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  1. #1
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    Incredible $100 strida rip-off

    It is called CF bike (City Folding bike... or Chinese Fake bike)
    As you can see it's shameless 99% copy of strida 5.0.
    I have also heard that most parts are interchangable too.

    And... it only costs $100 in china!
    My mates are preparing to import them personally. As far as I have heard, we can get one at <$140 if we import 10 of them. Just too hard to resist...

    If one of you are planning to buy 'genine' strida, just wait a while.
    I bet cheap chinese stridas will swarm ebay before long.


  2. #2
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Anyone who buys them is supporting intellectual property theft and cheating. I'm surprised you would even contemplate buying one. If you think the Strida 5 is overpriced then don't buy one at all. They hardly had the originality that Mark Sanders has to come up with such a concept. I'm sure the parts are inferior too in this case since they are prepared to rip off somebody elses concept.

    I thought China had joined the WTO now and would crack down on companies like these. Some hope!

  3. #3
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    I thought China had joined the WTO now and would crack down on companies like these. Some hope!
    Despite the nature of the central government, my understanding is that the central government has limited control over issues like this which are often controlled locally. Just think what Hollywood is going through!

    Anyway, I think that you are probably right. Components and quality control are probably poor on such models.

  4. #4
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    Stridaforum.com has a thread on this subject. It features a letter from Mark Sanders of MAS Design, the inventor and designer of the Strida, on the issue of the Chinese fakes:

    http://www.stridaforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=413

    Sanders sold all IP rights to the Strida to Ming Cycles of Taiwan some time ago. Mainland Chinese pirates are now ripping off the Taiwanese. This is so wrong.

  5. #5
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Mark Sanders sounds a really nice guy.

  6. #6
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    Yes, he must a nice guy if his words are any indication. He has veritable fan clubs in Asia. There are youTube videos and Flickr albums featuring Strida riders in large numbers gathered to meet and hear from Mark Sanders in his visits to Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong... How many bike designers inspire that kind of following?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Anyone who buys them is supporting intellectual property theft and cheating. I'm surprised you would even contemplate buying one. If you think the Strida 5 is overpriced then don't buy one at all. They hardly had the originality that Mark Sanders has to come up with such a concept. I'm sure the parts are inferior too in this case since they are prepared to rip off somebody elses concept.

    I thought China had joined the WTO now and would crack down on companies like these. Some hope!
    100% agree to you that buying ripoff products is supporting intellectual property theft.

    But AFAIK, strida patent are pretty old (more than 20yrs old) and overdue now.
    So I think there are at least no 'legal' problem buying chinese stridas. (I'm not sure though)

  8. #8
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    He has an awesome design and is a nice guy. I'd be fangirling over him too.
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Anyone who buys them is supporting intellectual property theft and cheating. I'm surprised you would even contemplate buying one. If you think the Strida 5 is overpriced then don't buy one at all. They hardly had the originality that Mark Sanders has to come up with such a concept. I'm sure the parts are inferior too in this case since they are prepared to rip off somebody elses concept.

    I thought China had joined the WTO now and would crack down on companies like these. Some hope!
    Oh please. I'm constantly amazed at the inappropriate words people use to describe copyright and patent violations. "Theft"? "Cheating"? Hardly. What will you call it next, "murder"? I call it progress and, fortunately, Mark Sanders is smart enough not to let it bite him in the ass (unlike some fools who stand with their pants around their ankles whining about "theft", "piracy", etc).

    Concerns about inferior parts from inferior vendors is a valid (and separate) issue, but exclusive right to copy is a temporary privilege that will always and should always be eventually violated.
    Last edited by makeinu; 04-07-08 at 03:12 PM.

  10. #10
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    Sanders IS smart and he cares enough to step in and say something of substance in defence of the product he created and feels passionately about, even though he has no monetary reason to do so. Contrast that to the anonymous, silent, talentless, quack counterfeiters who could care less and whose only skill is to rip-off others, yet who are defended by flippant attitudes like yours condoning their actions. Now THAT leaves me "constantly amazed". While not "murder", these blatantly copied products diminish us all and are definitely NOT "progress".

