Review: Ramped Riding by Robb Sutton (bike198.com)

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I am a fan of Robb Sutton’s website bike198.com. I have his site on an RSS feed and I enjoy reading his postings. I especially like his content including his well written reviews and pictures. So color me happy when he produced an ebook called: Ramped Riding for $20.


Ramped Riding ebook

In these down economic times I’m always looking for a deal. $20 for an ebook to me is a bit steep, so I put off purchasing it for a while. Yesterday, though, I saw that Robb Sutton was offering the book for FREE to subscribers to his newsletter. Alright, now that’s a word I like to hear!

Ramped Riding
I immediately subscribed to bike198.com’s newsletter and proceeded to download his book. With great anticipation I sat down to read a few chapters last night. As I got past the preliminaries (intro, table of contents…) and into the first chapter I noticed something: the content in the ebook sounded eerily familiar. I began to think “Where have I read this before?”

My smile turned upside down as I hopped on bike198.com and searched his site. To my dismay I realized that Robb Sutton had taken his postings on bike198.com and strung them together to create an ebook. Even worse, he was charging people $20 to read the ebook when the contents of the ebook were on his website for FREE.

Don’t believe me? Here is a screen shot of the table of contents.

The first few topics and the corresponding webpage:
The Perfect Mountain Bike… here
What Kind of Rider are You?… here
14 Must Have Items for Every Ride… here

Now, I’m just picking random topics:
How to Turn At Speed – Keep Momentum … here
Rocky Mountain Bike Trail Techniques … here
#1 Way To Get Over Descending Fears … here

How about page 2 of the table of contents? Maybe some new stuff later in the book, right?

Nope, just more of the same.
Miles, Miles and more Miles … here
The First 30 Days in the Saddle … here
Top 5 Ways to Get Back on the Horse … here

These are word-for-word copies from the website to Ramped Riding. Also, the book has very few pictures: 6, total. There is a picture to start each each section but no pictures in the topics (couple of diagrams). The pictures that were on the the website did not make the book.

In the end I did not read the whole book, or maybe I did. I’ve had an RSS feed on the site since early on and when I wasn’t busy at work I did go through the site’s history to read his postings. But, I didn’t last night.

Would I recommend Ramped Riding?
No. Ramped Riding is not original material. My recommendation is for you to spend a couple of hours or days on bike198.com and you’ll have read Ramped Riding AND seen pictures that aren’t found in the book. You’ll also read his reviews which I recommend. Subscribe to Robb Sutton’s site bike198.com and skip the ebook.

Editor’s Note:This post reflects the opinion of the writer and not of MtnBikeRiders.com.

3 thoughts on “Review: Ramped Riding by Robb Sutton (bike198.com)

  1. You do realize that the book is not complete yet right? Also, those topics are expanded on and there is a lot of unique content built in.

    The eBook was just released this week for free (has never been released one day for sale as of this point)…it was not being sold previous to Tuesday at all to get feedback from readers to see what they wanted included in the book before sale.

    Now…through the process…I am getting in fantastic information from readers on what they want included before it is actually a paid version.

    If there is anything you guys would want to see added…let me know.

  2. Robb, Thanks for chiming in.

    First: I like your website.

    Second: I don’t like your ebook. Correct me if I’m wrong but when you have sections called: “wrapping it up” and “final thoughts from 198”, I’m pretty sure the ebook is complete.

    If you expanded on content, then I didn’t come across it while reading last night and as I was putting in a couple of hours searching your book and bike198.com for the articles I linked.

    Third: feedback from this reader consists of remove all website content, write new content. Oh, and more pictures, please.

    Last: Did I mention that I like your website? I agree 100% with your review of the Niner Jet9. Good stuff there.

    How about a line on the book’s cover and on your website that says: Ramped Riding is a compilation of blog postings from bike198.com

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. “Correct me if I’m wrong but when you have sections called: “wrapping it up” and “final thoughts from 198″, I’m pretty sure the ebook is complete.”

    What I meant is that was just the first draft to get feedback from readers. The purpose of releasing it for free first was to get constructive feedback before official launch.

    I have a long list of stuff to write over the weekend (including pictures!)…so it is going to drastically change the final result.

    Being my first ebook about mountain biking…I really wanted to make sure I was coming to the table with something that people really wanted. Through the excellent feedback I have received…I am sure it will get there before the official launch.

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