A look at 'Replica' carbon frames - scary stuff!

freestyle_gus
freestyle_gus Posts: 120
edited July 2015 in Road buying advice
http://velonews.competitor.com/not-all-frames-are-created-equal-a-look-deep-inside-the-carbon-in-counterfeit-bikes

I've seen questions in the past on here from people asking about these apparently 'same mould' frames. They always sounded like a terrible idea to me. This article is interesting for just how scarily bad the fake is :shock:

Comments

  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    I'd like some context mind. The numbers suggest that it is scarily bad. Is it? Or is it just much worse than an SL4? How does it compare to a budget, direct offering carbon frame (even accounting for that frame being different). What about a Dengfu original?

    Are there bad fakes and good replicas?

    It tells us some of the story. Of that SL4.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • I'd like some context mind. The numbers suggest that it is scarily bad. Is it? Or is it just much worse than an SL4? How does it compare to a budget, direct offering carbon frame (even accounting for that frame being different). What about a Dengfu original?

    Are there bad fakes and good replicas?

    It tells us some of the story. Of that SL4.

    Indeed, it is only the story of one such frame. And of course other opinions on whether the article is scary are available :)

    For me it was very interesting to see the differences and they appear to be marked.
  • Giraffoto
    Giraffoto Posts: 2,078
    This is fairly common with fake goods - if the only purpose is to get money from people who think they're getting the real things, there's a clear motivation to drive the quality down
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Of course it will be sh1t. If you're trying to make something cheap to sell to people at a low price and it's gonna be an illegal fake then the only priority you're gonna have is to make it look like the real thing. You can hardly trust a single word of the marketing once someone is making a fake.

    I'd find it odd if anyone made any assumption that it would perform like the real thing.
  • DKay
    DKay Posts: 1,652
    This is why if you're going to go buy direct on Chinese carbon, you should steer well clear of the replica stuff and stick to the proven 'open mould' frames, such as the FM066 and FM098.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,885
    nice to see an objective test by someone with the knowledge and equipment

    by definition a fake is produced by untrustworthy people, if you can't trust something as simple as the paintjob you'd be insane to expect that the engineering and production were going to be any more trustworthy

    even if it were the 'real' mould, the mould is the last thing to worry about, it's the cf type(s), layup, resin(s), production methods and quality control that you're risking your life on, not the mould

    some people seem to rationalise the risk away as real product prices being due to profiteering, but the reality is that r&d, design, production expertise, advanced materials, testing etc. all cost money, and the companies who are doing the work are in it for profit and for the long term

    the fakers just need to get something out of the door that looks ok and ideally doesn't collapse when sat on, if it all goes titsup they can simply change names and carry on business with no comeback

    chinese companies source in volume the precursors for illegal drugs, plus manufacturing direct, together with options for shipping standard or under the radar, every so often the authorities tire of the international noise and make some arrests, but the business carries straight on

    can you imagine just how little these people care about fake and/or dangerous cycling products being shipped in exchange for foreign currency?

    the established brands that market their frames under their own name have an intetest in reputation, if my choice were between a real dengfu and a fake whatever, it'd be the real dengfu every time
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    On another note if you bought a fake and it failed resulting in you getting hurt it would be your own fault for being so bloody stupid to buy one in the first place, especially when the same money would get you a well made and safe alternative frame.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    the established brands that market their frames under their own name have an intetest in reputation, if my choice were between a real dengfu and a fake whatever, it'd be the real dengfu every time

    I think that is so important. Part of what puts me off the dengfus etc. is the proliferation of 'replicas' and I know it's wrong to tar all the chinese manufacturers with the same brush, but whilst I know there are some brilliant frames available, the reputation of the dodgy replicas still puts me off.

    It would be massively favourable for dengfu etc. to see the replica business stamped out as it does no-one any favours.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,569
    A friends wife was dealing with a Chinese factory making handbags and they proudly told her about how when they'd made the run for the designer brand they carried on and made more identical ones for themselves to sell directly. They were proud of this and saw nothing wrong with it. Strangely enough they didn't get the contract.
    I think people buying fakes are hoping this is what happens with the bike frames. It may do with some, but I would hope the companies would be keeping a close eye on their suppliers.
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 8,162
    Has anyone seen a Dengfu in the flesh and can give a review? I'm considering one as it's a cheaper way to a disc braked bike than buying, for example a specialized.

    NOT THAT I'M COMPARING THE TWO!

