Survey: How Can We Make Bikerumor.com Better?

Dear readers, thanks to you we’ve topped 1 Million Monthly Pageviews! That, and we’ve been recognized for the second year in a row as one of the Top 50 Cycling Blogs by London Cyclist! We’re thrilled, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re working on a few updates for Bikerumor.com and want to know what YOU want to see. How can we make Bikerumor.com even better? What should we change? What do you like best about the site? What do you like the least?

Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts. We’ll compile them all and, while we can’t promise that every suggestion will be implemented, we’ll do our best to continue to improve based on your feedback. Thanks, and just a heads up, this post will stick to the top for a few days, but fresh content will continue to be posted below. Thanks in advance,

Tyler Benedict, Founder/Editor

Comments

Adam - 03/21/11 - 11:17am

Redesign the site! color scheme could use an update.

Brian - 03/21/11 - 11:22am

Love the site. I use Safari as my browser, and I have mountain bike page saved as one of my “Top Sites”. For some reason I often get notified via the little icon on my “Top Sites” page that the site has been updated. When I click on the site, I find that nothing has changed. My suspicion is that the RSS feed gets updated anytime someone makes a comment not just when new content is posted.

Also, I find some mountain biking related content on the main page that isn’t put on the mountain bike page.

These are pretty minor nit-picks. So, you guys are doing a great job and are doing very well keeping my gearhead brain satisfied.

Mike - 03/21/11 - 11:26am

Go through a proper redesign process. Not just aesthetics, do it properly and think about the priorities for the site: the users, your content and how it can be best presented, advertising requirements,and how all that can be structured in a clear manner. I avoid some cyclist news sites because they’re a nightmare to navigate or even read articles on. You’ve got great content here but the design is a mess. May someone who knows what they’re doing to make your site better. There’s momentum here, so keep that going with a professional presentation of your great content.

tripelt - 03/21/11 - 11:29am

Better tech knowledge, errors when you get more in depth technically are quite common. Also more skepticism when regurgitating companies press releases would be nice. If you are going to post a press release to get news out quickly or fill space just tell us its a press release.

iam_joshua - 03/21/11 - 11:47am

This site has amazing content, and it keeps coming and coming. You’re posting way more tech related content than some of the bigger bike sites.

Biggest area for improvement would be DESIGN. The current liquid layout really falls apart on larger monitors. A clean professional design would be a hug improvement. I can tell you’re running WordPress and there are so many amazing themes that could be run straight out of the box or slightly modified suit your purposes.

Would also be nice to see some author bios and author based archives (all the posts by that author).

Keep up the good work.

Beeg - 03/21/11 - 11:48am

I wish pictures from bikerumor would appear in Google Reader rather than just text!

Gal - 03/21/11 - 11:51am

Keep doing what you do.
Great place to stop few times a day and get updated.

Bob N - 03/21/11 - 11:55am

A mobile version of your site would be a nice addition

Biff242 - 03/21/11 - 12:25pm

Establish a strong narrative voice in more of your posts — they don’t all have to be snarky like ThomP, but putting character into the interpretation of news and announcements really adds to what BikeRumor does better than the other sites.

BTW, ThomP rocks — more of him! And provide a link the contributors’ bios and a compilation of all their posts.

Cheers

bluebellknoll - 03/21/11 - 12:39pm

FREE BIKES!

Travis - 03/21/11 - 1:20pm

How about some recumbent or other HPV coverage?

Mike - 03/21/11 - 1:29pm

I use an RSS reader with your RSS feed and when a story piques my interest, I click through to your site. That’s OK, but once I get to the site, there is no (apparent) concept of “next article”. I’d really like to click through to your site and then once I’m on your site be able to click a “next” button to see the next article that I see listed in my RSS reader. Just having stuff linked on the side isn’t enough.

Trevor - 03/21/11 - 1:43pm

I’m with Bob N, a mobile version, or dare I say it, iPhone news ap, would be a seriously great addition. Nothing for me really ever to complain about on the main site, except nit picky crap, but it’s pretty slow to load on the go, especially with those inline big beautiful photos we love to drool over so much (and are much appreciated on a normal screen!).

grant - 03/21/11 - 1:55pm

MOBILE SITE that is quick loading with an automatic refresh as you scroll down the page. So, no “next post” “previous” post option… just automatically offers more content.

