Are “Cheap” Ebay Carbon Fiber Bike Parts Worth Buying?

Are “Cheap” Ebay Carbon Fiber Bike Parts Worth Buying?


Hey guys.
You may have seen some of these inexpensive carbon fiber bike parts on ebay and wondered
if they’re worth the money. I’ve got just a small sample of carbon parts
to show you. Ones that I have a little bit of expierence
with. You probably started looking at them because
they’re lighter than your current parts and it’s easy to save weight in some of these
areas. This is a Merek 27.2 by 350 seatpost.
This is a Hylix 27.2 by 400. This is a Karbona carbon saddle, carbon rails,
entirely carbon. And this is kind of a no-name carbon saddle.
The Merek and the Karbona I have alot of expierence with but the Hylix and this no-name I just
got recently. So, kind of untested.
We’ll take a look at some weights her just real fast.
This no-name saddle, it’s 94, 95 grams. The Karbona is 118.
The Hylix is 179. And the Merek is 166.
Anyway, the point of this is that some of these saddles that come with the bikes and
the seat posts are alot heavier. If you’ve ever had a bike with a WTB Speed
V saddle, those are about 328 grams so by switching to this saddle, you would save over
a half pound. Even a quality saddle like a Specialized Body
Geometry alot of those are in the 250 to 275 gram range so these saddles would save you
about a third pound which is quite a bit. Another thing that I do want to mention is
that these parts are close to the claimed weights.
The parts that I bought here… They’ve been within usually about 5 grams
plus or minus of the claimed weights on ebay so that’s kind of a pleasant surprise.
The cost: These saddles are usually $50 to $100 and
the same with the seatposts. It’s fairly easy to find them close to $50.
I’ve put quite a few miles on this saddle and this post and they’ve been pretty good.
One of the downsides to these parts is that when you order them, they come from overseas
obviously so shipping time usually takes a while.
This saddle that I just got took 25 days. The seatpost took about 23 days so you’ve
got to be a little bit patient. The other big down side is unknown quality.
My expierence so far has been possitive but you just really don’t know.
They are made by all sorts of different manufacturers that you really don’t know much about.
Merek has some pretty interesting videos on their ebay listings where there really testing
the strength of these seatposts and again, my expierence has been real positive.
No breaks or anythign with any of these parts. The only reason I’m changing saddles is this
one I found a little bit uncomfortable. Just this particular shape.
This saddle is quite a bit wider so hopefully it’s more comfortable.
I will put the details of where I bought these parts in the About section so you can know
where to get them if you need help. One the I do want to mention is this is a
brand new post, again. I just got it yesterday and it’s not going
to work for these carbon saddles. These types of heads with the round mechanism,
they are made to mount saddles with round rails.
Here’s that Specialized BG saddle and you can tell that these rails are round and the
carbon saddle’s rails are oval. So they’re taller this way so they do not
fit in these round heads so make sure you know that when you’re buying these posts.
The Merek has a different clamp style and it will allow for the oval saddle rails.
So get this style if you’re going to use a carbon railed saddle.
I’m going to start using this new saddle and if I have any failures with any of these parts
I will deffinately post them in the about section.
I’m really interested in your expierences if you’ve tried these carbon parts from over
seas, post some comments and let me know what your expierences are.
I’m a big fan of buying stuff in the US, US manufactured but we have to be honest with
ourselves that most bike parts are made over seas, especially carbon parts.
Even by the big manufacturers. But I’m thinking about starting to test some
of these other carbon parts possibly. If you have any requests or any thoughts on
parts that I should test, please post those in the comments.
These manufacturers are making all sorts of carbon parts.
Obviously saddles, seatposts…. I think they’re making carbon rims now, carbon
frames, and handlbars, all sorts of different parts that are worth looking into.
So I guess the bottom line, in my oppinion is that these carbon fiber parts from overseas
off of ebay are worth it. I think they are worth it.
I haven’t had any problems with them and they are inexpensive and a great way to save some
weight off the bike. So as of right now, I recommend that you try
them.

