Absurd bike reviews!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
gbnz
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Absurd bike reviews!

Postby gbnz » 7 Oct 2017, 11:49am

Anyone read the Telegraph today? It's review of a general, all round, all purpose bicycle, is perhaps the most absurd bicycle review I've ever read.

Designed for mamils, as an all round, all purpose bike, the bike benefits from USP's such as 28mm wide tyres, a split seat post for comfort and a chunky bottom bracket to transfer power from each pedal stroke to the wheels. making it perfect for commuting, leisure rides and the occasional faster run. Though it does miss out on core essentials such as mounting points for mudguards and is sadly lacking as a serious commuting bike (Nb. How many cyclists would be happy leaving a £2349.00 flashy, Ultegra equipped road bike at the station? I'm concerned enough at the two year old frame my eleven year old bicyle is currently based on - it stands out a mile as being flashy)

Every time I pass mamils while loaded with camping or shopping gear, doing perhaps 2-3 times their speed as I head over the Pennines or Alps (The two locations where my speed always stands out), I wonder how they fall for all the nonsense about super light bikes. And then a review like this comes along :roll:

Annoying Twit
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Annoying Twit » 7 Oct 2017, 12:05pm

Link?

pete75
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby pete75 » 7 Oct 2017, 2:13pm

No reason to think the Telegraph's bike reviews will be any less absurd than it's political views.

PH
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby PH » 7 Oct 2017, 5:18pm

gbnz wrote:
Every time I pass mamils while loaded with camping or shopping gear, doing perhaps 2-3 times their speed as I head over the Pennines or Alps

I'd find somewhere closer to shop.
The folk on road bikes I see are usually enjoying them. That's a good thing, isn't it?

pete75
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby pete75 » 7 Oct 2017, 6:36pm

PH wrote:
gbnz wrote:
Every time I pass mamils while loaded with camping or shopping gear, doing perhaps 2-3 times their speed as I head over the Pennines or Alps

I'd find somewhere closer to shop.


:lol:

gbnz
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby gbnz » 7 Oct 2017, 8:39pm

pete75 wrote:No reason to think the Telegraph's bike reviews will be any less absurd than it's political views.


Surely you'd admit that it's a fantastic comic for weekend reading? After a week of the Guardian, everyone needs a laugh and while Trump is clearly at the top of the pile, the Telegraph is at least developing home grown talent (Nb. I thought the article suggesting today that public sector workers in the UK may go on strike to produce a winter of discontent was a classic pun; given that every "public sector" organisation referenced by the Telegraph within the article, had been moved into the private sector by those of a right wing persuasion!

Username
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Username » 8 Oct 2017, 6:30am

PH wrote:
gbnz wrote:
Every time I pass mamils while loaded with camping or shopping gear, doing perhaps 2-3 times their speed as I head over the Pennines or Alps

I'd find somewhere closer to shop.
The folk on road bikes I see are usually enjoying them. That's a good thing, isn't it?


Not in that way tho. They should be normal.

landsurfer
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby landsurfer » 8 Oct 2017, 8:24am

Username wrote:
Not in that way tho. They should be normal.


Oh Dear ..... Ok so whats normal then ...........
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

Annoying Twit
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Annoying Twit » 8 Oct 2017, 8:36am

Going in the other direction, I saw a friend cycling on a Muddyfox Recoil 26 the other day. This is a very cheap bike (£109 brand new) with full suspension, and I was curious what the reviews said.

Some of the reviews seem very strange. E.g. http://roadandmountainbikereviews.co.uk ... ke-review/ There's something wrong with the language here, e.g. why does it keep bolding 'The muddyfox recoil 26 is a good mountain bike.'

I find it difficult to believe that this is a quality bike with quality components at that price. And the reviews look odd to me. Call me cynical if you want, but I personally suspect that some of these reviews are false.

thirdcrank
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Oct 2017, 9:31am

If you go to the Daily Telegraph's driving section for your bike reviews, what do you expect? I've posted about these reviews before. IIRC, the first one I saw was for a bike costing something like ten grand.

In common with most of the print media, the Daily T is in a mess. In the various weekend features there' a huge amount of advertorial and what isn't that is somebody roped in to cover a topic in which they have no expertise. (Cookery writer reminiscing about their favourite holiday location etc.)

