We’re passionate about bicycles, and hard work and creativity are part of everything we do. Improving the riding experience for countless people is why we come in early, work hard, stay late, and engineer some of the best bicycles and equipment in the world. We ride everything we make, and so do our families, so both safety and awesome rides are incredibly personal for all of us.
Counterfeit products are a direct challenge to this, and we take that challenge very personally. That’s why we devote considerable resources to stopping them, and we hope this guide will serve you in avoiding these dangerous products.
Use Commonsense to Avoid Counterfeits
A counterfeit is a product made with the goal of looking like something it’s not. A counterfeit tries to have the same outer-shape, colorings, and trademarks of a well-known product. The ingredients, however, are not there, the engineering is not there, and the safety testing and reliability are completely absent. The best way to stay safe is to go to our dedicated retail network, and to use common sense if you’re shopping online. Counterfeits often have very low prices, and often appear in large numbers with other brands’ products. Counterfeit Specialized Prevail and S-Works Evade helmets often appear with fake Oakley glasses, as well as helmets from other brands. Private individuals with truckloads of new products at ridiculous prices should set off your commonsense warning bells.
What to Do if You’ve Purchased a Counterfeit Product
If you suspect that you’ve purchased a counterfeit product, or see suspicious products for sale online, please report it to [email protected]. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, and counterfeit products threaten it. The best way to ensure you purchase safe, authentic Specialized products is to shop at an authorized Specialized Retailer or on specialized.com.
Identifying Counterfeit Products
Examples of counterfeit products, and ways to identify them, are shown below. If you’ve purchased a product that looks like any of these counterfeit examples, please contact Specialized Brand Security for authentication.
Counterfeit helmets do not have Specialized internal roll cages and cannot withstand impacts to keep a rider safe.
Counterfeit helmets sold in the USA often lack the blue SNELL sticker.
Counterfeit Prevail helmets often show pin steam vents and are usually labeled with SM/MD sizing rather than horizontal steam vents and MD sizing. SM/MD sizing is not an indication of a fake, in and of itself, but they are incredibly rare outside of Asian or Brazillian markets.
Counterfeit Prevail and S-Works Evade helmets often have sloppy strap construction. The Specialized logo on the plastic piece can be incorrect, sometimes backwards, and have the wrong font. Stitching, meanwhile, is oftentimes messy and loose.
Counterfeit frames have an incorrect bottom bracket - most of them are threaded. Real Specialized bearings will not fit.
Counterfeit frames lack a serial number on the bottom of the frame or have a sequence starting with letters, like "GK." Many fake Venge or Tarmac frames have the serial number WSBC604292544K.
Counterfeit frames typically have incorrect hardware, including the seatpost clamp and top cap. These parts are often missing proper inscriptions. A real Specialized headset will not fit in a counterfeit frame.
Counterfeit Aerofly and Venge VIAS handlebars are very flexible. They can often be broken with a strong, bare-handed flex test. Aerofly bars and mountain bike handlebars with large red or silver graphics are certainly counterfeit. Specialized has never made bars with these graphics.
Counterfeit Aerofly bars often have poorly made derailleur cable entry holes. Authentic bars have a visible cable support shelf.
Jerseys and shorts are the most common counterfeit Specialized products, and are made in many different countries. One of the easiest ways to identify a counterfeit product is by the tag.
Authentic Specialized jerseys do not have other brand logos on the garment unless it is an official pro team jersey, which are very limited. Use commonsense with apparel. Authentic Specialized jerseys and shorts are not sold as a set for ridiculously cheap prices.
Counterfeit shorts can be identified by the pad. They are often low quality and not in the correct position for providing riders comfort. Many will have "COOLMAX™" impressed on the chamois, which they do not actually contain.
The easiest way to identify counterfeit gloves is by the price. Generally, the regular retail price for authentic Specialized gloves starts at $25. Counterfeit gloves typically have many incorrect, or over-sized, logos on them.
A bare carbon saddle is a counterfeit product. Specialized has never produced a saddle without a cover and padding.