Best AliExpress cycling purchase

Seeing tech Dave’s recommendation of an AliExpress tool in the disc brake tools tech article made me wonder… what other little gems have you all got from AliExpress(/equivalent)? Tool/parts/other? (Cycling related)

Another obvious one for me is the Weight Weenie classic of the Kalloy Uno stem.

So… what you got?

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Got a couple of Kalloy Uno stems in the past which have done the job.

Also got a Hylix carbon seatpost which again hasn’t let me down.

I’d be wary about spending more than about £25 on AliExpress items though, would be interested to hear of anyone has got a frame there.

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The best to date for me is the clone of the Aspide saddle for about AUD30. I’ve had a white and a black one for 5 years now and they’re awesome. 106g, comfortable, and bombproof so far including multiple gravel races

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004431720610.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.11883a47patIrG&algo_pvid=14a10b74-25ac-43ee-9a01-91cb410b8a96&algo_exp_id=14a10b74-25ac-43ee-9a01-91cb410b8a96-16&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"12000029162632174"}&pdp_npi=2%40dis!AUD!58.27!29.72!!!2.7!!%402101e9d116604589368464021e6b23!12000029162632174!sea&curPageLogUid=kMJVkw9mx6lg

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A ZTTO spoke tension gauge. Seems pretty well made and repeatable.

Also had a Toseek carbon seatpost for a while that gave me no problems (though the clamp did need to be tight!) and was well under 200g

A very small adapter to fit a Bontrager flare to the bottom of a Garmin out front mount. It was about $5.

Everything else I’ve bought from AliExpress has been a fake and universally shit. I would not buy a safety-critical item from there.

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There’s YouTube channels such as China Cycling and Trace Velo which give good advice on what is kosher and what isn’t.

Just like over here there’s good and bad Chinese brands. Reputable ones such as Kalloy and Sensah, buying from their outlets on AliExpress means you should be getting a decent product. Kalloy I know make most of the stems for the Western brands.

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Few things, mostly small parts from a brand called Risk that despite the name offer a solid range of small parts, from Ti screws or QR to some carbon pieces. 2 that I loved

  • shrink tubes for the brake cables, cleaner than traditional crushable cable ends.
  • carbon top stem top cap for OD2 (1” 1/4 pivot), very flat.

Tie between Foakley’s and Sunshine/Ztto 12 speed cassettes.

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I’ve had a couple of ZTTO stems (mountain and road) and their brake line cutting / barb tool and been happy with them. ZTTO seems like one of the safer brands.

I’ve mostly ordered small parts (bolts, spacers) and a few simple tools (bottom bracket) and have been pretty happy with most of it. The quality generally seems pretty good at least for the metal parts. I’m more way of carbon, and I haven’t bought much that’s safety critical.

It does pay to do a lot more research with Aliexpress stuff. I don’t think there are many brands there where you can automatically assume everything is going to be reasonably good.

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I’ve gotten a number of jerseys, admittedly disregarding the intellectual property rights of current and historic pro teams. Their quality is mixed. The materials are pretty good. The fit isn’t great (you generally need to size up, but don’t expect anything form-fitting). Some of them look pretty great, some arrive with colors wrong. Some have inexplicable decisions, like mesh shoulder panels, so you can make sure you get a sunburn. All of them have weirdly high pockets.

This may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but if you’re getting a jersey for a new rider, they won’t notice any of these things, and they really look like good jerseys.

That said: Avoid AliExpress shorts/bibs. You can deal with a loose-fitting jersey. You can’t deal with a non-functional chamois.

Silicone mtb grips were a bust. Colourful cable crimps were a win. Zitto spoke tension meter works perfectly. I took it to my local shop and compared it against their park meter - identical readings. Xt knock off cassette looks like a winner but i have yet to install it. Blue titanium waterbottle bolts were a win as well.

I’ve bought a couple of scales from AliExpress and they were good, one to weigh a bike and other was a kitchen scale to way smaller individual parts. Turns out I also use the kitchen scale now to weigh food (not in the weird elite athlete way but in the ‘how much is actually half of this packet of pasta’ way) which was a funny unintended benefit.

I’m deep into AliExpress at this point.

Started off with a Ztto bottom bracket. Loved that it was mostly just aluminum cups and I can easily replace the bearings (which have lasted a number of years now on my cx/commuter bike).

I was burning through Shimano 105 chainrings with my winter riding which gets expensive at $90 per big ring. Found a replacement for $30ish.

