BikesReviewed is on a quest to provide the most fun, useful, and unbiased bicycle information.
And, frankly, we still have a loooong way to go before we reach our goal.
Because our goal is pretty dang ambitious.
To reach it will take A LOT of money and manpower. We don’t yet have a lot of money or manpower, so our review process is something that we are improving upon as we grow.
In other words, our review process isn’t static.
We will iterate and make changes to it when we are able to. It will evolve as the site grows. It will improve over time.
The Quest for the Best Bike Information
We believe the best bike information starts with top-notch gear reviews. Because of this, we’ve spent a lot of time researching and whiteboarding ideas for what makes for a good review process.
After drawing inspiration from some incredible sites, we have a clear idea of what we are striving for in our review process. We know our destination and it serves as our guide.
Our goal is for our review process to look like this:
- Decide upon a bike category (e.g. hybrid bike)
- Select a handful of the top products in the category to test
- Purchase the products with our own money
- Design experiments that systematically test each product in an unbiased way
- Recruit experts to test the products
- Torture test the products in an in-depth, side-by-side review
- Supplement our primary research with other expert opinions and insights (e.g. interviews with bike manufacturers, reviews from other experts)
- Pick an overall winner and indicate which other options are worth your money and why
- Package all our research, knowledge, and excitement into engaging articles and videos
- Rinse and repeat as often as it makes sense for each type of a bicycle
I got goosebumps as I wrote that.
I am excited, anxious, and overwhelmed at the possibility of the site one day reaching those heights.
However, currently we are a small 3-person team, so — suffice it to say — that is not our current review process.
One day it will be, though. And we’ll probably throw a party or something to celebrate.
[This review process was inspired by The Wirecutter. It's an awesome site You should check it out.]
Our Current Review Process for Most of Our Articles
Our current review process is our first step on our long quest towards our goal. It was designed to be cost-and manpower-efficient during this early stage in which we are a small team with shallow pockets.
It is as follows:
- Decide upon a gear category (e.g. hybrid bikes)
- Conduct hours of meticulous research using every good resource available (e.g. videos, articles, existing reviews, expert opinions, bike manufacturers’ websites)
- Supplement the research with any hands-on experience we have with the products
- Select the top five products for the chosen category
- Write in-depth articles explaining our choices and including buying advice
- Update the articles as new products come out or as we gain more hands-on experience with our picks
We follow this review process for the majority of the articles on the site, articles we like to call “Top 5 Articles” since they include the top five (to ten) options of a particular type of outdoor gear, such as Best Hybrid Bikes in 2017.
There are also individual bike reviews on the site, such as our Diamondback Trace Sport review. Our review process for those individual bike reviews is different, but exactly what you’d expect:
We torture test them for months and share with you everything we learn in the process.
Our Quest Has Just Begun
In our minds, our current review process is far from perfect.
However, we’re excited because we have a clear idea of what “perfect” looks like to us, and that idea is what guides us in everything we do. We view our current review process as a stepping stone to bigger and better bike reviews. As the site grows, the team will grow and we will invest more and more into our bicycle reviews and come closer and closer to our goal.
If you’re excited about seeing the bike reviews we’re striving for, read about how to support our work. (Hint: it’s as easy as clicking a link and costs you nothing.)
Oh, and one more thing. Despite the imperfection of our current review process, we must admit:
We’re extremely proud of what we’ve built so far.
Our articles and reviews are helping people. Lots of people. They are read by tens of thousands of cycling enthusiasts every month, and hundreds of people per month purchase the products we recommend.
We are making progress slowly but surely.
We are the tortoise, not the hare.
And, as the saying goes, a journey of 1,000 bike reviews begins with Bikes Reviewed… or something along those lines.