Toekomst van deze tests, augustus 2013
Nog te vertalen naar NL:
In August 2013 I will start a long bicycle trip on which I will test various components and ideas, such as a Brooks B17 select saddle with imperial-swallow modification to see how the leather of the "select" line holds up after a long time/distance (more than 5000km), various bicycle lighting, and more, as you can see here:
bicycle trip starting in August 2013
I will update that page with experiences while on my trip I hope, if I have enough time during the trip with WiFi access, otherwise only small updates and anything more after the trip.
But this trip will also serve as some time away from my site, and from bicycle parts testing and selling. As you know from reading this site, I don't write reviews to sell, I sell what I like, because I feel I want to stand behind all products I sell. This means for leather saddles I still sell almost all Brooks and Lepper saddles (when I can get hold of Lepper saddles, supply is a big problem), even if I dislike a saddle for how it feels, because saddles that don't work for me can work for others as noted in my reviews. So for saddles the only reason not to sell something is if I think it's way overpriced or if it's of bad quality. For lighting and other products preferences and physiological differences are less of an issue than with saddles, and bad points are always bad points, so there I don't sell stuff that I think is poor.
But buyers want things often for non rational reasons, for feelings, how it looks, what they think it works like instead of what it really works like. Few people are fully rational about why they want something... Not offering those things means I'm not commercially inclined enough I suppose. But I want to stay that way. However, the tests of saddles and lighting take so much work and time that I need to change something, as it's just not economically viable and it's way past a hobby. In case you wonder about the time and effort: Someone recently told me he thought this site and all the testing/selling etc. could be done in 2 hours a day: No, this is impossible! That time alone I need for email and browsing forums and websites for developments. Look at a site like dpreview.com for cameras where people often complain about how few reviews are done in year, and that's with a fairly large full time staff. Well, good reviews take time, in whatever area. And I take into account new saddles/lights etc. to adjust old reviews, and I update reviews with new experiences after a long time (to indicate wear, issues that pop up from staying in the rain etc.), which isn't done on dpreview...
I can see a few options:
- Put ads on the site: I dislike ads, especially sideway scrolling rubbish that attracts attention and that lots of sites nowadays use even for non-advertising stuff, see e.g. dpreview.com (camera reviews). I just hate that! Ads can be great in hobby magazines, where they are usually of interest and show new developments etc. So perhaps specific ads from manufacturers? General ads (e.g. via google) are also problematic even if of bicycle components, as they will lead to a site of someone else and my review will then be directly used to support competitors. I have no problem with people looking through the reviews on my site and buying elsewhere, but this would be uncool, unless the rewards for ads are much bigger than selling myself... In that case I could even quite selling bicycle components.
- Make selling more commercial: put the entire site on a domain of my own, and sell stuff that my distributor can supply. I don't like this as it would mean full time selling, and selling stuff that I can't stand behind.
Or I could put 'sale' links on each review (in case I like what I tested) to my sale section. At the moment I keep the review and sale sections on my website fairly separate with just a few links.
By the way, I intended to put the site onto a separate domain for quite a while, I just haven't got round to it yet.
- Ask for donations: I'm not sure what the interest for this will be, and we all want everything as cheaply as possible and free information is better than paying for information :) So there probably has to be some reason that you, the reader, should want to donate, like getting access to new content sooner or without ads? Or something else? Or is simply supporting continuing and expanding the reviews enough reason to donate?
What I want to do when continuing this site in one of these ways, is the following, which all cost a lot of money, time, effort:
- Reviewing more leather saddles: All types from Berthoud, various from Gyes. Some non-leather saddles too.
- More beamshots (some ideas I told about on the Philips lighting day, see Philips bicycle lighting day), and modify them such that they show more what we see in reality. This is a very difficult subject, with my current programs so far to modify beamshot images this didn't work well... I need to experiment and put time in for programming.
- Test hubs to destruction, such as using a Nuvinci with smaller front chainring than they allow. After all, how can they know whether the cyclist is an average person or a body builder, pro athlete etc.? What are the limits really? Do they just set them such that there is some margin for normal cyclists and the exceptions are given replacements when needed?
- Do accurate dynamo measurements like Olaf Schultz has done, requires a big setup. And I'm thinking of vibration measurements...
- Light output measurements of lamps. Philips suggested they would/could do it, but they have shrunk their lighting division it seems and cut back on expenses everywhere and so my request to measure some lamps has gone unanswered... Olaf Schultz is usually busy, not surprising, as for him bicycle lighting is not at all work related. This means I'm on my own and I don't want to wait long times before I can have something measured. I suggested a collaboration effort, but we may be loners going in different directions :)
- Power output measurements of USB systems
- Make a new lighting system, modular, programmable driver, own optic (I've worked on this but need to put in a lot more time to finish the designs). Show the big manufacturers what a good lighting system is :) This will take time, money and will probably require funding after the design stage, with something like "kickstarter".
I will start with putting a paypal donate button on my lighting and saddles pages, and if that doesn't work I will know soon enough I suppose :)
Let me know your thoughts...
Last modified: Wed Aug 28 21:58:49 CEST 2013