Consumers looking to purchase a bicycle are being advised to check that they receive the equipment they spend their hard earned cash on. MiWay, the innovative short-term insurer closely involved with the mountain biking community, is warning shoppers that top bike brands are being targeted by counterfeiters who are skilled at creating an appearance that is deceptively original.
MiWay’s head of claims, Max Huggins, explains: “Like the software, movie and music markets, bike purchasers with limited budgets are being lured, often via online Asian stores, to buy stolen or fake cycles at ‘too good to be true’ prices.
This is a great concern as the copies are made from inferior materials and just painted to look like the originals. Structurally, the bikes are less efficient and far more fragile. As a result they are more likely to break unexpectedly and pose a real risk for injury to riders. They also do not carry any manufacturer warranty, and could pose a problem when insuring them.”
MiWay is warning cyclists to pay closer attention and help raise awareness within their cycling communities to avoid becoming victims of online scams, says Huggins.
“Our advice to consumers is to buy only from accredited retailers or suppliers. Most good bike manufacturers include a serial number on the frame which can be checked with the supplier; purchasers should use the opportunity to confirm authenticity before it’s too late and they find themselves stuck with equipment that is unreliable and potentially dangerous.”