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  1. #1
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    Long travel 29er shootout???

    So...did I miss something? I had been looking forward to the long travel 29er shootout. I hadn't checked in for a couple months and now it appears the original thread is closed.

    Did this get canceled? I sure hope not. I don't care who does it or what their skill level...a shootout is just good fun to read!

  2. #2
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    Didn't see the original thread but I've been following these

    https://dirtmountainbike.com/bike-re...bike-test.html

  3. #3
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    That looks good. Thanks for the tip!

  4. #4
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    That Dirt article was garbage and didn't even have the SB5.5 or Hightower or Sentinel or even the test!? Did I miss the followup article somewhere?

    Outdoor Gear Labs as always is a place to start. They also backup the info with at least some empirical data. It's not 100% 29ers tho they dominate many spots. It doesn't have all the bikes but at least it has some headliners and is super deep. If I recall they buy the gear and it isn't given to them. I hate all of the "reviews" that have zero objectivity and are simply pseudo advertisements because they just give them the stuff and hence they have to play nice.
    https://m.outdoorgearlab.com/biking

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    That Dirt article was garbage and didn't even have the SB5.5 or Hightower or Sentinel or even the test!? Did I miss the followup article somewhere?

    Outdoor Gear Labs as always is a place to start. They also backup the info with at least some empirical data. It's not 100% 29ers tho they dominate many spots. It doesn't have all the bikes but at least it has some headliners and is super deep. If I recall they buy the gear and it isn't given to them. I hate all of the "reviews" that have zero objectivity and are simply pseudo advertisements because they just give them the stuff and hence they have to play nice.
    https://m.outdoorgearlab.com/biking
    I've found most their reviews to informative. But as an independent reviewer, it would be a huge expense to purchase every bike out there. Alot of bikes not reviewed by them, so how to you accurately and fairly assess 'The Best Bikes'?
    Their best Enduro's bikes are the same as their 'Best Trail bikes?
    They really like their Santa Cruz bikes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    I've found most their reviews to informative. But as an independent reviewer, it would be a huge expense to purchase every bike out there. Alot of bikes not reviewed by them, so how to you accurately and fairly assess 'The Best Bikes'?
    Their best Enduro's bikes are the same as their 'Best Trail bikes?
    They really like their Santa Cruz bikes.
    Come on man, of course it isn't perfect. But wow, that is the best modern mountain bike review/comparison of all time right there!! The amount of detail down to even the maintenance and various bikes for various specialties (big hits/small bumps/playfulness) is unprecedented! Especially with the detailed comparisons, which is so critical. Its 2018 and there is a lot of overlap between Enduro and trail. Only half of their trail favs were Enduro-esk rigs fwiw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Come on man, of course it isn't perfect. But wow, that is the best modern mountain bike review/comparison of all time right there!! The amount of detail down to even the maintenance and various bikes for various specialties (big hits/small bumps/playfulness) is unprecedented! Especially with the detailed comparisons, which is so critical. Its 2018 and there is a lot of overlap between Enduro and trail. Only half of their trail favs were Enduro-esk rigs fwiw.
    I completely agree! Just wish there was a bigger sample size..... which would be expensive to do.

  8. #8
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    We need a Consumer Reports style review setup. There are several problems with current reviews/shootouts that I see. First off how many people here ride the stock tire/bars/anything on their setups? For me personally just tires and a few PSI can result in a significantly different ride quality. Don't even get me started on wheel builds, suspension setup etc. Because of this they are not testing frame design, they are testing the bike build/wheel tire combo/etc. A bike could have the best suspension design in the world, but a crappy fork is going to throw everything off.

    Taking that into consideration, the only way to really test anything is to isolate the change. Want to test a Wreckoning vs a Rallon? Then the builds have to be consistent between them. Want to test wheels? Then they have to to be mounted on the same bike and ridden on the same trails. Believe it or not I proposed this with me paying for these things (not asking for them to buy anything for the tests) and the response I got from SEVERAL sites/publications was "We only test complete builds as they are sold from the manufacturers". That should tell you everything you need to know about how much they care about objectivity. I know of another very popular reviewer that got so frustrated with the process that he stopped doing them as well.

    It is time for a change...

  9. #9
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    I think it got squashed when people started making fun of the riding ability of the testers after FC posted a preview video.
    Death from Below.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    We need a Consumer Reports style review setup. There are several problems with current reviews/shootouts that I see. First off how many people here ride the stock tire/bars/anything on their setups? For me personally just tires and a few PSI can result in a significantly different ride quality. Don't even get me started on wheel builds, suspension setup etc. Because of this they are not testing frame design, they are testing the bike build/wheel tire combo/etc. A bike could have the best suspension design in the world, but a crappy fork is going to throw everything off.

    Taking that into consideration, the only way to really test anything is to isolate the change. Want to test a Wreckoning vs a Rallon? Then the builds have to be consistent between them. Want to test wheels? Then they have to to be mounted on the same bike and ridden on the same trails. Believe it or not I proposed this with me paying for these things (not asking for them to buy anything for the tests) and the response I got from SEVERAL sites/publications was "We only test complete builds as they are sold from the manufacturers". That should tell you everything you need to know about how much they care about objectivity. I know of another very popular reviewer that got so frustrated with the process that he stopped doing them as well.

    It is time for a change...
    I'd like to see tires/wheels and setup taken out of the review equation. I can/will buy new tires and will probably buy different wheels. The reviews should either all use the same tire/wheels or at least the reviewers preferred tires that they're familiar with.

    I'm most interested in how the geometry/suspension feels. How does the bike climb, descend, handle, frame weight.

    And speaking of frame weight. How f'ing hard would it be for manufacturers to list frame weight for each size on their website? Jesus this should be mandatory! If their manufacturing variances are that bad that they can't at least hold to a +/- 10% range, then that's a problem.

    I know frame weight isn't the end-all-be-all, but it is a factor. Especially when carbon frames are listing for around $3000.

  11. #11
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    I love when a reviewer will take off a star cuz the bar wasn't long enough for him and the saddle was a touch hard after a couple hours. That said, I'm always amazed at how many high-end Yetis, Pivots, Santa Cruzes I see that are completely stock. As if to say, "hell, I already spent 9k on it, I ain't gonna spend a few hundred more to get a saddle I can sit on or a bar/grip that's comfy. And so what if the tires are like anchors and roll like molasses on my trails? Stock, baby, not a penny more!"

    Blistergear has some of the most honest reviews I've come across. They really go into detail about geometry, suspension, tires, etc and why they would/wouldn't spec it like the manufacturer did.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  12. #12
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    I'm a car tire engineer and I might be wrong but I suspect if you're able to select one specific tire in a certain size that is the best choice for every bike in a category then bike design isn't that important. It would be ridiculous to do that with cars (despite what the public thinks).

    I do think that it would be a good idea to have at least one pro (or former pro) mountain biker to offer their opinion in bike reviews. If the test is on an enduro bike then they should have an enduro racer review it. That way there's someone that can at least ride it like what it was meant for and talk about the actual strong and weak points rather than just 'how it felt'. Performance and 'feeling good' are not always the same thing.

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