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Old 09-06-05, 01:26 AM   #1
lilHinault
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Give Bicycling Magazine a chance

I looked at the latest issue, the one with Lance's face on the cover, and not only did it have an ad about 3 pages in for Chronos stationary trainers that I'm not going to try to decscribe, you'll have to just see it, since I wonder if that rider might be one of the regulars here (if so, congrats! Neat ad) and the photo on page 25 is something you'll never ever see in VeloNews.

Interesting article on an organized ride of one of the TdF stages, lots of interesting bits and pieces of information/opinion, lots of inspiration for noobs or semi-noobs, and yes, car ads and ads for questionable supplements. But different, a different approach than you'd see in VeloNews, Procycling, etc.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:32 AM   #2
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I like it, but then again my subscription was free.

I just wish they'd review more bikes in every issue.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:32 AM   #3
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I canceled my subscription. Too much self congratualatory "Bike Town" crap I find it funny that they'll buy a dozen bikes for a town yet would never stoop to review a bike such as the ones they gave away.
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Old 09-06-05, 05:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
I looked at the latest issue, the one with Lance's face on the cover...
- the August issue?

- 2nd page ad spread is for a Honda mini-van... i guess bike companies can't afford good placement?

- back page? TIAA CREF financial services ad - nothing bike-related there... i guess being a *****-for-dollars means that any advertiser with the dollars gets placement at the expense of bike-related advertisers without the investment or oil industry-backed corporate means...

- inside back cover ad? a Hyundai mini-van ad of course! why not? there's not much real bike-related material between the covers anyway... (OK, that was a bit harsh)

- pg. 113 - WoW! that full page ad for a sexual performance drug extract is a great lead-in to the mini-bike ad section!

- filling out the high-end advertorial lineup: Nissan, Dodge, Land Rover, Infiniti, Toyota, Subaru, Viagra, Saab, Jeep, VW.... hmm... getting a picture here?

- look, i understand that a magazine has to sell advertising in order to publish... but it looks like in this case, it's also to support lavish editorial staff locations and infrastructure...

- advertisers aren't being asked to submit bike-related material - where's the tie-in? editorial standards? published testing standards? published review standards?

- there's no apparent differentiation between new product announcements and editorial endorsement of products...

- a one-page, large type letters section? i would think readers would have more to contribute, but perhaps bicycling doesn't care about reader opinions?

- i could go on and on... i see why most folks say to either not bother subscribing or just let the subs lapse...
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Old 09-06-05, 06:04 AM   #5
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As a writer and editor myself, I'd say Bicycling is pretty well written. And I think they've tried to branch out lately. They actually did a story on touring in Ireland. Well unloaded luxury touring. "The Ride," the monthly photo essay might be the best part of the magazine.

But most of the mag is about pushing metal. And how many times can they run the headline "Your Best Body Ever. Seven Simple Steps"

Gotta love styleman, the ultimate in OCP.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:40 AM   #6
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I picked up an issue to see if I should subscribe. As people have posted on another thread here, it was hard to find the few short articles between the ads for expensive accessories that I "just had to have." Needless to say, I'm not signing up. People can learn more by reading this forum.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- 2nd page ad spread is for a Honda mini-van... i guess bike companies can't afford good placement?...
Your points are all valid. I've even e-mailed "Bicycling," asking that they discount bicycle-related ads in relation to the other stuff so that more bicycle manufacturers and parts makers could afford to advertise. No reply...

The self-congratulatory "Bike Town" stuff passes my radar because they're actually giving away bikes and trying to get people to use them. To get the donation bikes needed, Bicycling must publicize the donors. In this particular case, the ends justify the means, IMHO.

More actual (critical, comparative, even-handed) reviews of equipment are badly needed also.

Despite the magazine's shortcomings, I continue to subscribe (yes, even with my own $$) because I see no good alternative. I'm not interested in racing nor in off road riding, so what other option exists?
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Old 09-06-05, 06:45 AM   #8
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I like fitness chick and shop girl. They could leave out style guy. I like the ride/tour articles - the one about stage 16 TdF was well written, I thought. Why do I care what ads I'm not reading?

