Homeland Security Seizes Multiple Cycling Websites Selling Fraudulent Goods

Specialized Counterfeit Jerseys

Along with the rise of internet sales, so too comes a rise in companies trying to pass off counterfeit goods. The quality of the fakes can be good enough for consumers to be taken advantage of, while they think they’re just getting a really good deal. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of our tax dollars and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, 10 Internet domains were seized that were illegally selling counterfeit cycling equipment and apparel.

Working with companies like Specialized, Invista (owners of Coolmax and Lycra brands), PayPal, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ICE has taken control of the offending websites which now greet would be customers with a banner informing them that the domain has been confiscated. Websites affected by the actions include cyclingyong.com, samewood.com, Ecyclingonline.com, Cycleoutfit.com, Ecyclingjerseys.com, Bike-jersey.com, Cycling-outfit.com, Teamscycling.com, Cycling-jersey.net, and Yongcycling.com.

According to Specialized’ head of Brand Security, Andrew Love, “Our engineers have tested counterfeit frames in our lab and frankly they don’t hold up. They failed our impact and fatigue tests and the aluminum head tube cups de-bonded, making steering vague and loose – that is simply not safe. The counterfeiters just want to make a sale; they have zero interest in the customer. Our product integrity and rider safety are very personal for us.”

In addition to the website seizures, HSI is targeting the Paypal accounts implicated in the sale of forgeries for additional confiscation to the amount of $90,000.

It should go without saying folks, if you see it for sale on the internet and the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Comments

dave - 05/03/13 - 7:48pm

I feel so much safer. Thank you US government and the brave men and women at Specialized’s Brand Security department for protecting the homeland.

dave - 05/03/13 - 7:52pm

In other news, US Homeland Security revealed that the counterfeit bike jerseys, despite being made by the same contract manufacturers and the same material as the ‘real’ Specialized jerseys, can spontaneously combust due to the presence of unlicensed intellectual property.

DRONG - 05/03/13 - 8:00pm

c’mon guise “samewood.com” tee hee hee

Traci - 05/03/13 - 8:06pm

Rule #1 If it ships from China its counterfeit.
Rule #2 See Rule #1.

Seth - 05/03/13 - 8:16pm

Hey Dave, why are you such a dingleberry? You wanna get ripped off on a fake bike and die of a skidmark facial?

Brian - 05/03/13 - 8:16pm

lol @ the Big S’s Brand Security guy being named Love

Ummmm - 05/03/13 - 8:24pm

F–k specialized and mike sinyard, just someone else for him to sue. If he did’nt try to control every part of the bicycle industry everyone would be better off. The specialized company makes me sick.

Dabe - 05/03/13 - 9:32pm

Spot on Ummmm

Jak0zilla - 05/03/13 - 9:44pm

Counterfeit frames that have to be “laboratory tested” to detect the difference? Baaaa haaaa!

Try reverting to using CRAFTSMANSHIP to build them instead of popping them out of bike shaped jello molds.

Markus - 05/03/13 - 10:00pm

You have to respect Specialized for what they do: regardless of the actual similarities of the counterfeits to the actual products, Specialized protects their brand more than any other company out there.
How frustrating do you think it is for a brick-and-mortar retailer to be showing a customer some shoes, the customer finds their perfect size and color and everything is right and they say, “Well, I’m just going to think about it”. Yeah. They went outside, hit “confirm order” on the same pair of shoes after checking on size at your shop.
That can’t be done with Specialized. You can’t buy a Venge online, you can’t buy S-Works shoes online, and you can’t get their jerseys online. None of it can be bought at cut-rate websites.

This is coming from someone who’s never had a Specialized, doesn’t work for Specialized, doesn’t owe Specialized, and probably won’t buy a Specialized (Unless they revert back to a standard BB).

Greg - 05/03/13 - 10:33pm

you guys are pretty far off base. although some folks are making quality knock-offs and otherwise similar stuff in the far east, a lot of it is total garbage.
mike sinyard can come off as controlling, although i dont think hes necessarily trying to control anything besides his company. hes extremely passionate about cycling, puts in more miles than most of us, truly loves the sport. some other bike companies should be so lucky. hes an idealist. which rubs some people the wrong way

Naton - 05/03/13 - 11:00pm

Ha! You couldn’t pay me to wear Specialized kit.

vhom - 05/03/13 - 11:15pm

LOL….I feel bad for the people who buys those jerseys. They’re so freaking ugly!

