Zipp News

Back 3.6.2014

Counterfeit alert

Be aware of fake Zipp wheels, stem and bars sold online (example to right). Imitation might be a form of flattery, but it also can be extremely dangerous.

How to spot counterfeit wheels

We have seen recent increase in counterfeit wheels purporting to be made by Zipp Speed Weaponry for sale on the Internet. These wheels can be extremely dangerous. They lack the industry-leading safety, quality, durability and performance standards customers can expect when purchasing genuine Zipp products. Zipp analyzed these counterfeit wheels and discovered them to be of dangerously poor quality, including unacceptable rim failures and braking power that was a fraction of genuine Zipp wheels. What’s more, customers who buy wheels from unauthorized sellers are not eligible for Zipp’s two-year warranty.

Warning signs a wheel may be counterfeit:


  • No dimples (Zipp’s ABLC™ technology). However, some counterfeit versions do have dimples and at a cursory glance may appear authentic.
  • White or other colors of spokes or hubs. Zipp uses black Sapim C X-Ray spokes from Belgium. Zipp’s proprietary hubs are embossed with the oval “Z” logo.
  • Prices appearing too good to be true. Simply put, they usually are.
  • Uneven brake tracks or carbon surface. Sometimes, things just don’t look quite right. Watch for logos that look suspicious or contain misspellings.

What to look for in authentic Zipp wheelsets:

  • First and foremost, shop for wheels at an authorized Zipp dealer. This is the only way to ensure you are purchasing the quality, service and warranty that come with Zipp Speed Weaponry.
  • Current model Zipp wheels have two decal options, Beyond Black and Classic White. Zipp Firecrest wheels have black spokes and hubs.
  • Zipp Firecrest rims are embossed with Zipp’s oval “Z” logo.
  • The carbon on the inner diameter of most all Zipp rims is embossed with “Handmade in Speedway, Indiana” or “Handmade in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.”
  • Model year 2013 Zipp rims have the serial number laser etched on the spoke bed.

How to spot counterfeit bars

Zipp takes absolutely no shortcuts in designing, developing, testing and manufacturing the highest performance carbon and aluminum handlebars available anywhere. These counterfeit bars lack the quality control and rigorous testing of genuine Zipp bars. Quite simply, the quality and safety of these bars is a complete mystery. Genuine Zipp bars surpass stringent European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Safety Standards for bicycles. What’s more, customers who buy handlebars from unauthorized sellers are not eligible for Zipp’s two-year warranty.

Warning signs handlebars may be counterfeit:


  • Buyer beware: Prices that seem too good to be true probably are.
  • Odd or uneven logo placement.
  • Multiple cable holes for routing instead of precisely placed and molded cable ports used by genuine Zipp bars.
  • Bars may be heavier than advertised.

What to look for in authentic Zipp handlebars:

  • On the VukaSprint, there is a Zipp band on either side of clamp area wrapping around circumference of bar.
  • Precisely placed oval “Z” logs on either side of clamp area.
  • Zipp logo on bar drop on right-hand side near bar end.
  • Laser engraved serial number (#).

How to spot counterfeit stems

Warning signs stems may be counterfeit:

  • Different looking faceplate or older oval Z logo.
  • An unusual surface such as a carbon weave. Service Course and Service Course SL stems are aluminum.
  • No TORX® head bolts.
  • Surprisingly low prices.

What to look for in authentic Zipp Service Course stems

  • TORX® head bolts.
  • Service Course SL stems have either a gloss black with white logos or a Beyond Black color scheme with laser-etched black logos. Service Course stems are Bead Blast Black with white Z logos.
  • Made from 7075 series aluminum. Service Course SL stems come with titanium bolts, and Service Course stems with stainless steel bolts.

Visit your local bike shop. Authorized Zipp dealers carry genuine Zipp products.