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Are Shimano parts that come straight from China genuine?

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Are Shimano parts that come straight from China genuine?

Old 08-23-20, 10:35 PM
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coffeecherrypie
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Are Shimano parts that come straight from China genuine?

Take as an example Shimano's Tiagra-level SPD-SL pedals, PD-R550, though I don't think it's limited to this part in particular.

$100 at Performance https://www.performancebike.com/shim...dr550l/p332789
$100 at Jenson https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-PD-R550-Spd-Sl-Pedals

If you type PD-R550 into ebay, you get tons of "from China" results selling them for ~$50, for example https://www.ebay.com/itm/SPD-SL-Pedals-PD-R550-Clipless-Road-Mountain-Bike-Pedal-w-6-Float-Cleats-Plate/373130428879?hash=item56e04e81cf:g:RY4AAOSw5F9fITnA

Are these fakes? Or unauthorized copies made by the same factory or something? Why would they be half of the "real" price.
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Old 08-23-20, 10:40 PM
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Their probably genuine fakes. Roll the dice if you feel lucky
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Old 08-23-20, 10:44 PM
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Most "Fakes" in this World were made side by side with the "real" thing on the same production line yet left the factory in an "unauthorised" manner.
Also what happens is that a "Brand" changes its subcontract manufacturer so the old items keep being made but now are deemed to be "Fakes". The quality may be just fine.

There is a reasonable likelihood that half price items from China did in fact leave the factory in an unauthorised manner.
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Old 08-23-20, 11:38 PM
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They are fakes, quality is shoddy. Usually these fakes get dumped on markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, a lot more than in the US and Europe.
There are plenty of horror stories of Shimano fake cranks suddenly broke off in a sprint, leaving rider destroyed. Chinese fakes are a well known issue in Asia.
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Old 08-24-20, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Most "Fakes" in this World were made side by side with the "real" thing on the same production line yet left the factory in an "unauthorised" manner.
Also what happens is that a "Brand" changes its subcontract manufacturer so the old items keep being made but now are deemed to be "Fakes". The quality may be just fine.

There is a reasonable likelihood that half price items from China did in fact leave the factory in an unauthorised manner.
I agree that is usually the case. Counterfeiting from scratch would be cost prohibitive.
Still using my $5 Canal St. NY Oakley shades from the 90's.
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Old 08-24-20, 07:15 AM
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ST-R8020 hydraulic brifters? Not counterfeit.

SPD-SL cleats in the bag? Likely counterfeit.

It depends on the barriers to production. Many complex parts are simply not worth the tooling investment to try to duplicate.

To answer the OP's question, it depends. I've purchased a complete R8000 (cable actuated, rim brake) groupset and pedals for a carbon build I did last year - straight from AliExpress. Best prices I could find. No issues whatsoever.

I recently bought what were definitely grey-market TRP RRL levers for $10. Identical to the $80 version, sans the drilling. Do I need the drilled levers? No.
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Old 08-24-20, 07:51 AM
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IF your worried about it being fake, why not buy them from a company in the U.S.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/PD-R550-SPD...-/373097890317

Same Price


EDIT: Dup...reading further on the above, it's Chinese stock being sold by the U.S. business.
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Old 08-24-20, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by coffeecherrypie View Post
Take as an example Shimano's Tiagra-level SPD-SL pedals, PD-R550, though I don't think it's limited to this part in particular.

$100 at Performance https://www.performancebike.com/shim...dr550l/p332789
$100 at Jenson https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-PD-R550-Spd-Sl-Pedals

If you type PD-R550 into ebay, you get tons of "from China" results selling them for ~$50, for example https://www.ebay.com/itm/SPD-SL-Pedals-PD-R550-Clipless-Road-Mountain-Bike-Pedal-w-6-Float-Cleats-Plate/373130428879?hash=item56e04e81cf:g:RY4AAOSw5F9fITnA

Are these fakes? Or unauthorized copies made by the same factory or something? Why would they be half of the "real" price.
I think a lot of the direct from China drivetrain components are real. Itd be insanely cost prohibitive to get all the tools needed to build a Tiagra rear derailleur then sell it for 70% of US retail or whatever, especially at the relatively low volumes that we are talking about. Apply that to most anything with a moving/pivoting design.