About the Author: Michael Flood

67 Comments

  1. Thanks for this vid gc….just got a Fuji Robaix in the other day (has a carbon fork and seat stays)….when the weather clears up a bit more it will be interesting to see how it rides…looks like carbon is becoming more mainstream than ever…

  2. I bought a carbon bike frame from Greatkeen, also bought some deep dish carbon wheels from another site. Bike is the best bike I have ever ridden and the wheels are holding up very well. Cannot complain.

  3. Great video, after watching loads of video's like your own, I decided to take the plunge, bought a carbon road frame from Hong fu, the FM069, having crashed my BMC SLR01 a full 4 weeks after the crash protection warranty ran out (hahaha……F*ck my life) I couldn't afford to (or justify) pay £3,500 for a new frame.
    So the new frame arrived, looked fantastic, I'm now 8 or 9 races in, happy to say im still alive, and I've already covered the price i paid in prize money. Don't think I will ever ever ever look anywhere else for a frame, plus you get a 2 year warranty, the chinese rip offs are definitely the way to go.

  4. Great video, thanks! I'm waiting for my FM098 road frameset from Deng Fu and Hylix riser bars for my mtb. I'm definitely gonna share my thoughts about these as I'll get them 🙂

  5. Well there's Moët and there's Roet…both will probably get you where you're going. Lol I guess it's a matter of taste.

  6. I bought a carbon mountain bike seatpost, handlebar and stem set. Within two months each of the pieces failed: the metal clamp in the seatpost came loose (didn't separate, just rattles.) The stem snapped a bolt on the front clamp while tightening with a 5Nm torque wrench. The handlebar has a 3 inch horizontal crack in the exterior gel coat. I have switched all these pieces to Chinese titanium. We will see how they hold up. I have been riding a 20 inch Chinese carbon fiber frame for six months from a different supplier which seems to be holding up fine. Perhaps it's simply a crap shoot whether you get good parts or not depending on the manufacturer.

  7. I bought a 3t stem from over seas and so far so good. I've done a century and a couple of races this year. Have no problems and will continue to buy until something happens.

  8. Thanks for posting this video.  I've picked up a few items from Chinese distributors and saved a pile of money.  I've been quite happy so far as well, but I haven't bought any carbon parts yet.  Good to hear that you've had good experiences so far.

  9. Hey. Interesting video. I'm from the UK and built up a bike using a few Hylix parts. Firstly that I would say that postage to the UK was only 10 days max. Also Hylix make an inline post that is even lighter (150g??) The post has been faultless so far as have my Hylix super light bars (the 180g ones). The bars have a great compact shape and are stiff enough for me. I'm 76kg. I did however buy a Hylix superlight full carbon stem. The clamp area was too small to accept the bars!! It was almost as if the stem hadn't gone through a finishing process. I had to sand and clean up the clamping area buy hand!! Also during torquing the bolts looked like they would easily pull through the carbon.

  10. I've used carbon handlebars from Hyleks on 2 road bikes…no problems and very nice reduction in road buzz. I also have an all carbon saddle from china which I love.

  11. Have the no name saddle, honestly fits well, well worth the $30 or so that i spent on it, by no means as comfortable as a stock saddle but with a chamois on top of it, it's brilliant

  12. Yesterday I received TQ01 carbon saddle I ordered from dealextreme. It is chinese carbon saddle, and it looks almost the same as Selle SMP line of saddles. First impression is really good, but I still didnt have time to test it. I will probably test it tomorrow on indoor trainer. For now you can check unboxing video I make.

    In theory it should be really good for pain and pressure relief since it have hollow and cut all the way from the back to the nose of the saddle.

