Bike Testing 101

Loaded PenskeThe Penske, loaded with 56 bikes, en route to the 2012 testing grounds. 

Ever wonder how we decide what bikes to cover in the magazine? The short answer: We ride the bejeezus out of a lot of bicycles. And we’re riding this week.

Finding the best bikes of the upcoming season begins eight months before the magazine reviews hit the stands. In early September, we dash around Interbike, the annual bicycle expo that takes over Las Vegas’s Sands Convention Center, fondling prototypes, wading through the sales pitches, and making note of the most promising looking bikes and accessories. Throughout the fall we distill the list and begin requesting samples, and our local bike shop, The Broken Spoke, builds them up as they trickle in. Meanwhile, I do my best to log a couple of hours on each test bike by New Years.

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