Do not Fall for Bike Advertising Nonsense

Do not Fall for Bike Advertising Nonsense

Do not Fall for Bike Advertising Nonsense

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Have you ever ever come throughout a brand new product and instantly rolled your eyes? If you happen to’re a motorcycle fanatic or a hard-core bike tech nerd like me, this may inevitably occur. A brand new product will enter your consciousness by means of an article or an advert, or in my case, a press launch, and you’ll set free an exasperated groan.

I first observed this across the time bike manufacturers fell in love with the phrase “laterally stiff and vertically compliant.” This particular meaningless advertising tagline has thankfully fallen out of favor. However I used to be reminded of it once more when a brand new product lately landed on my desk: a pair of gravel-specific sun shades.

Don’t get me unsuitable—completely different lens tints can provide advantages. “Path lenses” for mountain biking are a chief instance. They might help bump distinction within the woods to let riders higher see path obstacles at excessive velocity. However “path lenses,” like “gravel lenses,” are made for particular lighting circumstances—not the floor your tires are rolling on.


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The entire thing bought me excited about how corporations create, frankly, bullshit classes to market to riders. They know that the majority riders already personal sun shades, and in the event that they have already got a number of lenses for cloudy days or path driving, then it may be laborious to persuade them to purchase one thing new. So as an alternative, somebody manufacturers them as “gravel particular,” and voilà, advertising magic!

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Shimano’s newest S-Phyre sun shades characteristic a lens tint stated to be particular to gravel.


This sort of advertising isn’t distinctive to the gravel class, though that class is at the moment the place the largest offenders roll. Bear in mind indoor biking kits? Corporations had been promoting summer-weight kits or some kind of mesh outfit that wasn’t appropriate for being worn in public (until you had been very comfy with displaying loads of pores and skin) as a package particular to driving indoors.


You don’t want an indoor particular package to coach inside. Shorts and a summer time baselayer will work nice.

Trevor Raab

I’ve no particular gripe with biking clothes that’s made to assist riders handle sweat. However let’s not faux the sweat that riders take care of inside is someway completely different from sweat exterior. Simply put on your summer time package and spend your cash on a high-quality fan! Happily, the indoor-specific biking package has, for essentially the most half, pale away with the instances. It’s virtually like individuals realized it wasn’t essential.

For this final instance of foolish category-based advertising, we’ll return to gravel. If you happen to observe the class in any element, then absolutely you’ve observed corporations that now provide gravel-specific footwear. There are two primary variations between a gravel shoe and what nearly all of riders will acknowledge as a mountain bike shoe. One is the power to mount toe spikes. The opposite is a little more flexibility within the sole to assist with consolation over the usually lengthy gravel occasion distances.

If you happen to’re a longtime mountain bike rider and it sounds to you want I simply wrote an outline for a mid-level mountain bike shoe, spot on, my pal. Corporations merely took these mid-level fashions of their vary and began advertising them as gravel-specific footwear.

Generally, sure, the media can play into this. I actually see it occur fairly a bit, most frequently in gear articles which can be extra tales a few new product launch relatively than an precise evaluate. As a check editor, I attempt to give readers an sincere evaluation of drugs no matter its advertising class.

For instance, within the final a number of years, I’ve actually grow to be keen on cargo bib shorts. My present favorites are made by OrNot out of San Francisco and bought merely as a cargo bib quick. In contrast, some manufacturers have determined to market them as gravel shorts. Why? I do not know. There are such a lot of completely different conditions when having a number of further simply accessed pockets is smart—however none of which should do with the kind of floor that bike is on. Cargo bibs are additionally great for riders who discover pockets on the again of a jersey to be cumbersome and laborious to succeed in.


Trevor Raab

When in search of gear, I all the time urge people to disregard the classes and take into consideration the product’s utility. The bike business likes to push issues on you, however each on occasion, it nonetheless churns out merchandise which can be genuinely helpful. Even when your preliminary response is an eye fixed roll.

Headshot of Dan Chabanov

Check Editor Dan Chabanov bought his begin in biking as a New York Metropolis bike messenger however shortly discovered his method into street and cyclocross racing, competing in skilled cyclocross races from 2009 to 2019 and successful a Grasp’s Nationwide Championship title in 2018. Previous to becoming a member of Bicycling in 2021, Dan labored as a part of the race group for the Pink Hook Crit, as a coach with EnduranceWERX, in addition to a contract author and photographer.