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Alibayexpress parts you love

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
There's at least a few on here exploring the world of cheap / copied gear, I too have dabbled, some of it is awful but some is surprisingly nice - occasionally to the point of being better than brand-name parts. I'm talking primarily aliexpress, obviously the same gear ends up on ebay and amazon (often for higher prices).

I thought it'd be good to have a place to share bargain parts that end up being good. Suspect @rideit has some experience, possibly @Happymtb.fr or @slimshady (?), and others like @Sandwich who cannot resist a good chinese junk purchase.

I recently mentioned the Fifty-Fifty chain guides which I've used for years now, first found on aliexpress:
dhlite_2.jpg


I'm also a fan of EZ-bleed kits, also used for many years, also found on aliexpress:
ez_bleed2.jpg


Finally I've also been using fake TLD air gloves off aliexpress for many years, bit hard to find now as Mr. Lee must keep cracking down on the sellers - but I've found the look and quality to be as good as the genuine article at quarter price. You do have to type "MTB glove" and check the individual listings now, you can't use the trade name to search.
tldair.jpg



One thing I'm currently chasing is some dirt cheap ($20-40) flat pedals for my beater hardtail, requirements are sealed bearings, decent platform size, and hopefully not convex or super heavy. Oh, and not plastic.

Feel free to add anything good you've found!
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
13,221
3,324
North Van
Metallic brake pads seems to work. I know, probably a crime… especially since I claim to be picky about brakes.

I’ve had rotten luck with gloves. Sizes all over the place and garbage Velcro. But they arrived late and I got them free…. Get what ya pay for, I suppose.
 

Bike078

Monkey
Jan 11, 2018
497
329
Metallic brake pads seems to work. I know, probably a crime… especially since I claim to be picky about brakes.
How much for a set? I've seen metallic pads sold on the two most popular online platforms in my country (similar to aliexpress and likely same sources of products) but I've been wary because they were so cheap. I have tried the cheap organic pads and they were ok as long as it wasn't raining.
 

mykel

closer to Periwinkle
Apr 19, 2013
3,509
2,166
sw ontario canada
Just small parts where the normal chanel want to ass rape you.

Cable clips of various forms.
Anodized stem spacers.
Shifter cable housing.
Shifter cables.
Small brake parts, olives etc
Gold TiN KMC chains. (Identical to one from an auth dealer. Wore the same too)
Kapton tape for taping rims.
Tubeless valves.
Probably a few bits and bobs I have forgotten.
 

Happymtb.fr

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
1,354
710
SWE
Good thread topic @Udi and nice to have you back! :cheers:
I try to be more of a buy once cry once kind of person but I have nothing against a good deal obviously. I will post when I come across some interesting stuff.
 
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iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
3,730
1,561
Good to have you back Udi!
But I am wondering if you do not have any doubts about buying clearly counterfeit products? Where does this end? I know, a glove is not a high-end product, but if they would just not apply the TLD branding they would still be good gloves. Would you still have known about them or bought them then? If the answer is "no" then TLD did something to add value to their product that justifies a price higher than just the production costs + small margin. Also keep in mind, TLDs calculation is based on a certain percentage of their gloves being sold at a discount, so the average price is lower than MSRP.
 

daisycutter

Turbo Monkey
Apr 8, 2006
1,578
73
New York City
I have found the knock off TLD gloves to be of similar quality to the legit TLD. Bike fenders, pedal screws, brake pads, multi tools. Bike shorts, socks and jerseys are cheaper quality but good enough to sweat in. Non bike: blue tooth speaker, phone charge cords, blue tooth head phones, beach tent, winter gloves, hats, googles
 
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Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
3,798
2,046
UK
(Wolftooth) quick link tool copy .
104 4bolt NW chainrings.
Both 80% cheaper.
LED commuting lights
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
3,798
2,046
UK
Bought a pair of rip off TLD shorts from ebay once. They were awful. Terrible sizing and cut. Nothing like the real ones. The popper broke off just trying them on so I received a full refund.
Ali express can be a nightmare for refunds. Bought a super bright light for night riding and what eventually arrived was an empty box in sealed packaging. Seller just kept dodging the claim asking for evidence (I had taken pics and forwarded them along with explanation to AliX, and there was nothing else I could do really) Never did get a refund
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
3,798
2,046
UK
I also used to use the cheap chinese two bolt ISCG05 top guides (like the oneup guide) but after the hem of my jeans catching one and the backplate SNAPPING clean off on the way to work on a hardtail I've gone back to genuine ones.
A lot of the stuff really is shite.
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
13,221
3,324
North Van
How much for a set? I've seen metallic pads sold on the two most popular online platforms in my country (similar to aliexpress and likely same sources of products) but I've been wary because they were so cheap. I have tried the cheap organic pads and they were ok as long as it wasn't raining.
something like $8/pair.

