Deceptive reviews: industrywide?


Active Member
Youtube ebike reviewers create the impression youtube is their only source of revenue. The content may show that they are paid advertisers as well. The Aventon site links to several Abound reviews. In one, Scott Hardesty shows the cargo rack ($159) with the similarly expensive panniers mounted below it. He says the rack interferes with opening the panniers.

He says he’s going to pick up a rug at the dry cleaner’s, and he’s taking laundry to drop off. A sped-up clip shows him tossing clothes into a wide-open pannier. i didn’t understand the contradiction, but seeing was believing. The combined capacity appealed to me. I ordered the rack and the panniers.

The rack would not allow the panniers to open. I studied the video. The mounting of the pannier is invisible in a shadow, but the position of the pannier shows that it has been hung from the rack, six inches outboard of the normal place. It would make the stationary bike 32 inches wide. In motion, the panniers would swing wildly. Detaching it from its normal place for loading would require removing the rack. The video lied to get customers to buy useless panniers.

Hardesty’s disclaimer shows it wasn’t his idea. It looks as if Aventon insisted on adding the deceptive clip. The high speed and opaque shadow show technical sophistication.

With 30 miles on my odometer, I got a flat. If I hadn’t marked the sidewall before removing the tube (in order to match the hole in the tube to its position in the tire), I never would have found the cause. It was what I would call a grain of sand, 2.6 x 3.6 mm, embedded in the tire.

By my count, the tire had 25 TPI. In the industry, anything below 60 is considered low quality, in part because an otherwise harmless particle can slip in between cords. In this case, the particle had cut a cord.

I checked reviews to see why I had thought the bike came with decent tires.

March 2, 2023, Electric Vehicle ( called the tires puncture resistant. I’d thought it peculiar that they didn't say what these tires were because normally you get that information from the tire manufacturer. In fact, my tire was an Innova IA-2128-04. Innova’s only catalog specification is size. It must have been Aventon who told the reviewer they were puncture resistant.

At, I love reading issues of Cycling Weekly dating back to 1891. April 14, 2023, it reviewed the Abound, calling the tires replicas of Marathons that didn’t grip as well. I realize now that this was a diplomatic way of calling them inferior imitations. By “grip” they may have meant “handle.” Low thread-count tires don’t handle well, and other reviews have said the Abound handles badly with a load. The Cycling Weekly reviewer said he had “no issues with the tires.” In other words, he’d decided not to complain. Faint praise!

June 30, 2023, Momentum said the “thick tires can take on any paved surface.” Maybe that’s a diplomatic way to say they aren’t tough enough for my gravel driveway. A tire that lets a grain of sand puncture a tube is not thick. The tread feels as thin as the sidewall.

November 29, a few days before my flat, Gear Lab published a review calling the tires puncture resistant. Innova doesn't claim that. They must have been following Aventon’s script.

It’s one thing if a manufacturer chooses to save perhaps 1% of a bike’s list price by providing shoddy tires. It’s something else to pressure reviewers to make shoddy tires a selling point by smearing lipstick on a pig. A business model based on fooling customers should also provide for handling complaints. I believe Aventon limits its American staff to fifty. Is that 25 orchestrating deceptive reviews and 25 waiting at support to tell malcontents to run along?

Aventon may not be the worst offender.