Forum home Mountain biking forum The Crudcatcher

Roadie tests in WMB - what the f*!K?

jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,005
edited March 2008 in The Crudcatcher
For the love of god, why did WMB feel obliged to do a group test of roadie bikes in this months issue? If I wanted to buy a road bike (which i kinda do...) i'd read What Roadie Magazine or summat!

MBUK do reviews of dirt bikes etc which dont really (technically) count as MTB's (steady, you all know thats true!) - is the road bikes thing WMB's reply in the other direction? Next month MBR are gonna do a shopping basket group test - is wicker the new carbon fibre...?

Some of the mags seem to be running out of ideas quite frankly.

Rant over...

Are bike mags vanishing up their own asses? 0 votes

Yes
0% 0 votes
No
0% 0 votes
«1

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Yeah, some bits of it annoy me. I'd love a bit more technical and mechanical side of things rather than what bikes the people there are riding, as i quite frankly dont care. Some more techniques and the suchlike would be appreciated. I am considering cancelling my subs..... and restarting when a good signup offer comes along.
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    haven't got the mag yet,but really? road bikes?! what the hell! deffo sounds like somebody ran out of ideas i mean the mags called what mountain bike ffs. I mean i wanna road bike (shhhh) but can't afford one, but if i wanted to see reviews on them i'd go buy another mag! sort it out wmb!
    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,005
    Given the readership of WMB/MBUK etc there must be loads of people who could put together or suggest decent articles beyond the normal "We went here on our £3K bikes and jumped about a bit in the same manner as the last 300 issues now bend over and smile as i take your £3.95 you sucker" attempts with the same tired reviews of increasingly trivial equipment - Which Cable Grommet for rigid SS 29er DH's with 9" of travel along your local tow path?

    I didnt actually realise this kinda thing annoyed me so much - I should never had registered!
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    Granted there are some silly articles but maybe coz there are so many mags dealin with the same thing they end up with thinner and thinner content. i agree that alot more skill and tech pages wouldn't go amiss though.
    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • xcracerxcracer Posts: 298
    "Which Cable Grommet for rigid SS 29er DH's with 9" of travel along your local tow path?"

    I think that was in Singletrack actually.

    Yes, I would like to have some more ideas for places to ride (including maps), some coaching tips and some reviews of stuff that I might actually buy.

    I have no interest in £3500 superbikes that only (loaded) elite racers are going to buy. Maybe make that a quater of a page but not three pages.
  • Thanks for the feedback folks. There's a lot to go through here, so here goes...

    First of all, WMB is - as you may have noticed - going through a development phase currently. We're tweaking here and there, putting new sections in place (these are currently in development and include - amongst others - a major routes section with maps which we hope will be the most usable and comprehensive going, as well as a completely new Buyers Guide. The issue we're just putting to bed now (WMB80 - on-sale 6th Feb) also has the first of an all-new Skills series and treatment that we hope will be just the ticket to help all levels of rider get the best from their riding). So we're not short of ideas right now - indeed, we've more than we can cram into the magazine - but it takes time to get things right before we make them live. But any feedback about exactly what kinds of things you guys are wanting/in need of are always welcome: we don't sit in an Ivory Tower after all - we're just an e-mail or phone-call away. Given our development work currently, it's even more critical to us that we hear comments from readers like yourselves.If we're missing the mark then we need to know - everyone needs a check and balance after all.

    So to answer your questions, the Green Lane Black Top test was precisely that: not a road bike test (indeed, there's only one true road bike in there - the Cervelo) but a test of bikes that mountain bikers would find of interest from recognised mountain bike brands (Specialized, Kona and Charge). Of course, not all the content in the magazine will flick every single reader's switches, so why did we do this?

    Well, increasingly many mountain bikers are buying road or cyclo-cross bikes as a second bike for a variety of reasons: from commuting to fitness, touring, through to winter hack bikes and beyond. Plus, given that many riders in particularly sensitive areas tend to either ride further afield or hop onto the tarmac during some of the winter in order to conserve their fragile trails, this test was slanted to reflect this as part of what was originally going to be our Green Themed issue (which unfortunately had to be shelved at the last minute due to a freelancer letting us down on a lynch-pin feature). Of course, I'm not suggesting that every single mountain biker does buy or ride a road bike (which is why the test was not the main bike test in the issue), but due to the increasing sales of these kinds of bikes to mountain bikers was a one-off test that was included to cater and offer insight into this. It's not something that will be appearing regularly or even annually.

