Oh, boy... I thought I would stop posting on this topic. But here it goes...
Since De Rosa did not sell as many tangos, it seems not all wavy curves automatically sell, but either way I am sure you agree beauty is subjective, so we can stop at that.
With respect to Pina charging a premium, well, consumers will buy what's advertised. Even Parlee and Crumpton advertise too (believe it or not). Some (like Baum and Serotta) charge a higher premium... Today's top shelf frames are mostly 5K+, no? None of us can change human behavior, or the fact that companies are out there to make a profit (or that advertising is expensive).
The beauty of rip offs, is that, it does NOT matter who pays for the advertising. Whoever pays for advertising and becomes popular, they will knock off their models. It's almost like in racing, you are drafting A, and B blows by, you would jump right onto B's wheel. At the end of the day, you never take your turn at the front, you'd always be drafting someone.
Re the absence of Colnago and Specialized knockoffs, I hate to tell you that there are tons of them being sold as real at any given moment, including into the US on ebay and through other channels. I have test ridden a rip off (Colnago) EPS and the seatpost bolt snapped on me on the third ride (at 160lbs). Specialized, 3T, FSA, and Bianchi are all fairly heavily knocked off (I sh*t you not). Treks are actually safer, probably due to the built in cadence sensors, etc... It's funny that on China's most popular bike forum, cyclists are a lot more skeptical about Dogma rip offs than on ww or rbr. My suspision is that most of those guys aren't disgusted by PInarellos prices, because they are too out of reach to begin with (Hermes could charge one million dollars for a bag and it won't bother me
). The real question to them is, $600 real CAAD10 v. $600 fake dogma. And CAAD10 wins every time (but a $600 fake dogma could very well beat a $6K Dogma to some westerners). It's like if people already know you can't afford LV, so you might as well get a Zara/Banana, especially if you will put 105 on it. But if poeple can't really tell, then there is more incentive to go with a fake LV.
With respect to stealing molds, I am afraid there are probably close to a dozen knock-off'ers today. There were 7-8 six months ago but these things catch on quickly. 2 years ago there were only 1-2 of them. They may all have their own way of doing it. The least resourceful guys buy 2D paintings. I can get you the 2D painting of a 51.5cm Prince. I have it somewhere on my hard drive. I know for sure how 3-4 of them do it, but I don't know all of them.
With respect to really nice paint, I will ask you this, if you are trying to knock off something, what will you pay most attention to? Ride Quality? Pro feedback? Carbon layup? EFBE testing? Or just the looks? Truth is the knockoffs today do have MUCH better paint than just 12 months ago.
Re 3D scanners, I truly doubt it. It may sound weird, but many of these guys are former "slave laborers" (as some westerners like to call them) just months ago but who happen to be a bit more entrepreneurial than the next guy. They are not engineers with science degrees. They certainly cannot afford to buy Dogmas in all 10 sizes in order to scan them. Even if they could, they won't. Neither do they have anything to do with authorized dealers. When was the last time you saw any factory photos of these knock offs built with anything better than Ultegra? There are ALMOST none (cycling yong is a bit more advanced so might have something higher end) because these guys are not cyclists and cannot believe white people are willing to pay thousands of yuan to buy some shifting thingies. It's just nuts. I don't know how to describe this better but that's the way it is.
Regarding fakes riding as well as the original, this is a second aspect I will not comment on.
elviento wrote:Prend -- those guys stole 3D paintings or copied molds from Pinarello's OEM factory (by bribing staff/guards, etc.). It's clearly a crime to steal a competitor's trade secret/proprietary materials. Those guys typically have less than elementary education and simply are no where near having the artistic taste to come up with the delicious lines of Pinarellos.
Re: "delicious lines of Pinarello" - that's a matter of personal opinion. One man's frivolous bullocks is another man's perfection I suppose.
But do they need artistic taste or just simply basic awareness of the market?
They're clearly aware that people are apparently gullible enough to buy into a marketing scheme that says "wavy lines and heavy paint make for excellent ride quality" and pay a premium for it. So they mimic that (and as described above, sometimes exceed the original in production) because if that is so 'high and mighty' it will have a virtually guaranteed market of consumers who want to 'look the part' but 'can't afford the part'.
Why do you think they are not producing mimics of the Specialized SL3? Or mimics of the Bianchi Oltre? Because neither of those are as marketed to be 'sought after' as the Pinarello is.
In a related situation: companies are not producing knock offs of wallets from Banana Republic ($ vs. $$), but they are producing knockoffs of wallets from Luis Vuitton ($ vs. $$$$) . They're specifically targeting what is marketed to be chique and objects which have distinct appearances. If Pinarello did not sport those superflous waves, I doubt they would be as sought after for distinction as they are now, just as if Colnago ditched their unique tube shapes or lugged appearances. In fact, if you look at the models from Colnago which do not have those qualities and look a bit 'normal' those frames are not as sought after. It's the visual distinction which lends to Pinarello's following. The marketing about the performance is then simply what a consumer wants to believe...
When in reality, the knockoff rides just as well as the original.
Did they really steal 3D Drawings? I have my doubts.
It's really, really easy to replicate a physical model now. I've used 3D Scanners (both handheld and ones the size of a room) to scan in frames. Most recently a hand held scanner was used to create a mesh for an old aluminum frame (hint: from a company which no longer produces road bikes). The accuracy? Within .05mm. Errors? Fixed with a few clicks of a button before we even tossed it into Rhino. Modifying the frame is ridiculously easy after that, including the possibility of replacing portions with features we liked from other frames. The scan can take place anywhere and the file can be sent/used anywhere. No need to steal a 3D drawing when you can just make your own and adjust as necessary.