Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Is your Shimano chain a counterfeit?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Is your Shimano chain a counterfeit?

Old 01-26-23, 08:33 PM
  #1  
Le Mechanic
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Le Mechanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 336

Bikes: 2020 Pivot Vault, 1983 Rossin Record, Garneau R1, Mesamods home built gravel/rain commuter bike, 1995 Barracuda A2V modified with Surley single speed dropouts, 1969 Bottecchia junkyard special fixed gear, Cervelo P4, Mesamods 650b klunker

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 70 Times in 48 Posts
Is your Shimano chain a counterfeit?

I was replacing a couple of customer supplied chains on 2 bikes that I was tuning up at the bike shop where I work. I've come across this issue a few times now since the pandemic created so many issues with product availability, many times with Shimano parts, but we're seeing lots of counterfeit parts purchased off Amazon. In this situation, after inspecting the supplied chains, I made a quick video comparing one of the fake supplied chains to a genuine Shimano chains. Hopefully the video will be helpful to someone who purchased a chain on Amazon or eBay at a really good price to determine if it's real or not. Most home bike mechanics are always looking for ways to save money, but this is one area that in my opinion is just not worth it.
Le Mechanic is offline  
Old 01-26-23, 09:24 PM
  #2  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 10,072

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2544 Post(s)
Liked 3,025 Times in 1,837 Posts
https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/infor...unterfeit.html
dedhed is online now  
Old 01-27-23, 09:07 AM
  #3  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 2,771
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1400 Post(s)
Liked 1,415 Times in 834 Posts
These stories have been floating around for a few years. At this point, I just assume any dirt cheap Shimano product on Ebay or Amazon is counterfeit, stolen or a factory second (that was also stolen).
It seems likely that factory rejected stuff (both parts and packaging) sometimes ends up in the back of someone's van instead of the dumpster - so some of this stuff probably does come from Shimano but didn't pass inspections.
msu2001la is offline  
Likes For msu2001la:
Old 01-28-23, 08:15 AM
  #4  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,534

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 522 Post(s)
Liked 485 Times in 353 Posts
I did vendor evaluations in the PRC for a few years. From Shimano to Louis Vuitton you can find fakes that are top quality. International manufacturers using PRC fabricators use full time QA/QC people to insure quality but when the 100,000 chain production run has ended they leave with all the tooling and raw material in place or available for the manufacture to use for fakes and they do. You might get a perfect Shimano chain in a box with unusual printing or color or a crap chain in a perfect box because they substituted cheaper raw materials or you might get a perfect 100% Shimano that was contract end run of a couple hundred sold at a fraction of the price. I believe the Chinese view cheating differently as in their proverb "The first time you cheat me, be ashamed. The second time it is I who must be ashamed."
easyupbug is offline  
Old 01-28-23, 11:35 AM
  #5  
grumpus
Senior Member
 
grumpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 675
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 172 Posts
Originally Posted by easyupbug
I believe the Chinese view cheating differently as in their proverb "The first time you cheat me, be ashamed. The second time it is I who must be ashamed."
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" the equivalent phrase in use in English since the 17th century, supposedly of Italian origin.
grumpus is offline  
Old 01-28-23, 01:10 PM
  #6  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,716

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3090 Post(s)
Liked 2,052 Times in 1,335 Posts
People are really hoping sometimes that itís factory leftovers or fell off a truck but what weíve seen posted here caught is definitely outrageously counterfeit. The XT pedals were more impressive than the chain, which was just basic chain but with fake imprint on the links in a fake box

https://www.mtbr.com/threads/fake-deore-xt.1210812/

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 01-28-23 at 01:16 PM.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 01-28-23, 09:46 PM
  #7  
krakhaus 
Full Member
 
krakhaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Springs, California
Posts: 464
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Liked 453 Times in 176 Posts
My wife ordered me a cassette for Christmas, that was clearly a fake. I've been using it anyway because I needed a new one. I don't think it shifts quite as smoothly, but not bad enough to ditch it
krakhaus is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 06:26 AM
  #8  
datlas 
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 41,667