    So what else? The Cannondale Scalpel Alu vs Carbon test... Yes, they're in the super bike league but this test was a special - not something we'll be doing every single month at all. Indeed, it took up our First Ride slot to get it into the magazine. But we are actively working on ensuring that there is a full and representative spread of both price points, genre of bikes and product that will be of the most interest and use to readers going forward. That's the aim of course but the litmus test will be when you guys - as with all our readers - pick up the magazine and judge it for yourselves. There's still work to be done...

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    Well hate to disagree but I found it really interesting.
    Anyone that "only" MTBs is blinkered in the extreme.

    In fact I like the mag so much, I have just subscribed.

    Keep up the good work Matt and cheers for the "Call of the Wild" reply! :wink::D
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • SickbedSickbed Posts: 73
    I'm glad someone else found it a great feature, cos I did too. The trails are censored at present so I spend most of my time riding little country lanes. It's fairly slow going on my MTB but fast fun on a cross bike, and you can take short cuts along bridleways too. It was good to read about that Cervelo too. The Paris Roubaix may be a road race but the course would put most MTBers skills to shame.
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    Sickbed - agreed.

    I trail run a lot too but doesn't mean I ignore any developments in road running!
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • Not Impressed!!! I have a Mountain Bike and a Road Bike and now have to find more money to buy a cyclo cross cos they look fun.

    If you don't like an article close your eyes flick forward a few pages then continue.
    "BEER" Proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,287
    Well I read and enjoyed the article and lunch time found me in a bike shop looking at a Spesh Tricross........
    NOT getting one, just the idea did appeal!

    BTW saw a chap at the Cheddar Challenge on a tricross bike putting in seriously quick lap times on a relatively technical and also muddy course - these bikes are very definitely not for sissies!
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,005
    Cheers for the official answer - nice to know somebody cares! :lol:

    I can see your point about the test of things that may be of interest and I actually found the article quite interesting. My main point (which I didn't make any mention of) was that if this was an Intro to... kinda piece it would have made more sense to do it a more basic price point. How many people would spend that amount of money on a fairly specialised second bike? I'd happily read about £600 all rounders ie cannondale bad-boy etc as its the kind of thing I could (easily) be talked into buying.

    Anyway, maybe its highlighted the point that WMB readers could have more say on the content as far as suggestions etc go. I realise that you can't please all the people all of the time but if all the people felt their opinions were at least noted then maybe some "outside the box" (sorry for dodgy management speak - don't know how else to phrase it!) ideas might get developed.
  • I didn't like it.... :evil: it says mountain bike in the title, if i opened a tin of beans and found peas i wouldn't be happy....(best i could come up with this time of night..)

    At least it's not like another mainstream mag, (not mbuk), that have their heads stuck firmly up specialized's censored though.... :wink:

    But what has happened to the shop stop feature..?? liked that one..
    thinking happy thoughts....before the pixies steal them..

    www.homersbikes.co.uk
  • Jonny,

    I'm afraid that Shop Stop is no more: our new buyers guide will be rolled out soon and will be 100% brand spanking new and useable and beneficial as a real buying resource - it'll have both the best bikes and components and accessories listed and rated (rather than just bikes). It'll be bigger so we've been looking at what pages are essential and what aren't in order for it to be the best buyers guide going. And I'm afraid that Shop Stop doesn't make the cut. Still, there'll be lots to get your teeth into elsewhere of course and there'll be more news on all this very soon...

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • jam1e wrote:
    Cheers for the official answer - nice to know somebody cares! :lol:

    Anyway, maybe its highlighted the point that WMB readers could have more say on the content as far as suggestions etc go. I realise that you can't please all the people all of the time but if all the people felt their opinions were at least noted then maybe some "outside the box" (sorry for dodgy management speak - don't know how else to phrase it!) ideas might get developed.

    Always care and it's good to get feedback too. The aim of the game is to please as many people as possible: like I said earlier, there's still work to be done but we're getting there. Of course, what we're working on now will take a little while to trickle through to you guys but bear with us and let us know how it's going down. You guys haven't been shy about that after all ;-) But it's appreciated.

    Onwards, as it were...

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • thank you for the quick answer Matt.... look forward to the new pages.

    Guess really it must be quite hard to come up with new stuff. It's not like mountain biking is taking massive leaps anymore, just evolving steady and quietly...

    Wifi said she would like to see more womens stuff tested though.
    thinking happy thoughts....before the pixies steal them..

    www.homersbikes.co.uk
  • Actually, the ideas part is relatively simple: it's cramming it all into a limited number of pages that's the interesting bit...

    Yep, women's stuff is noted and we'll be making efforts to get it covered so stay tuned.

