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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, in another thread regarding the 2007 Dream HX, a poster raises the possibility that Mike Perry of Maestro is selling "fake" Colnagos that may not be fabricated or painted by Colnago. I find find this very difficult to believe, simply from a technological standpoint, i.e., a 2007 Dream HX is given to another bicycle manufacturer, who then reverse engineers it and builds clones? This is an extreme accusation, and I'd like to know if anybody else has further information. On the one hand, I'll cancel my order if I'm getting a "fake Colnago" (I could purchase any number of frames from Taiwan or China if that's what I wanted), on the other hand, if these accusations are without merit I find them outrageous.
 

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Lol. .

Sablotny said:
So, in another thread regarding the 2007 Dream HX, a poster raises the possibility that Mike Perry of Maestro is selling "fake" Colnagos that may not be fabricated or painted by Colnago.
You must also believe in UFO, and little green men too hugh? There's goo d medication out there for your symptoms.
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't shoot the messenger

I thought the accusations were outrageous- if its simply a smear campaign I'd like to expose it. Either way, I'm all for shedding more light on the claims or the reasons behind them.
 

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RoadBikeReview Member
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I agree with “Sablotny”, the accusation is very serious. As I have posted in the 2007 Dream HX thread (#8), my experience with Mike Perry is absolutely positive.

Did I get a “fake” 2006 C50? Well, my frame has the slotted Ti bottom bracket-Italian thread, oversized Master profile top and down tubes, updated HP chainstays, new ribbed Star fork, and of course the short carbon lugs. I also measured all the dimensions, all within millimetres. If this is a fake, it is a VERY good knock-off. Imagine the investment someone has to make to produce knock-off carbon frames, not just C50 but also President, Extreme-C/Power, Cristallo, and all the other models which Mike sells.

Furthermore, Mike Perry is selling the frames from UK. I followed the forum in UK Cycling Weekly as well. There are people who actually went to his shop to pick up their bikes. So he is physically accessible in a country where copy right law is enforced. Imagine if Mike is selling fake Colnagos, wouldn’t Colnago or the UK distributor/dealer take legal action against him. Mike has been selling Colnagos for many years and his not operating somewhere in China. For years, I have yet read anywhere that someone has bought from Maestro and received a fake Colnago.

There is the question whether he is an authorized dealer. Like I have mentioned in the other thread, there could be an unpublicized arrangement between Maestro and Colnago. I can understand accusation a Colnago dealer would make against Maestro. It is true, Mike is taking a good chunk of sales from them and has for many years.
 

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Painting is Probably Often Subcontracted

I bought my C50 from Mike. Pretty sure it's the Real Thing!

FWIW, I'm nevertheless also pretty sure that the bikes coming from Maestro are coming through the Belgian distributor, and that distributor uses its own paint shop/painting subcontractor. To be honest, it's some time now since I bought my bike, so I can't remember whether I got that from -- either this board or from Mike himself. There's one frequent poster here that has personal knowledge of the European Colnago distribution channels, and I seem to recall he'd mentioned this in a number of his posts.

In any case, if true, my personal experience would seem to lend some credibility to this. Specifically, I bought a 2006 production year C50 in the EITA paint scheme from Mike. A close freind of mine bought exactly the same bike (2006 C50 in EITA) at the same time, but from TotalCycling in the UK. We received our bikes at about the same time. The frames were identical (same weave, same lugs, etc.), but the paint schemes are subtly different: The "Colnago" name throughout is in different fonts, the "Colnago" name was on the bottom of his down tube, but not on mine, the logos and graphics on the seat stays were different, etc. I also have a 2004 Dream B-Stay that I got through Competitive Cyclist. There again, the fonts, lettering and some other common graphics elements are different.

I like the unique Colnago paint schemes, but this didn't worry me at all.
 

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NO C50 HP LX24 RACER MAN FOR ME!
I got 2006 C50 HP from Mike this past April. It's the real deal. The only issue I had was with my paintjob. I ordered it in the uncommon LX24 (for a C50). Looking on the Trialtir color history page, LX24 looked different on models. Some had the "Racer man", some didn't. To my dismay, mine came without the Racer man, but it did look like another model without the racer that was on Trialtir's site. I spoke to Joe Bell and Dave Sem (about a future top tube repaint) and the Racer is a tedious job involving specific templates. I do believe they are repainted by a subcontractor (hence they do the easier older schemes).
I was wondering if anyone else has gotten the Racer man recently? To Mike's credit did offer to take it back and do a repaint. In addition he was a pleasure to do business with, and I knew the risk of the paintjob before I went into it. Once again I heard the same reply "You are at the mercy of the painter".
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting Stuff

Now I'm wondering how, if Mike has no "communication with" the Colnago factory, he obtains scores of frames in the white and has them painted by subcontractors. Are all the frames from authorized dealers painted in Cambiago, or are all Colnago frames painted by miscellaneous subcontractors? This is getting bizarre.
 

