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KMC Chain authenticity question, bought on Taobao

Old 05-27-21, 06:42 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
I just received a X9 chain bought online. The back packing states a CL559R insteady of the correct CL566R. Also the name of the manufacturer is KUELMENG insteady of KUEI MENG. Do you think it is fake? I am unable to post pictures as I have few posts.
You could contact Papa Ado from post #18. He's a KMC rep from Taiwan and could answer your question better than anyone.
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Old 05-28-21, 01:12 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
You could contact Papa Ado from post #18. He's a KMC rep from Taiwan and could answer your question better than anyone.
I tried to get in touch with him by PM, but I couldn't because I have few posts on the forum.

Last edited by dantonvb; 05-28-21 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 05-28-21, 04:30 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
I tried to get in touch with him by PM, but I couldn't because I have few posts on the forum.
Either wait till you have enough posts or contact KMC directly. KMC (kmcchain.com)
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Old 05-28-21, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
I tried to get in touch with him by PM, but I couldn't because I have few posts on the forum.
I PM'd them this thread for you.
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Old 05-28-21, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
I PM'd them this thread for you.
Thank you!
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Old 05-28-21, 06:36 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Either wait till you have enough posts or contact KMC directly
I will also contact KMC directly. Thank you.
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Old 05-29-21, 12:32 PM
  #32  
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Another good trick, don't buy random parts from random people, buy from authorized resellers so you don't have to worry about authenticity.
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Old 05-30-21, 09:59 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
I just received a X9 chain bought online. The back of the package states a CL559R insteady of the correct CL566R missing link. Inside there are a 566R. Also the name of the manufacturer is KUELMENG insteady of KUEI MENG. Do you think it is fake? I am unable to post pictures as I have few posts.
Hi. KMC here. Sounds like some oddities on the package labels which usually indicates it's fake. Are you able to post pics of send me a DM yet?

In regards to counterfeit chains, we have started a global online market place monitoring initiative through Sentryc where we try to catch and take down as many fake sellers as we can on a daily basis. It's not easy to catch them all so please check product photos/description and seller's reputation carefully. Also we have a global MSRP initiative which most sellers adhere to so if the price is too good to be true, stay away.
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Old 05-31-21, 05:53 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
Hi. KMC here. Sounds like some oddities on the package labels which usually indicates it's fake. Are you able to post pics of send me a DM yet?