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 556 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21202 Post(s)
Liked 7,689 Times in 3,615 Posts
I bought three 11 speed Shimano chains from two different EBay sellers about 6 months ago. Sadly, all three are counterfeit. I would be very cautious about this.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 10:25 AM
  #9  
momoman
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 238

Bikes: 2013 Wilier Gran Turismo, 1983 Trek 760, 80's Colnago Super, 90's De Rosa SLX, 2009 Waterford 22 Series Singlespeed, 85 Medici Pro Strada, De Rosa Alumino frameset, Dave Molten Fuso frameset, 70's beater Peugeot PX10

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked 186 Times in 86 Posts
Has anyone found or tried the Shimano Product Authentication app for iOS? I canít find it in the App Store.
momoman is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 11:45 AM
  #10  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 7,262
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6502 Post(s)
Liked 10,147 Times in 4,348 Posts
Originally Posted by momoman
Has anyone found or tried the Shimano Product Authentication app for iOS? I canít find it in the App Store.
I looked too, and couldn't find it.

This thread prompted me to examine the several Shimano chains I have hanging on the pegboard in my garage. One Dura Ace chain and one Ultegra chain seem fine, but another Ultegra chain is a slight outlier in that its quick links are inside the same plastic package with the chain itself, rather than in their own separate little plastic bag -- which the video claims indicates a counterfeit chain. Otherwise the chain and packaging appear to be exactly like all other Shimano Ultegra chains I've purchased. So now I'm a bit torn -- do I use this one, or throw it out?
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 12:58 PM
  #11  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 2,994

Bikes: Trek FX 2, Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD4, Santa Cruz Stigmata GRX

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1531 Post(s)
Liked 1,116 Times in 791 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la
At this point, I just assume any dirt cheap Shimano product on Ebay or Amazon is counterfeit, stolen or a factory second (that was also stolen).
From what I have read here and elsewhere online, the problem on Amazon.com is that the inventory from different sellers are not segregated. This aggregation makes inventory logistics and order fulfillment easier, but if one seller introduced counterfeits into the inventory, those counterfeits could be used to fulfill orders by other sellers, including Amazon.com.

Originally Posted by Koyote
... but another Ultegra chain is a slight outlier in that its quick links are inside the same plastic package with the chain itself, rather than in their own separate little plastic bag -- which the video claims indicates a counterfeit chain. ... So now I'm a bit torn -- do I use this one, or throw it out?
That is a fake and you can use it to make 4 chain whips.
SoSmellyAir is online now  
Old 01-29-23, 01:13 PM
  #12  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 7,262
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6502 Post(s)
Liked 10,147 Times in 4,348 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
From what I have read here and elsewhere online, the problem on Amazon.com is that the inventory from different sellers are not segregated. This aggregation makes inventory logistics and order fulfillment easier, but if one seller introduced counterfeits into the inventory, those counterfeits could be used to fulfill orders by other sellers, including Amazon.com.
Moving forward, I think I'll only order chains from very reputable websites such as Competitive Cyclist, or from my LBS.

​​​​​​
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
That is a fake and you can use it to make 4 chain whips.
Good idea, but I've already got two good chain whips...So it's going in the trash.
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 01:15 PM
  #13  
scottfsmith
I like bike
 
scottfsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Merry Land USA
Posts: 645

Bikes: Roubaix Comp 2020

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 180 Posts
Post deleted .. oops

Last edited by scottfsmith; 01-29-23 at 06:36 PM.
scottfsmith is offline  
Old 01-29-23, 06:31 PM
  #14  
LPaul
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
[QUOTE=scottfsmith;22784282]There is a recent YouTube which goes into great detail on fake vs real Shimano chains. My takeaway is the fakers now have the packaging approaching 100% and you need to look at the link construction carefully to tell the difference.