Samuel D
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Samuel D » 8 Oct 2017, 2:48pm

Annoying Twit wrote:There's something wrong with the language here, e.g. why does it keep bolding 'The muddyfox recoil 26 is a good mountain bike.'

That’s a basic form of search-engine optimisation (usually called SEO). Google pays particular attention to bold text on a page, assuming it to be important. By repeating “good mountain bike” in bold text, the writer’s hope is that Google will return that page and/or other search results about that Muddyfox when people search for a term similar to or including “good mountain bike”.

Essentially all online reviews are slaves to more or less sophisticated SEO. Google is trying to fix this problem with ever-smarter ways to judge the usefulness of content, but ultimately Google doesn’t care as long as people keep clicking and seeing ads.

The incredible power of Google and now Facebook is a major reason the internet has become such a cesspit of misinformation. Literally millions of people are employed directly or peripherally to create otherwise useless content that these two companies reward with clicks and therefore a sliver of ad revenue. There isn’t much left on the internet that isn’t created for advertising. The industry has destroyed print media and is now destroying itself utterly. Solutions are not obvious although Apple is trying little things and others are proposing more radical change.

The most consistently absurd reviews I’ve read are those for BikeRadar by a “Senior Technical Editor” called Warren Rossiter. He churns out short, shallow, easily digested ‘reviews’ at an impossible rate, almost always awarding four out of five stars, and the reviews are as bad as you’d imagine in those circumstances: never asking the right questions, lacking technical understanding, showing little sign of thought or care, and packed with up-to-date clichés. He’s basically everything that’s wrong with the internet in one man.

Maybe he’s a nice person in real life, but then he should go and do something better with his life. Easier said than done in 2017, of course.

reohn2
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby reohn2 » 8 Oct 2017, 3:05pm

Samuel D wrote:........Maybe he’s a nice person in real life, but then he should go and do something better with his life. Easier said than done in 2017, of course.


Most paid for reviews I read are pure tripe and I stopped reading them years ago.
As for "news"papers,online or in print I stopped reading 25 years ago for the same reason.
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I cycle therefore I am.

PH
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby PH » 8 Oct 2017, 4:54pm

The more I think about it the more absurd the whole idea of bike reviews is. What can they tell us? What do we want to read? They could list the facts and figures and maybe the reliability of materials and components, that might be of interest to the tiny minority of readers considering buying such a bike, but it won't sell newspapers or magazines. Everything else is subjective or irrelevant, it's the limited experience of that rider on that specific bike on that particular ride/s. A different size of the same bike, on different tyres, by a different rider on a different route might result in some different conclusions.
In Cycle I have a flick through the reviews of stuff I might find interesting, but the stories of peoples rides and experiences gets far more of my attention.

Samuel D
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Samuel D » 8 Oct 2017, 5:15pm

You mention Cycle Magazine. If you read Chris Juden’s old reviews, their purpose is apparent. They analyse the design from head to toe and include expert commentary on material choices and the like. Comprehensive (and trustworthy) geometry figures are provided, with unusual decisions mentioned and their consequences examined. The reviews point out details that novice cyclists would certainly miss. They gently question any assumptions implicit in the design, and usually include an observation or two that even experienced cyclists may not have considered. I often went away knowing more than I did before reading the review, and not just about the specific bicycle in question.

Chris Juden is a hard act to follow, and anyway I accept that alternative review styles exist and can be valid. But most bicycle reviews today are written in a mad rush to sell advertising, as I pointed out above (and this was true to a lesser extent in the days of printed magazines too). Almost without exception, they’re written by people whose expertise is ‘content production’ (retch) rather than bicycles. And it plainly shows. They are a waste of everyone’s time.

PH
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby PH » 8 Oct 2017, 5:27pm

Samuel D wrote:You mention Cycle Magazine. If you read Chris Juden’s old reviews, their purpose is apparent. They analyse the design from head to toe and include expert commentary on material choices and the like. Comprehensive (and trustworthy) geometry figures are provided, with unusual decisions mentioned and their consequences examined. The reviews point out details that novice cyclists would certainly miss. They gently question any assumptions implicit in the design, and usually include an observation or two that even experienced cyclists may not have considered. I often went away knowing more than I did before reading the review, and not just about the specific bicycle in question.

I'm sure that's all entirely correct, but who read them? The only time they were of interest to me is if I was considering such a new bike, that'll be once every 7 years on average. At what other time are comprehensive geometry figures of interest?