I bought a pair of Shimano brifters from eBay, brand new. They have a few bumps and marks on the plastic and metal parts that look like poor quality manufacturing to me. Can anyone tell from these photos whether these are legit? The model is Acera ST-EF65.

My tinfoil hat is on because they shipped from China, brand new without original packaging.

I was thinking maybe a good test is to dip the cables in water for a few hours and see if they rust. To see if they are truly stainless.

Update: While installing this, I noticed it does not have a hole to adjust brake pull between V or caliper style. The dealer manual says it should have this. Hmm...

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  • 4
    As far as I'm aware Shimano have manufacturing plants in Kunshan, Malaysia and Singapore, it's noted on other forums and the general web that stuff coming out the Malaysian and Singapore plants is a lower quality. It looks like your's say Indonesia on them, it's entirely possible that they're genuine Shimano but the QC isn't as good hence the markings and bumps.
    – Dan K
    Sep 30, 2019 at 6:22
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    The lack of packaging isn't necessarily suspicious. Parts intended for retail come in packaging; parts intended for manufacturers to put on new bikes ("OEM parts") don't, since a factory making thousands of bikes doesn't want to have to take thousands of brake levers out of thousands of boxes. The OEM parts are cheaper (bulk discount and no packaging) so many budget retailers buy them to sell to the public. Sep 30, 2019 at 7:17
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    By the way, those aren't brifters. A brifter is a single lever that controls both the gears and a brake. Sep 30, 2019 at 7:22
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    It look to be a Altus or lower spec component. At this price point they sell for (guessing no more than $US30 retail) the rough edges come for free.
    – mattnz
    Sep 30, 2019 at 9:06
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    @WeiwenNg I doubt it. The whole point of quality control is to reduce the amount of inferior product leaving the factory. In some cases, QC failures are sold as "seconds" but, usually, a large company will want to protect its reputation by keeping QC failures off the market. Sep 30, 2019 at 16:51

4 Answers 4


If you are really interested you could contact Shimano directly, say that you bought them, that they do not have adjusting hole, and that you suspect they may be counterfeit, and if they could advise you how to check it. I suppose they would be happy to help you out since it is in their interest to find and fight counterfeits.

But you could be looking at the wrong instructions (like year of production). Parts could have originated from some new bike, that was upgraded in the shop with some higher spec parts, and originals got sold this way.

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    As someone who has purchased similar fake Shimano parts on eBay from China, the quality issues are immediate and glaring; if you have some experience handling bike parts, it's clear they are not any kind of Shimano parts.
    – Armand
    Nov 30, 2020 at 20:24
  • @Armand, there are I think different grades of fake. But some of the comments in this thread 'what do you expect for $30' are very wide of the mark. There is a lot of fake stuff out there. The smart conclusion is that if you bought something that seems off and you aren't certain about its provenance then it's probably fake
    – thelawnet
    Dec 1, 2020 at 8:18

I purchased some off ebay that look like yours, even with similar label, I can't be 100% sure but but suspect they would not be genuine.

Points that suggest my parts are not original:

  • The mouldings have a rough surface, not smooth
  • the high/low text is not moulded into the lever, just printed on
  • the paint/chrome is applied unevenly
  • they just feel sloppy, with loose tolerances
  • some of the pieces/mouldings having sharp edges, meaning they've skimped the finishing processes by inadequate deburring or tumbling.

Mine didn't work properly from the start, the bolt through the middle was loose and it didn't change into high gears. And the whole thing fell apart when I twisted it the wrong way while investigating.

Lesson for me is to be sure of genuine/quality parts before purchasing anything, or money just wasted.

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    Welcome to Bicycles SE. Do you have any reason to believe that the issues mentioned are indicative of counterfeit rather than poor quality control? You say that the lesson is to ensure that parts are genuine moving forward. How are you going to do that?
    – jimchristie
    Apr 10, 2020 at 20:26
  • The fake Shimano Deore-level rear derailleurs I bought on eBay had paint that easily scratched off with my fingernail, rough casting ends/edges. were missing some small ridges (e.g. by cable attachment screw), had off-center borings and some non-standard-looking bolts. Having many such issues on one part as well as missing/extra features make clear it's not just a QC issue. It's much harder to spot stuff like the wrong metal or plastic, so comparing the fine details with photos of the real item is probably the easiest way to identify a fake and prove it to the vendor so they will refund you.
    – Armand
    Nov 30, 2020 at 20:36

I am sure you got the fake product. Currently, fake Shimano parts from China are also flooding Indonesia‘s Online marketplaces. We can see the difference from: quality, material, weight, price,etc.

To prevent receiving any fake product in Online marketplace, I usually ask clarification from the seller & review the comments before buying it.

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! Warnings about counterfeit parts are useful, but it would be even more useful to pass on details of how to tell they are counterfeit. What about these tells you that?
    – DavidW
    Nov 30, 2020 at 16:23
  • @DavidW there is a similar question here: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/64791/… Usually you can tell by packaging if any (any spelling mistakes will indicate fakes), poor fonts, rough materials, differences to known original, etc.
    – thelawnet
    Nov 30, 2020 at 19:04

These are an obvious fake. The 1 in the gear indicator looks like it was done by a 3 year-old. The other numbers are the wrong font also. The writing 'speed' is laughably bad and could not possibly that bad on a genuine product.

The metal strip above the gear window does not meet the edge, like it should, and the barrel adjuster is obviously crude.

The Mega 9 branding is also missing from the clamp band

Compare this genuine example

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The plastic mark is also missing from the rear of the lever

I found a different fake of this on AliExpress

enter image description here

This one has developed a 'Low' writing which is found on some Shimano shifters, but not these. The Shimano logos are missing. It's a real piece of crap.

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