  11. #11
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    Sanders IS smart and he cares enough to step in and say something of substance in defence of the product he created and feels passionately about, even though he has no monetary reason to do so. Contrast that to the anonymous, silent, talentless, quack counterfeiters who could care less and whose only skill is to rip-off others, yet who are defended by flippant attitudes like yours condoning their actions. Now THAT leaves me "constantly amazed". While not "murder", these blatantly copied products diminish us all and are definitely NOT "progress".
    It is progress.

    Does your local supermarket rip-off Joseph Bayer when they sell generic aspirin? Is it a good thing that low-cost pharmaceuticals are available to the masses after the patent expires?

    If you believe that Bayer is getting ripped-off, then I can understand your response. If you believe that cheap availability of a wonder drug like aspirin is a bad thing, then I can understand your response.

    Anyway, we have already talked about patents with regards to Merc. Perhaps Strida can get a copyright on the design too.

  12. #12
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    The Chinese copy only confirms that Mark Sanders has a winning product and design. I've heard of fake Rolexs, but not fake Timexes (no offence to Timex). Kudos to Mark, the nice guy!

    Not sure abt the quality but I've ridden a fake A'Bike - its unbelievably crap. Sells here for less than 60 Euros but its money down the drain really. Unrideable! The fake Strida is in the same boat I bet.



    The real McCoy!


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    It is progress.

    Does your local supermarket rip-off Joseph Bayer when they sell generic aspirin? Is it a good thing that low-cost pharmaceuticals are available to the masses after the patent expires?

    If you believe that Bayer is getting ripped-off, then I can understand your response. If you believe that cheap availability of a wonder drug like aspirin is a bad thing, then I can understand your response.

    Anyway, we have already talked about patents with regards to Merc. Perhaps Strida can get a copyright on the design too.
    Oh, for crying out loud! Aspirin was invented in 1899, the patents have long expired, and you won't raise an eyebrow marketing your own unless you call it "Bayer". Your analogy is misleading. Here's another analogy: Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton purses are counterfeited, too. I don't know about you, but I have no interest in buying watches from under some stranger's overcoat on the street or purses from a flea market tent. Look at the fake Strida ads - they don't even bother to use their own photos! Why make the effort to use your own when you can steal the ads, photos and reviews of the product you're ripping off? Does this not bother you?

    Think about this for a moment: If someone invests their creative talent and physical effort to develop an innovative product and brings it to market under protection of internationally recognized IP laws but an unauthorized, illegal, blatantly-direct copy is irresistibly cheaper, that makes it "okay" to patronize the faker? Why would anyone bother to invent anything?

    Tell me, please: WHERE IS THE PROGRESS IN THAT?

  14. #14
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    I saw real Stridas in a store window in Taipei. Didn't get to see the price though (store was closed).

  15. #15
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    Oh, for crying out loud! Aspirin was invented in 1899, the patents have long expired, and you won't raise an eyebrow marketing your own unless you call it "Bayer". Your analogy is misleading. Here's another analogy: Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton purses are counterfeited, too. I don't know about you, but I have no interest in buying watches from under some stranger's overcoat on the street or purses from a flea market tent. Look at the fake Strida ads - they don't even bother to use their own photos! Why make the effort to use your own when you can steal the ads, photos and reviews of the product you're ripping off? Does this not bother you?

    Think about this for a moment: If someone invests their creative talent and physical effort to develop an innovative product and brings it to market under protection of internationally recognized IP laws but an unauthorized, illegal, blatantly-direct copy is irresistibly cheaper, that makes it "okay" to patronize the faker? Why would anyone bother to invent anything?

