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Counterfeit parts?

Old 11-22-19, 07:51 AM
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medic75
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Counterfeit parts?

I'm not sure if I posted this in the right place, but I figured mechanics would know this issue better than anyone else.

Ebay seems to be littered with a seatpost that is listed a Orbea carbon 31.6 x 350 with a 20mm offset that are new w/o retail packaging. These are super cheap considering what they are supposed to be. I really want to buy one, but I am concerned that they are counterfeit, and possibly sub-par or even dangerous if this is the case. I have been unable to find a similar seatpost on Orbea's website which also throws up a red flag. Anybody have any experience with these or can anyone confirm if they are legit? The listings show what appears to be a part number of 5092, but a google search of that number only leads to ebay auctions.

Last edited by medic75; 11-22-19 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 11-22-19, 07:55 AM
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If a deal looks too good to be true it probably isn't.
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Old 11-22-19, 08:04 AM
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Far too little info to even guess on.

Where was the seller located? (that can make it pretty obvious if it genuine or not)

Just because it was without retail packaging, was it ever offed as a retail part? is it an OEM part being sold effectively as a grey market product?

What is super cheap vs other products?

If in doubt, don't buy, if you have an Orbea, didn't it come with a seatpost? if you have a different brand, why do you want an Orbea post on your bike?
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Old 11-22-19, 08:09 AM
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Possibly obtained from Orbea's Asian supplier as overrun or gray market parts. Could be the same as the real thing but without the QC and other "unnecessary" expenses, thus the low price. Probably OK but then it's not me whose going to be riding it.
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Old 11-22-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Far too little info to even guess on.

Where was the seller located? (that can make it pretty obvious if it genuine or not)

Just because it was without retail packaging, was it ever offed as a retail part? is it an OEM part being sold effectively as a grey market product?

What is super cheap vs other products?

If in doubt, don't buy, if you have an Orbea, didn't it come with a seatpost? if you have a different brand, why do you want an Orbea post on your bike?
There are multiple sellers selling the same thing in the $20 range. They all seem to be in the US with decent feedback. I don't have an Orbea bike, but my seatpost is beat up and I was looking for something to replace it that doesn't look so rough. I don't really care about the brand name, with function being my primary concern.

Here is a link to one of the listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Orbea-Road-...AAAOSwQQBbGz~e
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Old 11-22-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
Here is a link to one of the listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Orbea-Road-...AAAOSwQQBbGz~e
Considering it's only 20 bucks and the seller has a 100% rating with close to 9500 transactions I'd buy it. No way of knowing if anything anymore is legit and good quality even when buying from registered dealers as counterfeit parts have found their way into many huge and established name brand factories. The fact that the seller looks extremely reputable is a good sign that they'll at least back up their products if there is a problem.
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Old 11-23-19, 11:11 PM
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I wouldn't trust cheap stuff bought on eBay. Counterfeit parts aren't found in established factories and aren't made by some mysterious third shift, they are made in cheaper factories with even lower labor standards and quality standards and while sometimes people get lucky and don't have a major problem, you just never know. You also usually don't get ANY WARRANTY with eBay and similar third party sellers even if the part is actually made by that manufacturer. When something goes wrong that warranty can be quite handy.
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Old 11-24-19, 01:38 AM
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There seem to be a lot of counterfeit Carbon parts on E-Bay, but I am surprised to see Orbea branded counterfeit components. Most of them seem to be brands like Easton, maybe a few other brands (I think).

Looking about the Orbea post. Quickly perusing what is available, I'm not seeing other posts that look like the Orbea. So, not somebody putting 50 different brands on the same post.

It appears to be a 2-part post, rather than a monocoque post.

And, all the Orbea posts I'm seeing look identical.

And, US sellers (I think, some seem to hide their true identity). Items forsale from that seller appear to be an eclectic mix, but not just carbon parts, for example.

I'm interpreting that the posts are likely genuine, but from a previous model that the company is dumping on the internet.
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Old 11-24-19, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Counterfeit parts aren't found in established factories and aren't made by some mysterious third shift, they are made in cheaper factories with even lower labor standards and quality standards...
I agree with your conclusion but not your reason. I did vendor evaluations in China over a five year span and found that even with their super low wages they can not set up a factory production line to produce a few hundred of thousand fake Orbea stems. These are most assuredly an end run or something like the graphics got rejected by Orbea. The risk for buyers is end runs will not get the QA/QC from Orbea inspectors, cheaper materials, etc., as you point out. The Ralph Lauren polo shirt bought in the alley behind the American Embassy (now they have their own department store) is a Ralph Lauren but sometimes you might find cheaper dye and your red becomes pink with washing.
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Old 11-24-19, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Counterfeit parts aren't found in established factories and aren't made by some mysterious third shift, they are made in cheaper factories with even lower labor standards and quality standards and while sometimes people get lucky and don't have a major problem, you just never know.
Fake parts supplied to mfrs aren't necessarily a huge problem but it does happen. Large, brand name electronics mfrs have been supplied with pirated and inferior components, subpar countefeit bolts and such make their way into production lines, even our government (surprise) has been screwed from military equipment suppliers, etc. etc.. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/07/11/the-serious-risks-from-counterfeit-electronic-parts/#7b220c262c7f I'm just saying that it does happen and there are lots of reasons why a good product can end up selling very cheaply such as this seatpost and the best guarantee is the seller the OP was looking at. If they had a habbit of selling junk it would show up in their feedback on Ebay.

