Absurd bike reviews!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Samuel D
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Location: Paris

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Samuel D » 8 Oct 2017, 5:53pm

I can only say that I read them, geometry and all.

I think BikeRadar (etc., etc.) reviews are only good for the sort of mindless scrolling entertainment that seems to absorb so much of people’s time nowadays. Look at anyone with a phone on a train.

But yes, bicycle reviews are odd things. This guy sums it up thusly:

“For bike tests you just ride it around for a few days (good excuse not to be in the office), throw in a few standard clichés (laterally stiff, vertically compliant, etc), gloss over crap design features (underslung rear brakes, etc) and find something innocuous to criticise (bar tape, cheap wheels, etc), and then give it 7 out of 10 if it was sh!t, and 8 out of 10 if it was OK.”

Sounds about right, based on what I see, though I’m sure some reviewers never rode the bicycle they reviewed.

Annoying Twit
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Location: Leicester

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Annoying Twit » 8 Oct 2017, 5:54pm

Samuel D wrote: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”.


I was thinking exactly what you say in your post. (Including the bits I haven't quoted.) I was a bit hesitant to say unless I looked paranoid, but with you agreeing with me I'll say that it looks like someone has been 'working on' reviews for that Muddyfox bike.

In terms of bike reviews, I'd much rather speak to someone on a forum who has the bike and ask them questions than read reviews.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby reohn2 » 8 Oct 2017, 6:48pm

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.........

Ah! the exception to the rule.
You could learn something from CJ's reviews,most of the other reviewers could do to.
Last edited by reohn2 on 8 Oct 2017, 8:31pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I cycle therefore I am.

fastpedaller
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby fastpedaller » 8 Oct 2017, 8:26pm

Pretty much applies to any review for any product - look at the manufacturer's sales brochure and change a few words to 'create' a review.

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby landsurfer » 8 Oct 2017, 8:30pm

And it's amazing that in tests rated 1 - 10 nothing is ever below 8 !!
And these bikes are "fast" and "zoom" up hills effortlessly .......????
Must be the secret motors in the frames i suspect !
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

LollyKat
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Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby LollyKat » 8 Oct 2017, 9:01pm

PH wrote:
Samuel D wrote:You mention Cycle Magazine. If you read Chris Juden’s old reviews, their purpose is apparent.... 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?


I used to read them all avidly and learned a huge amount, even though I wasn't looking for another bike. I really miss his writing.

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CJ
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Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby CJ » 8 Oct 2017, 9:30pm

Thanks guys. I don't visit (what I like to call) the CTC Forum very often these days, so it's a pure fluke I looked at this topic, but you really brightened up my day! :D
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

fastpedaller
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Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby fastpedaller » 8 Oct 2017, 9:31pm

LollyKat wrote:
PH wrote:
Samuel D wrote:You mention Cycle Magazine. If you read Chris Juden’s old reviews, their purpose is apparent.... 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?


I used to read them all avidly and learned a huge amount, even though I wasn't looking for another bike. I really miss his writing.


Maybe 'proof' that it doesn't pay to tell the truth? He who is a 'yes man' keeps himself in employment on a long-term basis?
No bias to any individual(s) intended.

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bovlomov
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby bovlomov » 8 Oct 2017, 9:42pm

fastpedaller wrote:Pretty much applies to any review for any product - look at the manufacturer's sales brochure and change a few words to 'create' a review.

The 'News' parts of newspapers aren't much better, often being little more than press releases direct from Party HQs, PR departments, publishers, showbiz agencies, or the police. Not only are journalists expensive, but they may unearth something that upsets the advertisers. It's best to cut them out altogether and let the advertisers write the copy.

Richard Fairhurst
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Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 8 Oct 2017, 10:15pm

For a while, this was an entertaining commentary on UK cycling magazines: https://cyclingdigest.wordpress.com/

It stopped last April, but it's worth reading through the archives. Sharply observed, anonymously written by someone whose real name has clearly appeared on cycling flannel panels in the past (I'm pretty sure I can guess who it is, but that's by the by). He understands the editorial/advertising divide, for example, which is both more nuanced and a whole bunch simpler than people often think it is!

As for the Telegraph, their navigation hierarchy of "HOME»MEN»ACTIVE»RECREATIONAL CYCLING" for their bike content says it all.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby landsurfer » 8 Oct 2017, 11:21pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:For a while, this was an entertaining commentary on UK cycling magazines: https://cyclingdigest.wordpress.com/

It stopped last April, but it's worth reading through the archives. Sharply observed, anonymously written by someone whose real name has clearly appeared on cycling flannel panels in the past (I'm pretty sure I can guess who it is, but that's by the by). He understands the editorial/advertising divide, for example, which is both more nuanced and a whole bunch simpler than people often think it is!


I have just read 20 minutes worth of articles and am in tears of laughter at the comments .... Real tears ...So bloody funny !!!
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

scottg
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby scottg » 9 Oct 2017, 2:19pm

Snobby did fine reviews, and just like actual bike reviews, once you've read
a few, you have read all possible bike reviews.

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2009/04 ... -road.html
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

gbnz
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Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby gbnz » 9 Oct 2017, 3:46pm

thirdcrank wrote:
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 )


I'd agree; it's only been ten years since I had the Guardian 3-5 times a week, the Observer on a Sunday, the local county paper and then the Saturday Telegraph for a "change of viewpoint" at the weekend.

Have to admit the price hike of the Guardian media group since 2010 has forced me online with reference to the Guardian et al and as of 2017 the Saturday Telegraph isn't worth it; advertorial pull outs, full page adverts and the right wing bias has become extreme

hamster
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Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby hamster » 9 Oct 2017, 7:33pm

Samuel D wrote: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.


I can't comment on cycle journalism, but for technology the blogger/journos have to churn out a piece every hour (8 per day) and essentially all they do is re-hash press releases. I see some of the PR stuff I write end up unaltered as an article.

manybikes
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Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 10:21am

Re: Absurd bike reviews!

Postby manybikes » 10 Oct 2017, 7:23pm


I used to read them all avidly and learned a huge amount, even though I wasn't looking for another bike. I really miss his writing


And what do we get now ? Reviews by a bloke who makes and sells his own bikes.
CUK had no further use for CJ's independence or depth of knowledge and down graded the value of magazine reviews. I don't expect Mr Haslett does it for free.