    How's the finish etc because the photo's on their website are shocking.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • DKay
    DKay Posts: 1,652
    Has anyone seen a Dengfu in the flesh and can give a review? I'm considering one as it's a cheaper way to a disc braked bike than buying, for example a specialized.

    NOT THAT I'M COMPARING THE TWO!

    How's the finish etc because the photo's on their website are shocking.

    There is a lot of good feedback on the FM098 frame, with several 'manufacturers' and shops selling it under their own brand name. Vivelo and Paul Curran are two such examples. There is a huge thread on the roacbikereview forum.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    On a related matter, I've ordered a number of custom titanium frames direct from China over 10 years. I was on a ride and got talking to a guy who works for a UK importer of big-brand bikes. He then proceeded to tell me that I was going to die a horrible death or be inflicted with serious disability when my frame failed. He went a bit quiet when I told him that having worked in engineering design and titanium fabrication for over 25 years, I was probably as competent as many bike frame designers (the Chinese factory also builds frames for £££ brands). There's a lot of bull being spouted by the bike companies and retailers desperate to protect their margins.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • paul1000
    paul1000 Posts: 190
    Have a look at ican, they make some nice frames, I've got their ac059 cyclocross and it's had plenty of hammer, the quality and finish is really good.
  • Giraffoto
    Giraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Has anyone seen a Dengfu in the flesh and can give a review? I'm considering one as it's a cheaper way to a disc braked bike than buying, for example a specialized.

    NOT THAT I'M COMPARING THE TWO!

    How's the finish etc because the photo's on their website are shocking.

    I've started thinking about "up-framing" (it's a word!) my MTB with one of the Chinese frames - while I'm still gathering information, I recommend Carbonal's website for the quality of the pictures.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • Dodger747
    Dodger747 Posts: 305
    There's a lot of bull being spouted by the bike companies and retailers desperate to protect their margins.

    I'd agree with this point. I'm sure there are some bad frames out there, but even the linked article only gives a relative assessment against the two frames. I'm no clearer if the fake frame is 'bad' in general or just when compared against the Specialized.
    VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
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  • ben-----
    ben----- Posts: 573
    I saw this on the US ebay a little while ago:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cannondale-Supersix-Evo-52CM-/151672025183?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23505b705f&nma=true&si=Ltv7lUyOtdIkfdKsJtyMtFuTheY%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    The only way you'd know it's not an actual Cannondale is because the lister states "Not a real cannondale supersix frame. It models the 2013 model." in the listing thankfully. The fact that such good to appearance replicas are circulating is a bit scary from a being conned point of view.
  • dcurzon
    dcurzon Posts: 290
    Has anyone seen a Dengfu in the flesh and can give a review? I'm considering one as it's a cheaper way to a disc braked bike than buying, for example a specialized.

    NOT THAT I'M COMPARING THE TWO!

    How's the finish etc because the photo's on their website are shocking.

    I've just recently (saturday) taken delivery of a FlyXii frame/fork, the FR-322. Built it up with 105. My first bike build (although i have stripped and upgraded components etc on previous bikes). All went very smoothly indeed. First ride was tuesday, 28km each way commute, half of which was on the River Lea path, which is gravelly and bumpy. Did the same commute on thursday.

    So far, so good.
    B'Twin Sport 1
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  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    On a related matter, I've ordered a number of custom titanium frames direct from China over 10 years. I was on a ride and got talking to a guy who works for a UK importer of big-brand bikes. He then proceeded to tell me that I was going to die a horrible death or be inflicted with serious disability when my frame failed. He went a bit quiet when I told him that having worked in engineering design and titanium fabrication for over 25 years, I was probably as competent as many bike frame designers (the Chinese factory also builds frames for £££ brands). There's a lot of bull being spouted by the bike companies and retailers desperate to protect their margins.

    It's worth noting that, with Ti, as long as the welds have not been ground off, it's a lot easier to assess the quality of the workmanship than it is with a painted frame, composite or metal.

    Of course, you still can't tell if the frame has been overheated during welding; but that's a problem that afflicts the boutique brands anyway.
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  • kleinstroker
    kleinstroker Posts: 2,133
    For 50 years another self serving industry told the world that smoking did not cause cancer. I don't believe the anti-chinese spin on these kind of articles from an industry that is lilely to suffer massively as more and more people buy direct from china.


    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/cheap-chinese-carbon-imports-are-they-worth-the-risk-173977