Greg C - 03/21/11 - 2:05pm

I just find that your site takes longer than other sites to load. I’m not web savy enough to know why, but I do notice it pretty much every time, so it doesn’t seem to be related to amount of bandwidth available at the time.

Uri - 03/21/11 - 2:34pm

Absolutely second what Biff242 said: “ThomP rocks — more of him! And provide a link the contributors’ bios and a compilation of all their posts.”

Also, a comment archive/response system (maybe a checkbox for “email me when someone responds to my comment”) and/or comment rating system would be cool.

Awesome site, this.

jaas - 03/21/11 - 2:41pm

nudity

dustin - 03/21/11 - 2:44pm

I’ll send the option to contain at least one picture in the RSS feed, if not the entire article.

Tom - 03/21/11 - 2:56pm

Definitely second grants request for the “lazy load” feature. Definitely much easier to browse.

@iam_joshua: I am not really a fan of liquid layouts to begin with, but what exactly falls apart on this site? I’m on a 30″ display and it performs as I would expect a liquid layout to work.

Less sidebar clutter. We don’t need to see the big list of contributors on every page. Make a separate page for that.

New design would be great.

Top navigation gets lots. Seems kind of useless. I’ve never once used the category buttons up top. Perhaps they would be better elsewhere.

Elegantly designed tag cloud for posts, like on this site: http://www.typotheque.com/articles/e-a-t_a_selection_of_contemporary_czech_and_slovak_type_design

Get rid of Captcha for commenting, ughhhh. Is Askimet not enough to prevent spam?

Less coverage of 3T’s ugly fork CX fork with terrible cable routing.

Maximize coverage of future Paul Smith and Rapha collaborations. The inevitable comments are a good break during the day.

Gian - 03/21/11 - 4:00pm

I can tell you what not to do…

Gawker media recently updated their sites gizmodo.com, gawker.com, deadspin.com to name a few.

Their new layout is hideous and greatly protested by the readers. I can no longer visit their sites on mobil devices like the ipad. please visit their sites, take note, and DONT use their format.

Nate - 03/21/11 - 4:24pm

As someone may have already mentioned, I wish you guys had more critical reviews. It seems like you’re mostly reviewing products as a favor to friends, so you’re afraid to say anything negative. Pretty much everything is rated a 4/5 or 5/5.

MW - 03/21/11 - 4:26pm

This is a great site that does not need much improvement…..DO NOT go the way of the Gawker family of websites.
As far as content- interviews are always interesting. Maybe hit up the “way-back” machine once in awhile with some “where-are-they-now” type things.

Mike - 03/21/11 - 4:39pm

Keep Zach on the interesting things. He really has a knack for making things simple. There are a lot of things that are newsworthy that I do not care about so if you change the site make it easy to skip over things I find boring. Also some of the photos are often crooked, idk why.

Chunky - 03/21/11 - 5:06pm

Awesome content on this site. Just needs a fresher simpler look – that’s about it.

Javi - 03/21/11 - 6:15pm

Why not a better designed look web page?. Bikerumor is one of the best bike blog I use to read and one of the ugliest too. Seedy and old look, no margins, no brand presence… You can make it better

Joshua Murdock - 03/21/11 - 6:16pm

I’d say… create a mobile version and, if you redesign the site, don’t get rid of the world champ stripe! Great work, this site rocks.

nh - 03/21/11 - 7:10pm

Overall the site is excellent. The only thing I would change is amount of coverage for the NAHBS. There is way too many posts on it. There have been a couple of great videos showing bikes being hand built. And it would be good to see the category winners and few highlights but it seems like we get a post for ever bike and manufacturer in the show. Even before it start there is 20-30 post on the road to the NAHBS.

Josh - 03/21/11 - 8:04pm

Love the content. Page downloads too slow, format could use a face lift / change & mobile version is a must.

