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Old 05-04-07, 08:58 AM   #1
rhm
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A to B magazine buyer's guide

The folks at Strida sent me an email today, linking to the following. Any comments?

http://www.atob.org.uk/Buyers'_Guide.html

Seems to me that treating 'folding bicycles' as a single category is deceptive; Moulton and Strida are side by side, three stars each, as if they are roughly equivalent. I can't believe there is anyone out there who is seriously debating whether to buy a Strida or a Moulton; they are totally different machines that serve totally different functions. The only thing they share is that they're innovative bicycle designs from England and that they have small wheels. Putting these completely different animals in the same category allows them to give Brompton the highest rating; because, I suppose, it rides better than a Strida, and folds better than a Moulton.

Conspicuous in their absence: Swift, Mobiky, Carryme ....
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Old 05-04-07, 01:12 PM   #2
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A slightly bizarre page, lumping together brands and bikes randomly and based too often on utterly muddleheaded and baseless opinion. For example its reference to Dahon - I am sure some of its bikes are worth 4 stars, but some are just ordinary. And referring to Birdys - now pretty established as a new breed of folding bikes (betraying the fact that this is a page that whilst updated in December 2006 has not been updated very much or very intelligently). The three star rating for the Airframe confirms that its not really a list to be taken seriously. And what it says about Mezzos and Mercs is simply wrong.

In the end, the list says more about AtoB than it does about the bikes that it rates. Its neither a great magazine nor a useful resource. You'd be better trawling the archives of BikeForums and subscribing to the totally wonderful Velovision magazine www.velovision.co.uk .

Having seen this, a buyers guide would be a useful thing to sticky onto the top of this forum. Or a Wiki guide to folding bikes that goes beyond that on Wikipedia. And everyone can contribute to. In fact, I'm going to set one up this weekend...watch this space
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Old 05-04-07, 04:20 PM   #3
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I thought that all of the people at AtoB were part-owners of Brompton.
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Old 05-04-07, 05:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt52
In the end, the list says more about AtoB than it does about the bikes that it rates. Its neither a great magazine nor a useful resource. You'd be better trawling the archives of BikeForums and subscribing to the totally wonderful Velovision magazine www.velovision.co.uk.
Eventually, someone was going to have to say this.

Yet hopefully AtoB writers will not shy away from contributing to the Wiki.

Last edited by spambait11; 05-04-07 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-07, 09:08 PM   #5
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Velovision. Yeah, I bought a copy, it's a nice mag. But 28 pounds (and that's a 4 pound discount off the renewal price) for a quarterly? $14 an issue seems quite steep...
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Old 05-05-07, 06:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm
The folks at Strida sent me an email today, linking to the following. Any comments?

http://www.atob.org.uk/Buyers'_Guide.html

Seems to me that treating 'folding bicycles' as a single category is deceptive; Moulton and Strida are side by side, three stars each, as if they are roughly equivalent. I can't believe there is anyone out there who is seriously debating whether to buy a Strida or a Moulton; they are totally different machines that serve totally different functions. The only thing they share is that they're innovative bicycle designs from England and that they have small wheels. Putting these completely different animals in the same category allows them to give Brompton the highest rating; because, I suppose, it rides better than a Strida, and folds better than a Moulton.

Conspicuous in their absence: Swift, Mobiky, Carryme ....
A star rating doesn't seem very useful when comparing vastly different machines. A buyer may need to consider many aspects of a folder to narrow down the choice. For some people price may be the most critical.

"Which" magazine also uses a star rating, & again it falls down sometimes because their comparisons are just too broad.
I can't help thinking there is quite a similarity between the 2 magazines.

I like the print & photo's quality in A to B, & a couple of articles I've read so far in the selection of back issues I ordered do actually point out things I haven't been made aware of from reading the forums, so it's not totally useless :-).

Someone considering a Strida probably can't afford a Moulton, unless the bike is to be added to an existing collection :-)

There possibly aren't many suppliers in A to B land of Swift, Mobiky, Carryme ....
which may help to explain their absence. I recently looked for a Swift supplier & only found one, but no indication of stock levels.

A decent test evaluation period for the intended rider seems the only way
to be sure it's the "right bike".

For example, a regular forum contributor, Chop!, has several folders, but apparently doesn't ride his high end Brompton much, preferring some of the others. Yet the Brompton is enormously popular (I think there were 3 or 4 on eBay UK in the last few days.)

A to B gave a less than glowing review of a Mezzo, yet a recent post here is very positive, with a friend of the rider's preferring it to his Birdy!

I'll be interested to see matt52's guide.......
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Old 05-05-07, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand
I thought that all of the people at AtoB were part-owners of Brompton.

That would explain the lying trash Henshaw wrote about the Merc. I never saw such false and malicious info in a review. He knows what he says is crap too, because I told him. However, the pack of lies is still up on the website because the real purpose is not to publish a dispassionate review but to damage the sales of Merc. If he said it was an unlicenced rip off built from plans given to a far east manufacturer to build under a licence they then broke by exporting them to Europe and the Uk, that would be fair, but it is neither dysfuctional nor badly made and contrary to his review, it works VERY well indeed.

Last edited by EvilV; 05-05-07 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:24 PM   #8
makingmark
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Somewhat tangential to this thread, but I did find a cheaper source for a Velovision subscription:

http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...?idCategory=75

They also have a lot of back issues.
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Old 05-08-07, 04:11 AM   #9
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A slightly bizarre page, lumping together brands and bikes randomly and based too often on utterly muddleheaded and baseless opinion.
A to B is an eccentric/opionated publication and that is why I still subscribe. However, the brief reviews and star-rating system are pretty meaningless without knowing their judging criteria - which is ostensibly multi-modal focussed, and with a peculiar/tangental interest in roll-down speeds.

Quote:
The three star rating for the Airframe confirms that its not really a list to be taken seriously.
But this is part of the problem - the newer Airframe was a considerable improvement on the older version and I much preferred riding it to a Strida - but so what, opinions are like..... everyone has one, etc etc


Quote:
In the end, the list says more about AtoB than it does about the bikes that it rates.
Of course it does!

Quote:
Its neither a great magazine nor a useful resource. You'd be better trawling the archives of BikeForums and subscribing to the totally wonderful Velovision magazine www.velovision.co.uk .
I think it is a useful resource and am happy to agree to disagree with you on this. However, I remember when finding info about folding bikes was a real problem (generic folding bike forums have not been around for that long). FWIW, I always found the letters page the most intersesting part of A to B magazine - which proabably tells you quite a lot.

You can trawl through Bikeforums, but you will also get a lot of contradictory and partisan advice here too...

Agree about Velovison.

Last edited by Fear&Trembling; 05-08-07 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:48 AM   #10
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Hear Hear !! - Well said Fear&T, agree 100%. Yes they are opinionated, but so are many here - aren't we all ?

I enjoy AtoB magazine more than most - it is one of the few mags I read page to page within hours of it dropping through the letter box - with many a laugh.

They also do actually ride and report what they find, and not just hearsay or re-gurgitate the PR pre-written for them.
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