Would there be interest in a forum topic dedicated to guest/user reviews?

Nirmala

Active Member
I spoke to Court yesterday about possibly adding a feature to the forum or maybe even the main site for reviews created by forum members who either own a particular ebike, or are able to give it a thorough test ride and then post their own take on that model. So I am checking if there would be interest in a new category here on the forum for just those kinds of reviews. Obviously, someone can already post their impressions of a ebike under the specific brand sections on here, but this would really be for more thorough and comprehensive reviews.

It might be a nice adjunct to the Court's reviews on the main site, and could both provide a wider coverage of some of the different models that Court just can't keep up with, and also alternative viewpoints on ebikes that he has already reviewed.

Would this be something worth pursuing? Would it be helpful to you to see different perspectives when shopping for an ebike? Would you possibly be interested in personally writing comprehensive reviews of ebikes that you own or have ridden? Do you think a separate area on the forum is a good idea? Or does it make more sense to you to have any such user reviews simply added to the brand specific forums that are already on here?

I personally like the consistency and format of the reviews on the main site, and I would never want to dilute the incredibly good work that Court has done with his reviews, but these reviews could possibly also allow a more free form approach, and again they might cover a wider range of models than Court alone can cover.

Any feedback or ideas are welcome!
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Just to give an idea of what this could be like, here is a page on a headphone forum where user reviews are posted:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/
They have thousands of reviews created by the forum members, and many of the items that have been reviewed have several reviews by different reviewers, which gives a wider range of perspectives on the gear.
 
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Nirmala

Active Member
That is just the kind of thing I was hoping we could have a place for on here. Thanks for sharing that review.

And yes, having the opportunity to carry on a dialogue regarding the review would be a great feature.
 
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Nirmala

Active Member
I am especially interested in knowing if other people would also like to write reviews and post them on this forum. Is this something you might do? Would it just be for an ebike you own, or would you also occasionally review another ebike you got to try out?
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
It's an interesting idea @Nirmala, and folks have already been doing that on the Forum for a while in a very informal way. It gives other members some feedback on product they own; however, what is most needed here are the longer term experiences of ebike owners which can be done as a video or write-up in the Forum.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Yes, I have seen a lot of, as you say, informal reviews on here, and those are also great. Over on that headphone site I linked to above, there are tons of posts offering reviews and sharing of users experiences in the general forum, but the site also has created the specific review section for when someone wants to share a more in depth report. A lot of users over there will post their review in the review section and then also post the entire review or at least a link to the review in the more general discussion forums for each type of device. It is a very popular site....when I just was over there a moment ago there were over 3500 people viewing the site! It might be a while before any ebike forum gets that much use, but one way to make this forum more active would be to find ways to encourage more in depth sharing. So I agree with you that more longer term and in depth user reviews would be great, and maybe a dedicated area on the forum for them would help.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for chatting with me the other day Nirmala! It's great to have you suggesting new ideas here and encouraging sharing. I'm tempted to make a section called Bike Reviews here and then post one thread on what people can share and where to share because the brand sections get syndicated to EBR and will get much more exposure that way. Perhaps those posts could be tagged and brought back into the Bike Reviews thread or something? I'll dig in a bit more and keep an eye on this thread for more ideas and feedback :)
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Hi Court! It was great chatting with you. It could be a great idea if the bike reviews showed up in both the brand sections and in a dedicated bike reviews section....but I have no idea how complicated something like that would be to set up so it happened automagically. However, maybe that first post in the bike reviews section could simply tell people to "post their reviews both here and in the appropriate brand section". That would mean there would be duplicate posts, but sometimes the more ways someone can find their way to relevant info the better.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Or maybe you could ask people to post the actual review in the brand section and then add a simple link in the review section that takes someone to the actual review over in the brand section? That way, any discussion that ensued would be all in one place.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Nirmala

I think reviews by owners are invaluable. I remember yours and I've done one, that I will continue to update.

I wonder if following a form would be helpful, similar to what Court does. I generally scan all the specs, view the pic and if that interests me, I'll read the full review and watch the video. If the specs don't spark interest in me, I will usually stop there. If everyone used the same format for the reviews, it would be easier for readers to compare bikes. It would also answer questions before they're asked, because I forgot to list the tire size, or the ride geometry...
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
That's an excellent idea, J.R. Everyone needs to be diligent in questioning the specs of a product and what actually they see when a bike is in front of them.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
@Nirmala

I think reviews by owners are invaluable. I remember yours and I've done one, that I will continue to update.

I wonder if following a form would be helpful, similar to what Court does. I generally scan all the specs, view the pic and if that interests me, I'll read the full review and watch the video. If the specs don't spark interest in me, I will usually stop there. If everyone used the same format for the reviews, it would be easier for readers to compare bikes. It would also answer questions before they're asked, because I forgot to list the tire size, or the ride geometry...
Good points! I also find the consistency of Court's format really helpful in quickly sorting through ebikes I might or might not be interested in.
 

Alan Acock

Member
Court's reviews are great. I bought my Trek xm 700+ after watching/reading his review.
What I see for a review section is how different people value a particular bike or accessory. For example, I'm in my 70s and way about 70 pounds more than Court. I also have no interest in off road riding (I use to do this a lot). I have a different perspective. I'm sure that many riders could provide helpful reviews based on their situation.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Court's reviews are great. I bought my Trek xm 700+ after watching/reading his review.
What I see for a review section is how different people value a particular bike or accessory. For example, I'm in my 70s and way about 70 pounds more than Court. I also have no interest in off road riding (I use to do this a lot). I have a different perspective. I'm sure that many riders could provide helpful reviews based on their situation.
Yes. On the headphone site I mentioned above, a single headphone or amplifier might have 20 or more reviews from different users. It is quite amazing how different the reviews can be in their conclusions sometimes.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Court has decided to move the brand and type categories back onto the main page of the forum. In addition, he has changed the "Discussion by Brand" category to be called "Discussion by Brand & User Reviews". This seems like a simple and effective way to make user reviews more visible on the forum. And as Court has explained to me, when someone posts in one of the specific brand categories, those posts also show up in the right hand column of reviews for that brand on the main review website.

All of this means that if anyone has a review they want to write for an ebike they own or a ebike you have had an opportunity to test ride, you now have an even more visible place to share it by simply posting a new thread in the brand section for that ebike. Everything from a quick set of impressions, to a mini-review, to a more in-depth and thorough review is welcome. There are already lots of these user reviews here in the forum, and this change is to encourage even more.