Joe
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Old 09-06-05, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- back page? TIAA CREF financial services ad - nothing bike-related there... i guess being a *****-for-dollars means that any advertiser with the dollars gets placement at the expense of bike-related advertisers without the investment or oil industry-backed corporate means...
TIAA CREF sponsors a team.

support the folks that support cycling...
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Old 09-06-05, 01:09 PM   #10
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Like so many magazines today, mostly fluff sandwiched between ads for harmful products. Terminate with extreme prejudice. I'll stick to these boards. Nice tho to look at the new bikes i couldn't afford. Your local library probably has it.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emgNH
TIAA CREF sponsors a team.

support the folks that support cycling...
- whoa! but you wouldn't know that from the ad, would you?

(i know, i know, follow the news and racing circuit)

- tks for that fact... i look forward to seeing the Honda, Saab, GMC, Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, and other bicycling teams, too!

:-)
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Old 09-06-05, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
I looked at the latest issue, the one with Lance's face on the cover, and not only did it have an ad about 3 pages in for Chronos stationary trainers that I'm not going to try to decscribe, you'll have to just see it, since I wonder if that rider might be one of the regulars here (if so, congrats! Neat ad) and the photo on page 25 is something you'll never ever see in VeloNews.

Interesting article on an organized ride of one of the TdF stages, lots of interesting bits and pieces of information/opinion, lots of inspiration for noobs or semi-noobs, and yes, car ads and ads for questionable supplements. But different, a different approach than you'd see in VeloNews, Procycling, etc.
I gave them a chance 10 years ago and ti's still a poor excuse for a cycling magazine.
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Old 09-06-05, 03:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ctyler
I gave them a chance 10 years ago and ti's still a poor excuse for a cycling magazine.
It could be worse. Anyone here ever read any Skiing magazines? More ads and less real editorial content than Bicycling by far.
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Old 09-06-05, 03:38 PM   #14
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I can't stand those Bike Town issues. I do like the bike reviews, but I think Bicycling tries too hard to please everyone so in the end they just churn out a lot of mediocre feel-good crap.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:12 PM   #15
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It seems to me that 30 years ago or so there was a magazine titled "Bike World" that was just wonderful. Interesting, useful articles and information every month. It also seems that it was part of a number of like magazines like "Runners World" and possibly "Cross County Skiing World."
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Old 09-06-05, 04:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- - inside back cover ad? a Hyundai mini-van ad of course! why not? there's not much real bike-related material between the covers anyway... (OK, that was a bit harsh)

- filling out the high-end advertorial lineup: Nissan, Dodge, Land Rover, Infiniti, Toyota, Subaru, Viagra, Saab, Jeep, VW.... hmm... getting a picture here?
Are you sure you were reading Bicycling and Car and Driver?? :-)
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Old 09-06-05, 05:53 PM   #17
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Dropped 'em a couple years ago for reasons enumerated in this thread. Gave 'em another chance with trial subscription this year. I just renewed. They are better.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Unit
I can't stand those Bike Town issues. I do like the bike reviews, but I think Bicycling tries too hard to please everyone so in the end they just churn out a lot of mediocre feel-good crap.
I live next door to the first Bike Town. It was great. It gots lots of people riding, 'Share the road' signs went up all over, and the most amazing thing of all... cagers started treating us like human beings. I LOVE BIKETOWN. Was I too subtle?

I subscribe to Bicycling. It isn't great, but it is ok. Every hobby I have ever paid attention to had dillettantes that had to whine about the dominant publication.
I get enough out of it that I keep it coming. If something better comes along (that doesn't cost three times as much for half as many issues) I'll get that, too.
But what I think will happen is this....

I expect high gas prices and the growing awareness of the deleterious effects of importing oil will result in a surge of people riding bikes. This will being in enough money from subscribers that hopefully they will have more articles that cost a couple bucks to produce. That depends a lot on management. If they see the rag as nothing more than a cash cow, it will eventually die. Because that same surge will create a big enough pool of customers to create a competitor.
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Old 09-07-05, 09:34 AM   #19
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...If they (Bicycling editors) see the rag as nothing more than a cash cow, it will eventually die. Because that same surge will create a big enough pool of customers to create a competitor.
LOVE your thinking here! I hope for improvement too, but will accept a competitor.
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