You may have unknowingly purchased an aftermarket or fake part for your bike as a BMX rider. As you would know, these beauties are expensive but easy to get.
Due to its high demand, some retailers resell fake aftermarket bikes or parts.
However, since there are no guarantees from a fake BMX, you might incur losses if you purchase it.
There are discrete and hidden signs of a fake BMX bike; read on to find out more.
To detect a fake BMX bike, check its branding and serial number. If the brand name has a wrong spelling or logo, it is a counterfeit BMX. You can also run the serial number through the company to confirm its originality. A fake BMX can be a hazard during usage, so ensure to check and verify if it’s original.
How Do You Know If Your BMX Is Fake?
Nowadays, almost every product has an imitation. Unfortunately, like other products in the market, BMX bikes also have fast-growing counterfeit parts.
The production of these imitations ranges from cheap manufacturing processes to fake branding.
Original bicycle motocross rides come with original company labeling and parts of consistent dimension and geometry.
Unlike the originals, the counterfeit market does not have quality and safety assurance. Some of the telltale signs in a fake BMX bike are:
- Poor packaging
- Uncommonly large logos
- Cheap materials
- Large serial number
- Cheap materials
- Different tube dimensions and geometry from the original
Some parts of the bikes are also sold as fakes by illegal manufacturing companies.
These replacement parts may be cheap but have no safety assurance that protects you from accidents.
Some of these parts include:
BMX brand labels are one of the most common forms of imitation.
However similar it might be, you can easily spot the difference if you know your bike brands well.
You can also search online for the particular brand website to compare its branding to the one on your BMX.
Some original BMX brands have the same size of bar and QR codes. A counterfeit of that brand’s product will have a broader barcode.
In addition, its packaging is usually very different from the original quality packaging.
#2. Serial Number
You can also spot a counterfeit BMX bike with serial numbers. A brand can track the serial numbers in an original BMX.
They also register it in their database for theft or product confirmation cases.
To locate your bike serial number, check the underside of the hanger, which you may know as the bottom bracket. It is the part that connects to the pedals.
However, some brands may place the serial numbers in a different part of the bike.
Therefore if you cannot locate your serial in the bottom bracket, you can also check the head tube, the bottom of the seat tube, the rear dropout, or the top of the crank.
Also, ensure to confirm the position of your serial number for your bike model from the company.
Your brand manufacturer uniquely allocated the bike serial number so that no other bike can have your serial code.
In addition, it helps you find parts that are compatible with your bike if you need a replacement.
Each BMX bike brand has its own data identification and discovery system.
The initial numbers in the serial numbers often indicate the month and year of your bike’s manufacture.
The other part of the serial number shows your bike’s specifics, like its name and type. You can also confirm your BMX serial number by searching for it online.
You can decode your bike’s serial number by typing ‘[the brand name of your BMX] bike serial code decoder.’
The hardware of an original BMX bike, like the seat post clamp, is solid and can withstand direct hits.
However, the counterfeit hardware does not have quality and safety assurance as its manufacturers use cheap and fake aftermarket materials in producing the bikes.
Some brands add inscriptions to their hardware so that you can compare your bike hardware to other original hardware from your brand.
Like hardware, original handlebars are long-lasting and resistant to direct hits.
Its manufacturers assure its quality and security by passing it through tests like the flex test.
However, fake handlebars do not go through this process, making them flexible and easy to crack on hit impact.
Brands like Specialized do not make handlebars with graphics on them.
However, counterfeit handlebars of this brand usually have large blue or red visuals.
#5. Cable Routing
Authentic bike bars have a clear and solid cable connection. However, the counterfeit bars have poor attachment and entry holes, unlike the original.
The frame of a counterfeit bike has unequal geometry due to its cheap manufacturing processes.
It is unequal because its frame does not have an equal parts geometry and dimension as the authentic frames.
In addition, the tube length of the fake frames does not have the same length as the original frame.
Imitators usually thread the bottom brackets of counterfeit frames, which are not the same as the authentic ones.
Also, the frameset of the original is lighter than its imitation. An SL4 product tester ran a weight test on two framesets: an authentic and a counterfeit frameset.
According to the test results, the original frame weight was about 1,460 grams, while the fake frame weight was 1,570 grams.
The weight difference resulted from the frame’s low-quality and cheap seat collar. Therefore, the more low-quality parts in your bike, the heavier the frame.
Like the seat collar, the headset may also be a counterfeit.
Most genuine brands use carbon cups attached to the frame, while imitators use alloy cups integrated into the frame.
The alloy cups are weaker and will break from a direct hit.
Tips To Consider Before Purchasing Aftermarket Parts
Some parts of your bike might be fake, aftermarket, or original, especially if you did not purchase it from the brand store.
Aftermarket parts are produced by a licensed company agreeing with the original bike company.
You might know these parts as replacement parts, non-OEM parts, or generic parts.
Unlike fake parts, aftermarket parts have similar geometry and dimensions and do not use cheap manufacturing processes in producing BMX bike parts.
Before purchasing an aftermarket, consider the following tips:
- Ask professionals for advice on your preferred bikes and their aftermarket parts manufacturers.
- Be careful of the stores you are purchasing from. Ensure it is a verified aftermarket part store as some vendors may try to sell you fake aftermarket parts.
- If the price of the BMX part is too reasonable to be true, it might be. But, on the other hand, if it has a suspiciously low price or looks too new or freshly painted, reject such offers and try to purchase from the company store directly. Read more about what prices a BMX should be?
- You can also get the part inspected by a professional if you can. It is a good option if you are unfamiliar with identifying fake and aftermarket versions of BMX parts.
- If you are going to purchase from an online store, it is essential to check the seller’s reputation. Also, check the refund policy, feedback, ratings from other customers, and other products sold.
- The store’s popularity, range of goods, and support service will tell you a great deal about the quality of parts sold in the store.
- Though imitators are getting better at forging BMX parts, there are telltale signs on the parts that might be noticeable. Look out for the inconsistencies in the fake aftermarket part packaging and the aftermarket/original packaging.
- Also, keep in mind that the counterfeit parts are usually heavier than the genuine part, so check the exact weight online before purchasing the aftermarket part.
In summary, you do not want to get an accident from using a counterfeit part in your BMX bike.
Therefore, thoroughly check the part you want to purchase for inconsistencies like poor packaging and labeling and the bike serial number.
Also, ensure that the frame has equal geometry and dimension and that it did not go through cheap manufacturing processes.
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