Monday, May 11, 2009

Tech Lite...still Americana Machina...

...or just another Asian knock off?
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Back in the day, when my college buddy Pete and I would sit around stuffing our faces with Guava Town Burritos and flipping through the Bike Pro Catalog, times were simpler. We didn't have any money, so there wasn't a lot of decision making to be made with regard to making an actual purchase from Bike Pro...Guava Town we could afford.
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Back then, one of my favorite untouchable bike parts was the Technogen Tech Lite brake levers. Everyone knew about, or knew someone who had, or actually had, Paul levers, or the Kooka junk, or Graftons or what have you...but nobody had the Tech Lites. They were my dream levers when Altek was still looking for a distributor and nobody knew who the hell they were, and I always wanted a blue pair for the original Klein Rascal that I sold in 1993.
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I've had two other pairs of Tech Lites...an early silver pair and a black pair. The Silvers were in great shape, but they were used, and the blacks were NOS. Neither set was blue. So I sold them both (for a profit, thank you very much!) and continued my search for blue.
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Snap to today, and I picked up a set of blues on the fleabay. They are NOS, and they were pretty affordable to boot. They came in today, and they are blue, and they are nice, and I'll use them on the Klein instead of the Real levers I picked up a bit ago...BUT...they look kind of...well... Imported! Like an Asian knock-off. Still nice, but not seemingly as nice as the blacks, and certainly not as nice as the silvers. Lots of mill work marks, unfinished edges, very bright cheap looking blue anodizing no rubber o-rings on the barrel adjusters. Overall just a little suspect.
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I've heard that some of these defunct boutique brands that aren't around to protect their trademarks actually have folks making cheap knock offs of the unprotected designs in China. Could these Tech Lites actually be Chinese knock-offs? Am I holding Cheng-Star's or Tektro's version of the Tech Lite? Something to ponder...
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3 comments:

Mark said...

Hey thanks
I owned the company that manufactured those Levers Technogen Corp. I was day dreaming about the levers and did a Goggle search and this came up.
I own EnerTrac Corp, Now
Motor cycle Hub Motors
Your post brightened my day

Anonymous said...

Mark, do you think these lever are real or counterfeit?

Anonymous said...

will need a better picture.