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Off brand Carbon Fiber frames

Old 01-11-19, 01:26 PM
  #1  
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Off brand carbon frameset

Has any of y'all had experience with ordering an off brand carbon track frame set online? I've been mulling around with the idea for some time now and could use some advise. I'd be using it as a daily commuter/periodic road race bike. I currently have a Sole' aluminum frame and want to shed the weight. Thanks folks!
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Old 01-12-19, 03:38 AM
  #2  
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I would buy used branded carbon before considering chinarellos.
Too many misnomers not to mention a seller that's not overwhelmingly concerned with maintaining a brand or reputation.

Mileage definitely varies from person to person.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:52 AM
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cf frameset for commuting
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Old 01-12-19, 12:09 PM
  #4  
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The answer will never change, don't do it. Seriously cheap no name frames and parts from who knows where is never a good idea, ever. They are not secret third shift frames that are coming from the same warehouse as known tested products just without logos, they are things made in different factories with much lower quality standards (if any at all) that do little to no testing of the frames or parts.

Yes this stuff is cheap in every single sense of the word which is a bad thing. If you want a lighter bike get something of good quality from a reputable manufacturer (which will require you to actually spend money) and get some good quality lightweight wheels. However if you are commuting you want something durable that is also of high quality as well but you can have a little bit of both if you pick the right parts and don't abuse your bike.

If you avoid the cheap online brands and the no name stuff from overseas it isn't hard to lighten up.
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Old 01-13-19, 08:27 AM
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Over the past ~10 years (or more) there have been literally thousands of online discussions and hundreds of thousands of posts about no-name chinese frames from people who have bought them and built bikes out of them. Give the huge quantity of them being sold on Ebay, there must be a huge number of them out there. Although I haven't done an exhaustive survey, I have read a lot of these threads and I don't recall having ever read anything negative...no chinese carbon explosions and if there were a significant quantity of failures, these would have appeared by now and the photos would have been reposted ad nauseam. Surely some of these frames are flawed, but that is also true of the name brands who sell plenty of faulty products. I do not believe there are any data indicating name brand frames are less likely to be faulty than unbranded frames. By this point there is enough evidence to suggest the odds of you getting a safe frame vastly outweigh the chances of you getting one thats going to malfunction even if the frame is unbranded and bought direct from china. That does not mean this it is going to have the lightest, most optimally engineered design out there, but probably good enough that you will never know the difference.

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Old 01-13-19, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
Over the past ~10 years (or more) there have been literally thousands of online discussions and hundreds of thousands of posts about no-name chinese frames from people who have bought them and built bikes out of them. Give the huge quantity of them being sold on Ebay, there must be a huge number of them out there. Although I haven't done an exhaustive survey, I have read a lot of these threads and I don't recall having ever read anything negative...no chinese carbon explosions and if there were a significant quantity of failures, these would have appeared by now and the photos would have been reposted ad nauseam. Surely some of these frames are flawed, but that is also true of the name brands who sell plenty of faulty products. I do not believe there are any data indicating name brand frames are less likely to be faulty than unbranded frames. By this point there is enough evidence to suggest the odds of you getting a safe frame vastly outweigh the chances of you getting one thats going to malfunction even if the frame is unbranded and bought direct from china. That does not mean this it is going to have the lightest, most optimally engineered design out there, but probably good enough that you will never know the difference.
That’s all fine and dandy, but I think most everyone here is going to disagree. Maybe the OP should post what he’s actually looking at for some more constructive criticism. However, I wouldn’t really want to ride a carbon frame as a commuter, let alone a knock off one. Like I said, not sure what the OP is looking at, but these CF frames I see on eBay are quite cheap and ugly looking, appealing to a dying trend. Me personally, I enjoy riding steel frames. Also, I’ve never investigated, but I doubt your gonna shave much weight on a crap carbon frame vs a decent aluminum frame. IMO, throw the $ at better, lighter components.

I also would not hesitate to argue that you wouldn’t feel the difference in quality between a tried and trued brand vs one of said chinalleros.

