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Snap, crackle and pop – do fake bikes and parts crumple?

Manufacturers and brand owners like to claim that fake frames and parts are little better than papier-mâché and will, at some point, collapse. The uncomfortable truth for the industry is that despite YouTube videos that appear to show fake handlebars being crushed with biceps many fake frames and parts are …

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“I bought a fake” – who’s buying the knock-offs and why?

A small but growing number of cyclists openly flaunt the fact they sport shady shades and ride on faux frames. In the UK, USA, and Australia some folks brag about bagging such supposed anti-corporate bargains. Sometimes the well-off will mix in a fake with their originals for a laugh. For …

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Tiger watching tigers – Specialized’s Andrew Love fights the fakers

There are many fake Specialized products available online, but there would be an awful lot more if it weren’t for Andrew Love, head of Specialized’s brand security division. Love and his multi-lingual team of fifteen aim to spot the fakers, and zap them. Based in Specialized’s distribution centre in Salt …

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Get real – how and why to avoid buying a fake

Price is the obvious first factor to take into consideration when working out whether you’re buying the genuine article or a clever fake. But it’s not the only factor, and in some cases it’s not as relevant as you might imagine – some unscrupulous suppliers and shops have been known …

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Don’t mess with the mafia – is it dangerous to expose the fakers?

"Don’t name me – it could be life-threatening; we’re really talking mafia behind the counterfeiting." That was the request and claim from one of the bike industry executives BikeBiz spoke to for this Faking It series of articles. He also warned I was in danger: "If you travel to China …

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Whack-A-Mole Inc. – meet the lawyers clobbering the counterfeiters

"We handle anti-counterfeiting work across many different industry sectors, and while the fakes are often dreadful quality some can be almost as good as the real thing," says Jeremy Newman, a Merlin- and Independent-Fabrication-riding roadie, and principal of Rouse Consultancy of London. "But when it comes to safety critical products, …

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“They’re just bits of plastic” – why cyclists buy fake Oakleys

Oakley Radarlock sunglasses retail for £175. An almost identical pair – but fake – can be bought online for £20, shipped. Fake Oakleys are so common they are known as "Foakleys," a portmanteau of "faux" and "Oakley." Foakley is such an accepted word that websites openly sell "Foakley" glasses. For …

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On your marques – what can manufacturers do to foil the fakers?

As well of employing in-house anti-counterfeit investigators such as Andrew Love at Specialized, or external take-down specialists such as Convey’s Michele Provera, bike- and parts-manufacturers could use monitoring services such as MarkMonitor Brand Protection which uses patented detection technology to scour the web for retailers selling fake goods. These online …

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Fake sense of security – counterfeit helmets are not for headbangers

Back in 2014 BBC’s Fake Britain programme reported on a fake Giro cycle helmet. "It’s part of a growing industry, where the fakers are trying to make money out of the success of cycling," said reporter Matt Allwright. Charity cyclist Andrew McCreery of Northern Ireland had bought one of the …

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Fake China – where copyright means copy-it-right

There are so many fake products in circulation in China that the desire for authenticity fuels the success of brand-owned stores. Despite the economic slow-down there are still more than 50 Louis Vuitton stores in China. Burberry has 75; Gucci twenty. And the bicycle industry – plagued by fraudulent frames …

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