When you are ready to purchase a mountain bike, if you are like most mountain bikers, you start reading mountain bike reviews. You may have found, however, that not all mountain bike reviews are accurate – or even honest! The fact of the matter is that some dealers and even manufacturers actually pay people to write good reviews – of bikes that the reviewer has never even had the opportunity to ride!
There are countless sites that carry reviews of various mountain bikes. Some of the sites are very dependable and others simply cannot be counted on. It’s hard for the average mountain biker to know who to believe – beginner bikers who have yet to make their first mountain bike purchase don’t stand a chance!
If you are looking for reviews, stick to the sites and publications that can be counted on for accurate and valuable information. Most print publications have accurate reviews. When reading one of these reviews, it is important to look on the edges of the page for very tiny print that says ‘advertisement.’ If you see that, you can be sure that this is not a real review you are reading. It is an advertisement disguised as a review. Its purpose is to get you to buy the bike – not to point out both the pros and the cons! Move on!
When looking for reviews online, stick to the better known online magazines such as Singletrack, GearHead, Mountain Bike Review, and Mountain Bike. These are the online magazines that will give you the most accurate information in terms of reviews. You will also find the latest mountain biking news, as well as quite a bit of information on races and trails. These four websites are vitally important to serious bikers.
Of course the best reviews are the ones that you get from other bikers, in person. When you see a mountain biker on the trail riding a bike that you are interested in, take the time to talk to them. Tell them that you are planning to purchase that particular bike, and ask them what they like about it, and what they don’t like. Find groups of mountain bikers in the parks, and try to talk to them when they are taking a break. This way, you won’t be interfering with their ride, and you can get several different ‘in person’ reviews.
Ask as many questions as you possibly can – but try not to keep irritate them by keeping them from enjoying their ride. After speaking with them – or before – sit back and watch them ride. You aren’t watching their technique – although that may be interesting – what you want to watch for is how well the bike handles. Seeing the bike in action is the second best review that you can possibly have – the first best review you can get is your very own review!
As your interest in a particular bike grows, you will want to try one out for yourself. You can test ride bikes that are for sale in bike shops, but you can’t really put them through the motions well enough in a ‘test ride’ situation to learn what you need to know. Your best option is to test ride a friend’s bike. Take it out for a day, and see what it can do in relation to what you can do with it. Give it a great workout, and by the end of the day, you will know enough about the bike to write your very own review.
Do your part in the mountain biking community by contributing your own reviews to the websites that allow consumers to submit mountain bike reviews. Be clear in your writing, and honest in your opinions. Make sure that you have your facts straight, and be sure that you distinguish between opinion and fact! You will be doing many other mountain bikers a huge favor by submitting your honest – and accurate – mountain bike review!