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Old 01-17-19, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mouse View Post


That’s all fine and dandy, but I think most everyone here is going to disagree. Maybe the OP should post what he’s actually looking at for some more constructive criticism. However, I wouldn’t really want to ride a carbon frame as a commuter, let alone a knock off one. Like I said, not sure what the OP is looking at, but these CF frames I see on eBay are quite cheap and ugly looking, appealing to a dying trend. Me personally, I enjoy riding steel frames. Also, I’ve never investigated, but I doubt your gonna shave much weight on a crap carbon frame vs a decent aluminum frame. IMO, throw the $ at better, lighter components.

I also would not hesitate to argue that you wouldn’t feel the difference in quality between a tried and trued brand vs one of said chinalleros.
I appreciate that feedback from everyone! Like I said in the OP, I'm just curious what the opinions would be. I ride 10 miles a day (5 to work than back) on a fixed gear as well as flipflop to a single speed while getting nice long training rides in. I'm 5'2" and frame size is hard to find unless I buy a cheap "fly by night" single speed or an out of my price range nice bike. (Not to mention I can't test ride anything lol) kind of like buying a car based on pictures. SUCKS!! This no name CF brand is just another idea.
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Old 01-17-19, 08:28 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Fix3dAlone View Post
I appreciate that feedback from everyone! Like I said in the OP, I'm just curious what the opinions would be. I ride 10 miles a day (5 to work than back) on a fixed gear as well as flipflop to a single speed while getting nice long training rides in. I'm 5'2" and frame size is hard to find unless I buy a cheap "fly by night" single speed or an out of my price range nice bike. (Not to mention I can't test ride anything lol) kind of like buying a car based on pictures. SUCKS!! This no name CF brand is just another idea.
If a nicer bike is out of your price range, then carbon is way out of your price range and a trip to the hospital is also out of your price range. Save money and get yourself something nicer that is steel or aluminum if that is your thing and something that has a name brand. Specialized offers a lifetime warranty on the frame for original owners and they got me a new Langster after 11 years when my old one finally cracked in the BB. That ain't bad for the price.
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Old 02-08-19, 07:29 AM
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Not an expert by any means, but a quick search suggests the same factories produce name brand stuff and off brand frames merely changing molds. Very often using the same carbon recipes. The generic frames are sold in larger volume which brings the price down while branded frames are limited and thereby more costly. Unsurprisingly, there are carbon formula standards (sorta like Reynolds 520, etc). It shouldn’t be too hard to find out what is in the frame your looking at OP.

As Mihlbach mentioned, there is plenty of chatter about cracking a carbon frame but I’m not hearing any about frame blowouts. This means precisely zero, of course. But I suspect either the default modulus has improved since the early days or people complain more quietly about blowing out a $500 frame than a pricier branded one, or both.

Anyway, were I in your shoes I would try to move beyond the heresay and try to learn as much as I could about the specific frame.

I think you could get some much more helpful advice if you post about what you’re riding now and what you are looking at. You might get some insight on lightening up your existing set up without spending a bunch. On the other hand, buying new stuff is cool too.



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Old 02-09-19, 05:28 PM
  #10  
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Not at all! I know people love to think there is a magical third shift producing these off-brand carbon frames in that same factory but in fact they are not! I know a lot of people have spread the myth hence why when you did your "quick search" you found that but the facts just aren't there. If enough people say something about something it can seem like a fact. It happens a lot with famous people deaths, when someone says "this person just died" and it spreads quickly like a virus and a lot of people believe it, even if there are no facts behind it, it becomes reality because surely if many people say it, it must be true.

I wouldn't want a fake bike, I would look like a loser and when people asked me about the bike I would look even worse. I have no interest or reason to want to be a poseur, if I couldn't afford the expensive carbon bike I just wouldn't buy it and get something I could afford or save up for the expensive carbon bike that is real. Being able to get warranties is also huge factor as well. Cheap fakes don't have warranties and Specialized or Pinarello is not going to honor any warranty on a fake frame and these fly by night factories aren't going to either nor is Alibaba nor his forty thieves nor is eBay or craigslist or any place selling fakes.


There was a nice three part series on it that I cannot remember the address of but these are two fine articles about these fake bikes:
https://www.velonews.com/not-all-fra...nterfeit-bikes

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/p...he-risk-173977
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Old 02-09-19, 07:52 PM
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Hongfu and Dengfu are two reputable brands.

Dengfu Sports Equipment Co.Ltd

Shenzhen Hongfu Sports Equipment Co., Ltd.

They are not knockoffs or counterfeits of existing products but the manufacturer's own products.

