ebike copies

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Isn't the ebike market a reflection of the non-ebike market? Frame designs are similar across the board for all bikes in each genre, sure there are slight variations, but these are variations on the same theme. Design that works for non-ebike's will work for ebike's with a few modifications (compromises), maybe.

It is very rarely that innovative design makes it big in the non-ebike market, the big players tend to concentrate on changing part of a bicycle design and then patent that to protect it's copyright with a marketing term. The rest of the manufacturers end up implementing something similar, copyrighting their own name given to that design and so on and, it seems to me, that most of this is just marketing in order to keep things fresh and 'new' to attract new sales.

So, who invented the first diamond frame bicycle and who copied it ? Who invented the first bicycle with a bend in the downtube and who copied it? Does anyone hold the patents for these designs? If they do, then surely they will be very rich people.

As far as China is concerned, cheap copies have been a feature for decades, for all sorts of products, it's the quality of those copies that should be looked at in detail and if you get's what you paid for, then that's fine in my book. Also don't forget that, in the past, cheap Chinese imports used to be of such low quality that some were illegal according to the standards used in Europe, accordingly it seems the Chinese have 'upped' their game in order to meet European standards and maintain sales.
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
So, who invented the first diamond frame bicycle and who copied it ? Who invented the first bicycle with a bend in the downtube and who copied it? Does anyone hold the patents for these designs? If they do, then surely they will be very rich people.
GT have a distinctive frame which, I understand, is protected by copyright. I don't think that distinction is for functional reasons but it does differentiate the brand which could be important for marketing.

The Wisper 905 has a distinctively curved down tube, not seen, to my knowledge, on non-electric bikes. Again this makes the bike distinctive rather than providing a functional advantage.

Do let me know if I have got the wrong end of the stick here but...

Is it a coincidence that there are now several e-bikes with a similar curve to that found on this successful brand?
 

rog_london

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 3, 2009
764
2
Harrow, Middlesex
(Quote) Is it a coincidence that there are now several e-bikes with a similar curve to that found on this successful brand?


Not according to David of Wisper it isn't!

Rog.
 

dan

Pedelecer
Sep 30, 2009
137
0
curved frame

(Quote) Is it a coincidence that there are now several e-bikes with a similar curve to that found on this successful brand?


Not according to David of Wisper it isn't!

Rog.
curved frame ebike sold in UK from 2004 to 2006...not the same as wisper but similar idea. curved frames have been around since the 1950's.

as in other posts its almost impossible to come up with a new idea in terms of basic frame design. it would be very difficult to patent a frame but you can copyright the design. if a company thinks their product design is being copied, they can always sue the offending company for "passing off"

styles of frame go in an out of fashion just like most things we buy, take the logos off a TV and could you tell if it was a sony or a toshiba. line up all road racing bikes used by top teams, if they were unpainted with no logos could you guess correctly who made them

cloned in the file name refers to the picture being cloned not the frame being cloned from another bike
 

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Haku

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 20, 2007
339
4
Gloucestershire
Most ebikes I've seen discussed/pictured here have top-loading battery systems that I assume require the saddle to tilt forward to put in/take out, what other makers have side loading batteries like my Urban Mover? a feature I like about it because the saddle stays still and the battery locks into place easily.
 

Old Timer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 5, 2009
1,279
12
My own experience from when i used to ride in earnest and more of late is that frame design is obviously important from a cosmetic point of view but far more important from a riding point of view. Frame design and material used makes just so much difference to the ride. Depending on your riding style or what type of bike the frame and it`s geometry should be at the forefront when the idea starts to become reality.

I`m very excited to see what Andrew of Oxygen bikes come up with because from what he was saying there has been a lot of thought gone into the design( I don`t mean just the overall look but more the tube angles etc)

When I was a teenager I purchased a second hand "Paris Tour de France Frame" had it sprayed and built it from scratch and boy not only was it good to look at but it was always a superbly comfortable bike. Much the same as most vehicles gain or suffer from the fine detail. I had a 89cc 4 stroke MV Augusta when I was 16 that could literally wipe the floor with all my mates bikes(Tiger cubs, BSA 250`s etc) and although giving away tons of power to the others they just couldn`t get round the country lanes with it. A race bread frame for sure. Remember the Norton Featherbed Frames?

So! copying a design is all very well but the "devil is in the detail" so to speak.

Dave
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
curved frame ebike sold in UK from 2004 to 2006...not the same as wisper but similar idea. curved frames have been around since the 1950's.

as in other posts its almost impossible to come up with a new idea in terms of basic frame design. it would be very difficult to patent a frame but you can copyright the design. if a company thinks their product design is being copied, they can always sue the offending company for "passing off"

styles of frame go in an out of fashion just like most things we buy, take the logos off a TV and could you tell if it was a sony or a toshiba. line up all road racing bikes used by top teams, if they were unpainted with no logos could you guess correctly who made them

cloned in the file name refers to the picture being cloned not the frame being cloned from another bike
That frame and down tube look nothing like a Wisper, unlike the clones we're seen.
 