Cablesets. Not the best but they work wel enough for me.

Cassettes. I love the cheap all steel ones because the last but I finally splurged on a nicer Ztto full aluminum one and it has been great.

I tried a chain because it was gold. It lasted one winter. Deore 12 speed chains are $35 here and last about the same amount of time so I usually go for them because they arrive faster.

Finally, when I finished my post degree accounting diploma program I finally took the big jump and bought an entry level Elite 50mm wheelset as a reward. $600 including shipping. The rims are definitely heavier than the same depth of enve wheels. The hubs are a little strange to take apart. However, they look sweet, ride well enough, and are stiff enough to feel fast. I’m more than happy with them so far. We will see what I say when I have to replace the freehub body in a few years. Working at a shop I have ridden a wide range of highend wheels. These are not those but good enough for me.

A handful of jerseys. Overall quality is good enough. I have been let down by some pretty expensive kit in the past and essentially told I was shit outta luck so I’m okay with spending $20 on a jersey. The shoe warmers I use are the best value of anything else I have purchased. The jacket I bought is okay.

Lastly, my 10+ year old cross bike had the inside of the seat tube shear after resting the saddle on the side of a truck bed on a long drive. I poured a bunch of would glue on a seat post and shoved it down when all the other carbon repair attempts failed. My wife has been pushing me for the last year or so to get a new bike but I am cheap and bike prices have been wildly high. I had a bit of a family event and finally decided it was time to buy a new bike and I’m going with:

  • Seaboard GR02 frame and fork
  • Ztto 29er mountain bike wheels with TA converter and their new hub with dt swiss internals
  • Ztto cable to hydraulic disc brakes and ztto floating rotors
  • I’ll move everything else over from the old bike

I’ve purchased some random small parts for my kid’s bikes like ODI knock-off grips, bells, etc.

Keep in mind I worked as a bike messenger for years and I am used to grinding my bikes into dust. I also worked for years as a bike mechanic so I can faff about a bike. I am also not picky at all. I just love to ride and will pretty much try to ride anything fast but I’m also a cheap bastard with 3 groms that need to be fed before I can spend on bikes. Also, there is a bit of adventure in buying something from Aliexpress.

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Yep, great stems and seatposts!

This carbon w/ Ti hardware Garmin mount has been brilliant.

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I could add the bearing press kit cost me around 40€. I bought it for fun until I had to use it to change my wheel bearings (properly mounted with interference fit). They did surprisingly well the job.


Since then I modified them using a bigger rod to add stiffness.

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I can vouch for ZTTO as having decent-quality products.

So far I have bought:

  • A mini pump with a flexible hose - I have a similar Lezyne product that compares well.
  • Internal cable routing kit - good kit with several options
  • Seat clamp
  • Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge HAG-3, a knock-off from Abbey HAG, there was a review on CT (and I agree with conclusions there)

So I have the same mount as single speed does. Works great. I have some aluminum ones as well that are much cheaper and also work well from ztto

I don’t know what tool the OP is mentioning but the caliper alignment Tool the looks kinda like a mustache has been the best $4 I have ever spent. Does what the Hayes tool mentioned does.

Elita One seatpost and Carbon saddle have been great and are super light

Ridenow tpu tubes are relatively cheap. I use them as spares so haven’t personally tested their reliability but others have.

Kalloy Uno stems as others have mentioned

Not necessarily from Ali, but you can find them on the site as well:

Ican fat bike frame. Sn01

Tideace FM-009 29er frame

Superteam 50mm rim brake wheels

Anything Farsports. Have so many wheels from them in all disciplines.

As others have said, I’ve been happy with small part purchases. Jerseys have all been disaster re fit. Sizing up for me doesn’t seem to work for a proportional fit.

I lived in China for several years. Therefore my regular source of components was the domestic version of AliExpress (Taobao). I ended up with 3 bikes assembled with local parts (frame, wheels, handlebars,etc). I had plenty of friends in the bike industry…
For domestic market there are tier 1 manufacturers with good quality but unfortunately also some tier 2 have really shoddy stuff.
Toseek stems, handlebars, seatposts: very good, no problem even after years. Small items in Titanium and Al all very good. I had mixed fortunes with wheels: one lasted 5km of downhill and then basically melted, now I stick to a couple of brands from Xiamen. 3 carbon frames: all good. I have one titanium frame which is awesome.
If you need some specific tip on a brand or component, just ask

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