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How to spot a counterfeit?

1277 Views 20 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  smokersteve
I'm building my next bike and I stumbled upon an appealing Colnago V2R frame, UAE team edition. $800.

It seems to be good to be true, so you want to make sure it is not a knock-off.
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Any advice? What should I look for?
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I found this article interesting... To Catch a Bike Counterfeiter

You could just google "How to spot a counterfeit bike" LOTS of good articles and videos.

But for $800. Sounds too good to be true? Then it is. The basic frame is $4400. The team edition is going to be even more expensive.
That is a used frame, so new $$$ do not apply. Also, no disks for U.
I would think it is used. But, as I've been looking at used frames a lot lately, you would be hard pressed to get a decent frame from a reputable reseller for that amount, although I have found a few used entry level Trek frames for $899 - $999. I can find vanilla versions of that bike frame on ebay for $3700 - $4500, so, a high end team edition frame for $800? With what little info we were provided, I'd stay clear. Read the article I posted above.

To be able to provide a more informed decision, we'd want to know about the seller, where was it advertised, how it was advertised (was it "email us for details"?), etc.

My gut says it is either fake or stolen. But my gut has been wrong before.
It is online but the seller(a UCI-certified mechanic) is open to doing things face-to-face in Medellín, where he lives. I happen to have family there so that's something. I can inspect it but I don't know if my eyes (my sister, her husband's, my nephew's, or even mine) could spot a crack. I feel these were used by Pros riding UAE a few years ago, so my main concern would be about what levels of stress those frames have been into. My second concern is the sizing now since I've realized Colnagos' sizing works somehow different from the others. My current frame is 46, and this one is 48s, apparently way out of my league. I'm 5'2". The seller thinks it may work for me since he sees that I have plenty of spacers and the seat post is way too high, but it may be just the seller's speech. I actually want it, but still dubious.

I wrote to Colnago and told me to get the serial number. I replied with it, I guess I'll get an answer tomorrow. I guess I believe it is not a knock-off, now my concerns are about wear and sizing.
Well, If you got a serial number you should find out pretty quick if it is fake and, if not, maybe some of the frame's history.
UPdate: Got a reply from Colnago:

"It is an original V2r, size 48s, built in 2019"

Too bad it is not my size :(
Thanks for that. I was just about to ask what they said. I too would be concerned about sizing, particularly with a race frame.
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