Oxygen Bicycles

Trade Member
Feb 18, 2010
304
20
www.oxygenbicycles.com
Real cloning

GT have a distinctive frame which, I understand, is protected by copyright. I don't think that distinction is for functional reasons but it does differentiate the brand which could be important for marketing.

The Wisper 905 has a distinctively curved down tube, not seen, to my knowledge, on non-electric bikes. Again this makes the bike distinctive rather than providing a functional advantage.

Do let me know if I have got the wrong end of the stick here but...

Is it a coincidence that there are now several e-bikes with a similar curve to that found on this successful brand?
I really think ''cloning'' should be practically defined in two ways. I would define them as ''Inspirational design'' and ''Real clonning'' To me there are significant differences between real copy and inspirational design. I can not see anything wrong in making modifcations and improving the product. I do however see a problem when we see this kind of scanning. I came across this during one my visits to China:





how about that GTI Avalanche.

The name changed by one letter from GT to GTI
The model name stayed the same Avalanche 3.0 same as real GT
Frame design 100% indentical with ZERO changes

So as I said I can not see anything wrong with improving product and filling in the gaps that other brands don't do. I do however see a serious problem when this sort of situations appear.

How David could be pleased if his bike would be replaced in such a way:

1. 100% indentical frame
2. ''Whisper'' brand not ''Wisper''
3. Bike model ''9005'' not 905
4. All parts one by one identical

well then that would be really frustrating, don't you think. That is something we are personally disgusted with.

best regards

Andrew
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Ah but now you are entering the realm of fake, or almost fake.

Watching Fake Britain on BBC1 today, they covered dodgy cars, motorbikes, tyres etc.

It was interesting to see budget tyres that are legally sold in this country, the tread pattern and size of one particular tyre was an almost exact copy of a particular Continental branded tyre. In wet braking tests the budget tyres stopped the same car 14 metres (approx 45ft) later than the Continental tyres !! To me that is the difference between life and death.

Back onto bikes, I think that the metallurgy of copied bikes vs original bikes will play a major part in ride quality as well as it's design and longevity.

You get what you pay for.
 

Old Timer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 5, 2009
1,279
12
I really think ''cloning'' should be practically defined in two ways. I would define them as ''Inspirational design'' and ''Real clonning'' To me there are significant differences between real copy and inspirational design. I can not see anything wrong in making modifcations and improving the product. I do however see a problem when we see this kind of scanning. I came across this during one my visits to China:





how about that GTI Avalanche.

The name changed by one letter from GT to GTI
The model name stayed the same Avalanche 3.0 same as real GT
Frame design 100% indentical with ZERO changes

So as I said I can not see anything wrong with improving product and filling in the gaps that other brands don't do. I do however see a serious problem when this sort of situations appear.

How David could be pleased if his bike would be replaced in such a way:

1. 100% indentical frame
2. ''Whisper'' brand not ''Wisper''
3. Bike model ''9005'' not 905
4. All parts one by one identical

well then that would be really frustrating, don't you think. That is something we are personally disgusted with.

best regards

Andrew
+1 from me
 

Old Timer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 5, 2009
1,279
12
Ah but now you are entering the realm of fake, or almost fake.

Watching Fake Britain on BBC1 today, they covered dodgy cars, motorbikes, tyres etc.

It was interesting to see budget tyres that are legally sold in this country, the tread pattern and size of one particular tyre was an almost exact copy of a particular Continental branded tyre. In wet braking tests the budget tyres stopped the same car 14 metres (approx 45ft) later than the Continental tyres !! To me that is the difference between life and death.

Back onto bikes, I think that the metallurgy of copied bikes vs original bikes will play a major part in ride quality as well as it's design and longevity.

You get what you pay for.
I do agree that almost identical clones do fool a lot of people, lets face it, when we go to get new tyres on our cars to a certain extent all the new fresh smelling tyres look good to our old worn ones so yes anyone can be fooled.

But! make no mistake about it, tyre performance has always been varied. Meaning that you don`t have to buy a cloned tyre to get poorer performance. You would probably get similar performance from most tyres that are around the same price and yes you are right, for things like tyres you do tend to get what you pay for. Which is not to say that we all need the very highest performance tyres. I don`t do many miles now days, I tend to drive within speed limits and now with hind sight tend to drive in defence rather than attack and I usually tend to go for a middle of the road known name tyre now days. In days gone by when I was driving all over the country in high performance cars then I went with the best, they didn`t last any longer(in fact with the softer rubber )they tended to wear out quick but the grip was superior and more so at high speed.
 

Oxygen Bicycles

Trade Member
Feb 18, 2010
304
20
www.oxygenbicycles.com
Ah but now you are entering the realm of fake, or almost fake.

Watching Fake Britain on BBC1 today, they covered dodgy cars, motorbikes, tyres etc.

It was interesting to see budget tyres that are legally sold in this country, the tread pattern and size of one particular tyre was an almost exact copy of a particular Continental branded tyre. In wet braking tests the budget tyres stopped the same car 14 metres (approx 45ft) later than the Continental tyres !! To me that is the difference between life and death.