Larry - 03/21/11 - 8:27pm

1) Page loads are too slow — this is your single biggest issue. 2) More in-depth coverage is always better when you can get to it. 3) The current design is fine with me because I can get to the content, but I’m not a design guy… 4) Interview more people from the companies that make cool products.

Matt - 03/21/11 - 9:38pm

First off, I love you guys. I like the technical content; I’m always excited to read about that next hot piece of kit rolling off an assembly line or (better yet) being hand crafted by some coffee-fueled welding god.

I wish you guys more clearly broke out and regularly updated your content sections. Some (like Triathlon) seem sort of neglected. If you’re looking to add content, I would love to read more about racing, training, and nutrition. I’m not just interested in how-to stuff, though. I’d love to see articles that reflect the lives of readers…what they eat, where they race…and perhaps even get together with a few of them.

As a metaphor, I’d think of San Francisco’s Bike Nut (http://www.bikenut.us/) + a coffee shop mashed together online.

Ben - 03/21/11 - 10:11pm

please DO NOT change a thing. I love the simple layout as it is easy to read and navigate through.

Ryan - 03/22/11 - 1:03am

More technique/training/nutrition/tips and tricks articles. And a mobile version/app. You guys are the best with news though!

David - 03/22/11 - 6:42am

Definitely need a mobile version. The site loads too slow on my phone and is difficult to read. The content is great, keep up the good work.

spokejunky - 03/22/11 - 8:16am

I’m going along with load times on the page. It takes a little longer than most sites to load up the intro page. Maybe limiting the amount of posts on the intro page or smaller resolution images.

A weekly video review from one of the editors in round robin style so no one gets burned out.

Daniel - 03/22/11 - 10:53am

I like that you guys have a sense of humor but as of late many of the posts seem too sarcastic, kooky, and feel like they are bike industry hack generated. You can’t go wrong keeping everything pro. Even so, this is my favorite site since it is a one-stop shop for bike news and tech.

Tristan - 03/22/11 - 12:39pm

This site loads so incredibly slow. If I click on a post then go back to the main blog after reading it, I scroll down to where I was and continue, then like 30 seconds later, your website moves me back to the post I already read. This would be a cool feature as it prevents you from losing your place, but since it takes so long, I’ve already moved on by then. I don’t know anything about programming, but I’m pretty sure there is some way of making the site faster. This problem has nothing to do with my connection either as this is the only site I have trouble with. I wonder if it has to do with the adds on the side (I understand they are necessary), but it seems that since all of them have flash sideshows and graphics it is just too much to load. I wonder if you could dumb down the graphics on the main page, but then keep them high quality in the articles.
PS. I love your content!

Carlito - 03/22/11 - 1:28pm

*First off, I know this is “bike RUMOR” and the intent is to focus on news and reviews. That being said, you don’t have to pigeon hole yourself! Branch out a little into world of original content.

- Pull in PODs from your Facebook wall or when someone tags you in a TwitPic
- Consider adding a forum
- Less pictures of track bikes/fixies and more MTB content like what we can see on PinkBike! We’re not all hipsters ;-) I know you guys ride some of the greatest single track in the world… let’s see occasional travel journals.
- More content on nutrition and workouts

Thanks for the great website!

Tom - 03/22/11 - 1:43pm

Do we really need another cycling forum?

I think the commenting is sufficient. I like the idea of more travel journals. Especially some self supported bike-packing content. Look to the Salsa Cycles blog for some inspiration.

Rob - 03/22/11 - 1:57pm

Mobile version would be nice otherwise I think you’re bang on with what you got so far.

kevin - 03/22/11 - 3:38pm

jaas and uri are right, nude thomp!

ps. the design is fine

kevin - 03/22/11 - 3:39pm

jaas and uri are right, this site needs more nude thomp.

ps. the design is fine. don’t change it.

zen - 03/22/11 - 4:23pm

Nude ThomP? I don’t think the world is ready for that.

I like the idea of a mobile-friendly version.

I’d like it if you could click on a specific ‘contributor’ and have it take you to an archive page of their contributions.

dorkasaurus - 03/22/11 - 4:49pm

I don’t now how to use a compootr, so can you come to my house and do it for me?

Also, pay Thom P more, or at all.

