The reader’s guide to off-road.cc’s review scoring system
Whether it's an all-singing, all-dancing bike or a humble bell, here at off-road.cc, we aim to provide thorough, accurate, and entertaining reviews to help you make an informed decision before spending your hard-earned cash. So, here's a quick guide on our scoring system to keep things crystal clear.
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What do the stars mean?
- 5 - Exceptional
- 4.5 - Excellent
- 4 - Very good
- 3.5 - Good
- 3 - Quite good
- 2.5 - Average
- 2 - Not so good
- 1.5 - Poor
- 1 - Bad
- .5 - Appalling
At Off-Road.cc, we rate a product in four categories based on various factors. As you may have noticed, we use a five-star scoring system with half-star increments, so we can be a little pickier.
If a product is awarded a full five stars in a category, of course, that's top marks, a perfect product. But, then, a product awarded half a star (the lowest score we can give) means that it should probably be avoided like the plague. Thankfully, we've not yet awarded anything a half-star review.
Two and a half stars indicate an average score. Something that's not excellent but something that's certainly not terrible either.
But what about the categories?
Thankfully, the categories are pretty self-explanatory, though each type correlates to a different aspect of a product's review.
Overall – The overall score is what you'll see on our home page, and it's also the score you'll see at the very top of a review by the title and price. The overall score is a culmination of categories to offer you insight into whether a product is any good or not before getting into the specifics.
Quality – With quality, we're looking for durability and build quality. If stitching on garments, for example, begins to fray after only a couple of rides, then it would receive a low score in this category. On the other hand, if it shrugs off a few months of solid riding in all conditions and still looks and feels sparkly and new, then a higher score it'll receive. Importantly, we don't try to break test items, though if we find a weak point, that'll be reflected in the quality score and discussed in the review.
Performance – Everything from set-up, functionality, and user experience fall under our performance category. Testers will consider how a product is to ride on/with, how well it operates for its intended purpose, and whether it backs up what it's been claimed to do. They'll ask questions such as, "does this handlebar pack stay stable when fully packed?" Or, "how well does this bottle cage hold onto a bottle over rough terrain?" Testers will also find out how easy a product is to use, and this score will reflect that.
Value – Value is where we talk cold, hard cash. To keep things as fair as possible, we compare the product's price with other products of a similar spec, and quality on the market at the time of reviewing. This category will uncover how much product you get for your buck, and ultimately, whether it's worth your investment.
While we strive to provide as informed reviews as we can, at the end of the day, reviews are largely opinion-based, backed up by the facts. Whatever it is that you're interested in purchasing, if you have an option to test ride or trial a product, we always recommend that you do, so you can have a personal taster of what to expect.