  13. I am with you. This is a good way to save weight with spending $300 per item. I'll let the rich and sponsored have that stuff! After owning a carbon Easton straight bar on another bike, I knew that they are strong enough but that was Easton (made in China).
    I bought a Hylix riser bar and post. The bar has been great so far probably sub 200g while being a healthy 720mm wide. Thats a light XC bar but I comfortably trail ride here with it. I don't do anything crazy but more than strict XC. An added bonus to a carbon bar is it insulates so hand don't get as cold plus smooths out any twang you get from metal.
    The post was another matter. It came with everything and looked great but my bikes frame(Motobecane Fly Ti 29er) has a seat tube just a smidge over spec. Its supposed to be 27.2 but I think its 27.3 or 27.4 area. Anyways, this is not good for carbon because with all its great properties its very weak in the form of hardness as its a weave suspended into shape with epoxy or soft. So when I tightened it up and roade the post rocks back and forth just a little but enough to begin to slide down. Very quickly I saw and knew what was happening but hoped for a miracle and just raised it and rode but each time it slid down the ti tube shaved a layer away to the point where one day I felt a crunch when I tightened…it was done. Live and learn. It wasn't the post but I learned a great understanding of carbons hardness and how to work around it.
    I would replace that post with one much better for about $100 rather than $70 and thats KCNC's scandium tubed model with ti hardware sweet and plenty hard. Carbon doesn't like clamping forces.
    Got a sweet 3T stem at 80mm 6* rise fake for way less than $100 but actually sold it and bought a cheap UNO stem made of aluminum. Stems are very similar in weight to carbon as there isn't much to them plus they both have to use hardware. Why? I paid $20 for a 3D forged tiny 60mm stem mostly for the fit which was perfect. Plus this stem is lighter than the fancy 3T. I remember UNO back in the early 90s as a OEM supplier of many alloy part from Taiwan. I knew they made parts for the big names and that they obviously have great equipment, 3D forging is far stronger than the stress riser machine of CNC.
    Its important to remember to try to have a very good idea of what you want geo wise, it makes a big difference in fit and is the biggest improvement , way more than any weight lost. If you can go to a shop that has a bunch of stems you can swap out etc to fine tune the off the shelf bike. 
    To be honest, I knew about what I wanted and chose to buy overseas and if it was a bit too small or large sell it locally at a small loss and then know what size to get without going broke. I couldn't go to a shop and use them if I am not buying fro them.

  14. Interesting dialogue on this matter, of carbon parts from overseas, and the price, weight, and safety aspects of these parts. I have a vintage Klein mountain bike that I am converting into a road bike, and just signed up with Ebay in order to take advantage of inexpensive lightweight parts that predominate that selling venue. It just so happens that the parts that fit my budget and at the same time drastically reduce weight, are parts from overseas. There is a little concern with a particular part that I am waiting on, which is a one-piece carbon bar and stem combo. If that part fails, I could be in a face-full of trouble. Till them, its good to read about the reviews and other buyer's experience. Thank you for the clip. 

  15. Thanks for the video. I've bought lots of carbon seatposts and handlebars from ebay and aliexpress. I do mostly cross country riding and all the parts have been great. No cracks or other problems. And so much cheaper than from retail shops.

  16. i have bought carbon parts from china (frame,seat post,handlebar,steam,saddle) and i have no problems for 3 months now and 2000 km. we will see!

  17. well, if a product got no name but good quality, why not? We have to give it a try. I've got one of this no name saddles on my Lynskey titanium bike. To be honest, much more comfortable than lots of wellknown brands. It's time to stop paying money just for a name. Thanks for the video.

  18. Interesting that you didn't mention stems. There are lots of those out there too. You also didn't mention the Chinese parts that imitate name brand parts. I know of one fake Bontrager XXX stem that broke during use.

