• This topic has 70 replies, 43 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by DezB.
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  • Do you take bike reviews seriously ?
  • Premier Icon richieokeefe1
    Free Member

    My spesh stumpjumper (2016) got a right slating in another bike mag this month . They were saying out of date geo and bad suspension etc …etc..rode again today and thought what a great bike , its slack enough for me and noting a volume spacer wouldn’t fix ! For suspension . Anyone else got low score bike but thought **** em ! I get on with it ? MBR by the way

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    In depth reviews yes they do help me form an opinion, however if you start with “Out of Date” then you are off on the wrong foot, review it like it rides not what the spreadsheet says.

    However if you only ever ride the one bike and don’t swap very often how much weight should we give your ability to review a bike 😉

    Premier Icon Ramsey Neil
    Free Member

    Some of those journalists are not great bike riders so it’s hard to see how they can draw some of the conclusions that they do .

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    On the flip side to that I’ve heard of a few pro riders who are incredible on the bike but really couldn’t tell you how, why, what was good or how the bike was doing under them

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Some of those journalists are not great bike riders

    such as?

    Premier Icon richieokeefe1
    Free Member

    I’m lucky enough to own a couple of bikes so can kind of tell but the way they described it was if it was for the bin lol . Glad I’m thinking of keeping it as the old me would sell, bike shop and out comes credit card 🙂

    Premier Icon Rorschach
    Free Member

    Bike review=Bike advert.

    Aka Old bike=RUBBISH……New bike=TOTES AMAZEBALLS

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Full Member

    Depends. I take all reviews with a pinch of salt – but especially amateur reviews.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    This was the review that convinced me to take a risk with mail order

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/commencal-meta-am-v4-2-race-eagle-650b-review-2016.html

    Some good stuff out there

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    It depends if the reviewer is a shredder or a mincer.

    I look for factual information in reviews rather than feelings or personal preferences, then I can make my own mind up if the product is for me or someone else.

    I’ve been into bikes so long that most reviews trigger my bullshit detector at some point.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    I find them interesting and sometimes informative but take them seriously? No.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Why was a mag reviewing a 2-3 year old bike this month? Secondhandtrackworld?

    Premier Icon richieokeefe1
    Free Member

    Maybe I’m not RAD enough lol . Been in the sport too a very long time and starting to pick up on some bullshite . 🙂

    Premier Icon richieokeefe1
    Free Member

    @tomhoward . The review was for 2018 , bike hasn’t changed since my 2016 .

    Premier Icon doncorleoni
    Free Member

    No… What works for some will not work for others. Hard to tell these days who is sponsored and who is not. I don’t trust anything I read unfortunatly 🙁

    Demo demo demo it’s the only way to be sure the bike is right for you.

    Premier Icon poah
    Free Member

    no – you read what reviewers say which is normally the opposite if what the majority of owners think

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Full Member

    Regardless of whether you think someone is being paid to push a product by the manufacturer, if it’s a magazine they’re definitely being paid to sell magazines.  If the editors know many of their readers lap up whatever is printed and trust them to tell them what they should buy, the situation is going to be taken advantage of at some point.  So yep, they’re interesting reads but unlikely to drive a bike purchase for me.  Sane grouptests are more useful but it’s still just extra hearsay background information.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    My problem with reviews, is that they just look for what is the current trend, especially in mags like MBR. Singletrack is good – they write like people with a real interest in the bikes and how they ride. MBR reviews all contain the same little catchphrases… over time it’s been “stem too short”, “bars not wide enough”, “crank flexy” lately all the geometry is “out of date” if head angle over 65deg and the new obsession with bikes being long. A lot of the time they don’t seem to need to ride the thing, just obsess over the geometry tables and write accordingly. Definitely a formula to their reviews. In other words, no, I don’t take the blindest bit of notice of them – usually just look to see if the bike is over 30lb (or whatever that is in kg). Still read em though. 😆

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    yeah try the pinkbike ones as above, much better, less of them but better quality

    Premier Icon chestercopperpot
    Free Member

    Yeah some of the reviews are inconsistent and odd to say the least. They seem very quick to deem reach too short on bikes that are longer than renowned short reach bikes (usually big brand) they have reviewed and decided not to criticise. Over exaggerate differences that are pretty minor in real life. I’ve seen reviews where the reviewer has contradicted what he wrote previously and/or evangelised over minute changes, I doubt made as big difference as suggested. Is funny when they give contradictory reviews of generic products under different brand names, which only differ by paint finish or decals 😀

    That’s journalism, I suppose and TBF they can only review what they have in front of them, at a given time, in relation to often ridiculous RRP and no doubt sometimes subject to influence.

