Due to the high number of questions we are currently receiving asking if the goods we sell are "OEM", we thought we would take the time to explain the truth behind the OEM myths in the cycling industry.
Customers are often warned to stay away from OEM products due to them being of inferior quality to aftermarket products or in some way being sold without warranty.
Bulk components are often mistakenly referred to as OEM products. However, these do not actually differ from retail versions, except in their packaging and/or the way they are procured. The only way in which bulk products differ from boxed products is exactly that, no box. Most component manufacturers supply components in bulk boxes to bike manufacturers, usually at discounted prices. This is simply to reduce production costs. Why spend time and money boxing components individually when all that will happen is that the product will be removed from the box and it will be discarded.
A prime example of this is Shimano. All Shimano products come into the UK in bulk boxes of 50 or 100 items. They are then individually boxed up by the UK distributor and sold on to bike shops. This is also true of most manufacturers products that we stock but because we are also a bike manufacturer and also due to the volume we sell, we usually buy products in bulk boxes, this also means that we can pass on the savings to our customers.
A common myth is that bulk products are made to a lesser quality level than aftermarket products. Again, this is simply untrue. For example, a Shimano 2008 XT rear mech product code is RD-M771, this is the case whether a bulk product or a boxed product. So how is anyone to know which is the one of inferior quality? Exactly, there is no difference. I seriously doubt that companies the size of most component manufacturers would risk their reputations by producing high end equipment to a lower spec. Doesn’t seem likely does it!
Another common misconception is that bulk or "OEM" products are sold with no warranty. Again, this is untrue. Any product sold in the UK must by law be sold with a warranty.
When you purchase a product from a shop, your warranty is with the shop, not the manufacturer. If you have a problem with your purchase then you return it to the shop, not to the distributor, importer or the manufacturer. It does not matter where the shop sourced the product, your warranty is still with them. The stock that we carry is usually a mix of bulk boxed or individually boxed items, as they are the same quality it does not matter which one you receive.
We hope this clears up most of the issues regarding bulk products that seem to be influencing peoples decisions on where to shop at the moment.
If you have any questions regarding the quality or authenticity of the products we sell, feel free to contact us and we will endeavour to explain further.