And that pretty much works for everything. From products you buy to web-sites you browse. Think about it. Junk does not last so you need more of it. Buy junk, replace junk, more garbage. Buy quality own it a lifetime no more garbage.
I spend a huge amount of my time browsing the Internet for anything that relates to electric bicycles and cycling. Directly or indirectly, specifically or in a general way if it catches my attention I’ll click it. I have been doing this type of research long enough to know what or what not to click on. Even so I still have to sort through far more garbage than I care to. It’s this seemingly endless amount of information and web sites and my ability to effectively sort through the garbage that leads me to my current subject.
At first I was going to highlight my best (worst) examples of scam reviews and informational garbage articles and follow-up with a list of words & phrases to look for in order to avoid them. Well, …. useful perhaps but I quickly decided it was too much like complaining so I decided to go in the other direction. There are hundreds of web sites that are geared towards electric bikes. Out of those there are dozens of useful sites. Out of those there is in my opinion less than two dozen that are truly good web sites or blogs dedicated to e bikes and practical cycling. I keep this small group of “truly good web sites” appropriately labeled & saved in my favorites. Over the course of a month it’s more than likely I’ll land on their pages at least once.
One such web site is Commute by Bike.com. I read their content quite often & currently have them selected as one of my EZgo-Now RSS WEB PICKS. Now to be fair Commute by Bike is actually one of three sites and some of those have more than one site. They refer to their sites as blogs & from this point on I will as well. The three primary blogs are Commute by Bike, Utility Cycling & The Hub Blogs. Based on their About Pages and their Archives it appears that Commute By Bike has been active since the spring of 2005. Utility Cycling officially appeared in June 09 and came as an outgrowth of Bike Shop Hub.com Blogs. The Bike Shop Hub.com Blogs itself came about on January 11 2006 as an extension of Wandertec. And Wandertec well, ………….. I think I’ll stop there.
Commute by Bike and their other blogs is what I look for in a good blog. As a blog they are easy to navigate and have well written & interesting content. They have only a small amount of outside advertising concentrating instead on cross promotion between their various blogs, forums and shops. As a commuter/utility/cargo blog they stay focused on their reader while at the same time understanding their readers come from a much broader group of people than just cycling enthusiasts. This group includes or maybe it’s the same as the e bike rider. The power assisted bicycle and specifically electric assisted have helped us to think about the bicycle as much as a form transportation as it is just an easier way to ride a bike. Instead of focusing on the bicycle (elite) crowd an e bike blog should be reaching out to anybody looking for a cost-effective and environmentally conscious form of transportation.
I started EZgo-Now.com in 2008 but spent the first two years learning everything necessary to build, operate and monetize the Internet portion of the business. It wasn’t until 2011 that I really began to focus a web site on the e bike business. However I had started to follow Utility Cycling as far back as 2009. About a year later when they hooked up with Commute by Bike I began reading them as well. This all happened about the same time I was building EZgo-Now.com and their group of bike blogs helped immensely in guiding me through my planning stages. They where also very instrumental in awaking my senses early on to the fact that e bikes where not just some small niche within cycling. E bikes where in fact a viable form of transportation on their own and should be of interest to anybody that would otherwise be using a car, truck or motorcycle. This is not to say they impacted what I wanted to do with my e bike business but they definitely played a role in how I would market it. I’m now looking for readers and customers in places I had not considered before. You could say I’ve traded my rifle scope for a pair of binoculars.
If I where to summarize their blogs my descriptions would go something like this:
Commute by Bike is a review blog concentrating on practical (commuting) cycling. Their Contact Page reads: “Our mission at Commute By Bike is to provide you with the knowledge, reviews, tips and how to advice for your commuting endeavors”. Not only do they do all the above but they do it better than most. Not only are the reviews honest and original but they’re written in with a sence of humor that is often lacking in this type of writing.
Utility Cycling according to their About Page is “a blog and online resource for all things related to the practice of utility cycling”. I think that’s a pretty good description. According to Wikipedia utility cycling encompasses any cycling not done primarily for fitness, recreation or sport, but simply as a means of transport. It is the most common type of cycling in the world. In the US it’s not only UN-common it’s relatively unheard of. Thanks to Utility Cycling there are more people discovering it. You’ll find that Utility Cycling is almost entirely focused on educating people about the many practical uses there are for bicycles and the positive social impact something as simple as cycling can make.
The Bike Shop Hub.com Blogs originally grew out of the building and sale of something called the CELLO Bike Case for BOB Trailers. According to their Wandertec Link the roots of the Bike Shop Hub go back to the development of the Wandertec CELLO Bike Case for BOB Trailers which was launched in 2004. (See the Wandertec Story for a complete history). The Hub Blogs is in one way the retail arm of this group with the Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop, Bike Kid Shop and the Bike Tech Shop. Click on any of those shops for a visit. In addition to the retail offerings it is also a central link for the 4 bike forums they host, three additional blogs including one called Family Cycling Blog and a link to Wandertec the manufacturing arm for Bike Trailers & Bags. Please visit the Bike Shop Hub.com Blogs at this link as there is way to much information here for me to properly describe.
Take a look at Commute by Bike and their other blogs if you haven’t found them already. I’m confident you’ll mark them as a favorite bicycling blog and a top spot for a one stop shop of information and products.
It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve seen this tremendous spike of on-line e bike information. On the surface this would appear to be a good thing. Look below the surface however and I’m sorry to say that much of this information is nothing more than thinly disguised and poorly written marketing sites promoting the sale of something e bike related. Worse is the fact that any type of e bike related search fills your first page not just with crappy web sites but with all of the bogus and re-spun articles posted on the free online article directory sites under the disguise of informational articles.
So let me wrap this up where I started but with a promise to continue promoting only good products, good companies and good web sites. In doing so I hope to help reduce the number of bad links clogging our search results. Search engines put a high value on good content AND good traffic. Promote the good web sites and stop clicking on the bad ones and the bad ones will go away. WELL, … yeah it’s slow but at least it’s not making the situation worse. Besides I enjoy building, working on and writing about e bikes so it’s a natural for me. Make it natural for yourself as well. Whenever you do an e bike search look closely at the summary below the link. Look at the preview when you can. Between those two bits of information you can often pick-out the worthless links. Not only will this save you time by not clicking them but you won’t be helping them keep a rating that they never earned and certainly don’t deserve.
Thanks for reading
Filed under: Electric Bicycle
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