Skip to content

Ride On recommends

Testing new bikes and bike products is an important part of  what Ride On does to keep readers up-to-date. The reviews appear in the magazine, which goes every two months to members*, to subscribers and is sold on Australian newsstands. Back issues are available online to members of Bicycle Network Victoria, Bicycling WA and Bicycle Tasmania. The products we recommend are listed below, after an explanation of how we test and rate them.

* Members of Bicycle Network, Bicycling WA, Bicycle Queensland and Bicycle Tasmania

How we review

Products reviewed by Ride On (all products featured except those in the First Look pages) are used and assessed by reviewers selected by Ride On. The reviewers must assess according to our four areas and put ratings against their assessment. In fact, reviewers are instructed to complete their ratings before writing their review because their language must match their ratings. This is because most people tend to be generous or enthusiastically positive in language but when scoring according to a predetermined scale they feel compelled to award more modest ratings.

Product testing

The four ratings are:

  1. Function: how well does it work?
  2. Quality: will it last? Is it appropriate for intended use, extensive use or limited use?
  3. Price: Is the price appropriate to the quality? Is it appropriate to the category?
  4. Appearance: Is it visually appealing?

See the table below for a breakdown of score out of ten for each rating.

Most products, such as bikes, lights, locks, etc, need to be rated in these four aspects to be fully assessed. For some products though, such as books or films, these four ratings aren’t useful, so they are simply given a score out of one hundred.

The four ratings are weighed differently and add up to an overall rating out of one hundred. The Function and Quality ratings are multiplied by four to each become ratings out of forty. Price and Appearance remain ratings out of ten.

This is because Price and Appearance are factors in our decision to buy something but they are more subjective than Function and Quality. So they have a part in the overall rating, but a lesser part. Ride On reviewers give their subjective rating for Price and Appearance but readers can judge for themselves if an item is fine looking or reasonable value in their opinion and whether for them the product deserves a higher overall rating.

The main product assessments are the ratings of Function and Quality, because what matters most to the buyer is “Does it work?” and “Will it last?”.

Cheap cable lock broken with a hammer

We find the right reviewer for testing each product because it’s important when assessing Function and Quality that the reviewer:

  • is familiar with other products of the type of the one on test, and
  • has a reasonable expectation of what the product is meant to do.

For instance, a Gazelle city bike is not meant to go fast, so there’s no point in complaining that it’s slower than a flat-bar roadie; the purpose of a Shimano Nexus hub gear is to be low maintenance, so it’s inappropriate to point out the range of gears and shifting is inferior to a road bike drivetrain.

“Will it last?” is an elastic concept for different riders. Someone who doesn’t ride much might not wear out a low quality product. For general appropriateness of the product, however, we ask reviewers to think of a person who rides every day or most days of the week or every weekend.

Other points to consider

The reviewer must try to think of who this product is most of use to and address them, for instance, “This is a dependable rack for the MTB touring adventurer”.

They also must think about the following and mention their assessment, with evidence, in the text where appropriate:

  • How adjustable is it?
  • How adaptable is it?
  • Does it perform a variety of tasks or one task well?

Impartiality

We know our readers want frank and fearless reviews. Readers are right to be cynical: inclined to believe that magazines give exposure and favourable reviews to companies that advertise. We strive to ensure this is not the case, for the sake of the magazine remaining a worthwhile reference. We request product for testing from Australian distributors according to the categories we want to test and regardless of advertisers the Ad Sales Manager brings in. Furthermore, we test products to destruction if appropriate and products that are serviceable after testing are usually given to Bicycle Network Victoria volunteers, put into a general Bicycle Network Victoria gear library or returned to the supplier. Our reviewers don’t usually request to review a product or get to keep products they review.

The ratings table

The ratings table

We recommend

Ride-On-RecommendsEvery issue our tests turn up great bikes and accessories that we can recommend. We tag them with ‘Ride On recommends’ in the mag and we list them all together in each issue and here. Suggest other products we should review via comment below or rideon@bicyclenetwork.com.au.

