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  1. #1
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    KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?

    Recently I bought a batch of new 11 speed KMC chain links on Amazon.
    after I bought them, I noticed a few reviews there talking about fakes - versions of the KMC link sold in bulk. Some reviews were arguing they were fakes, and had pictures to show the differences.

    Sure enough, I looked at the new ones, and compared them to others I had on hand - ones that came with new KMC chains, "known good". There were small differences in lettering, finish, and color in certain areas.

    So I then went back at looked at KMC 10 speed links I had on hand - same deal. The real KMC links, provided in shrink wrap KMC packages were different from bulk ones bought on Amazon.

    Anyone else see this, and if so, experience any problems with the bulk package KMC links?
    I sent the 11 speed links back to Amazon for a refund, but can shows the differences on the 10 speed ones if anyone wants to see them.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    No I haven't heard of this but wouldn't be surprised. Do you have any links that show what the differences are?

    I usually try to buy them in the packaging. Makes them easier to store in the saddle bag and not lose them. Or cause them to rust.
    But I did recently buy some that came bulk without package.
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  3. #3
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    The bad reviews here sound genuine for this particular vendor at least. If the thing goes together without clicking into place that sounds like a dead giveaway. I would not be using suspected links at all.

    https://www.amazon.com/KMC-Missing-1.../dp/B00K7X8J7G
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  4. #4
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    KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?

    Counterfeit? Difficult to believe for such a cheap component; no money in it. Post some photos. I've had some of these break, maybe that's why. They do make two versions; one reusable and one not.

    Update: I looked at mine. One in a small zip lock bag, the other in retail packaging. Looked pretty much identical. Maybe they make these on different machines and the differences lie there.
    Last edited by mfdemicco; 5 Days Ago at 07:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    The Amazon pictures are pretty convincing that there are fakes. Doesn't surprise me as they have been selling fake KMC chains for many years now.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Counterfeit? Difficult to believe for such a cheap component; no money in it. Post some photos. I've had some of these break, maybe that's why. They do make two versions; one reusable and one not.
    Why not look at the link I posted?
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

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  7. #7
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    KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?

    Here's a photo on one that broke on me.

    Looks like this is a genuine one because it has a smooth end of the pin instead of the indent. Regardless, I think these links suck and am going to another brand. The head of the pin chips or breaks off.
    Last edited by mfdemicco; 5 Days Ago at 07:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    to mfdemicco - that one in your pic looks like a fake. I'll post 10S photos in a minute.

    The 11 speed ones were bought off this link at amazon.
    The first giveaway on the fake 11S link was the post was shiny silver, as on the real KMC 11S ones it is dull black. I sent them back. BTW, in these listings, seller The Kollective uses pictures of real KMC links, but then apparently ships ones that look different. Hmmm.
    https://www.amazon.com/KMC-Missing-1...XSG&th=1&psc=1

    The 11S links came in a little bag with a card from Forest Byke. Sure enough, that company appears to sell aftermarket non-oem derailleur hangers also.
    The company that actually sold them was The Kollective. These guys appear to be slinging some BS on the subject, as in another Amazon listing say they get them direct from KMC.
    I'm not saying all the loose packed ones are fake, as the ones packed with new KMC chains are loose packed. But if you want to be sure you get real ones, it looks like getting the KMC shrink wrap package is the best way to go.

  9. #9
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    Here are pics of the real KMC 10S link, and the "other" ones. I bought these awhile ago from a seller on Amazon. First pic is the difference in packaging. The top is the loose pack, bottom KMC card pack.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?-kmc_pack.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Here's the 2 links - clearly different. The bottom one came from the KMC pack, the top one was loose in a bag. Notice the difference in finish, lettering, and the machined area where the pin locks in place - there is more metal behind the pin on the bottom one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?-kmc_links1.jpg  

  11. #11
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    KMC Chain Missing Link - fakes?-kmc_links2.jpg

    Here's another shot of the machined area where the pin locks - the real KMC is on the left. The back lip is substantially larger on the left one.

  12. #12
    tjc
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    Thanks for posting this. I had seen KMC chains going on ebay stating they were in bulk packaging, cut from roll. I stayed away, so maybe it is not just the links being faked.

    A couple of years ago I picked up a pair of Avid BB-7 brake rotors off Amazon (listed as genuine), which turned out to be fakes - missing mfr's date etch, which SRAM confirmed. Fortunately Amazon quickly made right and replaced with good ones. Just searched Amazon, and they no longer use that seller.

    Anyway, chains and brakes are definitely not something to risk with potential fakes.

  13. #13
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    Well, I looked at all the photos. I'm not sure there's counterfeiting going on here or just that KMC made them on different machines, they have loose tolerances, dimensional variation, etc. One of my orders was fulfilled by Amazon itself and another through 4ucycling in Amazon. One was in a plastic zip lock bag, the other on a card. They both look the same to me. I think the side plates are just punched out on a machine. Dies wear and have variations if more than one machine/ stamping dies are used. They are not precision machined parts. Maybe I should buy some from an LBS. I recently bought some made links by YBN.

    Has anyone tried to contact KMC? Wondering what they would say after looking at the photos?

