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Straining credulity in CN reviews

Jul 27, 2009
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I don't doubt that Bouwmeester make good-quality wheels. But this good?

At an actual weight of just 1,020g for the pair, the effect on climbing speed is about what one would expect. We beat a personal best on a favourite 10km-long climb in the outskirts of Adelaide, Australia by nearly three minutes – in less than ideal conditions.

That wheelset can't be more than a kilogram lighter than the reviewer's standard set, unless their standard set is one of those snow wheelsets featured on the winter riding thread :) Nor would it be significantly more aerodynamic than their usual wheel, given its very shallow rim depth. Given all that, under what laws of physics is this wheelset going to offer a gain of three minutes, or even 30 seconds, over a climb of that length (and an average gradient around 5%)?

One might get all lawyerly and say the review didn't actually claim that the wheels were responsible for the entire speed improvement, but the clear implication was that the wheels were in large part responsible for the reviewer breaking his personal record on that hillcimb by a very large margin.

How are we to take anything said in CN reviews seriously when such obvious hyperbole makes it on to the website without being filtered out in the editing process?
 
Mar 14, 2009
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If you don't believe the facts as stated, then what's the point in reading CN any more?

Compared to an aluminium clincher wheelset with normal tyres, it IS perfectly reasonable that these wheels could be 1kg lighter.

Also, if you tested the wheels & and at the top of the climb found that you were 2.5mins faster - what would you report?

However, I doubt that if the tester rode the climb a further 10 times using both wheelsets, that the difference would be that great. It was a general review & not a scientific speed test, so I wasn't expecting that.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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heh, I was thinking the same thing. If I were reviewing them and I noticed this kind of improvement, I would conclude that my previous best was not an accurate indicator and not mention the specific time improvement.

Just ignore the time and focus on the subjective stuff, which is really all the reviewer should have mentioned unless he was willing to ride the hill again a few days later with his old wheels (which I wouldn't reasonably expect from a reviewer).
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Milessio said:
If you don't believe the facts as stated, then what's the point in reading CN any more?

Do I believe the reviewer beat his climb record up the hill? Yes. Do I think the wheels made more than a few seconds difference? No way.

And, most importantly of all, do I think both the journalist and the CN editorial staff should understand the physics of cycling well enough to know that such a claim is utterly impossible? Yes.

Compared to an aluminium clincher wheelset with normal tyres, it IS perfectly reasonable that these wheels could be 1kg lighter.

I was quoting 1 kg as a reasonable upper bound of the difference in weight between a basic aluminium clincher wheelset and these.

My point is that there's no way a 1kg difference in wheel weight could save you more than a few seconds up a climb of that steepness.

Also, if you tested the wheels & and at the top of the climb found that you were 2.5mins faster - what would you report?

I'd first assume that there was some other factor to explain it, and to avoid looking like an idiot I wouldn't quote the number.

And if I couldn't find any other obvious explanation factor, I'd want to have another go the next day to see if I could repeat the effort. Because if the wheel really did offer that magnitude of advantage that would be huge news.

Then I would start looking to see whether Mr. Bouwmeester had somehow fitted an electric motor into the wheel, because that's the only possible source of an improvement of that magnitude.

However, I doubt that if the tester rode the climb a further 10 times using both wheelsets, that the difference would be that great. It was a general review & not a scientific speed test, so I wasn't expecting that.

Fine. Then the article should have stuck to "general review" type comments.

My view is that reviewers should try to separate the real advantages that quality gear can offer, from the marketing hype and misconceptions that surround much cycling equipment. Not contribute to it.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Did Bicycling Magazine buy a controlling interest in cyclingnews.com? They publish "reviews" all the time and get all orgasmic over marginally lighter stuff of questionable practicality.

If it costs more and weighs less, it must be great.

If it never breaks and takes literally years to wear out, well then it can't be any good, because if it were any good, you'd have to replace it every season . . . at a premium.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Rice Daddy said:
Did Bicycling Magazine buy a controlling interest in cyclingnews.com?

No ProCycling did, hence the move to personality based dumbed down news and lightwieght reviews. It sucks CN gets the Procycling level of crappy journalism, but not the one good section of ProCycling, the Plastic Peloton People!
 
rgmerk said:
Do I believe the reviewer beat his climb record up the hill? Yes. Do I think the wheels made more than a few seconds difference? No way.

