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Bicycling is in bed with Trek, Motobecane, Litespeed, Fuji?(7 posts)

Bicycling is in bed with Trek, Motobecane, Litespeed, Fuji?OK-larry
Jun 29, 2002 6:34 AM
I have been trying to get some objective info on a bike I can buy in a bike shop and find all I get is Spam for online sellers. AND then to my surprise; I get a rant about how Bicycling Magazine is a sold out rag. Is this true? I have been reading reviews in it for 6 months as I am interested in an upgrade of bike to something around $1500 or so. I have seen good comments on Trek, Motobecane, Fuji, Litespeed(out of my price range), and a few others. The reviews seemed fair and balanced to me. Am I wrong? Is the entire industry void of a good publication that tests bikes?
Should I just go the safe route and buy a Trek? I do want a bike from a shop with a full warranty. Anyway, if bicycling is bad - is any magazine that does tests good?
re: Bicycling is in bed with Trek, Motobecane, Litespeed, Fuji?Juanmoretime
Jun 29, 2002 7:37 AM
Read the reviews right here on this site. The are the opinions of every day cyclist who work hard for the money(some)to buy bikes and components. Look at the average rating of the review not the execptions. Somewhere, somplace, someone will have had a bad experience with what is probably a well built quality bike or component. Remember when dealing with anything mechanical, it's not will it break down it's when. LoL.
Jun 29, 2002 7:58 AM
This is such a subjective and personal taste issue that you really need to be your own guide.

I was browsing for bikes at an LBS a year ago, and the salesman kept steering me toward steel... saying he'd "only ride steel," "wouldn't be caught dead on aluminum," etc... I wasn't shopping for steel, and I wouldn't consider steel from an LBS that carried two or three steel frames.

Another shop was pushing GT bikes very hard- as being the best bang for the buck. This year, of course, they don't even carry GT.

RANT: I wish it were possible to buy a bike WITH NO WHEELS... without having to go custom. Wheels are usually the first obvious compromise in a store bike (as are seat, stem, seatpost, bars... I guess about everything other than the frame and group).

RANT: Why do LBSes tend to charge FULL RETAIL for parts and component upgrades, then pile a labor charge on top of it? Not to mention the fact that parts I want are never in stock, and I can receive them more quickly through mail order or online sales. The price of tools is almost always cheaper than paying labor.

RANT: What is the deal with "in-house" brands like Coda, or Icon, or for that matter, Bontrager, or Rolf? They end up being "mystery components."

The only objective data, in my opinion, is a bikes specs. The rest needs to be up to you- what are your needs? How does the bike feel?

One other word about LBSes. When I finally purchased my bike, I rode it for about a month, and it frankly sucked. My LBS offered me FULL CREDIT under their return policy for an upgrade to a much better bike. Try that with an online retailer.

How would you want a bike tested?

Also, at what cost? I was taken down by a car a few weeks ago... it made me think, "how would I feel if this were a $3000+ bike?" The $1500-2000 range makes the unexpected a bit more palatable.
They are only mostly sell outsHBPat
Jun 29, 2002 8:21 AM
I read tha magazine and find it interesting but they are not objective. Notice that almost all of their reviews are positive. Bike manufacturers will lobby to get their bikes reviewed in there and they tend to slant their review to be favorable to their intended market ("buy it if....., forget it if..."). There are a few reviews that are totally unbias but those aren't the bike reviews. In general you can find out information about the parts and company but you should make up your own mind about the bike.
If they are not theygrandemamou
Jun 29, 2002 8:22 AM
ought to be, because they will never make any money selling that piece of cr@% they call a magazine. I suppose it's better than nothing, but not by much. There is nothing in there that you couldn't learn by hanging out for a few weeks with a group of experinced riders. Sorry had to get that off my chest.

They don't really review bikes. They just take pictures and make a few off hand comments. I could do that from here without ever riding the bikes.

The only magazine that actualy reviews bikes is Pro cycling. Only one per issue and the subscription price is pretty stiff.
I've subscribed for years -nova
Jun 29, 2002 11:08 AM
The magazine is weak, but for 20 bucks, I figure "what the hell?"

The primary reviewer for road bikes in Bicycling mag is Garrett Lai. I've read every review he has written about a road bike in that magazine for several years.

He will compliment or complain about a feature or attribute on one bike, and then take the opposite (or no) position about the same attribute on another bike.

For example: in the recent issue (the one with the Airborne on the cover), he reviews the Litespeed Ghisallo. He says the "worst thing" about the bike is the effective top tube length in relation to the frame size - saying that a 57.5 effective TT is "too short" for a 59cm frame.

Look at just about ANY frame geometry on a 'classic' styled frame (by 'classic' I mean: no sloping top tube), and that TT-to-Frame Size ratio is standard/common/widely accepted.

Take the Merckx Team SC for example: a 59cm Team SC frame has a 57.8 TT. If such a geometry is literally a bad thing (as Mr. Lai states in his Ghisallo review), then why didn't it come up in his review of the Team SC?

Don't believe the reviews in Bicycling. Take them for what they are: Informed opinions. These guys at least RIDE the bikes they write about. But their opinions are far from the final word, and they don't seem to understand that they contridict themselves on a regular basis.
Bike mags in general are pretty mediocreLeisure
Jun 29, 2002 11:35 PM
I'd say among every hobby I've been interested in, bike mags are easily the most blatantly biased in product testing. Among the mountain bike mags especially, it's easy to see who's in bed with who. Open a MBAction and you'll find them raving over every K2 frame that passes by. Go look at Mountain Bike and they'll always find a way to rationalize how any product remotely connected to Paul Turner is the absolute best available at it's price. While I have nothing against either of those products, I've test ridden a lot of the same stuff they review and feel a lot of products (some decidedly better, IMO) get scrutinized far more critically. Read them long enough and you'll see they contradict themselves regularly. BIKE magazine is better, but as their emphasis is less focused on equipment, the reviews are short.
My feeling is, test ride what you're seriously considering, and compare what you think to the reviews you find in here. The mags can be good information for more general topics like training and riding tips, sometimes for reviews of small products that aren't competing against Shimano, but otherwise don't take what they say seriously. Test riding is most important.