Bicycling Magazine – what are they smoking?


Since I renewed my Performance club membership (hey, 10% back is totally worth it), I get a “free” subscription to Bicycling Magazine. As with the last time I got this for free, I am seriously questioning their priorities.

I understand that it is tough to publish a relevant print magazine these days. Attention spans are infinitesimal, and the value of advertising is low enough that you need to just cram your rag with ads to break even. Add to that crappy editing, and little spend for quality articles, and you get a schlocky publication.

The highlights for this issue, December 2014:

  • Safely signal turns – Really, in a magazine you have an article on hand signals? For f*ck’s sake, I learnt this by the first grade, and again in driver’s ed. But after riding in Arizona for almost 11 years, clearly it is no longer taught to kids.Turn Signals

  • Dream bikes – A series of 4 bikes of amazing hand-made droolery. Seriously, priced from $8K – $12K. Yep, cool to look at, but not practical for the everyday rider.
  • Bling – seriously, an article on fork clamp caps, as a way to pimp your ride
  • Wearable bling – an article on riding caps, with someone who has a collection of over 200 caps. Sigh. This is interesting?
  • One Budget bike – a BMC (?) that couples a decent carbon frame with lowendish components (not Durace or Campagnolo). Still it is a $2300 bike, kind of spendy for a hack like me

To be fair, there are a couple of good articles on cold weather training, and on how to keep warm. Worthy reads, buried in the ridiculousness of the elite.

The last word, there is an article on riding in the gravel. Good points, but anybody who was a kid riding on dirt roads on their old Schwinn stingray (am I dating myself?) already knows this.

I would never subscribe, but I will browse this when it arrives, get a few laughs and then recycle it.

(Bicycling – sorry if this sounds like I am picking on you, but I would hardly call your magazine broad reach.  Clearly I am not your target demographic)

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By geoffand

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November 2014

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