Bill - 05/04/13 - 12:41am

Specialized are banging on about counterfeit frames but the article is talking about counterfeit clothing. Careful guys, you might have a bad crash if you wear counterfeit Specialized clothing?

dale - 05/04/13 - 3:33am

Wow that is wild. I had been aware of the fake frames at cyclingwong.com, actually glad thay busted the dudes doing this. I love the farsports and dengfu, etc. companies, but this is way different. They had crazy sh*t like fake Tarmacs that looked real, Shivs, Time Ulteam, etc. The Time fakes had super funny fake tag lines on the seatpost, like stereotypical asian to english screw ups.

I’m all for chinese made stuff just not fake stuff. People think they are getting genuine the way it is presented on those sites.

dale - 05/04/13 - 3:39am

Cycling Yong’s AliExpress page is still up haha.

paywhatitsworth - 05/04/13 - 4:57am

My SL3 from cycling yong is awesome. Have been riding the sh*t out of it for 2 years.

Psi Squared - 05/04/13 - 7:34am

I hate to rain on the “piss on Specialized” fest going on, but Cervelo, Invista, and at least one other frame maker (Pinarello, I think) were also party to this (as might have others). Add to that the fact that the government was doing its job. I realize that it’s popular and uber cool to not think, but if people actually stopped for a minute and actually engaged in critical thought, they’d realize that not only is the fraud a threat to the health of the bike industry (which is not the most robust industry around), it’s also a threat to anyone who buys a fake frame. Further, the fake items only drive the prices up on legitimate items.

Jeff - 05/04/13 - 8:10am

People complaining about Specialized suing these guys are looking pretty silly. Do you folks complaining have any idea how hard it is to own/run/manage a large (or small for that matter) company? I do, I own one. It’s freaking hard and demands all your time and the stress levels? Wheh. If any of you bitching had ever accomplished what Specialized has, and were responsible for that success, you’d be pissed to if this happened to you. Whatever business you are in, whatever you sell or manage, if some Chinese competitor just showed up and started making the identical LOOKING product for 30% of the price, you’d have an issue with it to. If it was your pocketbook being affected, you’d feel differently. I want the real stuff, and will pay a fair price for it, and pay a little more to support my LBS. Just think about this, if ya’ll stop patronizing your LBS for stuff, they will go away. WTF is this Chinese company making sub standard fake crap gonna do for you when you need something ASAP to save your next ride? Zilch. I can walk into my LBS with an issue, and no matter how busy they are, they take care of me and it’s saved my bacon more than once. Why do they bend over backwards for me? Because I buy all my stuff there and they know it. Worthy trade-off if you ask me. For those of you who think they make to much money? You have no idea how much it takes to own/run/manage a successful company with good employees that pay taxes/insurance/overheard and the like, not to mention your LBS is supporting your local economy. What’s the fake Chinese crap doing in comparison to that? Zilcho. One last thought, “profit” isn’t a dirty word and if your company fired you because they could bring in an undocumented worker from another country and save a buck, how would that make you feel? Just as I thought…

velorider - 05/04/13 - 8:20am

Jeff nailed it. We all make money as employees because someone upstream is working to turn a profit in order to cover our paychecks. Lose that profit and you lose your job. Sure the boss makes a (hopefully) nice payment to his own account….but did YOU start the company?

Nope. So you don’t get to make what he makes nor do you shoulder his responsibilities. We can’t have “dirt cheap goods” and “nice high paying jobs” in the same country folks – you make god money because your company sells something at a nice price. Anyone selling goods for dirt cheap is paying slave wages and that, my friends, is not cool. If you want to pay less for a jersey just buy off season and — surprise — they are always on sale.

Brattercakes - 05/04/13 - 9:58am

My company has our products made in China because its cheaper. If we made our products here in America, they would cost way more. I really want to quit working for my company, because the workers in China are under payed and over worked. The owner of my company has a huge mansion with lots of expensive cars in his garage. The world is messed up.

People want to pay as little as possible for things they want.

chris ragland - 05/04/13 - 10:17am

Specialized is not hurting for cash. They can afford to do all this bc their bikes are very overpriced. Doesnt suprise me however. Another good piont is the fact that the rate of inflation probabably isnt as high where they make them so they might make more off charging 30% less then we do charging “fool price” since when did bicycling become so expensive…..finding a good deal is too good to be true? This is just propaganda in my oponion. Those jerseys where probably made in the same factory as the specialized frames…………wake up people 99% of the bikes we buy in America are made at 3 factories in China or Tiawan…dont believe me …google it. All specialized does is order the frame and slap logos on it.

Dave - 05/04/13 - 10:52am

Chris, you are terribly wrong.

I have seen the R&D department at Specialized. They design everything they make, and test IN HOUSE. Don’t believe me? Go there yourself. I watched them do an impact test on a helmet. I saw the frame testing equipment. Spend a little time in Morgan Hill California, and you will likely see some new products being tested in the real world.