I think this was covered in the first post of this thread by the creator of that YouTube vid, wasn't it?
LPaul is offline  
Old 02-02-23, 12:20 PM
  #15  
mitchmellow62
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 41 Posts
A sincere thanks to Le Mechanic for the post. It led me to question the 2 HG53"s bought off ebay late last year. One is still in the rather convincing packagong. The chains came with a quick link. I can't find any 9 speed quick links on the Shimano website. The quick link is packaged together with the chain. The chain has the following stampings: CN-HG53, Shimano, Taiwan, and on some outer plates KD with Taiwan above it.

I contacted the seller, cycle_bike1991, and asked if they could verify the authenticity of the chains. In their response they stated that they buy their quality chains from China and Malaysia (remember they are stamped Taiwan). That pretty much verified to me that these are counterfeit.

I tried the Shimano Anti Counterfeit Protection page on their website. The ACP verification app they talk about is not available in the Google and Apple app stores. I can't find any contact info to send an email or to call.

I turned to Ebay to report this and also can't find any contact info that works. If you open contact us it just leads to a page with more detailed subject info but no phone number or email. On my acccount page there is a "tell us what you think" button that leads to being able to leave a message but it is in reference to the account summary page. I left a message anyway but after sending a pop up said there would be no individual response but the info would be reviewed and used.

So left the buyer beware. And you're on your own. It doesn't look like anyone is too interested in policing it.
mitchmellow62 is offline  
Likes For mitchmellow62:
Old 02-02-23, 12:32 PM
  #16  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,114
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Liked 315 Times in 242 Posts
I only buy bike parts from local shops or from REI or small independent online retailers like Performancebike. Amazon does nothing to police its sellers and often creates its own products to cannabilize sales of legitimate sellers.
Calsun is offline  
Likes For Calsun:
Old 02-02-23, 01:07 PM
  #17  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,997
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 301 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 130 Times in 100 Posts
Kind of off subject but this reminds me of the florid # of 'half price" USPS stamps ads that suddenly appeared on facebook recently
all with the same pix but different sources. "100 stamps for $27.50, beat the price increase". Suspect that will be quite lucrative,
even with a 0.01% response rate.
sch is offline  
Old 02-03-23, 08:41 AM
  #18  
Joearch
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 150

Bikes: Bianchi Infinito CV Disc Ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 31 Posts
Thank you to the OP for bringing up this topic. I will make sure to stay clear of Amazon for these type of products.
Joearch is offline  
Likes For Joearch:
Old 02-03-23, 08:44 AM
  #19  
prj71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 4,462
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2871 Post(s)
Liked 1,073 Times in 703 Posts
So what happens if you use an alleged counterfeit chain?

Do you fall down and go boom?
prj71 is online now  
Old 02-03-23, 12:32 PM
  #20  
scottfsmith
I like bike
 
scottfsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Merry Land USA
Posts: 645

Bikes: Roubaix Comp 2020

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 180 Posts
Originally Posted by prj71
So what happens if you use an alleged counterfeit chain?

Do you fall down and go boom?
The first time you force it with a pedal stroke a black hole will open up and suck you and your bike in.

Seriously, it will work just as well as buying any cheap, no-name chain out there: fast wearing which will also wear out your cassette faster and tolerances could be off from the start. More friction too I expect.
scottfsmith is offline  
Old 02-03-23, 03:32 PM
  #21  
Lombard
Sock Puppet
 
Lombard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 1,695

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Synapse Carbon, 2017 Jamis Renegade Exploit and too many others to mention.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1028 Post(s)
Liked 856 Times in 568 Posts
This is why I would not order bike parts on Amazon. If I'm going to buy parts online, I go with reputable vendors like Jensen, Modern Bike, etc. There are a few legitimate vendors on eBay, but pick carefully. If it sounds too good to be true.................
Lombard is online now  
Old 02-03-23, 03:42 PM
  #22  
mschwett 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,852

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1129 Post(s)
Liked 1,209 Times in 641 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote
I looked too, and couldn't find it.