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Sablotny said:
Now I'm wondering how, if Mike has no "communication with" the Colnago factory, he obtains scores of frames in the white and has them painted by subcontractors. Are all the frames from authorized dealers painted in Cambiago, or are all Colnago frames painted by miscellaneous subcontractors? This is getting bizarre.
The red bird rides at dawn...repeat...the red bird rides at dawn. that is all. :cryin::rolleyes:
 

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I think it has got to be a cost of labor thing; just a sign of the competitive bike market times. Consider what Ernesto would have to pay a painter to do an truly fully handpainted elaborate old scheme vs. pretty simple (no offense to those who own one) 2006 schemes that were offered by US dealers via Trialtir in 2006 for the C50. I really think Ernesto wants his bikes sold and the more on the road the better. If he can subcontract the tedious task of painting and still have a qualtiy product why wouldn't he. It just sucks for people like some of us that still remember when handpainted usually meant Mauritzio or Massimo was in the back room with an airbrush..........
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This time, honestly, thanks

I'm just looking for some background on where these 'fake' Colnago accusations come from. If frames or paint are outsourced, fine. My Titus Racer-X frame was outsourced, but it wasn't a big secret. It just seems that with all the mystique around Ernesto, the Ferrari connection, etc., with price tags to match, that people should know what they're getting.
 

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wut?
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Sablotny said:
On the one hand, I'll cancel my order if I'm getting a "fake Colnago" (I could purchase any number of frames from Taiwan or China if that's what I wanted), on the other hand, if these accusations are without merit I find them outrageous.
Aren't some "real" Colnagos actually made in Asia? I think the aluminum frames are... Sorry, kind of OT.
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
True, some are made in Taiwain

And Colnago's web site says which models & forks are. But there's nothing about batches of frames going elsewhere to be painted, or certain carbon bits being made in Belgium instead of ATR in Italy.
 

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Sablotny said:
And Colnago's web site says which models & forks are. But there's nothing about batches of frames going elsewhere to be painted, or certain carbon bits being made in Belgium instead of ATR in Italy.
Yeah, I know, I was just asking out of curiosity.
 

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Oh boy!

I bought a C40 from Mike in 2003. This was the first year HP chainstays were made for the public, Mapei having gotten them at the end of 2002 in time for a few riders to use them at the World Championships that year.

I asked Mike to see if I could get mine with the older, non-HP chainstays and AD paint. He was able to do both although it took some time as none were available in the greige and Colnago had a shortage of painters at that time, curtailing production.

I picked up the bike in person and spent the day with Mike as he built up my bike. He and the bike are the real deal.

Note, he is not an "authorized" dealer for Colnago in the UK but for those familiar with Colnago distribution over the last 30 or so years, there has never been great clarity about Colnago's approach to the market. More recently with Trial-TIR in the US, probably his largest market, there appears to be greater uniformity.

Poster tmluk makes a great point regarding IPR and Mike's location and is worth noting.

In my dealings with Mike and based upon my conversations with him regarding the Euro, state of the European economy, VAT and import tax issues, regulation in both Europe and the UK, he is a man of character. I have done a fair amount of financing transactions in the last 28 years, including Europe and the UK and found him conversant, knowledgeable and opinionated in these areas. Make what you want of the fact that he is not an "authorized" dealer, something that he does not represent to be, but do not question his character.

Sablotny said:
So, in another thread regarding the 2007 Dream HX, a poster raises the possibility that Mike Perry of Maestro is selling "fake" Colnagos that may not be fabricated or painted by Colnago. I find find this very difficult to believe, simply from a technological standpoint, i.e., a 2007 Dream HX is given to another bicycle manufacturer, who then reverse engineers it and builds clones? This is an extreme accusation, and I'd like to know if anybody else has further information. On the one hand, I'll cancel my order if I'm getting a "fake Colnago" (I could purchase any number of frames from Taiwan or China if that's what I wanted), on the other hand, if these accusations are without merit I find them outrageous.
 

