The Value of Bike Reviews

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
antonioiglesius
Posts: 290
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by antonioiglesius

RyanH wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:16 am
With that being said, how credible do you think bike magazine reviews are even if they aren't trying to be a paid advertisement?
The value of something put out by the cycling media is usually the knowledge that such a thing exists. Just like reviews by the public, some people will like it, others hate it, and both will have their reasons. It's up to me to figure out the truth.

What I would like to have a better sense of is how long the media's reach is (compared to say social media), and how responsible they are in establishing the truth. In this era of 'fake news', sometimes I wonder if they should do more research into what they receive before publishing it. 'News' that's click-baity ends up increasing visitor count to their website, which in turn drives up the price they can charge advertisers.

Also: happy holidays!

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

Bike reviews and the bike publications that put them out are merely following the business plan of car magazines who have been doing this for decades. Don't lump this in with fake news, which is a horrible term used by a president whose sole agenda is to marginalize news outlets that publish things he doesn't like.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

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Imaking20
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by Imaking20

I initially try to find reviewers who have similar feedback to my firsthand experiences on bikes I've ridden. Then I really just try to give credibility to longer term reviews where the reviewer has actually had time to make that their personal bike for awhile. In my thinking, that will have given them time to sort out those fit issues, as well as tires/wheels/saddle that can have such a drastic impact on the ride, on come up with a review that is more objective about the actual bike (or whatever gear they are reviewing).
Current:
T2

Retired:
Blue | Project C6.0 | Felt AR FRD | Colnago C59 NERO | 2014 S-Works Tarmac | S-Works Venge | Wilier Cento Uno SL | Tarmac SL2

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Kayrehn
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by Kayrehn

Bikeradar is currently running their Gear of the Year thread from their reviewers, and I find it somewhat helpful that having surveyed a years worth of bikes under them they have an impression of what's likeable enough. Unfortunately that doesn't answer RyanH question about how much those impressions are actually attributed to groupsets and wheels instead of the frame.

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fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

i like to look at reviews of previous models and see how they've held up. before i bought my c-59 i looked at reviews of the c-40 & c-50 and see how opinions have held. at least in this one instance it worked out.

i did something similar with audio equipment researching not only the current model but the previous(thiel audio). my theory is that successful products usually receive an evolution not a revolution in design.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

AJS914
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by AJS914

fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:55 am
read some great reviews about colnagos on washingmachinepost and some not so good ones on some other sites.
I like washingmachinepost but he loved every Colnago!

I like reading multiple reviews from the same reviewer. It gives you a sense of what they write and how they describe and value in a bike. In the end though, unless a glaring problem is pointed out, reviews are useless.

2old4this
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am

by 2old4this

Since mid-90s, the reviews (i.e. internet), the magazines' main completion has become everyone available online. So, either they or one of other thousands is going to get a new product for reviews first. To make matters worse, their only income (well nearly) has become adds they get (no more subscription revenue.)
Since then, nobody can piss off manufacturers. So the reviews have become very dull but safe comments like "instantaneous response" or "very stiff but comfortable on descents" or "minimal road buzz" or "savagely fast" or "voracious appetite for winning" (this might be my favorite one. What does it even mean?)

I look at the magazines to hear about new products. That's it.

There are two kind of reviews i look for
1- Sites making revenue not through ads, but what they sell. The ones with measurable product comparisons (Fairwheel Bikes is an example.)
2- Sites likes this, where real users tell about products (well almost. Some of us, yours truely included, cannot admit paying something with some shortcomings.)

XCProMD
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Location: Cantabria

by XCProMD

Bike magazines aren't worth the paper they are printed on or the energy needed to keep your mobile phone running as you read them. Save for Tour and their tests. At least some numbers that you can then interpret according to your knowledge or fancy.

These days they are supported by the big folks, so they're "their master's voice".


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eaglejackson
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Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

Marin wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:08 am
Anything in a review that describes the ride or handling is irrelevant IMO. I like reviews where there is scientific testing involved, or where new technical features are described.

But the usual "instant power transfer" and wheels that "spin up easily" stuff l can do without.
Stiff but compliant.

eaglejackson
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Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:20 pm
i think of reviews as creating a permission structure for people to buy the bike they would have anyway.
This

eaglejackson
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Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

I do find the reviews on CyclingTips.com to be worthwhile. I also like they have their editors and reviewers do their top 10 favorite items of the year. They don't promote junk. I get both confirmation bias and ideas for new things to possibly check out. And sometimes what they like I've tried and found I don't like, which is also just fine. We all are sometimes very particular and peculiar about our likes and don't likes.

Reviews with solid data as others have pointed out are good to have. I like the Fairwheel tests, for example. Actual weights and stiffness.

But I also like opinions, and I recognize them as opinions, from those whose opinions have credibility, such as James Huang of CyclingTips.

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F45
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by F45

I just look at the pictures.

This is my favorite bike review of all time. It is a mountain bike though. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gear/ca ... iew-51292/

Noctiluxx
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Location: Southern California

by Noctiluxx

Bike and gear reviews are mostly full of crap. It just depends which manufacturer is paying more to get positive reviews.
2018 Bianchi Oltre XR4, (Celeste Matt)
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bremerradkurier
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by bremerradkurier

Noctiluxx wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:34 pm
Bike and gear reviews are mostly full of crap. It just depends which manufacturer is paying more to get positive reviews.
They're almost as bad as firearms magazines, where a product will receive a glowing review printed opposite to a full page color ad for the very same product.

RyanH
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by RyanH

Don't forget about the sub-moa 3 shot group to validate its accuracy.

by Weenie


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