Go over to the road bike forum. Lots of guys are running these brands.


-Tim-
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Old 02-09-19, 10:49 PM
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It's worthwhile to be careful about what you buy, and there's something to be said for sticking to brands and sellers with a good reputation, but a lot of the hate on "generic" Chinese carbon comes from the lingering assumption that anything made in China is not held to the same standards of quality and that something/everything about it is going to be subpar. For many people, "made in China" still equals "crap." This is unfortunate and unfair, as a lot of the best manufacturing in the world is now in China. Yeah, there's still crap that comes out of China, but there's also a hell of a lot of good stuff made to extremely high standards. China is no longer the economy of cheap labor that it once was, and as cheap labor dries up, they've had to adapt and innovate in other areas, such as becoming more expert in manufacturing technology than most other places in the world. Much of the bias against Chinese goods at this point is simply old prejudice dressed up for public display.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:07 AM
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I am old enough to remember when Made in Japan was synonymous with poor quality, and Japanese products were sought for their low price. Nowadays, Japanese products rival those from any other country and command premium prices. China is rapidly closing the gap, and will eventually achieve parity. A similar trend has occured in other Asian countries, such as Korea.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:49 AM
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With respect, I feel much of your post seems to be built on bias, assumption and dubious reasoning. I can certainly appreciate your position of safety first, though. However, I think that this is an interesting topic in need of data not rumor or over-generalized stereotypes. And there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of data readily available on this subject.

For example, that link from velonews was what I refered to in my earlier post. I think it makes it fairly clear that there is a range in quality among the unbranded frames but with a bit of due diligence a shopper should be able to source a decent unbranded frame with a warranty. There’s risk inherent in every frame regardless of tubing or builder a decent intermediary (be it seller or brand) can help mitigate this but not eliminate it.




Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Not at all! I know people love to think there is a magical third shift producing these off-brand carbon frames in that same factory but in fact they are not! I know a lot of people have spread the myth hence why when you did your "quick search" you found that but the facts just aren't there. If enough people say something about something it can seem like a fact. It happens a lot with famous people deaths, when someone says "this person just died" and it spreads quickly like a virus and a lot of people believe it, even if there are no facts behind it, it becomes reality because surely if many people say it, it must be true.

I wouldn't want a fake bike, I would look like a loser and when people asked me about the bike I would look even worse. I have no interest or reason to want to be a poseur, if I couldn't afford the expensive carbon bike I just wouldn't buy it and get something I could afford or save up for the expensive carbon bike that is real. Being able to get warranties is also huge factor as well. Cheap fakes don't have warranties and Specialized or Pinarello is not going to honor any warranty on a fake frame and these fly by night factories aren't going to either nor is Alibaba nor his forty thieves nor is eBay or craigslist or any place selling fakes.


There was a nice three part series on it that I cannot remember the address of but these are two fine articles about these fake bikes:
https://www.velonews.com/not-all-fra...nterfeit-bikes

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/p...he-risk-173977
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Old 02-11-19, 10:43 PM
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Do your research and don't just buy something random off eBay or AliExpress. I bought a Workswell road bike frame a few years ago for $450 for frame set and it was a great bike for the couple of years I had it before I sold it. It was as good as name brand carbon frames I've owned and built up to about 15 lbs for a geared bike at around$1500 with all new parts
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Old 02-12-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
I am old enough to remember when Made in Japan was synonymous with poor quality, and Japanese products were sought for their low price. Nowadays, Japanese products rival those from any other country and command premium prices. China is rapidly closing the gap, and will eventually achieve parity. A similar trend has occured in other Asian countries, such as Korea.
I'm also old enough to remember Japanese cars and electronics being considered cheap junk. And now cars and electronics from 70's and 80's are still around and some stuff has collector value. Now we are in a world where bikes made in Taiwan are considered desirable. I play guitar/bass and it's bee the same journey. When I started 30 years ago guitars made in Japan where cheap alternatives to American made. Now those Japanese made models from the 80's-90's are collectable. Then it moved to cheap guitars being made in Mexico. Now late 90's Mexican made stuff it considered better then current stuff made in Indonesia. But I got a cheapo entry level guitar a couple of years ago made in Indonesia for about $150 and it's build better then "cheap" guitars I got for $500+ in the early 90's

Sometimes I wonder if people here look at where non bike stuff in their life was made. Everything we buy is made in China except for the "cheap" stuff that might be made in SE Asia.
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Old 02-12-19, 08:20 PM
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@Bigpond: Not as much. I don't believe the false hype that magically a third shift is making frames and sending them out the backdoor at the Specialized factory. I also don't think that someone looks cool on a fake bike. I guess you could say bias against fakes but why would someone be for fakes? There is data on the subject there have been articles written on it and videos made and things like that. Sure it may not be by the ton but it exists.