  19. I bought a carbon fiber wheelset 50mm clinchers from DHgate chinese site. I have put over 2000 miles on them and they still look solid, I know I can put  1000s of more miles on them. I had paid $395 for the whole set. I will buy a few more sets. I just also bought beautiful carbon saddle for $34 from an ebay chinese seller, it looks great, I haven't tested it. tomorrow though

  20. exactly why i pay for carbon saddel 100€ or more ?? if i can order for 30€ i have allso one from china and its looks great is comfortable. thats it.
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/131502645896?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

  21. I have recently ordered a hylix carbon fork for £59.99 it weighs around 460 grams. I ordered it as it disc brake compatible. I have a disc brake compatible frame all I need is wheels which I can get. I may buy full carbon disc wheels for around £260 or I may spend £99.99 on aluminium wheels. I am not sure yet but e carbon wheels are a thought I may go for. I ordered the Taiwan hylix carbon disc compatible fork as I wanted to save money. was going to buy a carbon disc compatible fork from planet x I was the London fork it was going for £99.99 it had a aluminium steerer tube. there was 3 left in the morning but when I came to ordering it later when I had the money they sold out. so I decided to order the hylix full carbon fork it has aluminium drop outs which is a good sign. it will take upto 4 weeks for it to arrive by then I will have the disc brakes ready and maybe the wheels depending what I choose.

  22. to be honest a lot of these things are made in china, Taiwan or japan. they get branded and painted then sold for what ever price the companies decide. some things will be tested and some will be made on the side in the same factory of the big brands and they get moulded. I would trust Taiwan more as they make good quality products.

  23. I've recently bought a carbon saddle from Ali-express, the Chinese e-bay. The shape of it is different from that of yours; it copied a San-marco carbon saddle. It feels really comfortable, and even seems durable enough for my body weight, 85kg. It weighs 100g and is matte-coated. The width is about 125mm, 5mm shorter than the original San-marco leather saddle I have. Unlike your saddle with UD carbon finishing, mine features 3k carbon finishing-I think UD versions are more expensive than 3k versions. I also purchased a SMP style saddle. It looks nice for  twenty six bucks-its carbon finishing, the overall structure which is very similar to that of the original saddle, and even the decals, or printings, which exactly copied each lettering. I am sure Chinese saddle and bottle cages are worth buying-but can't be sure of carbon frames, cause I haven't experienced them yet.

  24. I would definitely say the Chinese carbon parts are worth the money. having said that I did snap my carbon handlebars when I fell off but before the break they felt great-not flexy or anything

  25. I've just bought cheap mtb carbon riser bars cost me £25, they've got the carbon weave, look really good and feel really light, I've not attached them to bike yet, got them off Amazon UK, from seller in China,

  26. dude! i got the no-name carbon saddle with the cut-out and i have to say it is comfortable!!!! worth $20 bucks on ebay.

  27. Just installed a Beiou carbon bar yesterday and am so far happy with it, felt really stable. I was able to find some reviews of other products from this company, all of which were positive. There were cheaper ones on eBay but I just wouldn't feel confident in a 20 dollar carbon piece.

  28. I had the imported carbon seat with the matte finish and logo "FULL CARBON" on my rigid mountain bike for all of two rides, then put on a new Selle Italia SLS. Now that I have a custom Rock Shox Judy fork, I am putting back on the carbon saddle. My pelvic sit bones will update you.

  29. all the carbon bike parts I bought over the years:

    LVWA (ebay) 3K weave riser handle bars – 100 grams 680mm – were awesome – $45.99

    Origin8 (ebay) topcap blanket type weave – 30 grams – looked sick – $5.99

    Generic spacers (amazon&ebay) lots of different spacers, some were colored or has alternating kevlar and carbon multi weave. typically a few bucks. super worth it.

    bike gets stolen…

    new bike, time for new cheap carbon parts!!

    TXCH (ebay) 690mm 3K weave riser carbon bars – 105 grams – $55 SURVIVED MASSIVE DOWNHILL CRASH.

    MOAR SPACERS FOR LIKE 3 DOLLARS

    Awesome carbon fiber seatpost clamp for 18 dollars…and a sick looking seatpost clamp.

    are ebay China carbon parts with it? yes!!!!

