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MBR Magazine
#1
My disdain for this shambolic publication has now reached the point at which I feel it needs a thread.

Over the past 3 or 4 years I have posted a few times when MBR wound me up. Quite why I still buy I dont know.

A couple of years back one of their guys, Andy Waterman I believe, wrote about how he had sold a broken rear mach to some mug on eBay. He seemed really pleased with himself. He apologised in the next issue.

Then there is their endless praise for the Orange 5. Two years running they described how it was a great bike but the wheels were a bit naff, the bars too narrow, the brakes a bit underpowered etc etc. And then gave it 10/10 and declaring it better than the Zesty 514, even though the Zesty was faultless by their own admission.

Last year they had some Orange 5 Strange Wonder Bike on long term test even though you couldnt buy the bike. What interest is that to anybody? Aside from demonstrating how cozy with Ornage they are.

They have also seriously slagged bikes off for being flexy. More recently they have described flex in a frame as being really exciting and wonderful.

Now they have really stepped over the line by giving a seriously pre-meditated bad (ish) review to the Santa Cruz Tallboy. The muppet who reviewed it long term barely rode the bloody thing according to his updates. In one of the updates I seem to recall him harping on about an Orange 5, I think.

The negatives were as follows :

He admits to not noticing that the front wheel was 5mm out of dish for a whole year! Whats that go to do with anything!?  

He claims it takes a long time to adapt to the bigger wheels. Well im bloody useless on a bike and after about 30 miles I am already quicker than I was on the old bike.

He overshot corners. Idiot.

He took ages to decide what tyres to use ? Twit.

He couldnt get the front wheel up easily. Plonker. I have exactly the same spec as the bike he was testing, and I am useless on a bike, yet I can get the front wheel up very easily.

He also whinged that it was too big. Baffling.

Why I bought the magazine again I dont know. Probably just so I could post this up as I already read the review in Yankee's copy. Must make me an idiot too.
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#2
Youre just bitter as they slagged your bike a bit.... Tongue

Gotta agree though, seems they are never consistent in the way they review bikes and often choose the one that seems lacking over the rest.

They also need to review more affordable kit, i think this months ed they champion the most expensive jacket available, probably due to the reviewer wanting one for winter.

I do enjoy the trail reviews, letters and howtos, but i do lose it a little with their bike and kit reviews.

Im worried about the large adverts for dementia too, perhaps im paranoid, or indeed have dementure.... Or do i?...... What was i saying?......
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#3
Did you notice they had an excellent guide for how to set up a front mech, they even use a CheatFlexBoy as the example bike  Smile

Most of waht you say is true though, wheel flex, can get massive differences with 26" wheels, some stiff as anything, others really bad etc although to be fair to him it was an off the shelf SC package so he can comment on them. I wont comment on Orange Fives..........

The thing I love which a lot of mags do is how they now mark down bikes which dont have tapered head tubes/forks, what a load of rollocks, I dare anyone to prove to me they can detect a head tube/steerer flexing when they are riding! The amount of twang forks have in the legs is ridiculous but completly irrelevent to the steerer/headtube!
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#4
The reviews all come down to who sends in the most stuff/pays the most for advertising, hence why fox win every suspension test and orange always win trail bike of the year (although i do agree, it's a great bike Big Grin but over 2 years riding one should justify saying that!)

In particular i remember a rear shock test, a standard rp23 came out on top even though they could find bits they weren't too sure about. How a pushed  rp23 which has been valved etc for your weight and specific to you can be worse i don't know. I seem to remember the monarch was better but they knocked a point off anyway Big Grin

Unfortunately it would seem this is how every mag operates which is why i don't bother buying any!
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#5
I stopped buying it a while ago, same with MBUK, think it was when they did the 'mountain bike under £100 test', it turns out they were all crap, who would have predicted that!

The Orange Five thing, well they are not the only mag to rate it as the best.  Ive had a few trail bikes and the Five was the best all rounder by far, I think the top spot may change next year if Lapierre have got the shock tune correct as the geometry for next years bikes looks great on paper.
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#6
If it helps I was reading this months WMB in Tescos and noted their 3-4 bike monthly test this month was of CX bikes  :Smile
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#7
[quote author=]I stopped buying it a while ago, same with MBUK, think it was when they did the 'mountain bike under £100 test', it turns out they were all crap, who would have predicted that!

The Orange Five thing, well they are not the only mag to rate it as the best.  Ive had a few trail bikes and the Five was the best all rounder by far, I think the top spot may change next year if Lapierre have got the shock tune correct as the geometry for next years bikes looks great on paper.
[/quote]

I accept its a great bike. but by their own admission it wasn't perfect. they then give it perfect marks and declare it to be more perfect than the perfect top marked Zesty.
And I refuse to believe that the 5 is the best trail bike out there. Every one I ever see is creaking and looks good for the skip
Wink
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#8
"Breezer" Wrote:If it helps I was reading this months WMB in Tescos and noted their 3-4 bike monthly test this month was of CX bikes  :Smile

Really!? I may start buying the US mags instead. at least they are interesting.
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#9
Dirts fastest trail bike on the planet test was good. All bikes timed down the same run. Five was faster than the Zesty by a couple of seconds I think, the Zesty had a custom rear shock tune, the five had a CCDB and 36 forks, take from that what you want. The Last Herb was the fastest by a long way and all suspension was stock (32 forks). Cant imagine Last send more bikes Dirts way than Orange, but then I do find Dirts reviews are much more accurate, not to mention detailed than anyone elses.
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#10
I've only ever read dirt once. may take another look.
Timing bikes down a run is a bit random but probably better than judging a bike purely on one blokes opinion.
When I was researching for my new bike I resorted to ploughing through endless forums and that allowed me to piece together a much more detailed analysis than any mag could give. the downside is it took me weeks.
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