Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

02 December 2016

By Any Other Name

You most likely have seen this freewheel, if only in passing:


It's Shimano's Tourney (MF-TX20) model, found on many lower-priced hybrid, cruiser and "comfort" bikes.  It's made in China, like so many other bicycle components (and consumer products) on the market today. 



Given that it is made in China, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's made in the same factory as other low-priced freewheels sold under other brand names.  In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised to find out that some freewheel sold under another name is mechanically identical to Shimano's.



Even so, I was surprised to see this:




I had to glance at it a second time before I realized it wasn't a Shimano.  I mean, how much more like "Shimano" could the logo on the largest cog be?



An eBay listing for it doesn't mention its brand name: Shimeng.  The title of that listing, however, says "For Shimano."



Hmm...How close can you come to saying that your product is Shimano without saying it?

For what it's worth (pun intended), the Shimeng freewheel's $9.89 price includes shipping from Malaysia.  On the other hand, "abaxo" is selling the Shimano freewheel for $15.87.  To be fair, that price includes shipping--from one of their US warehouses.

6 comments:

  1. Cost of bike bits is very much like the volume of a balloon and can vary dramatically. The producer with name ending in "O" is famous for using a whole range of prices to it's suppliers who then have to contend with a slew of different protectionist "price maintenance" laws so that you can find net prices for items at much the price your dealer has to buy in bits... If it is anything like our supermarket biscuits and other goods, the big brands are often making them all in the same factory. We are all just pawns in this game...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's sad, really. i'd hate to try to run a bike shop these days, squeezed as one is between the internet and manufacturers/suppliers.

      Delete
  2. Hate to nitpick, but it's a cassette, not a freewheel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's a freewheel. i happen to have one or two on the shelf just now.

      Delete
  3. Henri--It is a freewheel. At least, it was listed as such. Believe it or not, some new bikes still come with them.

    Mike--Sometimes I think the best move I never made was opening a bike shop when I had the chance!

    Coline--Do you want to hear something really crazy? Right now, in the US, you can have Shimano (and, for that matter, Campagnolo and SRAM) components delivered to your door or desk for less than what a dealer would pay. What's even crazier is that we can get those prices from online retailers in the UK like Ribble and Chain Reaction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a shame it does not work the other way. VO would be getting orders if the shipping and fear of import taxes did not push the prices out of reach...

      Delete