    I have bought bikes/frames (once the price has reached realistic levels) that have been panned by reviewers due to bad spec choices of review bikes (usually fork) and value, where the fanciful RRP has made them look bad compared to the competition. Performance differences have been marginal/negligible at best.

    Would be better if they decided on a default set of wheels and tyres for each years bike reviews, per wheel size! Maybe a set of different styles of trail (unlikely to suffer closure) for testing. Unfortunately I don’t think there is any practical way to mitigate performance differences between frame, rider size and rider skill! Acknowledgement that particular component/s have marred a bikes feel, but do not write off the entire range of differently specced bikes.

    There’s been a big push for long bikes that suit taller people, who lets face it have been short changed by the industry for years! Still they don’t always suit shorter people, in as much as shorter reach bikes from the past were in hind sight often too small for six foot plus riders!

    Premier Icon jam bo
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    Only the ones that confirm my present purchases were good ones and my future purchases are wise and sensible.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Nope, they are usually too subjective, repeat marketing hype<span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”> or basic errors.</span>

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    Yes OP. Bought an Intense Recluse a couple of months ago. Not very well reviewed but I think it’s fantastic.

    Premier Icon mikertroid
    Free Member

    They (MBR) rave about the latest stumpy and stumpy evo in this month’s mag….

    I had a ’01 and later an ’07 stumpy. The ’07 model was awful. Only realised it wasn’t the rider when I rode a mate’s Cube.

    Manufacturers rarely make poor products now. Just some are better than others.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Some of those journalists are not great bike riders

    Well, neither am I so that should be good !!

    so it’s hard to see how they can draw some of the conclusions that they do .

    Yeah… if they left it at “I’m a medicare rider and for me” ….

    There are some obsessive traits as well.

    “Honestly Doddy.. (should you read this).. I’m 5’10″… how long the XL is and how wide the bars are is not my primary concern” but somehow it forms the core review of every bike…

    and whilst we are at it… bar length … tyre choice… in most cases these should be like pedals.

    It would make more sense to sell a new bike with a £100 or £150 voucher for tyres… and for a review (especially UK*) each bike should then be reviewed with the same tyres.

    *If doing a review for say Vancouver … or Colorado specific then perhaps but in the UK tyre choice is hugely different depending WHERE you ride, let along summer/winter… most of MY favourite tyre choices are location specific… what works on loam usually works really poorly on clay etc.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    and whilst we are at it… bar length … tyre choice… in most cases these should be like pedals.

    Yep, though in a review it is good to factor in if you are going to change that on day 1

    As for the tyres and conditions the more international reviewer do seem to be able to get past that, it was interesting with the new plus stuff to see some mention of how the run in UK conditions given the lack of choice when it all started.

    It probably helps that I’ve not really read MBR/MBUK/Dirt for a very long time

    Premier Icon PeterPoddy
    Free Member

    I’ve not bought a cycling magazine in at least 8-9 years*. Mainly because they’re utter crap, all of them. No journalism, just 4 types of articles (Flowery stories, reviews/tests, interviews and racing/fitness) and nothing with any depth. Then there were mistakes, loads of them, changing/fashsionable opinions and such obvious advertising bias.

    So no, I don’t take reviews seriously.

    * You should go and read a motorcycling magazine like BIKE. Most of them will utterly wipe the floor with any cycling magazine, a great part of that reason being that motorcycling has more depth to it. There’s simply more to write about.