A jersey is easy to fake. A frame isnt easy to fake, but since there are no real moving parts and its large pieces, its at least easier than drivetrains with all the small moving pieces(especially shifter internals).

I have bought a handful of shifters from China in the last 5 years- Microshift R7 2x7, Microshift R9 2x9, Microshift R9 3x9, Shimano 5800 105, and Shimano 6800 Ultegra, All are as real as shifters I have purchased from Merlin(105 8020 Hydraulic and 6800 Ultegra).
It may be 'factory direct'. It may be 'gray market'. It may be 'black market'. I dont know.
I would disagree that any are from the reject bin as they all work flawlessly as they should.

As for the pedals in question, just order them and pay with paypal. When they arrive, if you think they are fake then open a request for refund due to them being fake. The seller has a 99.6% approval rating, so its not like they are a shell seller that will shut down once they sell a handful of fake product. Paypal protection is for this very concern.
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Old 08-24-20, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
They are fakes, quality is shoddy. Usually these fakes get dumped on markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, a lot more than in the US and Europe.
There are plenty of horror stories of Shimano fake cranks suddenly broke off in a sprint, leaving rider destroyed. Chinese fakes are a well known issue in Asia.
How do you know the pedals are fake? And really- how do you know the quality is shoddy?...the pictures are stock pics so you cant see the quality.
This appears to just be a guess that you are passing off as fact.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:37 AM
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I appreciate the insights of everyone who has commented. It does seem hard to credit that it would be worth it to set up tooling just to fake a certain pedal--but who knows. On the other hand, I could easily believe that Shimano ordered a certain number of pedals, and a factory made extra to sell on the gray market, and maybe those have looser QC.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:23 AM
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The Shimano Corporation has many sub contracts out, for getting parts made in other places/ countries other than Osaka, Japan.
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Old 08-24-20, 12:09 PM
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This thread begs the question, where are "real" Shimano made? And do they farm out cheaper level parts to China?
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Old 08-24-20, 12:42 PM
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I think most Shimano stuff I've gotten says made in Malaysia, although I just got some XTR pedals that do say made in Japan. However I've read that it's not super strict on what is allowed to be labelled "made in Japan" and "finished in Japan" is sometimes more accurate.

Last edited by coffeecherrypie; 08-24-20 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 08-24-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Most "Fakes" in this World were made side by side with the "real" thing on the same production line yet left the factory in an "unauthorised" manner.
Yes and no. They may be produced on the same line. But that doesn't mean identical quality. They may be produced on a separate run, which can ignore some of the standards the Shimano parts require. So you may get cheaper springs, lower-quality bearings... who knows??? Remember TANSTAAFL - you're taking your chances with the direct-from-china brand name stuff - it may be good or it may be total junk. And Shimano won't help you if you buy a counterfeit product and you have problems.
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Old 08-24-20, 01:14 PM
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I can’t speak for all bike parts, as to the same line or truly counterfeit. I have purchased bike parts off eBay that came from China and have not had issues.

Bike parts, while high quantity, might pale in profit compared to counterfeit frames or golf clubs. In those cases the devil is in the details. The cost to accurately reproduce a counterfeit down to the very fine details is what usually is the clue of a counterfeit item. And they will never weigh the same.

For pedals, I would think a close comparison with the real thing, would confirm if it were real or counterfeit. Any small detail, tab, rivet, finish, crispness of lettering. These operations probably need to produce a run, dump, and move on. I doubt they can duplicate the real item exactly.

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Old 08-24-20, 03:51 PM
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Campagnolo built a factory in Romania to make the lower tier groups.. 'affordable'..
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Old 08-24-20, 05:05 PM
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Your rolling the dice. Might be good, might be total crap.

if I’m going to be spending Many hours, days, or weeks depending on the performance and quality of a product, I’m not rolling the dice,
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Old 08-24-20, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
How do you know the pedals are fake? And really- how do you know the quality is shoddy?...the pictures are stock pics so you cant see the quality.
This appears to just be a guess that you are passing off as fact.
Do you live in these Asian markets: Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia?
Do you ride with a lot of people in these markets who have their new Shimano part just break like cookies?
Do you know the LBS in these places will sell Shimano parts "in bulk", when Shimano doesn't do that, regardless of market.
I live and ride there part time, I know a lot of clubs there, in all these countries, and I know some of their domestic pros, I know the cycling scene in Asia. I'm guessing you're in the US? There are a lot more fakes there than what you're accustomed to seeing int he US or on Aliexpress.
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Old 08-24-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeecherrypie View Post
Take as an example Shimano's Tiagra-level SPD-SL pedals, PD-R550, though I don't think it's limited to this part in particular.