GLCamp - 03/22/11 - 5:50pm

There were more interviews in the past and they were always superb, both in content and choice of subject (industry people in addition to riders). More of them would be very much worthwhile.

Flag press releases as such.

More writing displaying the opinion and character of the author, as those articles that do are excellent and stand out.

Maverick8 - 03/22/11 - 6:05pm

I wouldn’t change much. One gap in the industry is this is what I am riding, these are the upsides and these are the downsides. This gets influenced too much by product promotion and relations. I company x loans parts, it is difficult to remain object, but rarely do I feel like a review is completely object (in general…not specific to brumor). I would say you guys do it better than others out there but more is better. I want to know what is new this year and what is exciting about it, but also if it is crap, tell us. Keep up the good works.

-Maverick8

Dave W. - 03/22/11 - 7:05pm

First of all, nice job on the website. I visit it daily.

Your site’s primarily benefit to me is its aggregation of new product information such as announcements, trade show snaps, video, etc. Of course, I occasionally enjoy some of the other content, but that is not what makes you unique and brings me to your site. My advice would be focus on what you do best and limit expending resources on what others do much better.

JohnG - 03/22/11 - 7:40pm

I would like to see contests giving away some of this cool stuff.

Erich - 03/22/11 - 9:49pm

A rare serious comment from me here. I’ve read this site since its inception and I think it’s got a lot of positive elements. Being a bike tech nerd myself, I really enjoy the constant stream of technical coverage. One thing I do think it could use is more of your, the staff’s, voices. Anybody can post a press-release verbatim, and many sites do, but I think that one of the reasons ThomP is so beloved here is that he adds his own color to things. Until you guys start getting more exclusives and scoops on new information, your strength lies not in the information conveyed, but how it is conveyed. Bike journalism isn’t exactly hard-hitting most of the time and I think it’s OK to let your voices be heard. If I want to listen to somebody lip-service a vendor, I’ll go back into the bike retail biz and wait for a sales rep to show up. I’m more concerned about what excites people both inside and outside of the bike business, and why.

A nice exclusive feature in this vein might be some video reviews of product a’la Thom’s punishingly funny Rapha hat review. They don’t even have to be that funny, but seeing somebody give their own testimonial in a non-text way is a nice change of pace. Plus, you can get a better idea of what the actual product looks like, bonus. Another angle might be slice-of-life or industry insider interviews. The bike industry is way bigger than athletes and product managers and I bet you could find some people with very compelling stories to tell. Interview mechanics, welders, that one crazy activist lady/dude everyone knows but doesn’t talk to, a frequent customer at your shop or some older rider with cool stories from when people rode crappy 3-speeds across Canada (true story). Hell, I can think of about 10 people in Boston right now that don’t often, or have never, shown up in bike reporting. Seeing as you all are even more tied in to the bike world than I, there must be tons of people in your neck of the woods as well.

BMX, more of it. I know it’s not really the focus of this site, but it is the facet of cycling that most pushes the boundaries of visual design/fashion and progression of talent. If nothing else, a quick slice of it every now and then to let us know what’s up with that end of the sport.

Recumbents. You guys have done a commendable job of keeping this site mostly (totally?) recumbent free, thanks.

and finally.

Women. This site, like most in the bike world, is woefully short on women. Yes, they make up a smaller part of the cycling market than men, but one has to imagine that a woman can provide a slightly different take on things, namely those products designed for women. It could be an easy way to increase your reader base, if you can find someone who can commit the time to doing it.

james - 03/22/11 - 11:26pm

Make it load faster on mobile devices….took almost 3 minutes to load survey page. I follow tweets but quit clicking links because it takes too long to load web pages on my smartphone

Gillis - 03/23/11 - 2:28am

1. Page loads slow.
2. On the main page, when you click an image it takes you to a new page of just that image instead of the article. I don’t want to click the title or “more”. Most sites I visit clicking the image take you to the article. It’s a larger ‘strike zone’ and therefore easier/faster.

