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  1. #1
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    Are magazines really informative any longer?

    Every month, when I open the new issue of a certain bicycling magazine, I feel like I am browsing the catalog of an online bike purveyor.
    I am not talking about the ads, but the articles themselves.
    The authors talk about how they ride around their $3000 such and such make/model bike and how they ate a certain bar of granola, etc. It is sickening, empty prose that is sponsored by the advertisers.
    This month there was this short article on cable housing and how the curve should be, etc. The single picture acompanying the article did not show a right or wrong curve but just a bunch of ends of colorful housings. Just like an ad would entice a potential buyer.

    I have learnt more about bikes from forum posts and other websites than all the magazines put together.

  2. #2
    Sputnik - beep beep beep Wake's Avatar
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    Well, they're all supported by advertisers wanting to sell products, but I like these:

    http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/
    http://www.momentumplanet.com/

  3. #3
    a student and his bike
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    Yeah it really sucks everytime you open one of those magazines all the articles talk about which 5000 dollar bike is better, the red or the blue one. Magazines should start having tips on riding and techniques. If i want to learn about new bikes id buy a catalog

  4. #4
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    Many magazines are targeted to enthusiastic/excited newcomers. They tend to recycle topics.

  5. #5
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Many magazines are targeted to enthusiastic/excited newcomers. They tend to recycle topics.
    This.

    And it's true of a lot of sports mags (Backpacker, etc.). Although I always thought that "Buycycling" was one of the worst in terms of articles being thinly veiled ads.

    But having said that, when I first thought of myself as a biker (as opposed to just riding bikes) in the 80's, I read it quite a bit; it did contain a lot of basic information that it was useful to know. Particularly about mountain bikes and indexed shifting, both of which were becoming popular around that time, and neither of which I knew much about.

    But once you've biked for a while and developed certain preferences, you'll probably find that you've outgrown the magazine.

  6. #6
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    Bike-related magazines make good bathroom reading; either they allow you to relax enough to get the job done, or they're so irritating they give you the sh**s.

    I have about seven years' worth of a particular one; haven't bought a new one in about three years, after I noticed what you have -- every bike is the best thing ever, yadda yadda yadda. Used to be, you could read about what needed a little attention to give you a better riding experience; now, the only way (according to them) a bike could be better is if it could fellate you. So I read the old ones during my 'throne times'. (Funny to read about 130mm of suspension -- nowadays it's barely adequate for the trail, it USED to be FREERIDE!)

  7. #7
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    I like magazines for when I'm travelling by air. Most of my news though, I get from forum discussions.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    It's largely true of photography magazines, and I suspect a lot of other gear-oriented hobbies. Go for the more specialized magazines, and it's more worthwhile. (IE, American Randonneur magazine is of more interest to me than Bicycling magazine.)

    The problem with the gear-oriented magazines are not so much that they pander to advertisers, but they just want to deal with higher-quality stuff. If you buy a $5,000 bike, it may have better and worse points, but it won't be junk. And if you buy a $100 bike, it pretty much will be. So they don't review the $100 bikes.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Hasn't it always been this way? It's hard to publish anything without advertisers (or taking a loss).
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  10. #10
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    I used to read mags while I was researching my first bike. but really I got a lot better info mainly from bf and occasionally other places. other than that I get the distinct feeling that much if it is advertiser supported and the bike reviews, while useful, are quite subjective for each rider.

    A small percentage of the articles, particularly on clothes, are quite useful, but again, I get better quality info fromuser reviews.

    but that's not limited to just bike mags tho, its pretty much mostly advertiser related stuff.

    Still I'm glad the mags exist.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
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    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Many of then offer pretty good information for a year. But they all have a different group of readers. After a year most of us have seem about all of the information they can provide and we as customers move on. During that year you will get the ten best, doesn't matter if it is a bike, car, telescope, hunting, *** or fishing mag. From that you will get top dollar, mid range and entry level information. Then they start all over. The speciality mags do the same, only with how to information. But they do give you a side by side way to look at things without the more fanaticle rants by some in internet forums.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Freeganisim Tip ..
    They have a sell by date when the publisher bills cost ,
    then the shops tear the cover off 1
    and staple the bar code off the cover of additional copies unsold,
    and mail that back for credit, not charged.
    the actual magazines are discarded.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    It's largely true of photography magazines, and I suspect a lot of other gear-oriented hobbies. Go for the more specialized magazines, and it's more worthwhile. (IE, American Randonneur magazine is of more interest to me than Bicycling magazine.)

    The problem with the gear-oriented magazines are not so much that they pander to advertisers, but they just want to deal with higher-quality stuff. If you buy a $5,000 bike, it may have better and worse points, but it won't be junk. And if you buy a $100 bike, it pretty much will be. So they don't review the $100 bikes.
    Unfortunately or however, most hobbies tend to be gear oriented. Even a simple thing like running needs specialized clothing, heart rate monitors and what not.
    If the mags were not bribed to review only the $5K rides, they would be doing good public service by educating folks who do buy the $100-300 bikes and later are scoffed at by the LBS.
    at least, the photo mags do a good job of covering (or were doing last time I read) low end products, too.
    I, for one, believe that some of the cheap bikes are quite serviceable for most folks. I have ridden a Huffy Regatta for 3 mile commute, an early Kent MTB (can't remember the model) till the chain ring was worn. Currently am riding a MGX (Mongoose) MTB from last 10 years for 10-30 mile rides with no troubles at all.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    It's largely true of photography magazines, and I suspect a lot of other gear-oriented hobbies. Go for the more specialized magazines, and it's more worthwhile. (IE, American Randonneur magazine is of more interest to me than Bicycling magazine.)

    The problem with the gear-oriented magazines are not so much that they pander to advertisers, but they just want to deal with higher-quality stuff. If you buy a $5,000 bike, it may have better and worse points, but it won't be junk. And if you buy a $100 bike, it pretty much will be. So they don't review the $100 bikes.
    That is a good point. However, I did not know of the specialized mags, e.g., American Randonneur. I will have to look for that.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Try Dirt Rag or Bicycle Times, good stuff.

  16. #16
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    Seems like most magazines dont give much bang for the buck. Cost of a few magazines and I could have bought a book on the subject and learned much more.
    Zenny

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