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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    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 '19 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. – David Richerby Sep 30 '19 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. – David Richerby Sep 30 '19 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 '19 at 9:06
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    @DavidRicherby that was exactly what I was wondering, actually. I am thinking that perhaps these were QC rejects, but an unscrupulous seller somehow obtained them and sold them on eBay. so, they might not be counterfeits, but they shouldn't be on the market (albeit maybe the imperfections are cosmetic only, but the user has no way to be sure of this) – Weiwen Ng Sep 30 '19 at 20:44

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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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 at 20:26

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