All my Aliexpress MTB purchases reviewed.

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
So has anyone risked a carbon frame from aliexpress or direct from a Chinese carbon company. I'm contemplating this one to build up as a XC bike: https://icancycling.com/collections/mtb-frame/products/xc-full-suspension-mtb-bike-frame-s3
There seems to be plenty of positive reviews but also a few horror stories with Chinese frames.
I bought one of these a long time ago ($500 delivered), no problem with the carbon at all and I rode the hell out of it, in fact I got with in a few seconds of some local KOMs with it. The pivots were made on the cheap side, but this was early days of mass production carbon bikes. Have a good look at their sizing charts, their large is usually a medium. Ask for spare derailleur hangers as they are unusual shapes and hard to get.



373498
 

Ackland

Eats Squid

ozzybmx

Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin
So has anyone risked a carbon frame from aliexpress or direct from a Chinese carbon company. I'm contemplating this one to build up as a XC bike: https://icancycling.com/collections/mtb-frame/products/xc-full-suspension-mtb-bike-frame-s3
There seems to be plenty of positive reviews but also a few horror stories with Chinese frames.
I have had 5 Chi frames, bought 4 and 1 replacement.

2 Dengfu fatbike frames, the first at 6 months old had a creaky BB, it was a crack in the paintwork (carbon) they sent me a new frame and I had it hand 3 weeks later.
3 x BXT XC 29er frames, 2 smalls which my boys raced and trained on for about 2 years, bought another large after xmas as one of my boys wanted a longer reach.
They do the job, no frills or exciting features, just ~1200g carbon HT frames.
 

blacksp20

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I have had 5 Chi frames, bought 4 and 1 replacement.

2 Dengfu fatbike frames, the first at 6 months old had a creaky BB, it was a crack in the paintwork (carbon) they sent me a new frame and I had it hand 3 weeks later.
3 x BXT XC 29er frames, 2 smalls which my boys raced and trained on for about 2 years, bought another large after xmas as one of my boys wanted a longer reach.
They do the job, no frills or exciting features, just ~1200g carbon HT frames.
This has got me seriously considering buying frames for my growing giant boys and swapping parts over as they grow. Would be happy to spend the same money on a frame that I would spend on a whole bike with cheap parts that I’d only upgrade anyway. Mine don’t ride hard so the rest of the parts would be fine for several iterations.
 

ozzybmx

Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin
This has got me seriously considering buying frames for my growing giant boys and swapping parts over as they grow. Would be happy to spend the same money on a frame that I would spend on a whole bike with cheap parts that I’d only upgrade anyway. Mine don’t ride hard so the rest of the parts would be fine for several iterations.
Was exactly my idea, cheap and cheerful carbon HT's to race on, decent parts though, they are running Nextie premium XC rims and my beloved X0 10spd gearing. Both bikes built up at 10kg.

I posted this yesterday, plain black in matt or gloss, comes with QR/TA dropout kit BUT the last frame I ordered did not include headset or rear through axle itself.

BXT sell them on Aliexpress, eBay, Alibabab, direct and a few other places.

 

ozzybmx

Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin
The big question on the more expensive FS frames that look very like current expensive frames.

Are these frames that were made excess to requirements or purposely produce by the 'nightshift' for selling on the side.
Were they frames failed by QC knowing the strict requirement of the big named companies getting them made.
Did they continue to make frames for say Norco, Pivot ect after the 'run' was finished.

Surely the large companies ordering these expensive frames would have some say over the moulds when the run is finished, or are they retired to the Guangdong Province with nobody caring.
 

blacksp20

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Was exactly my idea, cheap and cheerful carbon HT's to race on, decent parts though, they are running Nextie premium XC rims and my beloved X0 10spd gearing. Both bikes built up at 10kg.

I posted this yesterday, plain black in matt or gloss, comes with QR/TA dropout kit BUT the last frame I ordered did not include headset or rear through axle itself.

BXT sell them on Aliexpress, eBay, Alibabab, direct and a few other places.

That looks ace. They sell a headset and axle for under $35 too I see. The colour choices look pretty nice too. Will definitely be considering an aliexpress built bike for my 9yo when he outgrows his XS 26” in the next 12 months. Problem is the 2-4 month lead time on parts delivery.
 

Mr Crudley

Wheel size expert
The big question on the more expensive FS frames that look very like current expensive frames.

Are these frames that were made excess to requirements or purposely produce by the 'nightshift' for selling on the side.
Were they frames failed by QC knowing the strict requirement of the big named companies getting them made.
Did they continue to make frames for say Norco, Pivot ect after the 'run' was finished.

Surely the large companies ordering these expensive frames would have some say over the moulds when the run is finished, or are they retired to the Guangdong Province with nobody caring.
All great questions and I've thought much the same. It is a bit of a roll of the dice overall :)

Particularly if you are looking for a cut price knock off of an uber frame. Always nice to see a few other punters that have them built up already and getting some feedback before taking the plunge.

Also sourcing spare like linkages, rear drop outs and other bits n' pieces could be an issue as time rolls on.

An Alibaba HT has to be a lot less risk in that respect.

Love to have a AM831 to mess around with nonetheless.
 

frenchman

Eats cheese. Sells crack.
We are fine to buy a chinese made frames with a brand name sticker on it but reluctant to do the same for a no namer.
I’ve never understood this either. That yeti, intense, sc have all been made by some Chinese / Vietnamese worker and if you could find the same frame that was made after hours why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
 

CHEWY

Eats Squid
The big question on the more expensive FS frames that look very like current expensive frames.

Are these frames that were made excess to requirements or purposely produce by the 'nightshift' for selling on the side.
Were they frames failed by QC knowing the strict requirement of the big named companies getting them made.
Did they continue to make frames for say Norco, Pivot ect after the 'run' was finished.

Surely the large companies ordering these expensive frames would have some say over the moulds when the run is finished, or are they retired to the Guangdong Province with nobody caring.
I did a bit of reading on that chinertown forum about the chanta cruz.

My take is they are a copy, they are not made or connected to the same companies that produce santa cruz/norco etc frames.
They are no relation to the original articles other than that the original design has been copied somewhat.
The manufacturer makes their own molds.
They also haven't been produced yet, and people are waiting on the first production run of 200 so they can get their hands on one.

I think if you were expecting it to be a 1k santa cruz frame that didn't pass QC you'd be sorely disappointed.

If you were expecting a 1k chinese knock off copy of a santa cruz then you'd probably be on the money.
 
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ozzybmx

Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin
My take is they are a copy, they are not made or connected to the same companies that produce santa cruz/norco etc frames.
They are no relation to the original articles other than that the original design has been copied somewhat.
Sounds plausible, I have never looked into the more expensive Chi frames or brand name replica looking ones.

Watch out for 200 Chanta Cruz about to hit the market in a year where the real Chantas have manufacturing and supply issues.
Chops has an order in for 10 ;)
 

Mr Crudley

Wheel size expert
I’ve never understood this either. That yeti, intense, sc have all been made by some Chinese / Vietnamese worker and if you could find the same frame that was made after hours why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
I agree. I think it will have to change as time rolls on. No longer is welding expertise needed for CF so it has levelled the playing field in that way. China is the place the big guys go for CF and they are building up that expertise. We could expect no name Chinese companies to pop up with modern geo and use the same CF build techniques as the larger guys have pioneered.

Looking at all of the Chinese made commoditised stuff on AliExpress then it is only a matter of time.
I will proudly ride my 2025 WengFu CF bargain wonder bike with the boutique bike company geo.
 
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