    Tell me, please: WHERE IS THE PROGRESS IN THAT?
    Since Sanders doesn't mention patent infringement at all, I'm assuming that they have expired after his requisite time span for proprietary production. That means his design is now in the public domain and can be copied by anyone. Remeber, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    He actually sounds pretty reasonable and brings up some good points. Maybe these first iterations will be terrible or actually dangerous. But some time in the future, if Chinese production of them keeps up (i.e. if there is demand for them), quality will increase to the point that they won't be junk. And that will spur Sanders to continually develop his high end version so that they never quite catch up.

    The Bayer analogy is actually pretty good--the knockoff isn't claiming to be a Strida, as would be the case if it was compared to the Rolex or Louis Vuitton bags. It would be more like a vendor selling something that was build the same as a Rolex or LV bag, but with some other name on it.

    And that's the main point--if they market these as Strida bikes, they are pirateering scum. If they slap any other name on there, no harm, no foul, actually sound business. Those Strida devotees and fans will remain loyal to Sanders's product (look at moultons for eg), and Strida will remain the original and premium brand for that style of bike. But now, many, many others who would balk at a price 5 to 7 times the cost of the knockoff might be able to afford their first taste of folding bike use and ownership. That can't be a bad thing, maybe even *gasp* progress. (Yes, they could very well end up being overweight hardly functional junk that turn more people off than on to folding bikes.)

    Oddly enough, even though they are totally ripping off his design legally, they could be in more trouble for appropriating images that aren't theirs--while patent claims are limited to 17 years, copyright on photography and writing is covered for 75 yrs from death of author.

    How is ripping off Strida any different than any of the other cheapo bikes ripping off any other design, say a Dahon design?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    Tell me, please: WHERE IS THE PROGRESS IN THAT?
    Right here, apparently.

    We can argue theory until we're blue in the face, but the proof is in the pudding.

  17. #17
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    Oh, for crying out loud! Aspirin was invented in 1899, the patents have long expired, and you won't raise an eyebrow marketing your own unless you call it "Bayer". Your analogy is misleading. Here's another analogy: Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton purses are counterfeited, too. I don't know about you, but I have no interest in buying watches from under some stranger's overcoat on the street or purses from a flea market tent. Look at the fake Strida ads - they don't even bother to use their own photos! Why make the effort to use your own when you can steal the ads, photos and reviews of the product you're ripping off? Does this not bother you?

    Think about this for a moment: If someone invests their creative talent and physical effort to develop an innovative product and brings it to market under protection of internationally recognized IP laws but an unauthorized, illegal, blatantly-direct copy is irresistibly cheaper, that makes it "okay" to patronize the faker? Why would anyone bother to invent anything?

    Tell me, please: WHERE IS THE PROGRESS IN THAT?
    I believe someone else pointed out that the Strida patents expired. So the analogy is fine. Moreover, it is popular to pick an extreme example to make a point; but if you don't like picking a familiar drug or its age, then pick another one where the patent recently expired.

    I can't tell from your response whether you got my point or already understood it; that there is a tradeoff between giving people the incentive to innovate and providing the good to society at a more accessible price (a price that excludes the extra rents that go to the inventor or owner of the patent).

    The progress is that members of society can now acquire the formerly patent protected good the socially efficient price.

    Note that what I described above applies to pharmaceutical drugs and my example. So unless you think that patent protection should be infinite, then you should also recognize that competition -- ignoring the complications of imperfect information since it should not affect the main argument -- reflects progress manifested in lower prices and less deadweight loss.

    Now I don't pretend that legislative branches of governments naturally come up with the optimal duration of a patent -- either from the perspective of economic efficiency or sense of fairness. However, it is the relevant standard here.

    I can only type so fast with one hand. If you search for Brompton (Merc) and patent (copyright) you should find some relevant threads.

  18. #18
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post

    I can only type so fast with one hand.
    And it only works til the little one in question gets fed up and starts screaming in your ear, anyway! Mine is 6 weeks old, and I'm noticeably better at one handed typing than I was.

  19. #19
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    And it only works til the little one in question gets fed up and starts screaming in your ear, anyway! Mine is 6 weeks old, and I'm noticeably better at one handed typing than I was.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Right here, apparently.