Back onto bikes, I think that the metallurgy of copied bikes vs original bikes will play a major part in ride quality as well as it's design and longevity.

You get what you pay for.

Tyre copies as Old Timer says is totally different thing. If you are to be speeding at 100mph on the cloned tyre you must be crazy then, but its totally different to drive at 30mph around the town. Customer is always the one to make a purchase decision.

Coming back to those GT frames you would be amazed how well copied thet were. The quality of welds was perfect and they even had T4 and T6 thermal treatment after welding.

You would be also amazed how big brands were making their frames in those factories. Quality wise I could see those were a decent frames, I'm the engineer and I know a lot about welding and thermal treatment.

best regards

Andrew
 

Old Timer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 5, 2009
1,279
12
Tyre copies as Old Timer says is totally different thing. If you are to be speeding at 100mph on the cloned tyre you must be crazy then, but its totally different to drive at 30mph around the town. Customer is always the one to make a purchase decision.

Coming back to those GT frames you would be amazed how well copied thet were. The quality of welds was perfect and they even had T4 and T6 thermal treatment after welding.

You would be also amazed how big brands were making their frames in those factories. Quality wise I could see those were a decent frames, I'm the engineer and I know a lot about welding and thermal treatment.

best regards

Andrew
I wonder how many unsuspecting cyclist might be riding around on a pride and joy GT clone?

BTW I did make this point once before. My son went to China to get some fittings made for hydraulic doors, the originals were not being made anymore and in this case he did the right thing and approached the original makers(the patten had expired btw) who gave him written permission to have some copies made. After a slight false start with the first prototype they got it right. The fittings they supplied were not only identical to the originals but in our opinion made of a slightly better material. We have tested them now for several years with no problems. Cost of original when available in this country £40 each approx trade + vat. Cost of Chinese units £1.75 each shipped half way around the world. OK, he had to spend £7k but because they were sought after he got his money back in a couple of months and now has a lifetime supply left.(he sold them for half the original UK price) up to this point i wasn`t all that impressed with Chinese parts( not from using them anyway) but now I`m convinced they can do some really good work(not all I know)
 
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Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
Tyre copies as Old Timer says is totally different thing. If you are to be speeding at 100mph on the cloned tyre you must be crazy then, but its totally different to drive at 30mph around the town. Customer is always the one to make a purchase decision.

Coming back to those GT frames you would be amazed how well copied thet were. The quality of welds was perfect and they even had T4 and T6 thermal treatment after welding.

You would be also amazed how big brands were making their frames in those factories. Quality wise I could see those were a decent frames, I'm the engineer and I know a lot about welding and thermal treatment.

best regards

Andrew
Surely Andrew we are missing the point, the people who ripped off the GTI Avalanche are thieves IMO. As I have said 100's of times, why should innovators simply sit quietly back and see all there efforts simply lifted by another business?

All the best

David
 
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Oxygen Bicycles

Trade Member
Feb 18, 2010
304
20
www.oxygenbicycles.com
Surely I also feel sorry for the GT. My point was that in the past the copy was something out any value. Those who made a copy of GT made that frame technologically not worse than the GT itself and I agree that its a theft of IP. In that case its a direct copying of their brand, graphics, fonts, logo style with zero extra added value.
 
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Stumpi

Pedelecer
Dec 3, 2009
192
40
Scotland
To me there are significant differences between real copy and inspirational design. I can not see anything wrong in making modifcations and improving the product.
That is the difference between the Chinese and Japanese. Having had dealings with both, the Chinese with reproduce anything you ask them to a high standard if required but you have to be very very precise with your specs and contracts. In some cases they will also "copy" the idea and produce their own version often only for their own market. That does not stop third parties exporting them.

The Japanese on the other hand take an idea and look how they can improve it often making suggestions on your own specs. Of course there is a price to pay
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Tyre copies as Old Timer says is totally different thing. If you are to be speeding at 100mph on the cloned tyre you must be crazy then, but its totally different to drive at 30mph around the town. Customer is always the one to make a purchase decision.
OK, I know this is slightly off topic, but just to be clear (and pedantic) - I wasn't trying to make a comparison of high performance cars on high performance tyres. The tyre test was performed by people that perform these tests day in day out, they attempted a motorway simulation whereby they got up to 70mph on a controlled 1mm depth of water then applied the brakes as in an emergency braking situation (foot full down on the brakes, clutch in) leaving the car (I think it was a Ford Focus or similar) and abs to do the work. It would be interesting to see a full set of test results at different speeds and in different driving conditions, I suspect the results would largely be similar - budget tyres will not perform as well as branded.

To me this is a real world test and was repeatable, this type of braking situation could mean the difference between life and death, the budget tyres did not perform as well as the branded product. With tyres being a safety feature of vehicles, I know where my money will be going.

My point which is on topic is that this could be applied as a general rule for unbranded copies for all sorts of products, but as I stated in my OP the Chinese appear to have upped their game over the years to make higher quality copies.
 

alex_h

Pedelecer
Dec 28, 2009
197
4


Looking at that picture if that would be reality that nobody looks at what others do and improve we would be still 1000 years back technologically, don't you think?