In regards to counterfeit chains, we have started a global online market place monitoring initiative through Sentryc where we try to catch and take down as many fake sellers as we can on a daily basis. It's not easy to catch them all so please check product photos/description and seller's reputation carefully. Also we have a global MSRP initiative which most sellers adhere to so if the price is too good to be true, stay away.
Hi Papa Ado, thank you for your post. I still can not post pictures or DM. But I made contact directly with KMC through web site. I got an email from Ricky Kao and sent him some pictures by email. The conclusion is that the chain is fake.
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Old 05-31-21, 06:13 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
Hi Papa Ado, thank you for your post. I still can not post pictures or DM. But I made contact directly with KMC through web site. I got an email from Ricky Kao and sent him some pictures by email. The conclusion is that the chain is fake.
I always suggest going to the mfrs. first with questions about authentic parts. Lots of misinformation gets repeated on these threads about fake products. I've never used Taobao or Alibaba for that matter as they seem to be the worst of selling counterfeit junk. Of course Amazon, Ebay, etc. sell some fake products but you at least have some recourse. If Taobao has a feedback option please post your experience to help the rest of people that shop there and possibly slow down the market for this stuff. KMC has some of the best products in the world and customer service to go with it so please support the real deal.
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Old 05-31-21, 09:28 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dantonvb View Post
Hi Papa Ado, thank you for your post. I still can not post pictures or DM. But I made contact directly with KMC through web site. I got an email from Ricky Kao and sent him some pictures by email. The conclusion is that the chain is fake.
I saw the pictures from Ricky, and agree with his conclusion. I've checked the seller's page and he sells a lot of counterfeit KMC products. We will take action and have asked our distributor in Brazil to assist. They may get in touch with you via email.
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Old 06-01-21, 05:47 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
. Also we have a global MSRP initiative which most sellers adhere to so if the price is too good to be true, stay away.
It seems that with this move, KMC is trying to position their product as super premium? I noticed that most of your lineup (11s chains anyway) are $70 and up, while eg. DuraAce or Record chains are found in the $50s
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Old 06-01-21, 08:51 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
It seems that with this move, KMC is trying to position their product as super premium? I noticed that most of your lineup (11s chains anyway) are $70 and up, while eg. DuraAce or Record chains are found in the $50s
Yeah, I'm not a fan of price fixing either but KMC chains that are the equivalent of the DA can be found for about the same price from sellers with good reputations, for now at least. Here's an example of a highly questionable seller on EBAY selling an 11 sp Dura Ace for $21.55 shipped. CN-HG901 Dura Ace XTR 11 Speed Chaina 116L Quick Link HG901 Chain MTB Road Bike | eBay Likes to advertise that they have "USA Stock" with the red, white and blue and listed as selling from Chino, CA USA except the seller is based in Mainland China and they have slightly less positive feedback that I would feel comfortable with. Real or fake? I'd pass but plenty of people will will buy it and if/when it fails Shimano gets blamed. It's a difficult thing for most global companies to deal with. Shimano has been dabbling in controlling markets for awhile now as well for instance not allowing UK and other countries sellers to sell discounted parts to the US and other markets, mainly to protect the local distributors profits. Sooo, I don't know what the answer is but it sure is a big problem for consumers and mfrs.
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Old 06-01-21, 10:21 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
It's a difficult thing for most global companies to deal with. Shimano has been dabbling in controlling markets for awhile now as well for instance not allowing UK and other countries sellers to sell discounted parts to the US and other markets, mainly to protect the local distributors profits. Sooo, I don't know what the answer is but it sure is a big problem for consumers and mfrs.
There really is not an easy way for the big business to ensure the product is genuine when the big business allows for smaller businesses to distribute there product. The solution is to just take orders directly thru the OEMs site & process the orders in-house. In theory, it should lower the cost by not relying on other sources to do the retail work, & it should also streamline the process. However, the customer will always seek a cheaper price because the "name brand" stuff is assumed to be naturally more expensive, If the big business can change that assumption, I would expect it would break the link to junk parts & change others perspective on "big business greed" .
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Old 06-01-21, 10:46 AM
  #40  
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The saying used to go "you get what you pay for", now, with so much online purchasing, needs to be changed to: "you might get what you paid for, depending on who you paid".
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Old 09-02-22, 04:18 PM
  #41  
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Papa Ado
I think I have been sent a fake KMC chain from aliexpress by this seller
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004468723353.html
The chain was about the same price as Amazon Japan but I had some paypal money.

Since I have been sold fake Shimano chains from aliexpress with slightly different packaging, I checked the "KMC" chain packaging as soon as it arrived and the chain I received had packaging that was different to the aliexpress seller's packaging image (as well as BikeDiscount.de, Amazon.co.jp and Wiggle.jp) which are all the same.

The easiest difference to spot is that the diagonal lines in the bottom right of the package protrude above the black "X-BRIDGE" box in the authentic packaging, whereas the chain I received had diagonal lines that end flush with the black "X-BRIDGE" box. The main diagonal lines on the lighter blue background also do not fade out and I think there are more of them in the inauthentic packaging image.

I opened a dispute and sent Aliexpress the comparative image below and Aliexpress immediately initiated a full refund (but I may have to send the chain back if the seller tells me their address in the next nine hours).


Aliexpress "KMC" chains have different packaging by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr

Please feel free to reuse the above image anywhere you like (with KMC's permission of course).

