Knock Off vs Name Brand...
Over the past year and a half I have been doing my own tests comparing Crank Brothers Stamp 1 pedals and Chinese knock off pedals. I used the Stamp Ones (medium size) for about 6 months and then I wanted a larger size so I picked up some Rock Bros Chinese pedals (Large size). Their construction, design and feel seems really similar. It's not like these big name brand companies like Race Face and Crank Brothers manufacture their pedals in the US, they are all made in China (or somewhere overseas). They may even be built in the same factories! But, as you can see in the third pic the Chinese pedals eventually failed. They lasted almost a full year but you can see in the pic that the pedal body separated from the internal axle. It looks like it was a press fit connection that failed. BUY THE NAME BRAND
What about jerseys, riding shorts and clothing. I have multiple Chinese Knock off jerseys. I use them all throughout the year and I have had almost no complaints. I have an authentic Troy Lee Designs jersey and and authentic Fox jersey. There is a difference. The fabric is thicker and the seems and pockets are more precise and well made. The name brand jerseys will likely last longer. HOWEVER, is that worth the price difference? A Fox Flexair jersey is 90 bucks! A TLD Ruckus jersey is 65 bucks. These Chinese jerseys can be bought for under 20 dollars. Personally I enjoy wearing different jerseys, and if I can buy 4-5 knock off jerseys for the price of one authentic Fox jersey that makes sense to me. (In my pictures above the one in the middle is a knock off) CHOOSE KNOCK OFF
Shoes, shorts and socks...In my experience it is worth it to get quality MTB specific shoes and shorts. Brands like Five Ten and Bontrager are expensive but they are worth it. You don't want you shoes or shorts wearing out just a few rides into the season. Now socks are a different story. I have multiple pairs on knock off cycling socks. They feel and fit just as good as the name brand, and they are often 1/3 of the price. NAME BRAND FOR SHOES AND SHORTS, BUT CHOOSE KNOCK OFF SOCKS
Knock off grips vs name brand grips can be a more difficult decision. At initial inspection the differences between a name brand grip like ODI, Specialized or SQ Labs are very few. The lock-on aluminum hardware and bolt seem to be machined well and they fit the handlebar well. The silicone feels the same. I have used SQ Labs and Specialized grips and some knock off brands. The SQ Labs grip stands out among the crowd. They do a lot of research, and in my opinion their grips have the most comfort and best feel while riding. But if you are just looking for a reliable grip that does the job, or maybe even looking for the right color to match your bikes color scheme then CHOOSE KNOCK OFF.