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l'illustre sconosciuto
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Since it was my post that raised this whole question, let me put the whole topic to rest. I wrote a number of facts:

1) Mike is not an authorized dealer (check the dealer listing for Britain at www.colnago.com for proof)
2) Mike continually claims privileged or personal contact with the Colnago operations in Italy that simply do not exist. A simple call to Italy will confirm this beyond a shadow of doubt. This is also confirmed when he is not able to supply a 2007 Colnago paint job that any authorized dealer can get at will.
3) The paint on the bikes that Mike sells have not been done in Italy. The only Italian built frames leaving Italy without paint are destined for Belgium. So given that it is common perception that Maestro is selling legitimate frames, they must come from Belgium. Were they not, Colnago would have long ago closed down Maestro for counterfeiting.

The only question that remains is why would anybody buy a Colnago from Mike? The answer from those who have purchased from him is clearly for service and price. As far as price goes, it is my observation that his prices are simply not that great when compared to others in continental Europe. As far as service goes, his lack of official dealer status makes for hassles for certain warranty matters but for the rest doesn't seem to impact him negatively.
 

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l'illustre sconosciuto
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boneman said:
Note, he is not an "authorized" dealer for Colnago in the UK but for those familiar with Colnago distribution over the last 30 or so years, there has never been great clarity about Colnago's approach to the market. More recently with Trial-TIR in the US, probably his largest market, there appears to be greater uniformity.
It was officialized today that as of later this month Trialtir will be losing the distribution rights for the US in favor of Veltec.


boneman said:
Make what you want of the fact that he is not an "authorized" dealer, something that he does not represent to be, but do not question his character.
I disagree with you completely here. I do question the character of somebody who continually misrepresents and lies about his relationship with perhaps the largest supplier of his livelihood. Mike lies continuously about his relationship with Colnago. He has repeated claimed to have a privileged relationship with Colnago when in reality he has no ties to them in any way. He has repeatedly claimed to be able to speak authoritatively about new Colnago products, contradicting the news coming form the authorized dealer network. It should however be noted than in more than one occasion, there was a financial incentive for him to not support the 'authorized line'. He makes fantastic claims about happenings in Italy that simply do not exist. These are all questions of character. I believe a more correct claim for Mike is that he is an accomplished mechanic who is willing to openly share his views. He furthermore has an unbridled passion for cycling and the Colnago brand in particular. He looks after his customer to the very best of his ability and knowledge and charges them fair prices. He is however no saint, and is known to be somewhat free with the truth if it suits his purposes.
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright, thanks for the background

I just wanted to know where all of this was coming from. You seemed to infer that Maestro was selling lesser Colnagos of some sort. But if Colnago willingly sells unpainted frames to the Belgian distributor, then I guess all Belgians are getting the same level of quality as I will. Maybe the paint job will help me ride like Eddy Merckx or Tom Boonen. Now I think I'll e-mail Mike and see where my Dream is.
 

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l'illustre sconosciuto
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Sablotny said:
I just wanted to know where all of this was coming from. You seemed to infer that Maestro was selling lesser Colnagos of some sort. But if Colnago willingly sells unpainted frames to the Belgian distributor, then I guess all Belgians are getting the same level of quality as I will. Maybe the paint job will help me ride like Eddy Merckx or Tom Boonen. Now I think I'll e-mail Mike and see where my Dream is.
This all stems from the fact that people like you are reading words into posts that simply do not exist. I have never inferred that Maestro-supplied bikes are fake or inferior. In fact the only way one could infer any lesser quality product coming from Maestro would be to believe that an Italian paint job is better than a Belgian one and/or that Mike sells counterfeit goods. I have certainly never said either of these things, nor have I read any well-founded posts to this effect.
 

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Climbin' Clyde
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Your words

I generally want to believe people, and you sound like a person with a lot more inside knowledge in the Colnago world than I possess- travelling to the factory, chatting with Ernesto in Italian, being bequethed with gifts and such. When you say, "If they are legit Colnago frames..." you are indeed saying that there's a chance that these are NOT legit frames, and I take it seriously. I just wanted to know if there was a world of faux-Colnagos being sold on street corners, or if there is simply resentment against non-authorized dealers. Personally, I have no desire to pay several hundred extra dollars more than I have to- my hobbies would diminish greatly if I had to pay full mark up for all of my toys.
 
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