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There is a difference between a head-to-head test and comparing a bike to
other similar bikes on the market. I think comparisons are really useful,
especially to those of use reading these things that might be looking to buy a
If you believe that all those variables you listed make comparing bikes highly
subjective, then why would you even read a bike review? Obviously all the
things you mentioned are factors. But if those factors make a comparison way
too subjective, wouldn't those same factors make a single bike review just as
subjective? Its all subjective! As long as a reviewer contextualizes their
opinions (as Pete did in this review), there is nothing wrong with comparing
You can compare similar bikes without identifying a 'winner'. Even the old MBA
shootouts would contextualize their ratings based on different types of
terrain, riding styles, and body types. I always compare bikes I've had the
chance to try with bikes I've owned or ridden in the past. Saying that its too
subjective is a cop out.
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