Psi Squared - 05/04/13 - 10:57am

Sorry, chris ragland, you appear to not understand manufacturing. Even if things are made in the same factory, that doesn’t mean they’re the same and that the only difference is what logos are “slapped” on. In fact, if that were the case, the fake frames wouldn’t failed the tests that the genuine frames passed. There’s more to a product than the location in which it was made. Jerseys and frames made in the same factory? Wow. You should look up the difference between clothing and bicycle frames.

The issue involves more than Specialized, but I realize it’s tough for some to see beyond their irrational hate for a company and to be objective. Being a grown-up can be a b*tch.

Ummmm - 05/04/13 - 10:58am

I re lly like the jello mold comment. Sums up both specialized and Mr. Sinyard in two words. The question is, when is Specialized comming out with their own soda pop? Never mind, I guess I will see its release in the new Specialized brochure Mountain Bike Action.

Ummmm - 05/04/13 - 11:11am

And, Mr. Sinyard you can drop the my name is Jeff act, we all know its you. I will play along though. We all know that LBS is your own company. Wheres my mask?

BBB - 05/04/13 - 12:11pm

Some people here behave like a bunch of spoiled self-entitled brats who believe that Specialized and the world in general owe them something.

I don’t particularly like Specialized but it’s up a company to decide about pricing and distribution channels of their products.
They also have a right to protect their designs as that’s the foundation of progress and innovation in civilized economies.

If you disagree with any of it don’t buy any of their products and stop attaching some stupid hypocritical ideology to your actions.

Grow up.

Dizzle - 05/04/13 - 12:38pm

You’d think with the massive amounts of mountain bikes, road bikes, wheels, stems, bars, and cranks being made out of carbon fiber these days, the price would come down, but is seems to just keep going up… For the consumer that is. Carbon keeps getting cheaper for the manufacturer, but that’s never passed down to the consumer. Cry me a river Specialized. We all know your profit margin increases every year. I’m not saying I agree with pirating bike gear, but why should I pay $80 for a jersey that was made in Taiwan and total costs to Spec is $10 just because it has an S on it.

Psi Squared - 05/04/13 - 1:10pm

Dizzle missed the economics class.

Mindless - 05/04/13 - 1:58pm

Friends do not let friends buy Specialized. Especially “genuine”.

So the problem is with online shopping? They can go and stuff themselves.

Mindless - 05/04/13 - 2:00pm

@Dave: I bet they have sweet coolaid in their offices too.

Mindless - 05/04/13 - 2:04pm

So.. I want them to order some of those (not fake, just one of the direct sellers) direct Chinese carbon frames and test them head to head, in public, not just assert something.

$300 frame against $3000 one (on which they had multiple recalls). Make it happen. Don’t be a (deleted).

chris ragland - 05/04/13 - 3:30pm

Thanks for the insight. I will choose to trust google before I trust some guy that went to a factory at some piont.

chris ragland - 05/04/13 - 3:40pm

I think Mindless has a good idea. I challenge dave and psi Squared to a race anywhere anytime. I will ride the cheap frame and drop you b*tches! All joking aside your opinions do matter, however it gets under my skin that we use homeland security manpower to bust fake jeresys. In my opinion we have other issues to solve that are more important.

SmooveP - 05/04/13 - 4:54pm

It’s my right as an American citizen to buy a knockoff jersey (or bike) made in a country I hate, that bears a logo of a company I hate, because that company’s real products are too expensive. Yeah.

Psi Squared - 05/04/13 - 4:59pm

Homeland Security was used because that’s the agency that takes down web sites.

Adam - 05/04/13 - 7:40pm

I completely agree with Mindless. Lets see head to head comparisons. Cycling costs are out of control. I just purchased a generic Chinese carbon version of design profile cobra bars that have to have come out of the EXACT SAME MOLD. And they were 50% less than msrp on the brand new ones from profile design (which I have on another bike) And they are GREAT! HED 3 brand new for $1000! Go f&$k yourself. $4000 wheel sets!?! You could buy a used car for that (a decent one too!). I work with carbon fiber all the time. There is no magic to it. I agree buyer beware, and you assume some risks. I have NO sympathy for these companies, making MASSIVE profits, and charging outrageous prices. LBS too, $8 for an inner tube!? Biking is just about MARKETING as any other industry, and they know its a money maker.

chris ragland - 05/04/13 - 8:36pm

@ Psi Squared….. we all read the article and are aware of that. I could ust repeat what I said before but……………………AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! PEACE!

dale - 05/04/13 - 10:49pm

I am totally interested in seeing the fakes in person and racing on one too. I have a real SL3 but I am getting a dengfu too. Hey paywhatitsworth have you ridden both the real one and fake one? Any difference besides price? That should not be a hard comparison test to stage. The Time Ulteam one is odd though, those are supposed to be made by hand with lugs. I wonder if the chinese ones are too?

