Homepage Specialized Content

Current Homepage:
2 of 5 Tech articles are Specialized.
3 of 4 Videos are Specialized.
Of all the brands in cycling, Specialized outnumbers them all (there are 3 featured against the Big S’ 5 total).

Tech and Video sections are the only two categories with Brand names in the headline. The Videos have been there for a long while.
I will grant it’s highly likely to be a coincidence. But it’s not a great look with Specialized’s investment stake in CT.

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And all those same items are reviewed on other websites…it is about the release date of the products, not some sinister plot between Specialized and CT.

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And the thing that kills me is that they aren’t even advertising with us.

Specialized makes interesting products frequently, and have very good PR people who are very proactive about sending us stuff, giving us access, and educating us about their products. It’s as simple as that.

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So if Specialized, one of the biggest cycling companies in the world announce something new, CT shouldn’t cover it if there’s already a Specialized item on the home page?

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Make the world Specialized

When I was a kid I thought Specialized was cool

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Ok, so you raise an interesting opportunity here and also open yourselves up to criticism. Some notes:

  1. Your response makes CT sound lazy (I know you aren’t), but it basically reads like “we wait for brands to send us stuff and feature whomever is most aggressive”, instead of “we seek out the most interesting stuff you probably haven’t heard of and feature that”

  2. Video takes time to make. One of the videos was on pro bikes. How there isn’t an editorial decision around that surprises me.

  3. Lots of companies make interesting products regularly. There must be literally a hundred new models of gravel shoes out this year. Like, 100! The problem is not the amount of new product that can be covered.

  4. Maybe people want to hear about Specialized more, maybe it gets more clicks. But it’s a chicken and egg thing.

I guess my challenge back to you is, why not make more effort to feature under-the-radar or more proactively select a range of brands to cover, rather than get sucked in by the machine as you just admitted you have.

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I think the math is pretty simple on the number of new products released by all the cycling companies in the world and the percentage of them being Specialized vs. the percentage focus on Specialized that is disconnected. I think Trek releases a similar amount of product, as but ONE competitive example. At some stage it just feels like a massive disconnect. And I think that homepage did not reflect the marketplace in terms of major brands, let alone lesser ones.

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Yeah I wish they would do a more variety of tech reviews and have more brand comparisons. A brand shoot out in a particular category will for example automatically cover other brands as well. It can’t be that hard. I have hardly seen a review from CT on even popular brands such as Colnago, Pinarello etc. it’s just the usual brands of trek, specialised, moots, etc. that are close to home.

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On your second point here, I believe Spesh sponsors more pro teams than any other brand (maybe bar Canyon?) so how do you propose to avoid them in a video about the bikes pros ride?

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I feel Colnago deserved a one year benching after the NFT nonsense last year, but there were three or four other articles anyway.

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Wait til you see the Outside NFTs CT was just pushing on IG. Lol. God awful.

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I thought you were mistakenly referencing Iain’s article making fun of the Tom Boonen glasses NFTs. Nope, they’re both there.

And you know what? This proves the editorial independence of CyclingTips! Even though their corporate parent is pushing NFTs For Some Reason, CT can run articles saying, basically, this is stupid.

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Yeah, I know they all individually clown on NFTs, and it does seem obvious that this is coming from above…just feels icky. I do like your positive interpretation that because they are independent they will still make fun of such things, even when corporate is asking them to take The Company Line and promote the things on social media platforms.

It would be cool to see our subscription fees going to CyclingTips purchasing more equipment for review vs. solely relying on loaners from companies. There are so many brands that never get any coverage.

And I would love to see bikes reviewed with the same groupset/wheelset so there can be an apples to apples comparison.

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well, you have got your Colnago on the homepage today, and some more NFTs as well!

But no review :wink:

I’m not saying don’t. They don’t constitute the majority of the peloton. My point is that simple.