Bikes

Model

RRP More
Reviewed
Commuters Kona Dew Plus $859 Apr-May 12
Focus Aventura TR 2.0 $1,399 Jun-Jul 12
Allegro W1x9 $899 Oct-Nov 12
Under $500 Reid City 2 $299 Apr-May 13
Road bikes, carbon Giant TCR Advanced 2 $2,499 Apr-May 13
Trek Madone 3.1 $1,999 Dec 11 - Jan 12
Road bike, women’s Trek Lexa SLX $1,599 Apr-May 12
Road bike, steel Rikulau 931 Ultegra $4,300 Oct-Nov 13
Road bike, disc Specialized Secteur Expert Disc $2,199 Dec 12 – Jan 13
City bikes Gazelle Medeo Plus $1,699 Apr-May 11
TokyoBike Bisou $770 Dec 13 – Jan 14
Reid Ladies Vintage $369 Dec 13 – Jan 14
Electric Ezee Forza $2,449 Jun-Jul 13
Ordica Classic $1,899 Jun-Jul 13
Bionx conversion kit  $1,984 Jun-Jul 13
Dahon Bullet Ezee $1,995 Jun-Jul 13
Folding bike Brompton M3L $1,495 Dec 11 – Jan 12
Touring bike Vivente World Randonneur $1,949 Tel:02 97974444 Apr-May 11
Singlespeed bike Jellybean

$499

Dec 10 – Jan 11
Kid’s first bike ByK E250

$250

Oct-Nov 11
Kid’s bike 7–10 years Fourty Bikes 540

$399

Apr-May 13
Cargo bike – long bike Yuba Mundo V4

$1,250

Jun-Jul 12
Cargo bike – box trike Christianiabike Model Light

$3,400

Jun-Jul 12
Cargo bike – box bike Christianiabike 2wheeler

$2,800

Jun-Jul 12
29er Giant XTC 29er 2

$1,499

Aug-Sep 12
Cyclocross Focus Mares CX 4.0

$2,399

Oct-Nov 13
Merida Cyclo Cross 4

$1,599

Oct-Nov 13
Accessories Model

RRP

Reviewed
Ankle band Ron D Swan Legband $24
Camcorder Contour Roam HD $299 Jun-Jul 12
Chain lube Green Oil $20 Feb-Mar 11
Child trailer Croozer Kid for 2 $875
Child seat Yepp Mini $169 Oct-Nov 13
Combination pedals Shimano M324 $85 Aug-Sep 10
Computer Cat Eye Commuter $149 Dec 10 -Jan11
Electrolyte replacement Hydralyte Sports sachets $20 Feb-Mar 12
GPS Garmin Edge 500 $299 Dec 10 – Jan 11
Home storage Steadyrack $99 Dec 09 – Jan 10
Hub dynamo Schmidt SON 28 $400
Hub gear Shimano Alfine 11 $926 Aug-Sep 11
Indoor trainer Minoura M80DW Magnetic  $330 Dec 09 0 Jan 10
Kid’s helmet Nutcase Little Nutty  $100 Oct-Nov 10
Knicks, mens Sugoi Evolution $125 Feb-Mar 12
BBB Squadra Shorts $70 Feb-Mar 12
Bib knicks, womens Assos F1 13 Lady s5 $299 Oct-Nov 12
Netti Ladies Elite bibs $150  info@solasport.com.au Oct-Nov 12
Knicks, womens Ground Effect Sirens $149 Oct-Nov 12
Lights, compact Moon Mask front $60 Apr-May 13
Moon Shield rear $60 Apr-May 13
Lights, high-powered Moon Power 500 front $149 Apr-May 12
Lights, dynamo Busch and Muller Lumotec IQ-Fly front $149 Apr-May 11
Supernova E3 rear $130 Apr-May 11
Light, supplementary Skully $22 Apr-May 11
Locks, D-lock Krptonite New York Fahgettaboudit $110 Dec 13 – Jan 14
Abus Granit X-Plus 54 $199 Feb-Mar 11
Vulcan VSL101B Supreme 2000 $40 Feb-Mar 11
Locks, flexible Knog Straightjacket Fatty $36 Dec 13 – Jan 14
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit chain with New York mini d-lock $150 Dec 13 – Jan 14
Lock, supplementary Kryptonite Krypto Flex $20 Feb-Mar 11
Maintenance stand TACX Spider Team T3050 $525 Dec 10 – Jan 11
Mirror Take-a-look $25 Jun-Jul 13
Mudguards SKS Chromoplastics $110 Jun-Jul 09
Multi-tool Topeak Mini 20 Pro $60 Jun-Jul 11
Panniers Ortlieb Back Roller Plus pair  $399 Oct-Nov 10
Pumps, portable Lezyne Pressure Drive $55 Tel: 03 83278080 Jun-Jul 10
Tioga Alloy Road Pump Dual Action  $40 Jun-Jul 10
Pumps, floor Serfas FMP-500 $125 Feb-Mar 10
Topeak Joe Blow Turbo $120 Feb-Mar 10
Rack Topeak Explorer  $50 Feb-Mar 11
Rain jackets Endura Luminite $235  desf@oxman-group.com Aug-Sep 13
Ground Effect She Shell $229 and $5 postage Aug-Sep 09
Netti D4 jacket/vest  $190 info@solasport.com.au Aug-Sep 12
Rain pants Ground Effect Helter Skelters  $129 and $5 postage Aug-Sep 12
Ride guides Where to Ride $35 Feb-Mar 11
Riding trousers Outlier 4season OG pants $190 Oct-Nov 10
Shy shorts Ground Effect Supertankers and Underdogs

