August 30, 2012

Chinese Carbon Bikes - Ordering

     Once your size has been locked in and you know what frame you want, you have to place the order. When I was looking for a frame I had narrowed the frames I liked down to:

     The MC055 from Miracle Bike which is similar to the Cervelo S5. The frame is actually quite ugly to me but I like that you can easily set it up as a road bike and a TT bike by switching out the cockpit and using the appropriate saddle mount.

     The AC031/MC031 from Ican and Miracle Bike which is similar to the Cervelo S2/3. I decided against this one because I couldn't find any first hand reviews from anybody who has purchased the frame.

     The AC053/MC053 from Ican and Miracle which is similar to the Scott Foil. The frame looks nice but there were some early issues with slipping seatposts (I think this has been corrected in the newer versions).

     The FR315 from Flyxii which is similar to the Giant Defy. I decided not to go with Flyxii because there are some claims that while their products are usable they appear to be seconds that did not make the cut at other suppliers. A frames drop outs may be off a bit off or the wheels may be unevenly weighted.

     The FM098 from DengFu which is similar to the Specialized Venge. The frame is very popular on Velobuild.

     In the end I decided to go with the FM098 because of the large support community of people who have ordered the frame already, the reputation of the seller (DengFu), and the price. When ordering there are a couple of different ways you can go about it. The frames are available through Alibaba and EBay (search for carbon bicycle frame, set the region to China and prepare to be overwhelmed), directly from the manufacturer by contacting them through Email, or (I used this method) an organised group buy on a website like Velobuild.

     I decided to go with the group buy option from Velobuild primarily because of the cost savings. When ordered directly from the distributor the FM098 sells for as much as $600 but through the group buy it is priced at $450. The group saves the money by meeting a MOQ (minimum order quantity) for a bulk buy. Velobuild features a 'mall' where you can place your frame order (they also sell wheels and other accessories) and then submit your payment by Paypal. Once the MOQ for the group buy is reached the group closes and the orders are then processed by the distributor. In this case my frame will be sent from SchenZhen, China by DengFu.

     When ordering you have to select the frame size you want, the bottom bracket type (BB30 or BSA), Di2 or no Di2 compatibility, and the type of carbon weave preferred (3K, 12K or UD). You can also add some other items to your cart which are also slightly discounted. I included a tapered headset, some extra derailleur hangers, an extra seatpost collar, 2 colour custom paint, some carbon handlebars and two carbon bottle cages.The carbon bottle cages and handlebars alone were less than a quarter of what a similar product would cost for me here in Toronto.

     With my option for 2 colour custom paint I had to submit a design to the representative from DengFu and I will cover the process of my design in an upcoming post.


  1. Hi Mike,
    Do Velobuild mark the item as a gift for shipping with a low value? Or do they mark it with full value?

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates on carbon bike frame..I will be waiting for your next update.