  30. One doubt: In your opinion, are those all carbon fiber saddles actually comfortable for many hour rides (I mean: 4 to 6 hours)?
    The saddle that came with my bike is padded, but it's not comfortable for me, because its shape does not fit me (I need one like your all balck one). So I figured: if those things are comfortable, I'd better buy one of those than a selle Italia c2, as those are actually much chaper and lighter.

  31. I just bought that same specialized replica saddle on eBay for under $19 shipped. I can't wait to get it and try it out

  32. I just got a couple of dropped handle bar, and a saddle and also waiting for my Carbon wheels to be delivered, i am an amature cyclist but also i am a keen chinese market monitor in tech gadgets (production engineer originally) i have to say simply that most of the factories sourcing those shops DO PRODUCE for major names! and most importantly they KNOW how to weave carbon its just that simple, they know th trend and instead of reverse engineering as before they already DO have the skill but without a structured reach to western markets…. As many aliexpress vendors say, look at the cost of a western agent, wholesaler then a retailer, all those need to earn money, and SPECIALLy fat branded crap like ZIPP they are no better than samsung and all this capitalistic crap….
    Any cyclist, needs 2 things , like weight benefits and Aero advantages (like in U-shaped Aero wheels) and those are not secrets, Carbon, a lightweight material is dropping rapidly in its manufacturing costs… so thats it, the chinese give you the item with its real worth + thier profit! the old styled way of commerce.
    Chinese might not have six sigma or quality which is 99.9999% and you can tell from the finish of the holes, but at least they do mechanically test or do items that are not just Crappy replicas…. you can get any random carbon piece and send it to be micro tested, compared to a famous name….. lol they even do produce lighter products than the brands 😀

    Thanks for the review.

  33. I bought a ControlTech carbon seatpost for my full suspension XC bike, and it's never let me down. They do have US product support, but it's light and has never failed. I also have an OmniRacer carbon seatpost on my roadbike and I use it for training on my turbo trainer. I'm not the lightest person on the planet, maybe around 190 and it's been fine. I do also believe that OmniRacer has a US site for support. I've had good luck with carbon parts made overseas, usually in Taiwan where they are largely committed to cycling. One thing I have noticed with American companies versus European and Asian producers is that American companies tend to charge more for products than their overseas competition. I would be more than happy to buy American made products, but when my titanium water bottle cage made in Taiwan is half the price of a titanium King Cage, I decided on the Taiwanese one. Just a personal experience. Read into it what you will.

  34. question, some sellers offer free international shipping.. anyone tried the free international shipping? or you all go with dhl, fedex, ups?

  35. bought a Signswise Black Glossy Full Carbon Fiber Saddle off amazon for $28.22. It's shaped like the black no name saddle you have there. I was not familiar with the company, but they wrote to me afterwards and asked what i thought of their products. It's incredibly light, fairly comfortable, and I have beat it on the trails with no problem.. and I'm a heavy guy. I'm thoroughly impressed with it.

  36. I'm glad you concluded they're worth it since I just ordered about £100 worth of parts…

    Seat post
    Seat post clip
    Handlebars

    And I have A LOT of pies to lose off the ol' midsection so I'm hoping they'll do the job until my weight drops so there won't be as much loading.

  37. i'm actually want to puschar a full carbon from a chinese brand but i'm quite scare. i dont want it break or something:s

  38. These parts work great until the seatpost splinters and goes up your rectum and you bleed out by the side of the road, dead. dead. seriously guys, save your money, there are better things you could be, than dead. P.S. I'm not trashing China in particular, this is true of all carbon saddles and seatposts and handlebars – NOT WORTH IT …

  39. The "no name" saddles are great! I've got one on 4 out of 5 bikes, one for over 2 years now with no issues. I originally got one due to the available 143mm width. They match my sit bones perfect, quite comfortable for zero padding. I've got them branded as "Cycle King" & "ievele".