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Full Member

    just 4 types of articles (Flowery stories, reviews/tests, interviews and racing/fitness) and nothing with any depth.

    but how do you know?

    I’ve not bought a cycling magazine in at least 8-9 years

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    Some are a good read, others just propagate old myths that the reviewer has bought into, most of it probably based on a lack of good analysis of a bike.

    There’s still a fair bit of subjectivity or feedback effect passed of as fact or attribution of characteristics to daft causes. Comfy rear triangles, insisting a stiff BB is faster or shorter stays climb better, that kind of thing.

    Premier Icon rocketman
    Free Member

    I’ve not bought a cycling magazine in at least 8-9 years*. Mainly because they’re utter crap, all of them. No journalism, just 4 types of articles (Flowery stories, reviews/tests, interviews and racing/fitness) and nothing with any depth.

    ^^ this

    They’re just someone else’s opinion

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    * You should go and read a motorcycling magazine like BIKE

    Strange idea… Might as well read a magazine about dressmaking for all the interest that would hold!

    Premier Icon steve_b77
    Free Member

    You mean they aren’t influenced by marketing budget, no way!!!

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Yep, though in a review it is good to factor in if you are going to change that on day 1

    In the UK its almost defacto … either that or you end up with mediocre tyres on a £X,000 bike!

    My last few rides are Surrey Hills (Loam) to Guisburn Forest (sharp slippery and loose rocks) to 417 (either hardback OR clingy clay on the black) to FOD (mostly back to loam) to Swinley (ability to float a whole bike on Red 2 and transfer the air to the rider as their head goes under would be ideal) ..

    There is almost no way to specify a UK wide tyre STYLE let alone ACTUAL tyre… and the exact same bike would feel like a completely different beast… quite literally from super confidence inspiring to feeling like your trying to skate in flat shoes but switch tyres and its suddenly reversed.

    If we were in the US then obviously within a say a state there might be a good set of “default tyres” but within a 1 hour drive in the UK you are basically going across extremes in terms of tyres.

    Personally I’d rather get one good set of tyres for a set of conditions (if I’m paying for them on the price of a bike) and plan to get a completely different set on day 1 for completely different conditions rather than something mediocre for everything.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’ve not bought a cycling magazine in at least 8-9 years*. Mainly because they’re utter crap, all of them. No journalism, just 4 types of articles (Flowery stories, reviews/tests, interviews and racing/fitness) and nothing with any depth.

    What would ‘depth’ look like? And why is there ‘more to write about’ in motorcycling?

    Premier Icon Rorschach
    Free Member

    You can get to more cafes in a ride.

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    I do get the feeling they are very much behind what ever is fashionable, lost count of the number of road bike reviews where BB30 and it’s ilk where the bees knees, “amazing power transfer” through the BB junction, “lateral stiffness and vertical compliance”, now they are behind the re-introduction of proper threaded BB’s are they are more reliable etc.

    Only magazine i like is Cyclist, lots of great travel articles which have opened my eyes to some great riding spots and some good writing, but still the bike reviews have to have a pinch of salt

    Premier Icon Stevet1
    Free Member

    Charlie Kelly has all the bike reviews you’ll ever need

    http://www.sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/bike_review.htm

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    I’m not sure what the OP is on about – MBR didn’t slate the Stumpy this month. I’ve thrown the mag, but from memory it got a reasonable review. Obviously bearing in mind that this is MBR which contradicts itself in every single review!

    The review was for 2018 , bike hasn’t changed since my 2016 .

    Yes It has. The new 2018 model has a longer reach. (Probably among other changes). The older one was way too short – the M felt like a S to me, my knees almost hitting the bars. When sat on it it felt tall and short.

    Premier Icon on and on
    Full Member

    I forget which mag I subscribed to last year. They had an offer to get some free lights which were more to buy than the sub.

    anyway. The reviews were of no help or interest when I came to buy a new bike.

    as has been said, tyres, bars etc etc all play a part so I go my own way and take a chance.

    Premier Icon Jef Wachowchow
    Free Member

    MBR have changed. It used to be pretty much a Specialized catalogue back in the day.

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