Spot the fake!
Steer clear of counterfeit 3T components, with our handy guide
Word is that an increasing number of you out there are being burned by fake 3T parts.
Like all other top cycling brands, 3T is being ripped off by fakers who see counterfeiting as a quick way to make money.
Now that makes us really mad. We love the components we design and build, and the tradition and quality of everything that has the 3T name on it.
We want you to enjoy all this too—so when fakers pass off cheap knock-offs as 3T products, they’re robbing you of the enjoyment we promise you.
So we’ve put together this brief guide to help you steer clear of the counterfeiters.
- Do your research before you buy
Check the 3T website first. It has close-up pictures, from all angles, of every 3T component. The web page is your definitive reference to a 3T component. You can send it straight to your smartphone as an email, tweet, or Facebook post, and have it with you when you go to buy.
- Buy new, at a 3T authorized dealer, or at the 3T Store
Use the 3T website to Find a Dealer near you. These are proper bike shops and don’t sell fakes. They value their reputation and have way too much to lose by doing business with criminals. You can trust them to sell you original genuine 3T parts. If you can’t get to a dealer, go to the online 3T Store.
- Buy new, from a trusted online retailer
Most online retailers are in a similar position to bike shops. Trust is key to selling goods online—if anything, it’s even more important, because you can’t handle the goods. Trusted online stores provide you a way to give feedback on your buying experience—cycle specialists are much more use for this. Read what other customers say, and you’ll soon find out if you can trust them. As ever, the gold standard is a personal recommendation.
- Avoid online retailers with no track record
If a retailer is new or little-known, and offers no way for customers to give feedback, or does not publish a physical address—think twice before purchasing. A ‘red flag’ is a very low price. The 3T website shows the price of every 3T product. But some criminals are smart enough to ask near-full price, so cost is not a conclusive argument for or against. There are now even fake stores with lots of phoney positive feedback—so if in doubt, stay out!
- Watch your step in online auctions and bazaars
Large online auctions and generalist stores, whose customers offer millions of items for sale every day, are easily exploited by fakers. Take care! It’s vital to check the authenticity of anything that’s sold as new 3T product. Fakers don’t scruple to use 3T’s own product pictures and specifications to peddle their wares. What you see is not necessarily what you get—but by then it’s too late. Go back to Rule 4!
Of course, if there were no fakes around to sell, the issue wouldn’t arise. What’s 3T doing about it?
We are presently engaged in a program to find the fakers, compel them to desist, and destroy their stock. We can’t share with you how this is going down—but please believe us, it’s happening.
Meantime, please use this guide and keep yourself safe from the counterfeiters!