My buddy got the Dengfu that looks like a Venge and he kicks some ass on it. There are a lot of crit racers up my way on FM028s.

Ummmm - 05/04/13 - 11:29pm

Isn’t everything in cycling a knock off?

Ape Escape - 05/05/13 - 1:40am

I am not a specialized fan but I think this is a good thing. I can’t believe people who can support companies making these knock-off frames. Do they sponsor any grass-roots racing? Do they employ any U.S citizens? Do they actually design anything and spend money on making product better every year? Enjoy your lame frames, it’s slap in the face of the industry you claim to love.

Jeff - 05/05/13 - 8:05am

Ummmm – 05/04/13 – 11:11am
And, Mr. Sinyard you can drop the my name is Jeff act, we all know its you. I will play along though. We all know that LBS is your own company. Wheres my mask?

Wrong……. Name is really Jeff, I live in Omaha Nebraska, don’t own a bike shop, don’t even own a Specialized and never have. Every single thing I typed is 100% accurate and true, no disclaimers needed. If you dislike the message, then it’s a you problem, cause it was the truth.

kingbozo - 05/05/13 - 12:02pm

For all of those asking why Homeland Security was involved….This was an operation by ICE. Immigration and CUSTOMS Enforcement. A division of DHS. This kind of stuff is EXACTLY what their job is.

patrik - 05/05/13 - 12:55pm

Specialized makes way too much money and has way too much influence. How dare they operate within the tenets of free market capitalism by doing what every other corporation needs to do to protect itself. If it’s Apple or any other tech company, everyone backs them up with big time atta-boys.

But since the cycling community is made up of a bunch of hipster, hoppy beer-drinking bro-hams, cycling companies need to also sit around the campfire, sing kumbaya, and give its products away instead of, you know, selling them for a profit. HOW DARE THEY!

Specialized and Sinyard needs to buy a guitar, fire its lawyers, buy a Vanagon, and just go sit by the beach. The company will be alright, because the bro-hams will support a brand that isn’t it to make money, but is in it to give away its products at cost. Because that’s the American way.

My favorite are the I Only Buy American Made Bikes bro-hams, who have to let everyone at the trailhead know about their domestic allegiance, as they conveniently glance over the Shimano drivetrain and Taiwanese-made SRAM components on their Intense.

Get real, braaaahs. It’s okay for Apple to do what it has to do to protect its intellectual properties, but when a pot smoking-bike company does it, it’s undermining the unofficial code of the laidback mountain biker. Whatever.

ranggapanji - 05/06/13 - 7:36am

will things be different if the counterfeited products were something like, let’s say, Chris King headset or Thomson seatpost?

such things DOES exist.

Pancakes - 05/06/13 - 7:59am

Patrik, that is absolutely out of line.

I don’t like hoppy beers.

captain derp - 05/06/13 - 8:50am

chinese counterfeiting is a huge issue, and its not just the bike industry. just google “chinese counterfeit pharmaceuticals”

dwiz - 05/06/13 - 11:15am

you people that complain of specialized or other big successful companies are hard balling everyone or rule with an iron fist are closet/deep rooted hypocrites…….If anyone of you owned a company and built that company to some success with a brand/or unique item that the public really wanted. Then you find out that someone out there is copying it and ripping you off. and selling it and is making money off of something YOU created/poured your heart and soul into. You cannot honestly tell anyone “ah its cool, no big deal, let someone else sell what I created…..and do nothing about it. So whether it is specialized clothing or bikes or bubba the love sponge “bubba chicken dip”…anyone out there would want to take the measures to stop and regain control of what is actually theres……..ya’ll must be to high on some good stuff to say that you would not do something or not care

Mike - 05/06/13 - 6:45pm

I own a fake Specialized Stumpjumper from cylingyong and rode it for two season putting a little over 5 thousand trail miles on it. I placed 3rd in the Breck 100 and Firecracker 50 on the fake bike. I also own the real S-Works Stumpjumper hardtail and honestly cannot tell a difference. So much that I posted a complete review of both bikes last year on MTB review and Andrew Love contacted me directly to ask me questions on the frame. I love Specialized a lot but I am sorry your bike frame is not worth $2,200 when the Chinese knockoff was only $425.00. I took the Chinese frame down several DH runs in Breck, Durango, Aspen and Vail and never once did it fail on me.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.