they work!
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
Some stuff I should have added:
  • Please post a brand / model for what you're commenting on, ideally a photo or link.
  • Generic rambling comments don't help isolate what is good or bad, let's stick to what's good if possible. Everyone knows the fake TLD shorts and jerseys suck, only a relic like Gary would make that mistake.
  • No need to be ashamed, no patriotism or judgement here.
I've found careful checking of reviews can help avoid disappointment.
I run genuine TLD pants and genuine TLD helmets, but the fake TLD air gloves have been great.
@iRider I've earned the right.

Another thing I've found good (hideous graphics aside): narrow-wide chainrings, those that claim to be 7075 seem to genuinely be so, and I've found they last well. I've used the brands "snail" and "fouriers" with success, in 32T and 34T. I run full chain guides so maybe I'm not the best judge, but they work for me.

snail2.jpg


Another I've run for a while is KCNC rotors (on my lesser bike, i.e. enduro), their 203mm in the design below is solid. They used to be ridiculously cheap although they've slowly gone up in price:


Those wheel truing stands look great, and I'd like to see pics of the jockey wheels people like. If anyone's experienced pedals I think that'd be cool too.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,316
1,035
EDIT- I'm a whiny White male who didn't read the OP properly.
 
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HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
3,316
1,035
@HardtailHack
Come on, there's probably 400 threads in the lounge you can preach in, can you pick a different one?
Nah, I like this one.
I'll behave, I bought a few sets of $6 brake pads, they worked okay but I was too scared of them failing to use the rest. Probably came out of the same factory as name brand ones but I'm a shit rider and use the brakes a lot, the low price made me paranoid.
Got them from this seller, they also have the EZ bleed kit which I should purchase-
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/283608595981?hash=item420863be0d:g:P94AAOSwDG1ddbHf
 
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Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
I'm not game to try brake pads, mostly because I've found even many genuine brands easy to glaze.
No doubt there's some OK ones for those willing to experiment.

Never had an issue not getting orders but I try to use sellers with good reviews, and I also try to use "ePacket" shipping where possible - significantly faster than the free/cheapo methods. I figure part of the art is negotiating the maze of sellers and shipping options, that's why I recommend just products and not sellers.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
15,146
5,930
In the cleavage of the Tetons
Hunh, I have never ordered from Alibaba/etc. I am cheap, but generally stick to trusted sources. I have certainly gambled on authenticity with e-bay, but have only received a few counterfeit items. I guess I knowingly ordered a knock-off microspline freehub and a ‘dt Swiss’ 54 t ratchet, but they both worked just fine.
oh, yeah, and a bleed kit, which works perfectly.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,011
6,147
The old timey times
generally speaking, I've been trying to avoid slave labor industries a little more these days

it ain't easy, especially with clothes

and hey good luck with cargo shipping these days for a cheap widget

hard to know what's what on seller pages like these
 
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slimshady

¡Mira, una ardilla!
@Udi sorry but I won't be too much of a help here. I haven't bought anything payable via PayPal since a long time ago because the geniuses from the previous government decided only them and their friends could move pesos to dollars into tax havens, while we the peasants should stick to using our credit cards. Sorry for the rant, but in the last 6 years I've been forced to move to Amazon Pay backed stores because of the stupid normative I've just complained about.

Also, when you factor the shipping costs for small parts of from mainland China (at least for Argentina) prices tend to stop being as cheap/convenient as they looked in the beginning, and if I have to choose between the shipping speed, quality and warranty of the European stores versus the ephemeral shops in AliExpress I end up settling for the former. That's why I've been hunting for shocks, tires and shoes on the cheap from Bike24 and Bike-Components.

Some friends have ventured into AliExpress and bought HG-compatible Ltwoo 10/11/12 speed drivetrains really cheap. The quality is OK if you want to build a beater bike. Better to avoid the ones with included cranksets, as they seem to be made out of cheese, and the rear derailleurs have the adjustment screws biting into plastic parts, which ultimately leads to premature wear. I'd say the cassettes are the best parts of these gruppos. The shifting quality is OK, and wear rate is acceptable (for the price obviously).