This thread prompted me to examine the several Shimano chains I have hanging on the pegboard in my garage. One Dura Ace chain and one Ultegra chain seem fine, but another Ultegra chain is a slight outlier in that its quick links are inside the same plastic package with the chain itself, rather than in their own separate little plastic bag -- which the video claims indicates a counterfeit chain. Otherwise the chain and packaging appear to be exactly like all other Shimano Ultegra chains I've purchased. So now I'm a bit torn -- do I use this one, or throw it out?
i bought a couple 12 sp XTR/DA chains from a reputable british supplier, and they came in a plastic bag, no box, quick link in the bag. all the markings, hollow pins etc look legit and they work fine, but i have to wonder. i assumed they were just OEM or shop bulk packaging.
__________________
mschwett is offline  
Old 02-03-23, 04:34 PM
  #23  
2_i 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,608

Bikes: Trek 730 (quad), 720 & 830, Bike Friday NWT, Brompton M27R & M6R, Dahon HAT060 & HT060, ...

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 793 Post(s)
Liked 310 Times in 230 Posts
Originally Posted by Le Mechanic
I was replacing a couple of customer supplied chains on 2 bikes that I was tuning up at the bike shop where I work. I've come across this issue a few times now since the pandemic created so many issues with product availability, many times with Shimano parts, but we're seeing lots of counterfeit parts purchased off Amazon. In this situation, after inspecting the supplied chains, I made a quick video comparing one of the fake supplied chains to a genuine Shimano chains. Hopefully the video will be helpful to someone who purchased a chain on Amazon or eBay at a really good price to determine if it's real or not. Most home bike mechanics are always looking for ways to save money, but this is one area that in my opinion is just not worth it. https://youtu.be/79K-T0RWV84
Thanks for the warning and the video! Given the more sophisticated profiling in the Shimano chain vs counterfeit, might there be a noticeable weight difference between the two?
2_i is offline  
Old 02-04-23, 08:52 AM
  #24  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,451
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 780 Post(s)
Liked 904 Times in 652 Posts
Originally Posted by Lombard
This is why I would not order bike parts on Amazon. If I'm going to buy parts online, I go with reputable vendors like Jensen, Modern Bike, etc. There are a few legitimate vendors on eBay, but pick carefully. If it sounds too good to be true.................
+1. I'll add an ebay seller that I have used many times including Shimano and KMC chains. Trail This, 99.9% positive feedback from over 440k (yes, over 440,000) reviews and no accusations of counterfeits. Prices are very good but are sometimes slightly cheaper from the more untrustworthy sellers. On Ebay, always go for sellers with 99% or better feedback and check the negative feedback for claims of counterfeit parts.
Crankycrank is offline  
Likes For Crankycrank:
Old 02-04-23, 01:53 PM
  #25  
georges1
Steel is real
 
georges1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Not far from Paris
Posts: 1,806

Bikes: 1992Giant Tourer,1992MeridaAlbon,1996Scapin,1998KonaKilaueua,1993Peugeot Prestige,1991RaleighTeamZ(to be upgraded),1998 Jamis Dragon,1992CTWallis(to be built),1998VettaTeam(to be built),1995Coppi(to be built),1993Grandis(to be built)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 668 Times in 446 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank
+1. I'll add an ebay seller that I have used many times including Shimano and KMC chains. Trail This, 99.9% positive feedback from over 440k (yes, over 440,000) reviews and no accusations of counterfeits. Prices are very good but are sometimes slightly cheaper from the more untrustworthy sellers. On Ebay, always go for sellers with 99% or better feedback and check the negative feedback for claims of counterfeit parts.
True, I am going to buy a stock of Dura Ace chains next month from a seller with 99%
georges1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.