One of those where I may very well be wrong - but do you think there are a lot of gravel and mtb focused reviews lately across the cycling mag world? Maybe it’s a reflection of hard to get parts and supplies. Nonetheless I am a little bored of those fat tire bikes given 100% of my riding is on the road.
Other thing is more cycling tips specific where I feel all reviews are done in isolation save for a couple. For example if I buy a shoe, a bike, a helmet, a tire etc. I usually do a comparison just like when I am buying a car. Why are these not a feature in reviews? It’s good to get a road cycling product review but it’s great if I get a detailed shoot out.
Lastly, I maybe the odd one out but are readers now days are so heavily gravel focused? I get super yawny at these.
- More road product reviews pls!
- No I love gravel and fine with the current mix
I guess all of this is related to market shares and what kind of bikes the manufacturers send to the medias for testing but I don’t have the data. Also nowadays a road bike can fit 30 to 32mm tires. It would have made it enter the gravel category 10 years ago. So in the end, does it really matters?
Not sure in which part of the world you are living in but I believe there is a rift between some countries/areas with a lot of gravel roads network and those that do not. Also a big difference in how traffic react to cyclists. You’ll see more people interested in gravel riding where the gravel roads are available and traffic very hostile to cyclists and cyclingtips might be biased by this.
I ride both so I don’t mind but I can see your point, I think it’s probably a product of the bike industry betting big with gravel so that’s where a lot of the R&D is going. There’s a lot more cross-over of products nowadays i.e. new Zipp 303.
Gravel bikes are simply outselling road bikes hence the focus on them by manufacturers which is then reflected by the cycling press.
A gravel bike is not just for gravel, they also makes a great commuter and are perfectly adequate on the road for the majority of cyclists. Where before someone may have bought a hybrid they’re now grabbing a gravel bike.
I think it comes down to this, most traditional road tech reviews that aim to report on nuanced ride characteristics, build quality, are kind of a joke and have been displaced by real owner reviews who have ridden the product exorbitantly more than a reviewer who gets a bike for a few weeks from a company that their employer is reliant on buying ad space. The value of the tech review is what guys like Lennard Zinn or to some extent Sheldon Brown (RIP the GOAT) pioneered which is impartial technical compatibility and capability assessment. That stuff really suits gravel quite well since the conditions you face and the way the bike is set up varies so much especially compared to road bikes.
Edit: I’ve always wondered who read shoe or touchpoint reviews in the first place. It seems like those things are so specific to the rider you’d have to try them out in person.