    We can argue theory until we're blue in the face, but the proof is in the pudding.
    Your pudding has made my point. Those bikes are new designs from Sander's design company. Creative people are the one's driving progress. The counterfeiters are, by their nature, incapable of original thought and could simply care less.

    The fake Strida is advertised as "STRDA" and uses Strida photos and ads produced by Ming Cycles, edited to remove "strida.com" references. Even Merc doesn't copy every detail of a Brompton. I have read reviews from others familiar with both models (I'm not) and there apparently are some distinguishing features beyond the frame design. They don't market it as a "BROMTON" and I'd hope they use their own photos and ads.

    Something is patently unfair here, pun intended.
    Last edited by chainstrainer; 04-08-08 at 10:36 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Oh please. I'm constantly amazed at the inappropriate words people use to describe copyright and patent violations. "Theft"? "Cheating"? Hardly. What will you call it next, "murder"? I call it progress and, fortunately, Mark Sanders is smart enough not to let it bite him in the ass (unlike some fools who stand with their pants around their ankles whining about "theft", "piracy", etc).

    Concerns about inferior parts from inferior vendors is a valid (and separate) issue, but exclusive right to copy is a temporary privilege that will always and should always be eventually violated.

    Your views are your views and to call people who differ from your opinion 'fools' shows your arrogance and your ignorance. So it's fine for the Chinese to keep copying is it? At least the Taiwanese make original contributions to the innovation of bikes. These guys can't even use original photos. The copy of the Strida is so directly obvious, its unoriginal and no doubt inferior. This isn't quite the same situation as the Merc. If you call this type of copying 'progress' then maybe you are the fool?
    Last edited by mulleady; 04-08-08 at 11:31 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    Your pudding has made my point. Those bikes are new designs from Sander's design company. Creative people are the one's driving progress. The counterfeiters are, by their nature, incapable of original thought and could simply care less.

    The fake Strida is advertised as "STRDA" and uses Strida photos and ads produced by Ming Cycles, edited to remove "strida.com" references. Even Merc doesn't copy every detail of a Brompton. I have read reviews from others familiar with both models (I'm not) and there apparently are some distinguishing features beyond the frame design. They don't market it as a "BROMTON" and I'd hope they use their own photos and ads.

    Something is patently unfair here, pun intended.
    Are we talking about fairness or are we talking about progress?

    If your only point is that creative people are the ones driving progress then you have no basis for arguing that the counterfeiting competition is hindering progress in any way. On the contrary, just as the creative people are the ones driving progress, the counterfeiting competition are the ones driving the creative people.

    Is it unfair? Perhaps, but it really doesn't matter because I doubt any legislature in the world is powerful enough to contradict Adam Smith's invisible hand and the near infinite supply which is inherent to all kinds of information. Is Mark Sanders ceasing to be creative because he is being treated unfairly? No, because profit, not fairness, is what drives the market; And if Mark Sanders has enough profit motive to continue creating is he really being treated unfairly?

    You can make any point you want, but the fact of the matter is that we see progress happening before our very eyes: Consumer prices dropping on the award winning Strida design and innovative new improvements from the award winning Strida designer. I can't say the same about the situation at the Brompton company, who, according to you, has apparently had fewer "unfair" crimes against them. So which should take precedence, progress or your personal sense of "fairness"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Your views are your views and to call people who differ from your opinion 'fools' shows your arrogance and your ignorance. So it's fine for the Chinese to keep copying is it? At least the Taiwanese make original contributions to the innovation of bikes. These guys can't even use original photos. The copy of the Strida is so directly obvious, its unoriginal and no doubt inferior. This isn't quite the same situation as the Merc. If you call this type of copying 'progress' then maybe you are the fool?
    I'm not calling people who differ from my views fools. I'm calling people who allow themselves to become victims of economically inevitable IP "theft" fools. Any business plan which depends on the government to outmuscle the laws of supply and demand is a recipe for failure.