Last edited by Crankycrank; 11-24-19 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 11-24-19, 10:07 AM
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I just can't imagine that someone would go through the trouble of manufacturing fake Orbea seat posts. Where would the market be? How many people are out there clamoring for an Orbea seat post? That doesn't make any sense. We're not talking about some mass pop culture item here like Apple Watches. More likely they are the result of some type of overrun or large batch of rejects, and nothing goes in the trash if it can be put on ebay.

I bought a cheap Chinese made but unbranded seatpost and it was actually pretty good quality. The issue I had is that it was the standard 27.2 size but my bike takes a 30.0, and using a shim didn't work as the carbon kept slipping in it even with using carbon paste.
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Old 11-24-19, 10:08 AM
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last year I took a flyer on a Ritchey carbon seatpost "from china" for 30 buck.

It arrived and it frankly looked pretty good. However the head design was unlike any I'd seen, requiring you to use an allen key way up under the saddle.

Once I tried to put the saddle on it could not be re-assembled and one of the barrell nuts was cross threaded from the factory.

In short this thing was junk. It might have worked and if you want a carbon post for 30 bucks it might be OK. But if you buy this stuff, do so in full knowledge that you may struggle with it for a half hour and then give up and throw it away.

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Old 11-24-19, 10:11 AM
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I would avoid that seat post. My Orbea came with, what appears to be an identical post. About a year and a half of riding time on mine, the splines stripped and it wouldn't hold a setting. The splines are not a quality cut and do not mesh well. At the time I was 160#
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Old 11-24-19, 11:40 AM
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crimsonstallionsales (9443 )100% Positive feedbackimposible to have this feedback 100% ratio with 9443
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Old 11-24-19, 01:52 PM
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There could be a different explanation. Bike companies change distributors from time to time. When this happens the previous distributor may be left with a ton of orphan parts that they cannot sell to the retailers who used to buy from them unless they offer a huge discount. Orbea isn't a huge player in the bike market. Changing distributors is a smart marketing move. They don't have to worry about selling to the public, when they contract with a new distributor, that company has to build up an inventory to supply their dealers. Unfortunately, the previous distributor is left holding the bag with tons of inventory they have to get rid of
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Old 11-24-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by brooklyn6640 View Post
crimsonstallionsales (9443 )100% Positive feedbackimposible to have this feedback 100% ratio with 9443
9443 is the total feedback.
But, I think they only count the last 12 months towards the rating.

Looking at the link, 3004 positive, 2 neutral, 1 negative in the last 12 months.

3004/3 = 1 in 1000, or just under 0.1% neutral/negative. 99.9% positive.

It also lists 2 "revised" feedback. I've had E-Bay revise my feedback without contacting me or permission, but in general it is difficult to revise feedback.

Still, it is a pretty decent positive feedback rate.

Unfortunately, with product testing, it is hard to get a thorough test during the feedback period.
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Old 11-24-19, 04:39 PM
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If you need a seat post to sell the bike, buy it. If you are looking for long term use, look elsewhere.
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Old 11-24-19, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I just can't imagine that someone would go through the trouble of manufacturing fake Orbea seat posts. Where would the market be? ...

I bought a cheap Chinese made but unbranded seatpost and it was actually pretty good quality. The issue I had is that it was the standard 27.2 size but my bike takes a 30.0, and using a shim didn't work as the carbon kept slipping in it even with using carbon paste.
Methinks the market could be grabbing buyers who are more attracted to an Orbea than an unbranded generic... assuming your generic was maybe in the $20 range also? Possibly picking a brand that isn't as lawyered up and going after the counterfeiters?
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Old 11-24-19, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
I would avoid that seat post. My Orbea came with, what appears to be an identical post. About a year and a half of riding time on mine, the splines stripped and it wouldn't hold a setting. The splines are not a quality cut and do not mesh well. At the time I was 160#
This is also why I needed a new seat post for my Kuota. The problem is there is only one 30.0 3rd party post available but not in carbon. I ended up buying another used Kuota after my Chinese post wouldn't work. I'm just hoping this second Kuota post holds for a few more years. It was the only one I saw on eBay after looking for a few years!
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Old 11-24-19, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Methinks the market could be grabbing buyers who are more attracted to an Orbea than an unbranded generic... assuming your generic was maybe in the $20 range also? Possibly picking a brand that isn't as lawyered up and going after the counterfeiters?
That still does not make much economic sense. It isn't as if a seatpost is a high volume item. Most people don't pay attention to it unless it breaks. If you're going to counterfeit something, you are going to make something that would sell. That is unless you are already making the real thing and have the tooling in place, and even then it must be something that will sell on its own.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:10 AM
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It's not just carbon fiber posts. I got a cheap Thomson knockoff for $10. Looked fine and I'm fairly certain the post itself was strong enough. The mechanism to hold the seat was a very underbuilt 2 bolt style. It failed on my first/only ride on the post. I sort of wasn't stranded but took a while to get back. It is a design issue, it might work if you have the capability to remake the mounting hardware from steel.

If you browse eBay, a lot of the metal posts, Al or Ti are this style. I wouldn't expect any of them to survive a hit/pothole/washboard. The carbon ones have a different set-up.

I'd go for a cheap carbon over cheap Al for this reason.
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Old 11-27-19, 10:23 AM
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if a seatpost clamp fails on the first ride and you fall off the bike resulting in serious injury you will certainly have gotten your money's worth.

that's not to say that expensive components never fail. But your safety is worth something. At least mine is.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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