has lasted the distance.
    I get that some manufacturers will criticise these "no-name" brands, but the way to win the game is to think about pricing. $75 compared to $300. (for the bars)

    Reply

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