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Right then, we're the world's leading bike magazine, because it says so on the cover, even though we're aware that it doesn't actually mean anything it sounds pretty good.

Anyway, it's the annual "Buyer's Guide" issue and that's quite a big deal so we need a smart bike for the cover, make it a road bike as they're the big thing at the moment, no-one's buying mountainbikes any more, make it a fast and expensive one and make it Italian, that'll make it seem exclusive and exotic and aspirational.

Now, if you could just photograph it from the wrong side please that would be a fabulous schoolboy error and cast doubt over the validity of the contents perfectly. And while you're there, make sure there's some ahead spacers above the stem so we look like complete amateurs, that would be great. Thanks.

Fail squared.
 

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

13 comments

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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thats the best one yet!  4

obviously their cut and paste head honcho was off that day and they left it to the intern.

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ctznsmith [92 posts] 6 years ago
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Lennard Zinn advises you should always have at least one spacer above the stem, can't remember why. So that isn't completely wrong but non-drive side photo...definitely amateurs!  3

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Oli Pendrey [100 posts] 6 years ago
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Hahaha brilliant (as in brilliantly rubbish)  1

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fourstringsisplenty [58 posts] 6 years ago
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Ooh, the wrong side, that's terrible. And spacers above the stem, even worse.

What idiots, not to have done what everyone else does.

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Mr Sock [155 posts] 6 years ago
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ah, maybe they were trying to break the mould, make a statement… like an art gallery turning the pictures to the wall… not sure what sort of statement that would be,  39 but I'm not the intellectual sort

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NickInBath [42 posts] 6 years ago
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A cover that important at a big publisher might well be designed in a different department by someone who isn't overly knowledgeable (or even care) about bikes. So they would just go with the right composition. Which is all the more criminal then to arrive at a cover so........meh! as they say on the interwebs.

Back in the old days, of course, you could reverse a transparency and have the chainset appearing on the left which really is the ultimate cock-up. Guess who's done that?

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Trek Sal [52 posts] 6 years ago
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And if you weren't very careful with your cow gum rubber, you'd have had messy bits around the text too, eh Nick?  3

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NickInBath [42 posts] 6 years ago
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Mmmmm! Cow Gum. And they wonder why designers are all weird, like?

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maxlite [27 posts] 6 years ago
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Easton advise on fork installation instructions for 10mm spacer above stem.

Just checked pics of 5 pro bikes and they all have 10mm spacer on top  39

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therevokid [940 posts] 6 years ago
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the above stem spacer is to even the stem's pinch bolt
loads across the steerer evenly .... which is fair
enough in an engineering way ... but the non drive
side !!! .... oh dear, oh dear, oh dear .... it'll be
small ring and half way up (or down) the cassette next !

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I'd expect review bikes, which they get passed around several publications, to have spacers above the stem when they're setup for some journalists.

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Martin Thomas [380 posts] 6 years ago
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Scuse my ignorance but what's wrong with having spacers above the stem? Is it purely aesthetic?

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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Pretty much, and as therevokid says above there is an engineering reason to have one spacer above, also it does at least leave you the option of a bit of height adjustment. I suppose that on a race bike it comes down to having that 'pro' look with no superflous weight and a perfectly dialled in racing position.

Most test road bikes normally come in with two or three spacers - as they would be sent to a shop, and usually, but not always, with the spacers below the stem cos it looks 'neater' giving the reviewer the option of tweaking the position to suit - which can often mean the bike will be ridden with the spacers above the stem.

Personally I don't have any problem with a bit of above spacer action, but then I'm the sort of person that leaves the laces on their trainers unnecessarily long because they came that way and because if I cut them I will inevitably find myself in a situation in which a long trainer lace would prove vital.