The China Connection - sourcing, discussing and group ordering Chinese/Taiwanese frames/wheels/etc

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
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Tokyo
#1
After a bit of a thread derail in the wheel building thread, I thought it best to create a new thread where we can all chip in with our experiences, good or otherwise, regarding bikes and parts sourced in China and Taiwan.

This first post will be updated over time with a list of reputable (and otherwise) manufacturers, resellers and online sellers of carbon/TI frames, carbon/alu rims and other components. From there, we can always move towards doing group buys of things which garner enough interest. Bottle cages, bottles (TCC branded?), wheelsets (40mm deep, 27mm wide carbon clinchers please) - whatever floats our collective boats.


Remember - this thread is a resource. If you want to comment on things with which you have first-hand experience, go ahead. If you want to be a fearmonger or grumble about intellectual property etc, please leave it out of this thread.


All right. Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.

Carbon bike frames
Hong Fu
Deng Fu
Zhongwei (CN) - use different code names to other manufacturers for the same frames. Also, some frames use the BBright system - a potential annoyance.

Carbon rims
Farsports (shop) (CN) - standard v-shape to more modern u-shape rims and wheels available in 20.5 to 25mm widths. Very good reputation. Available from their own web shop.
Yoeleo (CN) - huge range of rims including tubeless,available in 20.5 to 25mm widths. Very good reputation. Available from their own web shop.
Carbon-cycle (CN) - eBay shop front for Flybike, one of the manufacturers of Deng Fu parts. Sell U-shape rims as well as the modern 27mm toroidal styles. Good reputation and open to custom configurations. The salesperson, Rae, can apparently be contacted at carboncycles@163.com for price negotiations and customisation.
Yishun/Asian Cycle Express (CN) - Maker of some new "high TG resin" rims which can apparently withstand higher (240degrees) braking temps than rivals. No confirmation as of yet whether that's true or not. Seem to get good reviews.

Aluminium rims
Kinlin (Manufacturer TW) - lightweight to midweight rims. OEM maker for a bunch of different wheel companies/wheel builders,mainly their 270mm and 279mm "wide" clincher models. Available very cheaply here and via BikeHubStore which also sell some exclusive newer models.

Components/Accessories (stems, seatposts, handlebars, bottle cages)
Hylix - make a "branded" version of the mystery carbon components you see knocking around on places like Alibaba/Aliexpress/Ebay/Yahoo Auctions. Quite a lot of people own their carbon seatposts and handlebars. Available on ebay.
Hong Fu
Deng Fu
 
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GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
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Setagaya
#2
My weight weenie purchase history:
A carbon saddle and bottle cages directly from www.flyxii.com. All decent quality, no failures so far. I wrapped some old inner tube round the bare carbon rails to prevent cracking of the surface epoxy on any sharp edges of the saddle clamp - not a problem with some seatposts.
This carbon saddle from "Cycling you" on AliExpress. Choice of seller based solely on price - they no longer seem to exist on there. Saddle is about the second most common design for no-name Chinese carbon saddles. Still in use today with no problems.
Kalloy Uno "7" stem from ebay. A very light for the price (100 g for 100 mm for 2-3,000 yen) Taiwan-made stem. Still on the bike with aluminium bars.
This carbon cradle from CarbonCycles.cc to tune a seatpost for use with carbon rails. No complaints. J&L version (probably identical) also available on ebay.
These J&L aluminium yokes from ebay to further tune a seatpost for use with carbon rails. No complaints, and much cheaper than equivalent POP (parts of passion) yokes.
I also have a J&L titanium bolt seatpost clamp (9 g) and J&L titanium QR sqewers (37 g). Both bought off ebay and both still on the bike.
These planet-X CNC calliper brakes (made in Taiwan). About 200 g for the pair, I got them for £70 at the time. Fiddly, but after a few months I'm finally used to them and the stopping power is almost on par with my previous 105 (5700) brakes.
Recently bought some real bargain-basement carbon bars. Lots of "reviews", will see how they hold up to social riding.
And some Kinlin XR-200 rims with closeout hubs from BikeHubStore.com, built by Owen into a sub-1300 g wheelset. When I had some problems with the rear hub and contacted Brandon he was less than punctual with replying to my emails. Has since apologised and last response was timely, but am put off buying from there again.
 
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Likes: bawbag

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
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#3
Good info in here.

About rims; there are some standard Chinese rims that all of the resellers use. These are acquired either from FarSports, who are themselves a reseller for the factory that makes all of this stuff, or are got direct from this factory (can't remember the name of the factory, but there are a few mega-threads on WW, SlowTwitch, etc. about this. These rims are identical regardless of the reseller you get them from (and regardless of the sticker they put on it, trying to pass the rims off as their own design, haha).

