mtb reviews in magazines
I’ve been biking for about 5 years ,but more stuff I read about bikes , more bullshitting it seems. I would urge all reviewers to do some proper video showcasing their actual riding skillset and abilities so when a buyer decides what bike would be his/her next , he would be confident by knowing that the reviewer has the skills to backup his words on paper otherwise the review is pretty much useless.Posted 4 years ago
Questioning whether people who ride bikes for a living are better than people who don’t?
New login GW?Posted 4 years ago
who is GW?Posted 4 years ago
What’s more useless is is believing what you read, instead of getting out on the trails where you can see people riding the bike you desire and asking them what it’s like?Posted 4 years ago
Also booking demo days, quite a good way to experience a bike if you are serious about buying.
Firstly you need to remember these are the opinions of the reviewer no matter how impartial they try to be.
Second part on ability, what’s your minimum standard of rider? Personally the reviewers who represent the majority tend to be quite good, there is no point in reviewing a DH bike for the WC rider or even fast UK bike for instance as those guys (a) know what they want and (b) are sponsored.
Got a particular review your having a problem with?Posted 4 years ago
“Laterally stiff but vertically compliant”?!
I stop reading any review that employs the term “Body English”.
I find the bit that Road.cc put at the end of their reviews useful, i.e. a profile of the rider and their preferences etc. Gives a bit of context.Posted 4 years ago
Too eloquent for GW Tom… Plus the 5 yr reference …..Posted 4 years ago
I afraid I’m a little older than you, riding Mtb,s since 1982-3, still have my first edition of Mountain Bike UK. I read Mtb, car and plane magazines for 20 years, even got to know a few of the writers in each area. In my experience most are pretty good (if not very good), they get more time in and are with others discussing the stuff even more than we do!Posted 4 years ago
But the more commercial the mag, the more bland I see the reviews as they try not to offend.
My biggest bug bear is how ‘unreal world’ they can be, ie. Most people drive to work and the shops, most people ride theirs bikes around their local route and prob do a bit of road to get there. This leads to some ott bikes being bought and ridden on the local route or slight ott cars on the every day run. We can get our hands on some pretty cool kit in all of those areas and some of the most fun is, simple hard tail on local trail, old ‘granny’ hatchback on shopping run, even in the air, back to real basics can bring biggest smiles. Taken me a few years to realise… Still get the odd mag now and then for a long journey.
Trauty ain’t GW, his names Dan and he’s a good rider. Lithuanian IIRC Dan?.Posted 4 years ago
Hmmm, if bike tester have to prove there worth in order to make their review, then maybe riders should pass a test too? No more ATGANI?Posted 4 years ago
he would be confident by knowing that the reviewer has the skills to backup his words on paper otherwise the review is pretty much useless.
Of the 2 or 3 magazines reviewers I had the chance to ride with, ride pretty much like “blokes messing about on bikes” which is a pretty spot on “skillset” as far as I can make outPosted 4 years ago
Can we see a video of your riding to decide if your opinions are worthy of any discussion?Posted 4 years ago
I bumped into a well known mag writer once and he rode like it was his first time on a bike. I don’t believe a word he says anymore and avoid his reviews. It’s something I hadn’t really given any thought to before that the writer may be a rubbish rider and not really qualified to be reviewing anything more than a halfords special.Posted 4 years ago
I do still read reviews but take them with a pinch of salt and read between the lines.
I need to see more examples showcasing your writing skills before I can decide whether your level of writing ability is good enough to back up your opinion or whether it’s just bullsh1t.Posted 4 years ago
I afraid I’m a little older than you,
The OP doesn’t mention his age just how long hes been riding .Posted 4 years agoPosted 4 years ago
Awww, c’mon andysredmini, we can’t have that anecdotal evidence without some more detail!Posted 4 years ago
I’m not naming names. He was a really nice bloke just not the rider I expected for a product reviewer. He certainly looked the part though in his Troy Lee pyjamas. I’m not really placed to comment as I couldn’t write a review. Well I could but no one would want to read it. In fairness for lot of products you don’t need to be a good rider it’s just when some pretend to get technical that winds me up. obviously there are some really good reviewers out there who do know what they are talking about so as I said I read between the lines.Posted 4 years ago
Gotta remember they spend most of their time behind a desk.
TLD pyjamas, only known by his surname?Posted 4 years ago
Personally I much prefer to read the opinion on here of someone who has bought a bike without testing it or the opposition. I find that these people are always reasonable and their opinion balanced.Posted 4 years ago
Some of pinkbike reviews are almost bang on. Bikeradar/mbr I take as fictional.Posted 4 years ago
Bikeradar/mbr I take as fictional.
I take them as what manufacturer comped them most recentlyPosted 4 years ago
Personally I much prefer to read the opinion on here of someone who has bought a bike without testing it or the opposition
I reckon there is a good collection from here fit for a Christmas special supplement to the mag. Hora and his big wheel little wheel tale is one of my favourites.Posted 4 years ago
This is like XKCD for bikes, I keep thinking of a strip to post.
EDIT – I used to quite like mtbr.com for user reviews.Posted 4 years ago
Never accept what someone who has something to sell is telling you.Posted 4 years ago
Is it Ok to do both? You know read reviews and try one out or is it that you can only do one or the other?Posted 4 years ago
I really like the reviews VitalMTB do, they’re not scared of being critical and their writers tend to have decent pedigree…Posted 4 years ago
Every review I read is either littered with mistakes or subjective guff. Even worse the ones that claim to be reviews but are just press release cut and pastes.Posted 4 years ago
Say what you like about Steve Jones, he doesn’t pull his punches in his reviews…
Posted 4 years ago
See I’m going to pick a fight here. I bought a camber evo last year based on the long term review in MBR. In amongst the inevitable super rider waffle were all the things I wanted to know. It had a low bb, a 5’10 rider was on a large, it had safeish handling and pedalled well, The stop go bits were decent and reliable and it would take a dropper with a bit of fiddling.
I like specialised bikes, my lbs sells them, I knew it was enough bike for me and someone better than me thought it was good. Thanks to that I didn’t buy something too big or over travelled.
Job jobbed.Posted 4 years ago
Jones’ reviews have definitely improved since he finally stopped moaning about all bikes being too small for 6’+ riders – he used to waste far too much of the word count on sizing, which is a fairly arbitrary argument as everyone varies in size. I think the turning point was the Transition Patrol review in the last proper issue of Dirt, where he spent half the review moaning about it being too BIG! 😉Posted 4 years ago
this tread is well packed! did not expect that.
so to vaguely respond to some posts.
I miss Dirt – pure and honest !\
MBUK – buying occasionally.there is one folk that I sure know is proper good rider and his opinions are valued more to me. (he is on cover of latest mag)
Singletrack – buying rarely as it covers mostly XC which I dont do much.
I would like a reviewer to be able to be perhaps in top 10% of racers in some enduro race for a good indication of valued review. That kind of reviewer would be more trustworthy to compare bikes when pushed proper hard. Also having reviewers information like height/weight inseam etc. would be particularly helpful too.Posted 4 years ago
A tester ragging a bike to its limits is as irrelevant to ordinary riders who can’t as a mincer testing a bike that others could ride much faster. Being fast and being a good tester or writer are not the same thing.
It’s like saying you only trust a review for your next family car if Lewis Hamilton has tested it by thrashing it at a track day.Posted 4 years ago
/\ He’s not wrongPosted 4 years ago
I emailed Steve Jones to tell him to stop banging on about whether the XL was big enough, he emailed me back and said “well what do you want me to talk about, lateral stiffness? Tyre rollover?” Point well made tbh
There’s been times though when the review doesn’t match the reality… I’ll not name names but I remember one reviewer going on about how their test bike had taken an enduro race in its stride. Meanwhile, I’d seen them in that race, literally taking it in their stride, pushing down a not very hard bit. Their finish time was about twice mine, and at my best I’m competent… So basically, a load of shite, the entire review was pure fantasy. That’s not cool. I’ve not trusted a word from that reviewer’s mouth since.
This one I will name and I hope it doesn’t come across as mean. Watching Chipps at the GT7, he’s definitely not a riding god. He’s alright though. In fact he’s probably massively, usefully representative of Joe Average MTB Enthusiast. And I’ve seen occasionally people slag off mtb journalists for not being a riding god but I think i care more about people that ride like us. Most MTB journalists I’ve been able to really objectively compare with, have turned out to be solid enough riders, but not riding gods. As long as they’re not pretending to be something they’re not, I reckon that’s grand.
I don’t give a rat’s ass if Aaron Gwin’s fast on a particular bike because I won’t ride it in the same way… I’ve owned incredible race bikes and been underwhelmed because I’m not an incredible racer. But any sort of misrepresentation is a problem in a review.
So back to the OP… Maybe it would be useful to know how well they all ride. Not to invalidate their opinions, but just to place them. MBR had a dude writing for them for a while that was barely more than a novice and it was great tbh, he’s say things like “Maybe the suspension is really clever but I can’t make it work” and “Muldoon says it needs to be slacker but I’m not sure what that means and I don’t care”Posted 4 years ago
Just to throw something else in the mix…the star rating system. I’d be interested to see the average star given out as everything seems to be about 4/5. When was the last time you saw 2 stars? Should it not be proportional to some extent because most mtb products these days tend to work so comparing x to y would be more helpful than the generic you’re safe to buy it ratings we tend to see imo? Seeing some products get crap reviews would give me more confidence in reviewers. Probably unlikely due to the difficult position of mags needing advertising revenue so probably not wanting to piss off potential advertisers. I suspect crap products just might not get reviewed as a result? Also did the reviewer get the product for free or is it obvious they did etc is something worth noting in the footnote? Agree on comments re demo days if you can get to one.Posted 4 years ago
Agree about the road.cc reviews.
Always found them well balanced and informative.
Cycling Active seemed honest and mostly guff free.
You get to know journo’s styles and preferences over time, which helps.
I always trusted Steve Worland’s opinion.Posted 4 years ago
He just came across as very honest, wrote about things others missed or ignored.
dogthomson – Member
I stop reading any review that employs the term “Body English”.
I stop reading any review that employs the term “Guy Kesteven”Posted 4 years ago
I mistakenly bought the Esperanto version of Dirt in WH Smith in Manchester once.Posted 4 years ago
I agree about reviews in mags being mostly nonsense. I just bought the latest MBUK to look at their fork shootout and I don’t know why. I knew it would be rubbish and I wasn’t proved wrong.
They rarely compare like for like, they have the top Fox 36 FIT Kashima (plus numerous other numbers and letters) but then pit them against the middle spec Manitou Mattoc Experts (not the pros) and Marzocchi 350 CR (not NCR). Not really level playing fields. Then they give each fork a tiny paragraph of the usual drivel it’s like writing by numbers ie. If it’s 34mm stanchions then automatically insert flexy into the review it’s just tedious.
I find Pinkbike generally come up with a much better review, they did a piece on the Mattoc pro and it was excellent, they had 3 riders of different skills from average weekend warrior to full on badass and they went through the fork bit by bit comparing them to the Pike and 36 as they went. Exemplary review. I do own a Mattoc so could be considered biased but also it’s fitted to a Transition covert which they weren’t to fussed on so there! 🙂Posted 4 years ago
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