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Questions on negatively reviewed products(7 posts)

Questions on negatively reviewed productsBrian B.
Apr 18, 2001 7:52 PM
So here's my question / comment o' the day... over on the tech board, I noticed someone referred to some negative reviews of Ultegra 6501 (or something) shifters; and it got me thinking....

In a typical "customer satisfaction" survey, how much are the results influenced by the fact that there are hundreds or even thousands of these shifters out there? Are they really that bad, or is it just that because there are SO many users, the few defective ones seem like a greater number?

If this isn't clear, a good comparison would be a guy I heard (not here) saying "More Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys are stolen than any other car" Well, that's because there are more Accords and Camrys on the road than any other car. The incidence / percentage of theft is actually the same or even lower than most, but the raw numbers are much, much higher.

Whaddya all think?
re: Questions on negatively reviewed productsLC
Apr 18, 2001 11:24 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head. I have a gazillion hilly miles on my 6501 shifters and they are still going strong.
Tangent topic: I think people should tell their weightOnrhodes
Apr 19, 2001 4:12 AM
I think you're right on your train of thought. I have a gripe too. I get sick of reading people bashing light wieght parts that broke and then I find out they are like 200+ lbs. People need to realize that most super light parts out there are not designed for heavier riders. Topline cranks used to have a 180lb weight limit. Some of the DeRosa frames have a rider weight limit. So on and so forth. I'm a towering 5'5" and weigh 133lbs. I can ride just about anything I want and not worry. But put a 235+ rider on a 145 gram stem and of course he is going to flex the thing. Just a complaint of mine. I realy think that people should start listing their weights when reviewing light weight products. And there riding style, but that is a whole different topic....
Fair point, if..Mucher
Apr 19, 2001 8:29 AM
Things really are max weight marked. However, my view is (and it would be, being 200lbs plus) is that, given modern materials, manufacturing processes and retail prices, a "generic" part ought to work just as well for someone my size, as someone 50lbs lighter - we are hardly talking about the freak end of the human weight bell-curve. There is a lot of truth in what you say, and the examples you use are good ones, but if parts are sold as generally suitable with no weight restrictions, they they ought to be perfectly durable - not least in order to comply with consumer protection legislation. Fact is, in my experiance, there is a lot of sub-standard design and manufacture out there, and perhaps the heavier users (both in terms of weight and riding useage) expose it more?

Also seems a shame if, given the rapidly increasing average weight of our western bodies, parts are going to limit access to cycling for people who, arguably, could get the most benefit from it?

Just a little food for thought....
apply the olympic ruleDuane Gran
Apr 19, 2001 7:25 AM
Whenever I read a lot of reviews, I apply the Olympic style of voting. Eliminate the highest and lowest votes and use the mean. Most of the reviews that rate things between 2-4 are more credible than reviews that rate a 1 (poor) or 5 (excellent). There are exceptions, but you have to filter many people's desire to overrank or underrank just to influence stats and public opinion.

Also, when reading reviews I give more credence to those who write more, especially if they write about how and where they ride. I agree with the responder who mentions weight issues. As a weight weenie who only weight 155lbs, I get frustrated to hear great products get bad reviews by heavier riders.
re: Questions on negatively reviewed productsTimW
Apr 21, 2001 5:20 PM
I think there are two things to consider:

1) Those who shout the loudest are not happy. What lengths do you go to to tell someone you really like their stuff? Most people just use it and smile to themselves that they made a good choice. If you don't like something, you will tell anybody and their uncle what a lousyworthlessgoodfernuthinhunkO'junkgarbage this is.

2) Human nature (or modern society) allows us to look for a place to lay blame. If you are 250lbs and you stamp on lightweight components, they flex, and you complain. Afterall, it's the design. If you weigh 130lbs, and have a bony ass, then that seat is just not right. It's the manufacturers fault isn't it!
If you can't get the hang of these rapid fire shifter thingy's then the fault is OBVIOUSLY the shifter, and not you, 'cos we never take responsiblity.

Thanks, I'm done ranting now.

Beware the positive review too!!Lazy
Apr 23, 2001 7:14 AM
It is my opinion that you can take the positive reviews and pretty much throw them out. I think the "false positiveness" of a review is in direct proportion to the price paid for the reviewed product. Who is going to save up the money to buy a $5000 (or whatever number is REALLY expensive to the purchaser) bike and then say it sucks? Not many people will have the stones to do that.

The negative reviews can also be taken with a grain of salt, as mentioned by several people already.

I think the key to gleaning useful information from any product review is not paying any attention to the number score given, but to look for key phrases in the text of the message. Another key area IMHO is to look at the "other stuff you used in the past" column. If there's no frame of reference, how do they know if their stem is flexy or not?

The most prevalent example I can think of is people saying one frame material rides like a dream, when all someone has to compare it to is another frame of the same material and very similar geometry.