Everything else is great. I like the simplicity of the layout. I like the colors. All these recommendations to look at other sites for ideas is silly. If you like that site then go there. I don’t feel you guys should be making this site like everyone else. I like this site the way it is. I like the slightly personal touch…ie you don’t sound like CyclingNews. ThomP, Tyler, Zach, and all the rest–you guys/gals are great. If you’re ever in the PNW let’s go for a ride.

Hodge - 03/23/11 - 7:10am

Awesome bike site!
How to make it better…?
How about Hot Ninja Midget Bikini Chicks… On bikes!?!

Thanks

nate h - 03/23/11 - 8:53am

I would really like to see pictures included in RSS feeds. I use pulse reader app and I am very unlikely to read something unless there is a photo to grab my attention.

Adam SG - 03/23/11 - 11:25am

Bikerumor!
There is definitely a slower loading on your site that a lot of others, this isn’t usually a problem, and doesn’t stop me from visiting often, but it is noticeable.
A mobile app for the droid and iPhone would be a step-up.

Also, as a life long bike tech, there are some glaring technical errors in some of the reporting. The Cannondale Lefty adapter comes to mind right now. I’d be glad to contribute on this front if there is ever a need. Will work for beer, cookies, high fives, and other fun stuff.

Keep up the good work.

Jake - 03/23/11 - 12:09pm

Bikerumor is great and exactly that. Like Carlito said, “… the intent is to focus on news and reviews.” Thanks for this site. I like it cause like most people now-a-days, I have the attention span of a gnat. I can come here, get updated and move on with my life but I do see where a lot of people have commented on being more technical and “in-depth” and I would agree. So, since you have opened this up to strangers giving you our opinions, here’s mine.

1. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
2. Site needs to load faster.
3. Redesign the page(s). Front page has a lot of redundancy.
4. Continue with the snippets, newsflash/rumor mill/ heard on the street/ word is, etc…for those of us who are attention staying tards.
5. In depth reviews by you and or your staff for those gearhead geeks. No more reposting of reviews or what-have-you from the manufacturer (if you do, say so as someone above mentioned). We want to hear (read) what YOU and your STAFF have to say about it.
6. Search articles (postings) by author / manufacturer / parts, etc….

Love the site and the concept of keeping things short and simple…you are doing a great job.

Thanks for all the hard work!

Steve Rogers - 03/23/11 - 2:05pm

Speed of loading/refreshing is the biggest drawback to the site. Make it load faster.

murpes - 03/23/11 - 3:11pm

How about not covering mountain biking at all and only focusing on road stuff? :)

Seriously, just make sure you’re reviewing stuff the average guy can actually afford. I like the content just the way it is.

YouTube is blocked by a lot of content filters, so I can’t watch a lot of the embedded until I get home from work. And many of those Pictures of the Day depress me because I’m sitting at a desk.

Joel - 03/23/11 - 3:24pm

Would like to see the full article and pics in the RSS feed.

tenpercenter - 03/23/11 - 5:25pm

Update the Blog links!

Aesculapius - 03/23/11 - 9:58pm

Please: a lot more coverage of recumbent bikes and trikes. They are rapidly becoming very popular. (edited)

JohnH - 03/24/11 - 9:51am

BikeRumor is my daily go-to site. Things that keep me coming back every day:
- Fresh content
- First-to-know about new products
- Variety of writing styles
- Pic Of The Day
- In-depth How Tos and NAHBS coverage
- No race coverage (leave that to the other guys)

What could be improved?
- Faster download/multi-platform support
- Less lag between out-of-the-box and long-term reviews. This is a challenge, in that you want to be the first with the news, yet take time to do a thorough review. Maybe you need more testers to accumulate experience more quickly?
- More quantitative testing in the reviews. For example, side-by-side pics of headlight illumination is good. Adding range markers is better. Add an engineer or two to the stable. Quantitative data improves reviews by adding interest and objectivity. But please, keep enthusiasts perspective as well!
- Ditto taking a look at the Salsa Cycles blog for entertaining travelog and human interest stuff.

Taylor - 03/24/11 - 1:59pm

I totally agree with JohnH except maybe the Salsa blog.
keep up the good work

Alex - 03/24/11 - 2:37pm

I would comment a lot more if you improved the comment system by installing Disqus. Its a 5 minute install for wordpress.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.