  14. #14
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    Here is a photo of a 10S link from the KMC US website

    http://kmcchain.us/connector/ml-10r/


  15. #15
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    Question and answer on Amazon

    Q: Are rhey original? Many peopple claim they aren't

    Answer this question
    A: Based on the packaging, product markings, overall quality, excellent fit, form and functio… see more
    Amazon Customer | 2 days ago
    Leave a Comment
    A: Previous sellers of this product, were not selling original. Most feedback is positive. We purchase from KMC in China directly in bulk. Taiwan KMC Link and KMC Shenzhen Links are different look based on factory and market. We use both factories depending on stock. Some of the reviews that were negative for other sellers, some buyers clearly purchased the links and they were for the wrong chain. We are actually going to let this inventory run out and create another listing since with more detail as it seems previous sellers were selling non authentic links and some buyers were buying the wrong links and thought they were authentic. The KMC 11 Speed Chain Missing links are compatible for Shimano and Campy chains as per KMC website. Some have confirmed it works on some SRAM chains. We recommend buying a power link if you have SRAM chain if you are looking at the 11 speed. see less
    SELLER The Kollective | 3 days ago
    Comments | Leave a Comment

  16. #16
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    Well, it seems that KMC is a bit loose on sourcing, and just like in my professional experience, sourcing components from China means lower cost as well as much lower quality control. Carpe diem......
    I'm upping my standards;
    Up yours!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Well, it seems that Amazon is a bit loose on sourcing, and just like in my professional experience, sourcing components from China means lower cost as well as much lower quality control. Carpe diem......
    as they say, fixed it for you
    Amazon seems to like lowest cost sources, and this can lead to them selling stuff that is advertised as original OEM, but not. Seen it many times now, be it laptop power supplies, replacement batteries for power tools, you name it.

    I work in the electronics biz, and am fully aware of the problem with counterfeit capacitors, FETS, and so on. It's a huge problem, and extremely hard to track what is fake and real. Many PC failures have happened due to fake electrolytic capacitors from China.

    My understanding is the "good" capacitor company's publicly known formula for the key capacitor chemical ingredients were deliberately short of a few key ingredients. Meaning anyone trying to copy it would meet failure. And so they did.

    The fakes are getting better and better, but they are still fakes. If they work for you, and they may, great.

    If you are aware of biz in China, they fake everything. Fake Yamaha Motorcycles, TV's, pirated movies and CDs are as common as dirt.

    Price means nothing. They even fake Crest toothpaste, and Tide detergent.
    So anyone that thinks it's not possible that someone sells fake bike components in plain wrappers is, IMHO, somewhat naive.

  18. #18
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    If they can produce fake quick links, I would think fake packaging should be a piece of cake.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Last edited by Migen21; 4 Days Ago at 11:15 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z'mer View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's another shot of the machined area where the pin locks - the real KMC is on the left. The back lip is substantially larger on the left one.
    As somebody who has been in manufacturing quality control for more than a decade, let me critique what I can see:

    Stamping: The 'real' link has sharper edges, clearer lettering, and it seems made from thicker stock. Either the dies are worn, or the sheet stock is lower quality (and thinner), or the dies are fakes.

    Machining: If you will notice that the back lip is more concentric to the cutout on the 'real' unit, and the side cuts are just a bit thinner and more linear. These were made to a tighter tolerance, and have sharper edging, and will allow fewer failures.

    If these units "go together without clicking", this kind of proves the non-concentricity of the shelf to the cutout. The lip on the link is not seated, and the entire thing is likely to come apart.

    Conclusion: If these other ones are NOT fake, then KMC doesn't care about the loss of quality when outsourcing. These new versions will certainly have a greater failure rate, possibly a much greater failure rate. I will be sticking with SRAM quick links in the future.
    I'm upping my standards;
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Question and answer on Amazon

    Q: Are they original? Many people claim they aren't

    A: Previous sellers of this product, were not selling original. Most feedback is positive. We purchase from KMC in China directly in bulk. Taiwan KMC Link and KMC Shenzhen Links are different look based on factory and market. We use both factories depending on stock.
    I happen to have 2 chains still in their boxes. One 10 and one 11-speed.

    Searched in vain for country of origin on the boxes. Nothing. Which I thought a little strange.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

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  21. #21
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    I bought some 10S links made by YBN in Taiwan. I haven't used them yet. They look pretty good but don't know if they are. The pin fits really tight in the slot and I couldn't put them together just playing with a link trying to fit it together with my hands. That has me a little concerned. Anyone else tried them?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    I bought some 10S links made by YBN in Taiwan. I haven't used them yet. They look pretty good but don't know if they are. The pin fits really tight in the slot and I couldn't put them together just playing with a link trying to fit it together with my hands. That has me a little concerned. Anyone else tried them?
    That's good. You should not be able to put them together in your hands.

    Only Wipperman do that.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    That's good. You should not be able to put them together in your hands.

    Only Wipperman do that.
    OK, a comment on this, how the 2 shown in the pics above go together - The loose packed ones (fake?) snap together more easily, and come apart more easily than the shrink wrapped (KMC) ones.

    I've ridden both types of link shown above thousands of miles without problems, but...Now that I fully understand there is a difference, I feel more secure only using the tighter fitting ones.

    BTW, those pics were taken with a $35 USB digital microscope I just picked up. Great for inspection of wear and things like this.

  24. #24
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    why the need to buy quick links in bulk?
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  25. #25
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    why the need to buy quick links in bulk?
    Vendors buy them in bulk (non-packaged for retail) then sell them individually or in small quantities. Makes them cheaper than single retail packaged.

    Also, you're not supposed to reuse them. So if you remove your chain frequently you go through them.
    Personally, I reuse them. Shhhhh.
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