I’ll start by saying that I have no idea how complicated it would be to add a new forum or if it’s even possible. Truth be told, I know very little about this sort of thing so don’t beat up on me too bad if this idea is not feasible.
I think it would be a great addition to this board if there was a forum dedicated to equipment and product reviews. I have several reasons why I think this would be beneficial so feel free to keep reading if you think this idea has merit. If not, thanks for looking but save yourself from my rambling below.
It’s no secret that mountain biking is not a cheap activity. I think it would be great if the users of this board had a place to post reviews, opinions and constructive criticism about products they use so that other riders who may be in the market for equipment can do research or talk with others who are already using a product they are considering prior to making a purchase. I have used the MTBR review forums extensively but my main problem is that a review written by “a weekend warrior from Vancouver BC” doesn’t do me a whole lot of good when I ride in SE Michigan. I’d rather hear from a rider who rides the same trails I do.
Magazine reviews are fun to read but I also want an unbiased review. I want to hear the honest opinion on gear from the guys and girls that spent their hard earned money on a product, not from a magazine editor who was flown to Moab and put up for three days to rip singletrack on professionally tuned equipment.
In my opinion, a good review has a few key elements and if this forum came to fruition – it would be great if there was some continuity in the reviews. Here is my take on what is needed: height, weight and ability of the rider (these can all be ranges, not specifics), trail that product was tested/used and brief weather/trail description (wet, dry, dusty, technical, flowy-etc.). In addition to the essentials, specific products attributes would be really helpful – like if you were posting about a fork , include the PSI you were running. This probably sounds like a lot of work or overkill but if you are 6’2” 225lbs looking for a new bike to dominate the NCT and someone wrote a great review of a Fuel EX7 – it would be helpful to know if that person was 5’5” 130lbs and lived & breathed the Paint Creek trail. Pictures are also great when possible since not everyone knows industry jargon.
This forum could provide us a great way to share info and maybe even offer the opportunity for people to meet up and see gear first hand before they have to plunk down the Visa on something they have only seen online or in a mag. I’d be happy to let another rider check out something that I have if they were in the market for the same thing but wanted to check it out first.
Reviews don’t have to stop at equipment either. I would love to hear people’s take on clothes, shoes, tools, gps, racks, lights, trips – everything related to the mountain bike lifestyle. You get the idea.
This sport thrives on grass roots efforts and I think the community of riders in Michigan could offer some very beneficial input on all the gear options out there.
Anyway – just an idea. Anybody have any input?