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Cant please everyone, can you! I was a little suprised to see the article, but as there were 6 bikes tested elsewhere, I viewed it as an 'extra' rather than replacing the normal MTB tests. And I think a little variation like this, as long as it doesnt detract from the normal content or replace, is a good thing. Now I wish MBR would do the same. If I see another 5-6 inch, full suss bike test at 2k I think I will scream - do they ride anything else?!
  • Don't blame Skins for the 'Green Lanes Black Top' feature. That was my idea ;-)
    Sometimes it's good to challenge the reader perception of what a mag should be, if only to get people talking! As Supersonic says in a round about way, too much predictability can be boring. Some of us see ourselves as mountain bikers first, cyclists second. Some of us just see ourselves as people who ride bikes. Either way, the core of WMB will always be MTB but we're happy to celebrate anything else that helps to keep us away from the battleground that normal roads seem to have become.
    Steve
    Tech Director
    WMB & MBUK
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,005
    So what would people like to see in the mag? (WMB)

    Personally, I like the idea of going biking in the alps etc but all day xc stuff - why not ask for submissions from people that have been then do a "round-up" of them. Whenever they normally get done its a single company focusing on DH/FR and the reviews are not exactly critical - granted, when you've spent a (free?) week with people who's company you enjoyed your unlikely to criticise them much. Ordinary punters might see things in a different light.
  • Funny you should say that as that's exactly what we've got coming in issue WMB80 (on-sale 6th Feb)... An epic cross-country trail ride on the Tour de Passport around the Passport du Soleil region in the Alps, but out of season and without using chairlifts. It's 100% pure big day XC-style mountain riding without the crowds for a 'Passport to Solitude'... And before you ask, it doesn't use any holiday companies or anything: just our writer/photographer, a bunch of riders and the local maps.

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I'd like to see the new Zaskar Carbon tested. Rather predictably... More budget fork tests, and I mean real budget, down to Darts and stuff - is a common question on here (and 8spd kit too)
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    Agreed - cheaper fork tests would be good (just so I can see of the wife's Rebas are considered amy good!), plus a few "porn bike" tests like the Zaskar Carbon - but I guess it's hard to get hold of these.

    Any rides in the South West would be ideal (most seem to be SE/Midlands/Lake District biased) as would any fitness/ cross training stuff.

    I do think it's a very good mag though - really like the lack of price elitism seen in other mags, especially Singletrack - where any bike under £2k is considered "budget"
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • Good news then: we've a budget fork test pencilled in so that'll be working its way to you in a future issue.

    Our sister title MBUK tested the Zasker Carbon for a first ride recently and it came out well. In fact, it's an awesome little hardtail. It was in their 2008 Preview Supplement in MBUK218. I tried searching for the review on-line but it's not up I'm afraid.

    Matt
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    Matt - just noticed that Alex Prince is in this months fitness feature (with that Fi bird) - he's a mate of mine (although more a mate of a mate) from Bristol - small world!

    Just seen that £5200 Scott bike ad too- now THAT is one hell of a bike!

    Great Blackburn pump by the way :D
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • Yep, he's an osteopath so I think Fi sees him fairly regularly as she's also an adventure racer. The world is small, but good...

    The Spark LTD is reslutely a superbike: the Spark 10 (without the integrated seat post) is a rock solid XC race and marathon bike that we tested a year ago or so in WMB65, Jan 2007. Got a gold award and hugely impressed, although at £3799 it's certainly no cheap option...
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    I know pretty much every osteopath in Bristol - very tight knit working community there.

    The Spark do look rather tasty.

    How long has the mag been going? I must be blind and very daft because I've only very recently "discovered" it.

    It's a good 'un though - wish we had something along similar lines in my "main" sport of surfing - it's all ad filled rubbish will little or no content to read and virtually nothing on UK surfing - even in UK mags.
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • The mag's been going for seven/almost eight years. First as a quarterly, then bi-monthly and then for the last five years as a monthly (well, thirteen issues a year). So it's been here a wee while, but we're always trying our damndest to improve it, listen to feedback, and sharpen it all up.

    A few guys here in the office surf fairly regularly so there's often a few surfer mags lying around. Not quite the same as getting wet of course...
    Editor
    What Mountain Bike
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    That's me surfing (very pixellated) in my avatar (got a proper version saved though) last October - great fun.

    Waves on the way for this weekend too - anyway, must stop blathering on and get on with some work (co-running a PR firm apparently!)!
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,005
    Today I bought a heavily discounted specialized langster. I apolologise for the anti roadie bike rant which started this thread - i am now on my way to the dark (er) side. :shock:
Sign In or Register to comment.