These rims are alright. I have a set of the 38mm clinchers which I use with some Tune hubs. I have also used the 38mm tubular. @saibot, @leicaman and @Mlac Peek have all got wheels with the same rims too (well, @saibot has sold his, but whatever). They are good for the price, but do melt eventually (or quickly, if you brake like a maniac). They come in at about $300 for a pair, but you might be able to get them for even less from one of the countless resellers. There are also some outfits attempting to charge a LOT more for these rims too, so avoid them of course.

You can tell that you are looking at these rims in a number of ways; structurally, and also with the QC and warning stickers they put on them in the factory.

Structure;
-They always come in 24mm, 38mm, 50mm, 60mm and 88mm depths. They come in 20.5mm, 23mm, and 25mm widths.
-They come in UD matte, UD Gloss, 3K matte and 3K gloss finishes.
-The braking track looks the same on all of them, regardless of the finish; it is just standard woven carbon, with a slightly dusty resin finish, which leads me to the next point;
-They always have 'Basalt' braking surfaces, or some invented name by the reseller for this braking surface.
-They are made in 4 sections of carbon, with each section being laid into the next at an angle. You can see this very clearly when looking at the rims straight on.
-On the clinchers, the rim profile is always identical.

Stickers and labels (if the reseller hasn't peeled them off)
-They mostly have the same warning sticker on, which is a parallelogram with rounded edges.
-Inside the rim they have a drive side direction sticker. There is no difference between a 'front' and 'rear' rim from them; only spoke holes, so if you get a front wheel it will also have this direction sticker on it.
-There is a round QC sticker with a manually written OK on it.
-There is a serial number / barcode sticker inside with the same layout and info on every rim.

Images (these rims were acquired from two completely different resellers; the stickers vary in colour due to staining from rim tape)

QC sticker.



Serial number sticker (note also the same pen mark next to this, which is some kind of extra check done in the same factory)



Rim profile (Clincher rims). Note also the identical sized spoke hole drilling.



And this is the parallelogram warning sticker you will see on all of these rims (again, unless the reseller has peeled it off)

Images from two completely different resellers on Amazon.





So there you go. These rims are alright, and as I say I ride them and have built quite a few of them up for mates. Just don't expect miracles and don't pay any more than about 300 USD for a pair (hunt around and you will get them even cheaper than that!
 

George5

Maximum Pace
Oct 16, 2014
385
141
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46
#4
Good info here. I know the UFC have new rules requiring safety compliance. Has anyone ever been stopped from using these at an event here in Japan?
 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
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Setagaya
#7
My bargain-basement carbon bars just arrived. These ones. 7 days between order and arrival. 178 g for 40 mm (centre to centre). Fake 3T branding also as shown in photos and not removable with acetone. Haven't disintegrated/exploded/cracked and feel pretty stiff so will go on the bike whenever my knees are good again.
 
Likes: Andy in Tokyo

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#9
Try Isopropyl Alcohol. You can get large Walter White blue bottles of it from most drug stores. Enjoy the cashier raising an eyebrow at you when you buy 4 litres of that that stuff. Haha. Not definite it will work, but whatever happens, you are going to get very high off the fumes so it is a win regardless.
 
Likes: bawbag

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
63
Tokyo
#10
My bargain-basement carbon bars just arrived. These ones. 7 days between order and arrival. 178 g for 40 mm (centre to centre). Fake 3T branding also as shown in photos and not removable with acetone. Haven't disintegrated/exploded/cracked and feel pretty stiff so will go on the bike whenever my knees are good again.
I used one of the lightest grit scotchbrite pads to get some of the Hylix decals off. For the rest I just used some of that fancy 3M thin vinyl wrap in matte black to cover them up.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#11
I'll guess I will just fill my bathroom with the stuff and leave the bars in overnight.

Fitting info for the thread: how to remove any proof that my components are from China.
 

George5

Maximum Pace
Oct 16, 2014
385
141
73
46
#12
Try some light sand paper to scratch and roughen up the top of the decal and then wrap it with some paper towels soaked in solvent and then glad wrap over the paper towels to keep the fumes in place.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#15
^Hahahaha, excellent and true.

I got the vinyl logos off my real Deda SuperLeggera carbon bars and carbon seat post using 1500grit then 2000grit then 3000grit sandpaper, then polishing it off (oo-er) with Quixx Paint Scratch Remover to match the surroundings. Anyone who has ridden behind me and had the pleasure of being blinded by the reflection off my shiny black shaft will be able to attest to how good it looks.
 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
1,199
143
Setagaya
#16
Guys, these are all great ideas.
I am getting some RoppongiBar™ stickers made up FOR my new 100% great PRODUCT.
I was going to call them "Roppongi Bars" but apparently there are ALREADY some bars in Roppongi.
So RoppongiBar™ it is!
Anyone wanting to buy some RoppongiBar™ bars just hand over the money you idiot.
Thanks guys!

(Just got rid of my logos with 150, 1500 then 2000 grit sandpaper and some plastic polish stuff for cars.)
 
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TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#18
@The Raven That is clearly not an original. You have just got hold of some of these and changed the sticker on them, and tried to pass them off as your own.

 
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