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Bicycling Shoot Out - why not?(10 posts)

Bicycling Shoot Out - why not?wheel it
Jul 6, 2002 12:37 PM
Car & Driver has head to head 'shoot outs' all the time. Like SLK vs BMW M3 vs BOXSTER vs Audi TT vs Honda s2000 vs Lotus Elan. this makes sense - people are comparing these like cars.
Why doesnt Bicycling have head to head shoot outs. Like best Aluminum Road bike for $1500 - we comare Trek vs Giant vs Motobecane vs Specialized vs Fuji vs Cannondale -- we report - you decide!
In place of that, I see one magazine with $800 Jamis and $1700 Motobecane and $4000 Litespeed -- how does that help?
maybe if enough customers ask for shoot outs - they would do it - and then we could have something really interesting to read
I think they are scared of the resultsOK-larry
Jul 7, 2002 12:40 AM
If Bicycling did head to head comparisons - they brands that would turn up as best of class - would probably not be the big advertisers like Trek, Cannondale, etc - those guys put so much money in ads - they have to give less bike. But that being printed would be bad for Bicycling
How to make one friend and seven enemies.Spoke Wrench
Jul 7, 2002 3:42 PM
Hold an eight bike shoot-out in Bicycling Magazine. Oh yeah, the seven enemies you just made, they're companies who used to be advertisers. Runners World lost a big advertiser after Nike's then new "Tailwind" running shoe scored poorly in their shoe issue.

The thing that makes it work for Car & Driver is they can run a lot of objective tests and base their result on that. Then they get their panel of "experts" to disagree on the subjective evaluations so that they can defend themselves to their advertisers.

How would you mimic that with bicycles?
How to mimic on bicycles.OK-larry
Jul 8, 2002 5:02 AM
You can easily build a system to aggign points objectively on bikes -- So that comparing say a Trek 2300 to a Motobecane le Champion Team to a Cannondale to a Fuji etc would be fair - then add suject riding charactertistic stuff with several editors doing rides. Bike weight, Frame weight, component cost, component level, fork type & weight, stem weight, rim type & cost,AND overall bike cost - these can all be objective.
These bikes are NOT more complicated than cars - I think that is clear -- it is a question of desire and guts by the magazine - not weather it can be done.
Just not worth it.Leisure
Jul 7, 2002 4:28 AM
Too much of what's printed in bike mags are swayed by the advertisers anyway. They're nowhere near as objective as car mags. I would dare to say it's MORE informative if they never have to compare anything, as you wouldn't have to read through a lot of misleading tripe. Test ride the bikes yourself; you'll get a much more neutral understanding of each product. My opinion, at any rate.
two things wrong with thatOK-larry
Jul 7, 2002 6:01 AM
Going for a test ride - compared to having Magazines do extensive testing --
1) not all important bikes are available in all markets - plus even if they are Dealers do not stock all sizes
2) even the longest test ride is hardly enough - a magazine could ride a group of bikes for a month or two - and then give an objective evaluation - if they would (based on advertising)

I think advertising is still the biggest problem - it runs up costs and distorts the truth. Even people on this board favor the heavily advertised brands without any good reason. And agrue that a bike that is below market in price must be bad - which is clearly not the case in other products - like computers or camping gear.
Bicycling mag - why not?Crankist
Jul 7, 2002 8:12 AM
They can't spare the extra paragraph.
Does Bicyling magazine know what bikes are?AllisonHayes
Jul 7, 2002 1:29 PM
And even if they did, would they be capable of writing anything intelligent about it?

...talk about wasting trees...
Of course! They are the source of advertising revenue!Niwot
Jul 7, 2002 7:09 PM
Bike magazines are a shaky financial proposition anyway, just look at all of the mags that have gone out of business in the last several years. Bicycling is so dependent on the cash from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, etc., that the magazine might be forced out of business if they wrote anything critical of those guys. Thus, every "review" in Bicycling is nothing more than advertising copy in disguise (and a very obvious disguise at that).

And Bicycling is not the only offender here. A couple of years ago, a writer in a British bike mag wrote a gushing review of an Airborne titanium bike (which Airborne has quoted in many subsequent ads). You will not be surprised to learn that Airborne runs a full-page ad in every issue of this very same British bike mag.

Of course, sometimes reviewers in these mags are also seduced by the free gear and swag they get from the bike companies. A few years ago, Torelli flew a writer for a bicycling mag (a mag that is no longer in business) to Italy, gave the writer a top-of-the-line Torelli bike that had been custom-made for him, and paid for him to spend a week touring Italy on his new bike (to test it, ha ha ha). Guess what? When the next issue of the magazine came out, this writer called the Torelli "the best bike I've ever ridden." Gee, what a surprise.
Bicycle Review used to do thatColnagoFE
Jul 8, 2002 7:27 AM
They compared a IF Crown Jewel to a Seven TI frame once.