Now looking at other product images uploaded to the above listing in purchaser reviews you can see the same difference (lack of protrusion of bottom right diagonal lines above the "X-BRIDGE" box)
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A9b6feb77...f178b74ecO.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A041c3817...79104fc98J.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A39f39c11...4273d9a71S.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A6d9b5e24...b2b21390bm.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A8d3f51ec...b7d42d547i.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A8d3f51ec...b7d42d547i.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/Ac6f62147...4b709d5cbA.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/Abdc95fd1...03228e5ccr.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/Ad226dba1...69f514bcfi.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A5ae29af5...cbf9e4ca1Y.jpg

I could have spotted this difference before purchase.

IF the above difference does indicate chain inauthenticity then it is possible to spot other aliexpress listings that are selling inauthentic chains by looking at the purchaser product photos E.g. This listing
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004526581893.html
Shows product listing images with protruding diagonal lines bottom right, but the first purchaser review image again lacks the diagonal line protrusion
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A812e5db1...599db80bcG.jpg

However, this listing on Aliexpress
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004605095890.html
Has a purchaser image which does show the lines protruding (it is difficult to see but I think that they are protruding)
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A79a2ef8f...30ddd0943Y.jpg


This listing
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004562655475.html
too has purchaser images which have protruding diagonal lines
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/Aa78eb8d5...a3b43dda1Y.jpg
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A3788ca3c...3a0b6bb2fs.jpg

And this listing
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32848489506.html
looks okay too
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/Ae93929aa...2744f63cdh.jpg

And several others are okay but again this listing
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004519259476.html
Has a purchaser image with clearly non protruding diagonal lines
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A6ce711f0...6552c46bfE.jpg

So the lines may be irrelevant, or there may be some selling inauthentic and others selling authentic chains.

Last edited by timtak; 09-02-22 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 09-02-22, 05:04 PM
  #42  
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I found this graphic helpful:

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Old 09-02-22, 06:18 PM
  #43  
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Thanks Bob Ross
Unfortunately the new fakes have corrected the Rectangular opening of the C and the flat bottomed M, but not added protruding diagonal lines as was also lacking in the above fake bottom left.

KMC New Fake by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr

The other difference is the number of main diagonal lines on the lighter blue background. Not only do they not fade out but the "Fake" chain packaging has 9 diagonal lines, whereas the genuine packages have 7 fading lines (with a little bit of a ghost of a faded out 8th line).

More Non-Fading Lines by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr

˙ǝƃɐʞɔɐd ǝʞɐɟ ǝɥʇ uo 9Ɩ ʇnq ǝƃɐʞɔɐd ǝuᴉnuǝƃ ǝɥʇ uo sǝuᴉl ploƃ ㄣƖ oslɐ ǝɹɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʇ ʞuᴉɥʇ I

There are a lot of KMC chain sellers on Amazon (Japan) and a lot of purchasers wondering if the chains are fake (this is really bad for KMCs business) but almost no one is posting product packaging photos.

There is this German purchaser claiming that e bike KMC chain is not an e bike chain (but the standard version --- perhaps just a fake)
https://www.amazon.co.jp/KMC-BE10TNP...&sr=8-135&th=1
But the image the purchaser has posted of the packaging has none of the differences mentioned above.

Last edited by timtak; 09-03-22 at 04:33 AM. Reason: I added another diff in upside down text.
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Old 09-02-22, 08:59 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
I opened a dispute and sent Aliexpress the comparative image below and Aliexpress immediately initiated a full refund (but I may have to send the chain back if the seller tells me their address in the next nine hours).
In my experience AliExpress got much better recently handling complaints. When sending my order back, I got a free UPS label and was sending my order back to Chicago, rather than China for my own money. The refund came within a few days. If you run into problems that you are not sure how to handle, use their chat and you will be handled by a real person.
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Old 09-02-22, 11:03 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
In my experience AliExpress got much better recently handling complaints. When sending my order back, I got a free UPS label and was sending my order back to Chicago, rather than China for my own money. The refund came within a few days. If you run into problems that you are not sure how to handle, use their chat and you will be handled by a real person.
Thank you.

