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Hey, A&S, fake helmets... heard of this?

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Hey, A&S, fake helmets... heard of this?

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Old 09-16-18, 11:37 AM
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genec
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Hey, A&S, fake helmets... heard of this?

Apparently they are out there... especially through some more "fringe" resources such as Ebay.

How can you identify a counterfeit? For one thing, the plastic fit retention device on the fake helmet is often made of cheap, stiff plastic with a bulky ratchet dial, compared with the real helmet, Specialized says. If you weighed it, the counterfeit Evade helmet is 45 grams lighter than the authentic one. The foam is four millimeters thinner than on the real Evade. And the counterfeit lacks a reinforcement roll cage an internal fiber skeleton that holds the helmet intact in the event of an impact.
And here's something to watch for... just because it is expensive, doesn't mean the helmet isn't fake.
Finally, price can sometimes be a giveaway. Many deals on e-commerce websites offer counterfeit Specialized helmets for $50 when the real ones cost $200 to $250. But unscrupulous merchants will also sell fakes for only slightly less than the official retail price, so buyers don't think it's too good to be true.
https://www.npr.org/2018/09/16/64737...-but-dangerous

Let's not turn this into a discussion about whether helmets themselves are good or bad, but focus on the fact that there are real and counterfeit helmets... the latter, that won't even pass basic testing.
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Old 09-16-18, 01:00 PM
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I just saw this earlier today too. The thing I find most fascinating is the industrial scale of the counterfeiting. This kind of thing requires a whole assembly line. Of course, they could just make cheap helmets, but I guess there is real money is in playing on people's greed for a smoking deal, or their desire to look the look, hence the lie. Also, there may be the desire to maximize profits by bypassing safety certification testing.
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Old 09-16-18, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Let's not turn this into a discussion about whether helmets themselves are good or bad, but focus on the fact that there are real and counterfeit helmets... the latter, that won't even pass basic testing.
https://youtu.be/yA9DF7mDz1k
Is the foot stomping demonstration conducted by the Specialized employee the "basic test" that the competition didn't pass?

I understand the legitimacy of complaining about the counterfeiting of the trademark and logos, and possible legality issues of helmets sold in the U.S. without the proper sticker applied, but I think the NPR report about "failed tests" based solely on what the Specialized representative hints at is shoddy reporting, and is more a PR piece to justify the high price of Specialized helmets.
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Old 09-16-18, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Is the foot stomping demonstration conducted by the Specialized employee the "basic test" that the competition didn't pass?

I understand the legitimacy of complaining about the counterfeiting of the trademark and logos, and possible legality issues of helmets sold in the U.S. without the proper sticker applied, but I think the NPR report about "failed tests" based solely on what the Specialized representative hints at is shoddy reporting, and is more a PR piece to justify the high price of Specialized helmets.
OK, buy one and tell us if it works.

I'm just forwarding a "buyer beware" message.

If you went to the supplied link, you'd find out Specialized is testing these with standard methods...
The authentic helmet passes all the tests.

The counterfeit fails the first two tests. But the third failure is the worst. That final test measures how well the helmet holds up if you took a header into the curb. The helmet is strapped onto a machine that lifts it five feet, then slams it against a curved anvil.
The stomp test is just a quick visual to give you an idea of how bad the counterfeit helmets are... Not a definitive test. He wants to "stomp out" bad helmets... get it?
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Old 09-16-18, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
OK, buy one and tell us if it works.

I'm just forwarding a "buyer beware" message.

If you went to the supplied link, you'd find out Specialized is testing these with standard methods...


The stomp test is just a quick visual to give you an idea of how bad the counterfeit helmets are... Not a definitive test. He wants to "stomp out" bad helmets... get it?
I get that the article gave no information about any tests that the allegedly inferior helmets failed, or why the real deal $250 Specialized helmets provides any more protection than a helmet that passed European safety standards.

The "stomp test" gives "information" to those gullible enough to call that staged piece of drama a "basic test" of helmet safety.

The article is more accurately described as a message from Specialized to beware of competitors' helmets that don't have their seal of approval.

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Old 09-16-18, 10:08 PM
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I would be less worried about buying a counterfeit bicycle helmet than many other items.

As a short list of items from most worried to least worried:
Parachute
prescription drugs
bicycle wheel
bicycle frame
jeans
bicycle helmet
shirt (may differ for women)
copy paper
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Old 09-16-18, 10:46 PM
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I've seen cheap helmet for sale at <$30 that had big "POC" printed on it and shaped just like a POC model.

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Old 09-17-18, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I get that the article gave no information about any tests that the allegedly inferior helmets failed, or why the real deal $250 Specialized helmets provides any more protection than a helmet that passed European safety standards.
What on earth leads you to believe that the counterfeit helmets *PASSED* *ANY* certification tests?

-mr. bill
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Old 09-17-18, 05:08 AM
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Wasn't Specialized the company that did a big article on Chinese knock-off frames? "Buy and Die! Chinese knock-offs are designed to asplode!!"

I'd say, basic "too good to be true" rationality applies. A $250 Anything for $200 off .... one Could wonder how that money was saved ....
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Old 09-17-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I get that the article gave no information about any tests that the allegedly inferior helmets failed, or why the real deal $250 Specialized helmets provides any more protection than a helmet that passed European safety standards.

The "stomp test" gives "information" to those gullible enough to call that staged piece of drama a "basic test" of helmet safety.

The article is more accurately described as a message from Specialized to beware of competitors' helmets that don't have their seal of approval.
Did you read the article?
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Old 09-17-18, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Wasn't Specialized the company that did a big article on Chinese knock-off frames? "Buy and Die! Chinese knock-offs are designed to asplode!!"