$100 at Performance https://www.performancebike.com/shim...dr550l/p332789
$100 at Jenson https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-PD-R550-Spd-Sl-Pedals

If you type PD-R550 into ebay, you get tons of "from China" results selling them for ~$50, for example https://www.ebay.com/itm/SPD-SL-Pedals-PD-R550-Clipless-Road-Mountain-Bike-Pedal-w-6-Float-Cleats-Plate/373130428879?hash=item56e04e81cf:g:RY4AAOSw5F9fITnA

Are these fakes? Or unauthorized copies made by the same factory or something? Why would they be half of the "real" price.
Caveat emptor..."Let the buyer beware"...
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Old 08-24-20, 06:11 PM
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I purchased a set of SPD cleats from a seller in China. They were roughly 4/5 the size of real ones, and no they don't fit any pedals though they look great.

I buy bar tape and cables with no issues but since Shimano has no Chinese assembly lines that I know of (can't speak for other brands) as far as I can see the seller would have to be selling stuff that was imported to China so exceptional low prices set warning bells off. Return shipping to there is very high.
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Old 08-24-20, 06:46 PM
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i'd be leary about getting anything that is a critical component that does not look legit. bar tape...ok. derailleur, maybe not.

one of my friends once asked then answered his own question and it has stuck with me ever since..."what do you get from a junk yard...junk."
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Old 08-24-20, 07:37 PM
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Most fakes are not made by the same workers in the same factories by some magical third shift or they "just fell off the back of the truck" It is a common myth that we love because we can continue supporting the fakes and feel good about it. I would rather support the real thing so I know I can get all the warranties and support from the actual manufacturer.

If something is too good to be true, it most likely is.
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Old 08-24-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Most fakes are not made by the same workers in the same factories by some magical third shift or they "just fell off the back of the truck" It is a common myth that we love because we can continue supporting the fakes and feel good about it. I would rather support the real thing so I know I can get all the warranties and support from the actual manufacturer.

If something is too good to be true, it most likely is.

Err, No. I'm not saying that "fakes" come out of the same factory as the real thing in order to make you feel good about buying them.
Often these "fakes" are seconds. The name "brand" want's them to be destroyed yet there is a strong culture in China and Asia to not waste things. So they get sold in an unauthorised manner.
Also a HUGE source of "fakes" is when the Name Brand changes contract manufacturers. The contract manufacturer is supposed to cease and desist from making the items anymore but they don't. They keep on making the same item which is now a "fake". The quality of these items will definitely slip though as they aim to make them cheaper and cheaper.

The costs involved in creating a "fake" from scratch are HUGE and completely incompatible with the whole modus operandi of making and selling "fakes".
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Old 08-24-20, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Err, No. I'm not saying that "fakes" come out of the same factory as the real thing in order to make you feel good about buying them.
Often these "fakes" are seconds. The name "brand" want's them to be destroyed yet there is a strong culture in China and Asia to not waste things. So they get sold in an unauthorised manner.
Also a HUGE source of "fakes" is when the Name Brand changes contract manufacturers. The contract manufacturer is supposed to cease and desist from making the items anymore but they don't. They keep on making the same item which is now a "fake". The quality of these items will definitely slip though as they aim to make them cheaper and cheaper.

The costs involved in creating a "fake" from scratch are HUGE and completely incompatible with the whole modus operandi of making and selling "fakes".
there is no culture thing in china to not waste something. there is a culture thing in china to make money though without regard to the poor chaps that become victims of what ever crap they are selling. remember the story about the guy reprocessing sewage as cooking oil? here is a little bit of nastiness to end your day with...https://www.businessinsider.com/chin...er-oil-2013-10
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Old 08-24-20, 09:25 PM
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Well not to go off topic, but the Industrial Revolution wasn’t known for creating wonderful childhood memories.

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