And, most importantly of all, do I think both the journalist and the CN editorial staff should understand the physics of cycling well enough to know that such a claim is utterly impossible? Yes.



I was quoting 1 kg as a reasonable upper bound of the difference in weight between a basic aluminium clincher wheelset and these.

My point is that there's no way a 1kg difference in wheel weight could save you more than a few seconds up a climb of that steepness.



I'd first assume that there was some other factor to explain it, and to avoid looking like an idiot I wouldn't quote the number.

And if I couldn't find any other obvious explanation factor, I'd want to have another go the next day to see if I could repeat the effort. Because if the wheel really did offer that magnitude of advantage that would be huge news.

Then I would start looking to see whether Mr. Bouwmeester had somehow fitted an electric motor into the wheel, because that's the only possible source of an improvement of that magnitude.



Fine. Then the article should have stuck to "general review" type comments.

My view is that reviewers should try to separate the real advantages that quality gear can offer, from the marketing hype and misconceptions that surround much cycling equipment. Not contribute to it.

They gotta justify those freebie wheels!!
 
They should be called unpaid ads. I agree and more importantly the laws of physics agree that most of the information was utter nonsense. Empirical claims need to be back up with empirical data, not "feelings' and marketing lingo. Write a review and do the background research or do not write anything beyond comments on the aesthetics of the product.
 
Dec 7, 2009
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Bouwmeester Hors Categorie wheelset

Great article! However, I'm wondering about a couple things:
1. how are the hidden nipples secured in the rim? are they nipple to carbon? (GOD NO!) or is there a metal securing device to take the edge (literally) off of this union of nipple to rim?

2. what kind of cassette bodies are available? the aluminum is ****e. as we can see from the photos generated, the cassette body was damaged/gashed by the cassette. the contributor should have used a cassette with 1-piece spline. I would hope that Boumeeester offers a titanium cassette body to avoid this problem

RR
 
Jul 14, 2009
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badboyberty said:
No ProCycling did, hence the move to personality based dumbed down news and lightwieght reviews. It sucks CN gets the Procycling level of crappy journalism, but not one good section of ProCycling, the Plastic Peloton People!

In the US Procycling is $10 and it's a month old when we get it. We Road and Velonews which both shake pompoms for the Columbia and Garmin teams 75% of the time. Silly me I buy it because we have nothing else
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I see that today we get another review, this time of the Van Dessel Rivet which they seem to think is 'value-packed' at $5,499! The frameset is $1,999 -over 50% more than a Cervelo S1 which, admittedly, is not an out-and-out crit bike but more than good enough for 95% of the guys in the pack at the local kermesse. What friggin' planet are these guys living on? Not that I'm interested but I ask you :mad:
 
Mar 19, 2009
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LugHugger said:
I see that today we get another review, this time of the Van Dessel Rivet which they seem to think is 'value-packed' at $5,499! The frameset is $1,999 -over 50% more than a Cervelo S1 which, admittedly, is not an out-and-out crit bike but more than good enough for 95% of the guys in the pack at the local kermesse. What friggin' planet are these guys living on? Not that I'm interested but I ask you :mad:

Value Packed (marketing terms in general) = Snake Oil

snake20oil20salesman_1.jpg
 
Mar 19, 2009
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If someone is determined enough to do the legwork, or have any friends in the industry, you can get a blank carbon F/F from Dedacciai or Columbus, who supply many bike co's, for usually half the price of what they cost with paint and decals. Plus you're getting a race proven product.

No BS marketing terms, middlemen, hideous liveries and brand names to artificially inflate the cost of goods.

http://www.dedacciai.net/eng-frame-cycle-technology/cycling-technology-frames.php

http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_5_3.htm
 
Jul 27, 2009
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LugHugger said:
I see that today we get another review, this time of the Van Dessel Rivet which they seem to think is 'value-packed' at $5,499! The frameset is $1,999 -over 50% more than a Cervelo S1 which, admittedly, is not an out-and-out crit bike but more than good enough for 95% of the guys in the pack at the local kermesse. What friggin' planet are these guys living on? Not that I'm interested but I ask you :mad:

It depends on your definition of "value".

It might be good value in the same way a Nissan GT-R is good value - it's 80 grand, but it blows away any sports car short of a $130,000 Porsche 911 Turbo.

But, yes, one has to wonder in what ways this bike is superior to the many cheaper options to earn such praise.
 

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