I'd say, basic "too good to be true" rationality applies. A $250 Anything for $200 off .... one Could wonder how that money was saved ....
Another approach is to wonder how much money is made by a slick marketer selling a $50 (if that) item for $250 through the magic of marketing hype.

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Old 09-17-18, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
I've seen cheap helmet for sale at <$30 that had big "POC" printed on it and shaped just like a POC model.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_epnmFKnBg
Did it have any US or EU safety certification label or tag applied?
Did you give it the "basic test" that does not damage genuine Specialized helmets but destroys the fakes?
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Old 09-17-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
What on earth leads you to believe that the counterfeit helmets *PASSED* *ANY* certification tests?

-mr. bill
From the article "The company says the fakes often have logos relating to European standards, but they do not carry the interior stickers that indicate the helmets meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards."

The article writer did not did too deep into what "logos relating to European standards" meant as it was just puff piece meant to promote Specialized branded products.

The real issue is are illegal helmets (i.e. do not comply with U.S. law/CPSC requirement) being sold in the U.S., where and by whom, not the protection of Specialized trademarks.
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Old 09-17-18, 10:42 AM
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I bought inexpensive helmets to be given away that had the Snell and DOT labels, you'd think the counterfeit ones would at least have fake stickers on them.
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Old 09-17-18, 10:48 AM
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I would imagine that if one could pay to have knock-off helmets made, one could somehow manage the vastly more intricate, nearly impossible feat of faking certification labels. I mean, the latter would require ... a computer, a scanner, a printer, and some adhesive paper .... all exceedingly rare and hard to acquire, certainly.
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Old 09-17-18, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I'd say, basic "too good to be true" rationality applies. A $250 Anything for $200 off .... one Could wonder how that money was saved ....
And another issue to ponder is if a marketer can manufacture and package a Styrofoam shell with strap and latch mechanism for $10, how much profit will the marketer make at various price points assuming that the consumer is sensitive to pricing.

Would it be better to sell a million items at $25 at Big Box stores and on-line, or 1000 at $250 at LBS outlets?

This thread indicates that sometimes pricing sensitivity works in strange ways for certain consumers who prefer to pay more rather than less because of a belief that higher price invariably equals higher quality.
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Old 09-17-18, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I bought inexpensive helmets to be given away that had the Snell and DOT labels, you'd think the counterfeit ones would at least have fake stickers on them.
Do you think the helmets you gave away had fake stickers? Assuming they were legit, why would any manufacturer need to fake stickers since the costs for manufacturing bicycle helmets that meet the standards is so low that they can be bought so inexpensively that they can be given away?
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Old 09-17-18, 11:09 AM
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The fake helmet was less expensive and lighter weight. Win-Win!
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Old 09-17-18, 11:12 AM
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I don't think they were. I bought them from Buy Kids Bike/Bicycle Helmets | Ski Helmets For Child Safety - ProRider Inc. and they've been around for a while selling the same helmets to groups like police departments, hospitals, school groups that I doubt they would have been able to stay in business scamming a clientele like that.
The helmets we gave away were bigger and heavier than the examples used in the NPR story. There wouldn't be much benefit to trying to fool people with a fake approval label for them, but the people buying the fake Specialized helmets would value those labels.
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Old 09-17-18, 11:19 AM
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Back when I was riding a motorcycle I used to see or hear about NOT approved helmets being worn by people who had decided that not protecting the most important part of the nervous system was the thing to do while riding. The NOT approved helmets looked like an approved helmet with the exception of having a NOT approved label instead of the required DOT approved label. Mainly worn by the outside noisy, inside empty types in states that required a helmet, these helmets were a cheap way to avoid getting pulled over for not wearing a helmet in those states. Here's an example of some of these.
https://www.ironhorsehelmets.com/novelty-helmets/
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Old 09-17-18, 11:29 AM
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I worked an event that had a kids' helmet giveaway organized by (I believe---too lazy to research) the state DOT. Pretty sure the helmets were certified.

Fact is, a helmet (certified, fully functional) can be sold online for a profit for about $25. As I like-to-hate-cyclists notes, perceived and actual value need not be related even slightly .... Specialized could have a class of fifth-graders draw "cool-looking cycling helmets---it's a contest!" and after removing the versions with viking horns and JATO units, have their next three years' of product design done for the cost of 30 ice cream cones ("Everyone's a winner in today's 'contest'!")
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Old 09-17-18, 12:46 PM
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I always buy my helmet from a reputable store locally who will stand behind the product they sell.

Never buy online from Amazon or Ebay or unfamilary outlets, if the item is a critical piece of hardware.
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Old 09-17-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I always buy my helmet from a reputable store locally who will stand behind the product they sell.

Never buy online from Amazon or Ebay or unfamilary outlets, if the item is a critical piece of hardware.
Bike Nashbar sells on Amazon. Good prices on discontinued items Nashbar no longer puts on their site.
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Old 09-17-18, 07:27 PM
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I mentioned these fake helmets to my LBS guy this morning. He said that he had recently seen two Specialized labeled broken carbon frames. Obviously fake especially since the innards were exposed and shoddy construction available for all to see. He also mentioned that Specialized only sells from their dealers, no direct internet sales. A lesson here for people who buy online and think they are getting a deal.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
From the article "The company says the fakes often have logos relating to European standards, but they do not carry the interior stickers that indicate the helmets meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards"
Right. So what makes you believe that the counterfeit helmets *PASSED* *ANY* certification tests?

(Hint - the counterfeit stickers on some counterfeit "specialized" bicycle helmets say CE EN 1078.)

-mr. bill

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