    I don't think Mark Sanders is a fool and I'd be very surprised if his views didn't differ from mine. On the contrary, I think he is a very intelligent man as he clearly knows how to protect himself from market realities, both just and unjust.
    Last edited by makeinu; 04-08-08 at 12:09 PM.

  23. #23
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    You can make any point you want, but the fact of the matter is that we see progress happening before our very eyes: Consumer prices dropping on the award winning Strida design and innovative new improvements from the award winning Strida designer. I can't say the same about the situation at the Brompton company, who, according to you, has apparently had fewer "unfair" crimes against them. So which should take precedence, progress or your personal sense of "fairness"?
    Brompton is a very good company actually and one of the very few to keep its production and emplyment within the UK which is actually quite an admirable achievment. That's not defying progress it's merely sticking to what Andrew Ritchie believes in and many people are happy to suscribe to that. Brompton remains a very profitable company so if you are citing the laws of competition, then they are prevailing despite market forces or because of them.

    I might accept some of your arguments applied to say greedy corporations or the music industry. There is a difference between protecting IP when it has involved a lot of R&D and using legislation to allow corporates to abuse market supply and supernormal profits. I'd like to see your Adam Smith ideals work in a world without IP protection. Somehow I think innovation would slow and R&D budgets cut back. Are you sayng patents are pointless? Surely the ability to use the legal system to protect copyright involves competitive capabilities too and therefore its part of market forces?

    Anyway the Strida is out of patent as pointed out to me earlier. Although, using Ming's photos and descriptions is deceiving, I guess it's a free for all on this type of bike concept in itself overall.

  24. #24
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    I prefer "non-aspirin pain reliever" to Tylenol.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Are we talking about fairness or are we talking about progress?

    If your only point is that creative people are the ones driving progress then you have no basis for arguing that the counterfeiting competition is hindering progress in any way. On the contrary, just as the creative people are the ones driving progress, the counterfeiting competition are the ones driving the creative people.

    Is it unfair? Perhaps, but it really doesn't matter because I doubt any legislature in the world is powerful enough to contradict Adam Smith's invisible hand and the near infinite supply which is inherent to all kinds of information. Is Mark Sanders ceasing to be creative because he is being treated unfairly? No, because profit, not fairness, is what drives the market; And if Mark Sanders has enough profit motive to continue creating is he really being treated unfairly?

    You can make any point you want, but the fact of the matter is that we see progress happening before our very eyes: Consumer prices dropping on the award winning Strida design and innovative new improvements from the award winning Strida designer. I can't say the same about the situation at the Brompton company, who, according to you, has apparently had fewer "unfair" crimes against them. So which should take precedence, progress or your personal sense of "fairness"?
    I doubt Mark Sanders/MAS Design of Windsor, England is motivated to create because he is being driven by copycats to do so. He creates because of who he is and what he does, not by what others do. I doubt the Nameless-Manufacturing-Company of Somewhere-In-China is motivated to keep Mark Sanders on his toes. Their motivation is to profit from the work of others, not by their own efforts.

    As I mentioned, I know little about Merc vs. Brompton and did not mean to imply a lesser degree of fakery was okay. I was simply pointing out that the “Strda” vs. Strida issue may not equate to that comparison in that everything about “Strda”, down to the ad photos, has been copied across the board from Strida and represented as being the same product at a quarter of the price of the original.

    Counterfeiters may not hinder progress (though that is arguable, too), they just don't contribute anything that constitutes progress. They are certainly not a source of inspiration for the creative process necessary for progress, which I believe means to advance the human condition by our capacity to innovate and improve ("Innovate or die!"). There is nothing new or innovative in a direct copy.

    On the other hand, if progress is ultimately to be defined by a lower consumer price, how low should it be and at what cost? Costs can be gauged in terms of quality, sale price, safety, etc., but what about other costs that can’t be quantified. What does it say about our society if we forego originality and condone blatant fakery at the lowest price? What does it say about us individually if we wish to buy into it knowing what it is? Irresistibly low price can come with a high cost.

    I guess we have different views of our world. Yours scares me.

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