I don’t participate in this forum, and after this post I don’t plan to participate more. I just registered to say one thing:
I really like CyclingTips, but I mostly read it for tech content, which has become increasingly scarce over the years. The racing stuff is nice, and I know a lot of people read it and joined CyclingTips specifically for the racing content, but it’s not personally that interesting to me. I take a look at the headlines every day and see a dozen racing articles, but tech or even training articles are few and far between.
I haven’t become a member specifically for that reason. The tech content that CT produces is far superior to other cycling sites, I just want a lot more of it.
I agree, those well written and thoroughly explained tech articles are a bit scarce these days. Granted, stuff like explaining bike geometry doesn’t require constant updates, but that was what drew me here in the first place, too.
Yep same feeling here. The main draw was always cycling “tips” and their bike reviews. With Caley coming on board it has like shifted 90% to racing. Even the reviews that come are so much on the gravel side that there is very little for the old Cycling Tips reader now.
Hm. I wouldn’t want CT to give attention to every little thing that launches. I’ve found that they’ve covered most major tech releases. Is there a product that was covered by other sites but not CT?
But I’m also mainly here for the tech, and I agree that techies aren’t nearly as well-catered to. Could just be that there simply is more racing than there is tech.
Ok I disagree with that assessment. When did you last see an Italian road bike or anything European
being reviewed. Infact I want less coverage of pure new releases that are just PR scripts being read out and focus on actual in-depth bike reviews.
All I read are repeat reviews of the same specialised products over and over. First specialised releases a new product there is a press release. Then they recall a product there is a press release and an article. Then they bring out a replacement there is a press release. It’s the same cycle. In between there are some rare road bike reviews - from trek or cervelo. Rest is all gravel.
I have rarely seen a group test. I have rarely seen to them do European brands.
Look at the old cycling tips archive and see the variety of interesting bikes they used to cover. Now 99% is just 10 stories milking the weekend race.
A good point well made. Most of the reviews on CT are thorough and interesting, and I’d like to see more of them. I also think more European brands and group tests would be an excellent idea.
I agree with the OPs sentiment. I really wish they did group reviews like Gran Fondo mag does each year.
At the same time, I feel we are in peak bike, with everyone’s offerings more or less the same. The main differentiator between bike now aside from branding and color ways is long term reliability and customer support. To assess that, other forums like weight weenies which have a large base of users of that particular bike are better.
Yes those Gran FONDO group tests are a cut above everyone else at the moment including Cycling Tips. They really give a feel to the reader about the intricacies of the bike as if one is test riding it themselves.
There are lots of things CT can do to create more tech content with not a huge amount of effort:
- What happened to reader’s bicycle articles? I loved those.
- Maybe some really well written reviews of routes or destinations around the world?
- Maybe some genuine training content? Interviews with coaches? People who design the algorithms around Trainer Road etc? Comparison among the various indoor training systems?
- More component reviews? I’m totally fine with both detailed reviews and press releases with intelligent commentary
- Some genuine “best of” articles – you see these all over the place, of course, but when you actually look at a “best road pedal” article it’s just a list of the specs of every available pedal.
- Although I’m a typical cyclist, how about a lot more for people who don’t fit the traditional mold of cyclists? I saw you did a couple articles on Marley Blonsky, why don’t you get her to write an actual regular column?
- Take some of the interesting discussions you have on Nerd Alert and turn them into articles
- What happened to the Angry Asian? I loved those too
Of course, I’d also love in-depth reviews of groups of bikes (a la Gran Fondo). The suggestions above though are a lot simpler to implement than a giant test of multiple bikes.
Again take this in the spirit of constructive criticism. The racing content is fine, but honestly there are at least 5 websites that have the same stuff. I want to subscribe to CT, I really do, but the stuff I really want to see has become really scarce. Going back in the archives there was a ton of great content…it’s just not happening any more.
I just went and looked at the most recent issue after reading this, everything in Gran Fondo makes me want to go out ride. The photography is amazing and everyone looks like they are having the best time ever. The text is short and to the point. I think I would pay for a print edition of Gran Fondo if they had it.
Contrast that with CT which has a bunch of race results I don’t care about, and the clinical multi page reviews, which are becoming fewer and fewer.
I would definitely read a comprehensive review of the commercially available paint jobs available from mainstream manufacturers. I’m not saying it would be the number one factor in deciding what to buy, but I’m not saying it wouldn’t.
It has been almost a whole week since the “Angry Asian” himself wrote an article about the latest releases and future plans of the main remaining European component manufacturer, and there was an article about a new high end bike from some company named Colnago a little bit before that….I think the large amount of race coverage could be related to it being May and there being a large amount of races going on. I would like to see more riding different areas or training articles , but the pandemic/supply chain issue is probably making the tech reviews harder. It also seems like there may be some working out of the Outside structure regarding coverage overlap between publications still going on.
Sympathetic to the points raised above (while giving a thumbs up to cool tool Tuesday ) to which I would just add Bikes of the Bunch as one of my faves.
Seriously, the tech content is outstanding just a little thin on the ground lately.
While I agree with a lot written here, I sincerely hope CT doesn’t go the way of Granfondo. Their writing never really vibes with me (I read it in German, the English version might be better), I detest the Bro-culture, and of course they love to test the most expensive version of every bike available.
Granted, the latter is also due to manufacturers preferring to send their halo bikes in for review, but still. I look at their stuff from time to time and I agree that the concept of group reviews is a good one, but I dislike their execution of it. Plus, CT has done these group reviews, too. Availability, as has been pointed out above, most likely is a huge factor at the moment.
Still, I consider CT’s reviews the best around, a far-cry from the usual raving advertorials, and I’d love to see more.
By an Aethos, in the paint free carbon finish
I used to subscribe to GranFondo. I do like the reviews, but - and perhaps it’s just something lost in translation- there is a hint of the too cool for school/flannel shirt bro/‘lifestyle’ that doesn’t chime with me.
I have to agree with the sentiment of the thread, a bit more tech content and reviews please.
On the subtopic, GranFondo, it doesn’t do it for me either; it’s all a bit too try-hard and ‘vibe’ driven rather than objective
Agree on your point on gran FONDO’s BRO culture. It gives me the creeps too. But I do really enjoy their group tests because ultimately that’s how we buy bikes I guess - comparing a set.
Yep I just opened VeloNews after like 1 year and frankly now it looks like a carbon copy of Cycling tips. Or maybe Cycling Tips has become a carbon copy of VeloNews. Same 10 articles milking and squeezing the weekend / GC race. Why would Outside want to 2 identical magazines to exist in their group beats me. Why can’t CYCLING TIPS focus back on “cycling tips” the way it was back in the day and leave the racing to VeloNews? Of course carry race coverage just tone down the focus on it from 90% to say 50-50.
I wonder how many responders here are from the United States? Now that other posters mention it point it out, I can definitely see where your coming from with Gran Fondo having a “bro” vibe. I didn’t notice it though because it’s relatively subdued compared to so much other sports marketing here.
Still, they definitely have had wayyyyy more reviews than CT for both gravel and road. Even though it is the top tier bikes, I find it generally the comparisons are valid for lower tier models.