The real truth is, writing to please your advertisers is a losing proposition. Since most major cycling mags have ads from almost every big bike maker at some point during the year, and these ads are scheduled months in advance to get them into the mag, that would mean they could basically never write a bad/negative review. This would quickly become really obvious to readers.
I do agree that some magazines seem to have a policy of minimizing the attention they pay to a bike's faults, across the board.
Have you ever read a British publication called "Cycling Plus"? They are famous for giving 8 or more out of 10 to nearly every product they review. The odd lousy review helps maintain credibility. The watchword is "don't pi55 off the important clients".[/quote]
If you run a bike magazine on the truth that it really doesn't make any difference what toys you use to your speed in a race, you won't be in business very long. Another truth is that most bikes are pretty good.
To Cycling Plus' credit, they have many features about training, health and diet that other magazines don't have.