Calling it "essential reading" Simon MacMichael of Road.cc said the BikeBiz "Faking It" series was the "most in-depth analysis of the nature, extent and impact of counterfeiting on the bicycle industry we’ve seen to date."
The series of 20 articles was released at the weekend in a number of online and offline formats. The industry has been quick to praise the long-form journalism. It was a "brilliant read," said Ian Hughes, UK distributor of German carbon bike brand Storck. "Excellent articles," wrote Josh Hon, CEO of Tern Bicycles of Taiwan, on Facebook, adding "I'm even learning some stuff."
Victor Major of Taiwan's high-end Velocite carbon bike brand said the series was a "true epic."
"It's like binge viewing on Netflix," suggested Mark Alker, publisher of Singletrack Magazine. "Why wait for each article when you can plough through the entire box set in one go." He added that the all-in-one-go publication of the 20 articles and in multiple formats was "very on-trend journalism."
The series of twenty long-form articles about the shady world of counterfeit bicycles, fake parts, and knock-off clothing took BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid three months to research and write. The 25,000-word series takes a while to read so, for offline convenience, can also be found on a PDF, a Kindle file, an eBook and a Word document.
All twenty articles are here:
Cream, Competent or Cowboy – Which factories are faking it?Who is making fake carbon frames: a “third-shift”, back-street workshops, or “the same factories that make for the big brands”?
Alibaba and the forty fakers – Who's retailing the counterfeits?Chinese websites and apps offer “factory-direct” prices for big-brand carbon bikes and parts. Too good to be true?
When a fake isn't – open molds vs the knock-offs No-name versus brand name.
When is a Pinarello not a Pinarello? When it's a ChinarelloSome roadies proudly ride fake Pinarellos, but how good are the “Chinarellos”, and are they made in the same factory as the real thing?
Snap, crackle, and pop – do fake bikes and parts crumple?Some fake frames and counterfeit parts are built tough; some aren’t. How can you tell which are which?
“I bought a fake” – who's buying the knock-offs and why? People who buy fake frames, bike parts and cycle clothing may think they’re getting a bargain, but is it a Faustian one?
Tribute bands and the Shadowlands – a design professor’s take on IP theft What’s real? What’s fake? A crash course in “intellectual property” and Platonic idealism with Professor Steven Kyffin.
Faking bikes is as old as cycling – knock-offs are nothing newFolks have been faking bicycles since 1817.
Fake China – where copyright means copy-it-right In recent years, China has taken steps to counter the counterfeiters, but in a culture where imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery the fakes won’t fade away anytime soon.
Tiger watching the Tigers – Specialized's Andrew Love fights the fakers Andrew Love is Specialized’s in-house IP investigator.
Whack-a-Mole Inc. – the lawyers clobbering the counterfeiters Preventing Chinese factories from churning out counterfeit goods, and merchants from selling them is a tale of take-downs and sanctions.
Fake folders – how Brompton and Strida tackle the copiers Counterfeiters don’t just target carbon frames they also make fake steel and aluminium folding-bikes.
Sham chamois – never mind the quality, feel the width BikeBiz asked three apparel companies to share their views on counterfeit cycle clothing.
Fake sense of security – counterfeit helmets are not for headbangers Put a lid on it, just not a fake one.
“They’re just bits of plastic” – why cyclists buy fake Oakleys Of all the counterfeit cycle products available the most ubiquitous are Oakley sunglasses – fake Oaks are known as “Foakleys”.
Moles, meet the mole-catchers – officialdom takes on the counterfeiters Law enforcement agencies, governmental organisations, bureaucrats and trade associations all play their part in tackling IP theft
Don't mess with the mafia – is it dangerous to expose the fakers? Tussling with the Triads is not to be recommended, says bike boss.
On your marques – what can manufacturers do to foil the fakers?It’s not easy to stymie the copiers, but there are overt, covert, legal-eagle and forensic authentication systems that can help.
Get real – How and why to avoid buying a fake Low price too good to be true? Then it’s possibly fake …