$89, $59 & $5 postage

Feb-Mar 10
Saddles Charge Spoon

$60

Tel: 03 83278080 Feb-Mar 11
Serfas Carma Womens

$105

Feb-Mar 11
Sunglasses Addidas Evil Eye  $350 Dec 11 – Jan 12
Serfas Mirador $89.95 Dec 11 – Jan 12

Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member

22 Comments leave one →
  1. guest permalink
    27 August, 2011 6:28 pm

    web site person – check the base reference for your links on this page – all wrong:

    eg: http://rideons.wordpress.com/ride-on-recommends/www.groundeffect.co.nz

    hth

    J

  2. Ports permalink
    9 November, 2011 6:34 pm

    i don’t mean to be difficult, but I looked up the BMRSL02, the Trek 1.5 and the Mongoose Kaldi and none of them were on the companies’ websites.

    • 10 November, 2011 3:53 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. Those bikes have been replaced with updated recommendations now.

  3. confused permalink
    9 November, 2011 11:31 pm

    So where are the links to the reviews?

    • 18 November, 2011 5:14 pm

      Full reviews are in the magazine. It’s on sale every two months: Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec.

  4. daniel permalink
    11 November, 2011 12:11 pm

    i like the idea of your recommendations, but some of the company web sites suck, eg, i want to do a search to compare saddles but i get redirected to “choose a brand”, well really i just don’t have time to search through branded products manually, that’s what their web site should do, so i immediately loose interest in their site and close the tab.

    • a little effort permalink
      14 February, 2012 3:38 pm

      Did you try using a targeted search yourself? Just open a tab and type the search terms followed by “site:____” with their website and you should get a quick list. Sure it’d be better if they coded their websites to do it for you but it’s not terribly hard to do it yourself. If you don’t care enough to look a little then that’s cool, you just don’t need to know.

  5. 8 December, 2011 2:41 pm

    i like the idea of your recommendations, but some of the company web sites suck, eg, i want to do a search to compare saddles but i get redirected to “choose a brand”, well really i just don’t have time to search through branded products manually, that’s what their web site should do, so i immediately loose interest in their site and close the tab.
    +1

  6. Brian permalink
    9 May, 2012 6:57 pm

    Price for Garmin Edge 500 wrong. Confused with Edge 800. The 500 is around $299

  7. joanium permalink
    9 May, 2012 9:48 pm

    Hello! I like the idea of the Steadyrack (home storage recommendation) but I have a parking space in an apartment building with no solid walls nearby.

    Do you know if there’s any storage set up that’s like a folding bollard but in the shape of a U-shaped bike stand?

  8. Kerrie permalink
    9 December, 2012 11:01 pm

    You have said the Ortlieb panniers were in the Oct- Nov 2010 magazine, I have searched and can’t find it, can you please confirm?

    • 10 December, 2012 12:55 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out. They weren’t reviewed in Oct-Nov 2010, that date shouldn’t be there. We’re obviously due for another pannier review. In the meantime, we’re confident to recommend Ortlieb back-roller panniers as an excellent product.

  9. Steve permalink
    10 December, 2012 4:04 pm

    The Gazelle Plus Energy XT in latest Rode On mag got 99.5%, so basically damn near perfect? This is despite your comments it only has 3 power settings which must be cycled through, it is not as powerful as other ebikes and the propriety parts are more expensive and often harder to work on, plus it costs $3,000…so all these issues only account for half a percent from ‘perfection’ ? They are a very good bike, no argument, but you guys appear a little overly bias. 99.5%, I don’t think so.

  10. alan permalink
    10 January, 2013 10:38 am

    the Ground Effect over pants (HELTERSKELTERS) were the bewst thing slince sliced bread, unfortunately they have now put a zip in them and compromised the water proofness. ie THEY LEAK LIKE A SIEVE. the orignal pair i had – with no zip were 1000x better. the new design also has a company logo on the velcro tabs below the knee which makes it impossible to tighten up the leg gap. this can be removed with an sewing unpicker in 5 min, but is poor design. the zip issue is a deal breaker

Trackbacks

  1. Elektrische Zahnbuerste
  2. Top 60 lights for commuting 2013 | Ride On
  3. Gear up for winter | Ride On
  4. Weatherproof your ride | Ride On
  5. E-bikes buying guide | Ride On
  6. Locks test 2013 | Ride On

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: