Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    New question here. Are professional bike reviews trustworthy?

    tl;dr: Can you trust professional bike reviews?

    People seem to give a lot of weight to professional bike reviews such as those found in magazines and on websites, and probably with good reason, for how else are you gonna compare 10 different bikes against each other without traveling around half the country?

    I would also suspect that those bikes who come out on top in the reviews sell a lot better than those who do less well, and the fact that mountain bikes are big business, you can start to wonder if the bike reviews are actually fair and objective and not just based on who's willing to pay the most for a good review. And if the reviewers gets paid to write a good review, are they even obliged to tell us that they were paid? All of these questions makes me think that the road from authentic bike magazine to advertisement disguised as bike magazine isn't very far. Does anyone else know anything about how trustworthy bike reviews are?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Coal-Cracker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Bike magazines are printed through advertising dollars. If a bike mag gives a bad review of a particular brand, is that brand going to renew the following advertising contract?

    This is the case in most industries. I'm familiar with the firearms industry as it has been one of my hobbies for many years. You'll read a glowing review of a product, then on the next page a full page ad for that same reviewed product. Coincidence?

    In the firearms' world there is a review magazine independent of advertising, but it is expensive as there are no advertising dollars to support the printing and distribution of the magazine. The total cost falls on the consumer. I'm not aware of any magazine like that in the bike industry.

  3. #3
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Don't believe everything you read. Believe everything you ride, yourself...
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  4. #4
    AZ is offline
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ask me, you can believe me.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Advertising and editorial content are constantly at odds with one another. I don't know of any mainstream mags that will come right out and say.."save your money, this bike's a POS."

    With that said....there are very few POS bikes out there now days. Its a wonderful time to be a consumer. Another item to consider is that many riders who are a year or two or three into the sport don't really have a clue as to what they really want or need. So these folks are influenced by the oftentimes mindless editorial cheerleading by some magazines. As I mature as a rider I have become aware of what my riding style and trails direct me towards regarding equipment. Hope that makes sense.
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
    MTBR Discounts

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Page 449's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    I don't put too much weight on any single review. I scour the web and use the consensus review of a bike as a more accurate measure. Throw out the high and the low and look at the majority opinion in the middle. I suspect most bike (and gun, and car, etc) magazines try to honestly separate content from ads, but they are human. Unintentional bias probably creeps in despite their efforts to avoid it. How many of us root for the home team simply because we are familiar with it and it's what we see all the time. Same with enthusiast magazines. If they end up testing/riding a lot of Specialized bikes they probably get used to Specialized and become friends with the manufacturer simply by frequent association. Unintentional bias is a byproduct of that relationship. Human nature. That doesn't make them corrupt. It makes them human.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Tystevens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Who knows?

    I do know that the last two bikes I've owned (Spesh Enduro and Jamis Dakar XLT) received very high mag reviews, and more than matched those reviews in my opinion. For whatever that is worth ...
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  8. #8
    nimble biker
    Reputation: Picard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I read about a dozen reviews online and test ride it myself before buying it.

  9. #9
    Pro Crastinator
    Reputation: .WestCoastHucker.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    a lot of times, reviews are written by people like us. (i have written up many) i've never worked for a mag and never received a dollar for any of them. just the pleasure (or dis-pleasure) of having the bike to abuse for a few weeks. every review i've written up has been published pretty much word for word as i'd written it...

  10. #10
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I'll tell you the truth for $65.88.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OmaHaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    The mountain bicycle industry is a lot like the windsurfing industry in that it really doesn't matter what the "pros" use. And most times it doesn't really matter what rag-reviews say. Entry-level stuff comes in a package. By the time someone reaches "mid-level" they are picky and know what works for them. Then if you are a pro, most times someone else is deciding what you ride and you choose the details. If you are handy and like building things, odds are you are picky and are going onzeee-twoozee on equipment.

    In the end, rags usually don't matter to the majority of folks. Their LBS or their friends matter far more. What they have direct access to is usually what they end up with. The Internet broadened the reach and access to product brands and pricing. But still, people tend to trust a good LBS.

    I have been riding since 1990 and I have never purchased an MTB rag. I do research online when I am looking for something a little different. But I'll never open a mag... two reasons:

    1. There isn't a book store that carries them.
    2. The Internet is better.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

Similar Threads

  1. Xtreme Bike And Sport...Trustworthy??
    By kevinboyer in forum Where are the Best Deals?
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-28-2014, 07:34 PM
  2. Professional bike fit question...
    By xfimpg in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 06-15-2013, 11:25 AM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-02-2012, 07:57 PM
  4. Professional Bike Fit around Charlotte?
    By mgcook in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-05-2012, 04:09 PM
  5. Professional musicians who mountain bike
    By Finch Platte in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-08-2011, 07:34 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts



VISIT US AT and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.