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How to tell if an A-Bike is real or fake

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:07 pm
by bindo
[ GARRY SAYS: Please read through this thread for advice on how to ensure you are buying a genuine A-Bike.

Also visit the WHERE TO BUY A-BIKE page at for the official guide and helpline on how to choose a real A-Bike.


I bought a fake A-bike from ebay a couple of weeks ago.
It was clear that 85 Euros were only going to buy me a low quality chinese product, but, alas, the A-bike gets NO press here in Italy and I hadn't seen anything about it online. So I didn't know that a GOOD product in this category existed :)

I found this forum because my bike has some SERIOUS problems which I was looking to fix. (I think I am sending it back if the seller honours the ebay terms). Still I thought I might share the experience.

The bike looked good. It's called Mini-bike and it seems a perfect replica. Even the manual is the same except for the logo and name. The bag has even the original a-bike logo. This is the original ebay ad: ... 0148419019

Unfortunately assembly was terrible. It is missing a metal part in the left handle so it has problems to close correctly.
Worse, the left and right chain regulators are on different settings and the chain "jumps" when I try to pedal (fixing this doesn't seem trivial, I want to experiment but have NO experience with bikes. Any clear instructions here would be appreaciated).
The back wheel is not completely free (maybe for the same reason).

I "enjoyed" for no more tha 10m ...

If I manage to fix the rear wheel I would like to drive this 'til it dies and then decide to buy the original one. Any idea or previous experience ?

I have found no professional willing to work on this bike. This is making me wary of buying the original one. If I have a problem I won't be able to solve it on my own ...


PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:57 pm
by newcross
To ride A-bike, we need a lot of LOVE. :lol:

We need to be able to maintain and fix our bike as you mentioned none of town repair shop want to put their hands on it!!

Anyway, as long as it's not serious part breakage, A-bike is pretty much DIY maintenance friendly. :wink:

The bearing mis-alighnment seems common with those A-bike counterfeits.

To fix the chain tension, download this instruction manual and refer page 31.

Okay, the pdf might not tell you much, but it's simple.

1.Open up your A-bike's gear box
2. Unscrew 4 fixing screws which holds the tensioner/bearing holder, then adjust their position as you please.

(Since your bike is a fake one, you might encounter nasty damaged screw stuck to there etc. I hope you wouldn't.)

If you need more info on assembling/disassembling, looking into here might lead your way to find the info. (It's slightly out dated though... :oops: )

or "search" function of this forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:49 am
by kenwshmt2
Get a 'genuine' one
Ive got a copy and a 'urban ryder' apparent licenced model. As nice as the copy was, its a night and day difference in the quality and performace.

100 miles....
thats about all you'll get from the freewheel, if something else doesnt go first.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:20 pm
by Guest
How can you tell if it is an original or a Chinese copy?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:16 am
by Amuro Lee
Anonymous wrote:How can you tell if it is an original or a Chinese copy?

Each genuine A-bike has this printed on the tube.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:16 pm
by smithra
I can't believe it! I mean mine looked so real when I bought it but it hasn't got those markings on the tube like in the photo!

I'm stunned!!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:18 pm
by smithra
Another thing: surely if there were replicas being made, they could easily have duplicated a few little letters on the post??? It makes no sense!
Are you sure??

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:49 pm
by Amuro Lee
smithra wrote:Another thing: surely if there were replicas being made, they could easily have duplicated a few little letters on the post??? It makes no sense!
Are you sure??

I can only tell you that I haven't seen any fake A-bikes have those markings on the tube yet.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:27 pm
by Pascal TOURNOIS
Please bear in mind that the Sinclair Research A-Bike, sold by Mayhem UK (so the genuine European model), does not have the same writings on the tube. For instance, it has no Daka logo. I don't have my A-Bike or a picture at the ready, so I can't tell you exactly what you should be looking for (apart from the Sinclair Research and Mayhem logos and some writings about the model (ZB01 too) and other things about patents pending, but I guess some friendly forumer will be able to attach a picture soon.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:39 pm
by Amuro Lee
Here are the meanings of the numbers marked on the tube

BS6102-1:1992 (British Standards)
Cycles. Specification for safety requirements for bicycles ... _4711.html

CPSA 0052 (Japanese Standards)
Approval Standard and Standard Confirmation Method for Bicycles ... a1113e.htm

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:46 pm
by Amuro Lee
The genuine Japanese model of A-bike also has those markings on the tube.

I bought a fAke-bike

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:54 pm
by SingleSpeeDemon
I bought mine out of need. A recent move caused my bus shelter to be 1.5mi from my front door and I needed the smallest bike possible to aid me in my morning commute. If I could have a genuine A-bike, then I would have done so.

Out of the box, the fake looks pretty convincing and is a blast to ride. However there are quality issues with the screws that mount the brake bands to the the bike, in my case, the rear set has rounded out and an allen wrench cannot remove them now. I will replace these screws as well as the front ones with a stainless steel set from my local hardware store.

The complete fAke-bike.
The rear tensioner. The odd thing is that L is too loose, M is too tight.
The pesky screws that need replacement

Official advice from Mayhem

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:19 pm
by Garry
Here is the official advice from Mayhem on how to tell if an A-Bike is genuine. This is taken from their official support site at

If you suspect the A-bike you are buying is a counterfeit copy there are a number of steps you can take to check its authenticity.

1) Check the A-bike has all the official logos and stickers in the correct locations, including the important "Distributed by MAYHEM UK LTD" sticker.

2) Check the A-bike carries an official batch and serial number, located on the underside of the crosspeice.

3) If in doubt, ask the seller for their legal business trading name, and contact or Mayhem UK to confirm they have been supplied official Sir Clive Sinclair A-bikes.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:47 pm
by SingleSpeeDemon
I found another way to tell a fake from a real one. Take your A-bike for a five mile loop around your local park. If the right-side pedal self destructs after two miles leaving you to limp home with one pedal, then it's definitely a fake.

At least that's what happened to me this morning.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:41 pm
by Weakling
That is a sad start of the New Year.
It surprise me that they have not found dealers
in USA. Such a big country.