Yes there are some brands or smaller factories producing cheaper frames that are of some ok quality but they aren't going to be branded with fake logos from a real company. Some might be unbranded and some might be from the smaller producer. However I am not talking about the absolute cheap crap and again not talking about fakes.

If the company offers a warranty great but likely it won't be the same as a larger manufacturer and it might be tough to process the warranty since you didn't purchase through a dealer most likely and as well that company may not be handy with English and you may not be handy with their language. Also they may not exist when you need them or getting in touch is just hard. I have experienced this with e-bike stuff in the past being the warranty manager at the shop (amongst other hats) and certainly have experienced it on a personal level trying to get parts from Japan (though I think at least Sugino has improved over the years)

Basically don't buy an unknown quantity and if you are unsure then it is a good idea to move on. Don't be cheap to be cheap buy something of quality and know what you are getting. I don't mean "sweet ass carbon fixay frame so cool China L@@K $$$" but what you are getting besides just a frame. As in does it actually have a warranty with it and do you believe they will honor it? Are there clear specs online so I can make sure I am getting the right BB, headset, seatpost clamp etc.?

A good deal is only a good deal if it is actually a good deal. Price is only but a small factor in a good deal. "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Benji Franks ( guy who invented $100 bills and electricity and was president for a while and if you believe that I have bridges for sale)
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Old 02-12-19, 08:44 PM
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Old 02-12-19, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Do your research and don't just buy something random off eBay or AliExpress. I bought a Workswell road bike frame a few years ago for $450 for frame set and it was a great bike for the couple of years I had it before I sold it. It was as good as name brand carbon frames I've owned and built up to about 15 lbs for a geared bike at around$1500 with all new parts
Workswell.

That was another brand name I was trying to remember.

I've heard very good things about their products and service.


-Tim-
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Old 02-12-19, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Workswell.

That was another brand name I was trying to remember.

I've heard very good things about their products and service.


-Tim-
Yeah, their quality and service is great and prices a little less than Deng Fu, Hongfu etc. I also bougbt some carbon wheels direct from another Chinese company that where great for about $400 built with novatech, sapim etc and perfectly true out of box and we'll built. Contrary to opinion, both companies I dealt with had customer service that spoke English and were very responsive via email and Skype .
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Old 02-13-19, 06:28 AM
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All three of those brands are new to me. Thanks for posting!
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Old 02-13-19, 03:06 PM
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I would never want a CF track frame for commuting, and it's worth mentioning that you don't need one for racing either. You'll be just as fast on a decent quality steel frame unless you're doing hill climbs or carrying your bike up stairs. If you really need to shed weight, an Al frame will likely get you more gram savings per dollar than CF.
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Old 02-14-19, 04:43 PM
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BTW, anyone that wants real info from real people that have bought tons of open mold chinese frames and other parts this is the place to be:

https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...p?f=3&t=113717


Over 7 years and 7000+ posts in that thread on this topic. Instead of listening to one or two people here who have never owned any of this stuff you can take if from hundreds of people over there that have
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Old 02-14-19, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
BTW, anyone that wants real info from real people that have bought tons of open mold chinese frames and other parts this is the place to be:

https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...p?f=3&t=113717


Over 7 years and 7000+ posts in that thread on this topic. Instead of listening to one or two people here who have never owned any of this stuff you can take if from hundreds of people over there that have
That is a huge resource. Great!

Thank you.


-Tim-
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Old 02-19-19, 10:22 PM
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This one looks pretty cool, and scrolling down to the companies pictures, they look like a legitimate brand. Swap out some components, and it looks like a fun weekend bike. I'm LOL'ing at them being called Twitters though

https://wholesaler.alibaba.com/produ...799117885.html



EDIT: I googled Twitter bikes and someone pointed out they're advertising one of their models as having a Sh1mano groupset

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