Also the seller has only two and a half hours left to submit a return address, so I guess I am going to be allowed to keep the chain, not that I want to use it.

Or maybe I will use it. The chain itself appears to have all four chamfers mentioned in the KMC genuine vs fake image (in green bottom left).

And I made a mistake -- the seller had two days and two hours. Now they have about 1 day and twenty hours.

Last edited by timtak; 09-03-22 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 09-03-22, 10:58 AM
  #46  
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Man, no one spotted the easiest tell: look at the bottom serifs on the numeral 1 in each 10.
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Old 09-04-22, 04:32 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Man, no one spotted the easiest tell: look at the bottom serifs on the numeral “1” in each “10.”
Well spotted. Thank you Smd4, but did you notice that in the new fake photos (that I uploaded) the there is now a serif on the 1 in X10?

This is also true of the new fake X11 e.g. (I have found another aliexpress listing)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004526581893.html
And purchaser's fake product image.
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/A812e5db1...599db80bcG.jpg

Looking back on the images I have posted, mine and ten of the ten images of chains with a "1," i.e. all of them, have a serif like the genuine packaging, but have the differences that I have reported regarding the parallel lines. In other words, if you look for font differences (the "C" the "M" and the "1") you may be deceived but at the present time diagonal lines give the fakes away.

I had a deeper look through Amazon Japan and is clear that there are sellers (even by the name of KMC!) selling fake chains and purchasers saying "I will never buy a KMC again." It is so sad.

Last edited by timtak; 09-04-22 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 09-04-22, 09:08 PM
  #48  
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Thank you for your due diligence in spotting and reporting fake chains. It has become more of a problem in the last few years and the counterfeit producers are getting better at fixing their mistakes on the packaging label. However, I assure you that the fake chains inside the packaging are not good quality products and I strongly suggest you to not use them on your bikes.

For package details - you are correct with the details you spotted. One of the easiest ways to spot fakes is the model name font which will be inconsistent.

At KMC, we know the harm that fake chains do and we have multiple strategies to nix these counterfeits including working with SENTRYC to monitor global marketplaces and efficiently take down accounts selling counterfeit KMC products. it's a never-ending battle, but one that we know is necessary.
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Old 09-05-22, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
At KMC, we know the harm that fake chains do and we have multiple strategies to nix these counterfeits including working with SENTRYC to monitor global marketplaces and efficiently take down accounts selling counterfeit KMC products. it's a never-ending battle, but one that we know is necessary.
I buy a dozen sets of guitar strings during the year. Cost per set can range from $6-$18. Guitar players have to watch out for counterfeit strings in the same way that bicyclists have to watch for bogus chains.

One of the string manufacturers, an American company called D'Addario, puts a unique 19-character code on each pack of strings, which may be sold individually or in 3- and 10-packs.


A pack of D'Addario guitar strings with unique code

A buyer can go to its website and enter the unique code to confirm it's a legitimate product. D'Addario also uses the code for a promotional/loyalty program.

It would seem that KMC could do something similar to allow consumers to verify its chains in retail packaging.
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Old 09-05-22, 09:06 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
I buy a dozen sets of guitar strings during the year. Cost per set can range from $6-$18. Guitar players have to watch out for counterfeit strings in the same way that bicyclists have to watch for bogus chains.

One of the string manufacturers, an American company called D'Addario, puts a unique 19-character code on each pack of strings, which may be sold individually or in 3- and 10-packs.


A pack of D'Addario guitar strings with unique code

A buyer can go to its website and enter the unique code to confirm it's a legitimate product. D'Addario also uses the code for a promotional/loyalty program.

It would seem that KMC could do something similar to allow consumers to verify its chains in retail packaging.
What stops a counterfeiter from just copying the code?
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