11 and 12 speed ZTTO cassettes are also remarkable. They're well built, durable and light. They look to be "inspired" by the Garbaruk or Leonardi ones, but at a fraction of their cost.

 
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Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
Fair enough guys!
I actually thought there would have been greater exploration of this stuff, particularly for consumables.

Obviously I'm no stranger to buying stupidly expensive parts either, but at least in the cases I've mentioned here, the parts have lasted just as long (if not longer) than the genuine article. Timely shipping and reasonable support/refunds probably come from experience, and smooth payments apparently thanks to country priviledge (didn't consider that not everyone can use paypal, thanks @slimshady ).

I do think the assumption that "paying more = more money going to the right people/places" is more a comforting delusion of the western world than reality, but regardless, the point of the thread was more "if you've waded through the maze and found some good quality cheap gear, share it".
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,011
6,147
The old timey times
I do think the assumption that "paying more = more money going to the right people/places" is more a comforting delusion of the western world than reality, but regardless, the point of the thread was more "if you've waded through the maze and found some good quality cheap gear, share it".
Oh trust me, there are no delusions, we know it's going to distant shareholders just putting in orders at the same places. And likely some of the parts are literally coming out of the same places that bigger companies are using as suppliers with the exact same tolerances and manufacturing specs.

In fact if you can find some of these where someone like sram is getting undercut........by all means let us know cuz that would be awesome and I'd love to patronize them. Cuz fuck'em.

But you do know what I'm getting at. Alibabba etc are full of worse, even if it's not entirely the case for everything sold there, and even if the upcharge in our little 'civilized first world countries' is just polish on the same turds.

Maybe a parallel thread for someone like hope who I believe still makes their stuff in house........ I know there are more. Trickstuff?
 
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Happymtb.fr

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
1,354
710
SWE
I know there are more. Trickstuff?
Garbaruk, Nicolai, etc...

Check this for European made stuff

And this for north America
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
Maybe a parallel thread for someone like hope who I believe still makes their stuff in house........ I know there are more. Trickstuff?
Trickstuff and Hope both yes to my knowledge.
I run and love gear from both, though more for the product itself rather than COO or fair wages.
The brake thread is full of people who'll risk their lives on sub-par junk to save a few hundred dollars, so I figured there might be some connoisseurs of other cheap stuff. Interestingly I've found the better gear on alix ends up finding real distribution chains anyway (once people realise it's good), nice way to fatten western middle-man pockets I guess.

Fundamentally I share your sentiments (including on SRAM, while running it anyway), but in the same breath I've been at the receiving end of appaling service and sub-par product from plenty of home-grown MTB companies too, so these days I try not to fuss beyond "if it works, send it". If a good guy makes a buck it's a nice bonus for sure though!
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
3,730
1,561
I run genuine TLD pants and genuine TLD helmets, but the fake TLD air gloves have been great.
@iRider I've earned the right.


Another I've run for a while is KCNC rotors (on my lesser bike, i.e. enduro), their 203mm in the design below is solid. They used to be ridiculously cheap although they've slowly gone up in price:
Fair enough re: TLD.

I am surprised to see that you are using the KCNC rotors as you seem to be very particular with your brake setup. I tried them once and it seems that the stopping power was signifcantly less than with "regular" rotors and they were eating through brake pads like crazy. No such issues for you?
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,882
1,131
I am surprised to see that you are using the KCNC rotors as you seem to be very particular with your brake setup. I tried them once and it seems that the stopping power was signifcantly less than with "regular" rotors and they were eating through brake pads like crazy. No such issues for you?
Which exact ones did you use? I wrote 203mm for a reason, the smaller diameter ones suck.
They're on my uphill (read:enduro) bike, on my DH bike I run Formula rotors.

trickstuff_heatsunk.jpg

note: everything in photo purchased from aliexpress
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
3,730
1,561
Which exact ones did you use? I wrote 203mm for a reason, the smaller diameter ones suck.
They're on my uphill (read:enduro) bike, on my DH bike I run Formula rotors.

View attachment 166173
note: everything in photo purchased from aliexpress
203 and 180 mm (F/R). Now I just use the 160 mm on the pump track bike.
The Trickstuff rotors are super nice and at least in 160 mm fairly light (using them on the road bike only!), so maybe next time I bite the bullet and get them for the big bike as well. But they are the opposite end of the price spectrum that we talk about here. :panic:

BTW: your spokes are the wrong way around. :twitch: