Do real blind test drive exist in cycling ?

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LouisN
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by LouisN

I would be really curious to see the results of such a comparative test.

I know in skiing in some tests they cover the skis with a "blank" coat. But most importantly the participants must make an effort not to try to guess the brand they're trying (it's easy for an aficionado to guess the brand and model only by the distinct shape of the equipment).

Since most of these tests are funded, or the bikes provided come from major manufacturers that expect a positive outcome for their product, it's unlikely that such a thing would happen. Just dreaming here...

Maybe we can draw our own conclusions already, even if the test never happened.
That would be a change... :lol:

Louis :)

by Weenie


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53x12
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by 53x12

You could do this fairly easily by spraying the frame with plasti dip. I think it might be hard to do with a bike aficionado who might notice unique tube shapes as being a particular frame. To expect them not to look down at the frame at all would be very difficult to expect happen. Interesting concept to think about. Would be great for a bike review to do something like this when they do a shoot out of 5-6 bikes.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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HammerTime2
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by HammerTime2

Well, I guess you could literally do a blind test for the stoker (rear rider) of a tandem, although separating out the impact of the captain (front rider) on the bike's performance, as perceived by the stoker, might be a complicating factor. Of course, with a few exceptions, no WW's give a damn about tandems.

Maybe madcow could run the test, as he's already thought about the matter.
In The stupidest thing you've heard at a bike shop..., madcow wrote:This one happened in our own shop, a campus shop at the UofA.

One of our regulars is in the store. He's blind and is the stoker on a tandem. He has his dog next to him as he's trying on helmets. When he leaves one of the "higher education" students asks the guy behind the counter how a blind guy can ride a bike. The guy behind the counter says that "he rides on the back of a tandem"..... The girl accepts that, but then starts to look really confused. After a minute she leans over the counter and quietly asks the salesman in all sincerity, "how does the dog steer the bike?"

airwise
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by airwise

I believe some years ago a magazine hid the identity of a number of frames of different materials, balanced the weights and shipped them to majorca for an extended test.

The result was that no one could tell one from the other.

mrfish
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by mrfish

Tour did a test about 2 years ago where they covered bikes in black rubber and foam to disguise the shapes then put same components on each. Some of the so-called comfort bikes were perceived as being more comfortable. Winner was the BMC Grandfondo, closely followed by the Cannondale Evo.

Tour's conclusion was that the results corresponded to the results measured in tour's frame test for vertical compliance in kg/mm for the fork, frame and seat post, meaning that these measurements give a good directional indication of frame comfort.

The other thing which comes out is that the tyres, seatpost, fork, handlebars and wheels (in that order) make a much bigger contribution than the frame, which is essentially rigid in comparison. So if you want a cheap, comfortable, light bike go buy an Aluminium Canyon with 25mm tyres, their two piece seatpost and carbon bars and your favourite saddle.

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

i've participated in numerous 'blind ski tests', mostly whole weekend long, and i gotta tell you - you need to really spend some time on the skis to get to know them, which is kinda tricky as the snow changes during the day and so does your fitness, so you can't really test them all in equal conditions. as i'm particularly interested in the second-from-the-top grand slalom skis i had like up to ten pairs to test, which means i had like 1-2 hours for each pair. IMO it's impossible to make any solid verdict and what journalists later write about the equipment is often highly influenced by lab test results and some general perception of given make (for example Elans are 'forgiving', Atomics 'grippy' and Volkls 'rock solid'...)

as for bikes - i wouldn't dare to compare different frame's ride quality without spending like a week on each one of them. and still, as mrfish pointed out, the setup choice would extremely bias any verdict. besides frames these days are often very much alike (=high quality), and the devil is in the details that particular setup can emphasis or suppress
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

It's all in the proper fit of the bike discussed ad infinitum.

Different carbon frames with same exact components for each frame would be difficult to tell.

IT will eventually come down to proper fit.

You would have to give the bikes to people that are not too well informed of knowing what the frame looks like because even if the frame is painted: shapes and unique designs of frame are evident to people that know cycling parts. Therefore it would be biased already.
I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. If you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later. --Graeme Obree

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53x12
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by 53x12

^ I guess with tube shapes you could cover those with foam/padding so they can't be seen.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

Nah that would alter the ride experience.
I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. If you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later. --Graeme Obree

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DMF
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by DMF

I'd believe that you could tell the geometry differences in very little time, but to really get "under the skin" of a bike, to really be able to tell all the little nuances, you might need to ride it for a week, a couple of weeks or even months. After that, I'm fairly certain some people will very quickly pick out the differences to another (new) frame, geo being the same.

Meaning, you're more likely to tell the difference between what you know like the back of your hand and something you don't know. But you don't actually know a bike after 1-2 hours... It's like claiming you know.everything about a woman after the first date, yet if she had a twin you couldn't tell the difference on the second date :)

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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

This study would be completed years from now. :lol:
I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. If you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later. --Graeme Obree

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LouisN
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by LouisN

I agree Tymon_tm,

Interesting....

And funny at the same time....

Lots of people are ready to jump and buy a $6-7K bike on numbers, reputation or image alone...worse, on what's written on bike forums :lol: ...


I think it still would be an interesting study. Of course, it would be conducted for a few weeks.
The participants would try all of the bikes for a few days each. Like the ski tests, they would use each bike for a number of km's on each terrain, performing defined tasks. After the test, they would have to rate each bike on criterias we all know and look for in a bike.

of course the little "nuances" aren't targeted on such a study. But it would be pretty handy if such s test existed for buyers looking for a specific type of "behavior" from a bike, on different terrains and tasks.

Louis :)

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AGW
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by AGW

Painting a handful of bikes to mask branding might actually expose the mfgs using fm-xxx and planet x frames :lol:

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53x12
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by 53x12

stella-azzurra wrote:Nah that would alter the ride experience.


Tour magazine did it without issue. Same type of material, same thickness, same length and placed along same portions of each frame.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Some italian frame builder built a couple of steel frames from different tube sets a few years ago, all with the same geometry. The testers did not rate the most expensive tubes the best, results seemed to be kinda mixed and arbitrary. Unfortunately I can't find the page right now.

by Weenie


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