  40. absolutely worth it if you're okay with the ethical issues, which I am, cause I ain't got time to worry

  41. Thanks for the video! I don't know too much about bike parts manufacturing, but a graphite (carbon fiber) tennis racket costs about 20 bucks to make. Wilson paints it to look like Roger Federer's and charges 200 bucks…And the weekend warrior eats it all up… BTW, ALL the racket manufacturers produce their frames in China. The technology (graphite tennis frames) is really very old (late 1970s/1980's).

  42. I bought an ICAN frameset 1 1/2 years ago and it's still going strong. Like a lot of people here I was worried about accountability but I found a few reviews, even one who'd had a frame break and who'd had a good experience getting a replacement, so i went for it. The prices aren't as cheap as you'll find in some places but $600 for a competitive frameset, a warranty that they honor, and a company that's still around today. It seemed like a good compromise, and so far it's worked out well.

  43. Well, it"s still super dangerous to buy chinese stuff which has really no name or brand at all. Can't find any video or test from it, you dont have any idea about who the manufacturer is, maybe that was it's first product ever.
    You can die if a handlebar, or stem brakes under a drop, or high speed, etc. I'M here because I really like the design of these chines parts, but I'm not brave enough to buy a seatpost from them 🙁

  44. I’d be a lot more inclined to try a saddle than a seat post, because it has two rails both are unlikely to break. And I’d never buy a stem or bar from unknown sources. Dental work can easily get into the thousands, which is far higher than the price of even an Enve bar and stem. Then if you’re racing, you could end up spending time in the ER and six months in recovery like a friend of mine. That’s not good training. And if you’re into Health it’s not healthy either. Personally, most aluminum parts are fairly light, cheap, and durable. Especially aluminum bars and stems are even used by pros. Basically, I think I’ll stick to cheap parts in places like bottle cages, or places that aren’t a single point of failure like maybe a saddle where there are redundant rails. But I’d definitely avoid using cheap brake parts and bars and stem or rims. It’s not worth the hospital bill.

  45. Buy cheap carbon. Especially, you got bike stolen before. The more fake bikes on the streets, the more thieves stay away.

  46. I live in North Thailand and see LOTS of Chinese carbon parts all the time on mountain bikes here. I've raced and trained on the same Chinese carbon fiber mtb frame, seatpost, and saddle the past four years. I have yet to break anything other than handlebars(now on my second set of handlebars) in a nasty high speed crash on pavement that broke my wrist after landing full force on the bar end. That wasn't the bar's fault. To give you a better picture of the stress I put these parts through, I weigh between 66 and 68 kilos at 170cm tall. I've raced in over 40 mountain bike xc races here.I ride between 200- 250 kilometers a week for training. I'm 61 years old and consistantly finish in top 3 or less in the old guys class. Currently, one of two fastest in my class in north Thailand. I've never broken my frame, but crashed it hard about a half dozen times, breaking my wrist, finger, collarbone in separate incidents, one of those being at high speed on pavement in which the bike landed on the bar end with my hand still holding on it when the contact was made with the pavement, breaking my wrist as well as snapping the bar. That's the only time I've ever broken a handlebar. Also, I've never broken a seatpost or seat made of Chinese carbon, but I do have a fiend of mine also from the states, aged 35 or so, who weighs about 76 kilos. He races and wins a lot of the races in his age group, and only on cheap Chinese carbon seats and frame also. He cracks the seat rails about once every 12-18 months of riding/racing, but for the price of 600-800 baht, (about 18-24 US dollars) he just orders another online and is happy. Most guys in the USA and Europe are bigger and heavier than me, so I am only saying that for smaller male riders and many female riders these parts should be just fine.

  47. I had 2 carbon handlebars and i had also the oval saddle , a wheelset and a frameset, all positive but you can always notice the quality.

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