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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-16-04, 11:54 AM   #1
fixedgearhead
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Fixed Gear Magazine

I would like to throw this out. How long do you think it will take before some enterprising somebody, starts up the publication of a Fixed Gear Bicycle magazine? I realize the state of the Bicycle publication industry is almost moribund, what with "Bicycling" being the only such general interest road pub out there. I subscribe to Adventure Cycling Magazine and it is devoted to the rather loosely organized bicycle touring crowd,and it is an organizational magazine. By that I mean, No "official race organization" which goes toward promotion of the sport. By the very nature of touring, it is a solitary or at best small group effort, that is not driven as much by the latest Whiz-bang Carbon/fiber Unobtainium gadget to be brought out. I think, now that the major manufacturers have seen fit to bring out models of fixed gear bicycles, it might be time for somebody, with knowledge of magazine publishing industry, to take a stab at it. I know I would probably subscribe if it would become available just to support the endeavor. I occasionally pick up one of the Euro based Bike mags or Nz based ones, from the local Borders news stand, and they are head and shoulders above "Bicycling". We still constitute a small overall number when viewed in the larger perspective, but when will we achieve "marketing mass". What say y'all.? Would you likely subscribe or at least pick up one regularly if offered. I am talking about one that was well done at least to the level of some of the other mags out there. BMX, Off Road, or other Special Interest bike magazine. I guess it would have to have a level of advertising that would support the costs but maybe there is enough for somebody to think about. I don't know what the numbers are. Just wondering


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Old 03-16-04, 12:25 PM   #2
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Of course being pretty new to the whole thing, it would be cool to have our ( can I say our, being so new?) mag., however from what I have read on this site and the few others, isn't the underground , f@*k the mainstream, buck the establishment what we are going for? I point to some few short years ago, mtn bikes seemed to fall into the catagory we do know, no? We don't drink that light/low carbo beer, we are men and women who live life. I don't know where this is going, do I want to? To quote Seinfeld "sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason." But you never know until you go.

fg/ss forever...viva la revolution

Something like that.

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Old 03-16-04, 12:46 PM   #3
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Hey, if it existed I'd buy it off a rack or subscribe...then again I buy all of the bike mags. I doubt there's enough interest to keep it going (e.g. profitable) but I'd love to see one. As an aside, most of the current mags seem to be going downhill. Bicycling hasn't been good for 3 or 4 years it seems and Ithink Mountain Bike will soon go the way of the dinos.
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Old 03-16-04, 01:00 PM   #4
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Too much of a niche, in my opinion, for it to be successful from a financial standpoint.
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Old 03-16-04, 01:08 PM   #5
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You would have to combine it with something more interesting. Maybe a fixed gear/S&M magazine would fly.

Hurt me on and off the bike!!!
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Old 03-16-04, 01:30 PM   #6
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there are some single speed online magazines that im sure everyone knows about. But, i think that a SS/Fixie magazine would not be worthwhile for a company, given the small, outlaw stance of SS/fixed riding as it stands.
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Old 03-16-04, 01:43 PM   #7
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Magazine

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Originally Posted by trekkie820
there are some single speed online magazines that im sure everyone knows about. But, i think that a SS/Fixie magazine would not be worthwhile for a company, given the small, outlaw stance of SS/fixed riding as it stands.
You are probably right. The only thing that makes me wonder is that the major companies provide a bike to fill the market. Ergo: it is not all anti-social outcasts anymore who build up their own bikes. There is certainly that element, but there are also the Winter Racer conditioning fiends who are anything but anti-social. I think that there is a myopic view that is conditioned by the narrow focus of the environment that you travel in. If all you hang with is anti-social f/g riders then this will be all you see. There are a whole lot of people out there who don't fit that profile. There is more to life than alleycat racing. Although alleycat racing is cool too. I am thinking of interviews with Messengers, Custom bike builders, Test rides of production bikes, Product evaluations, randonee reports, Track racing, and yes alleycat racing. I think there is a lot to fill the pages with. Now if I could just find somebody with the knowledge and interest to do such a thing I would get a charter membership. Just my 2 cents worth.


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Old 03-16-04, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
There is more to life than alleycat racing. Although alleycat racing is cool too. I am thinking of interviews with Messengers, Custom bike builders, Test rides of production bikes, Product evaluations, randonee reports, Track racing, and yes alleycat racing. I think there is a lot to fill the pages with.
Material to fill the pages wouldn't be the problem. The issues would be advertising (selling enough) and circulation numbers. More circulation means bigger advertising bucks.
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Old 03-16-04, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
There are a whole lot of people out there who don't fit that profile.
You're absolutely right, many do not fit that profile. HOWEVER: in the eyes of a big corporate magazine, many think that this is all that occupies this niche. Just a bunch of crazies who bomb around without brakes. People, by nature look for the bad in something before they can see the good, hence why many outsiders to this niche see SS/Fix riding as a punk rock, rebelious niche.
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Old 03-16-04, 02:53 PM   #10
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i'd buy a few issues of the magazine if one existed. if it was something like a quarterly that highlighted different "scenes" in different cities around the world, and included contributions from folks in whichever city they were going to highlight for that issue, gave bike shop and part reviews (even though most part reviews are just glorified advertisements), it could also included some info about track racing, i think there would be no shortage of content for something like that. and i think if you could show bike companies and frame builders (aside from the major companies who are already cashing in) who is buying most of their stuff, and what the largest growing market for fixed gear/track parts are, the ads would take care of themselves. folks like gene spicer, surly and soma (to name a few independent builders) are already pretty hip to the street fixie craze, and i bet they'd get behind it. sheldon brown would probably get behind it too, and provide a semi-high profile advocate to speak to other potential advertisers...hell, sheldon would probably want to write columns for such a magazine.

the key for selling copies would lie not just in content though, but layout. it would have to have the right "look." i picture something along the lines of maximum rock 'n' roll...something with a lo-fi look that has some amount of "street cred." or something like "*****" the magazine that has a sort of pop-culture feel to it, but is actually way edgier. it would have to be a labor of love, and it would have to show on the inside and the outside in order to best represent the culture it's speaking to.

just my two cents.

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Old 03-16-04, 03:11 PM   #11
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Alright have to plug my new internship a little this isn't a fixed magazine, but the Ride does have an "urban fringe" section that keeps up with mainly northeast messenger culture. read, ride, *****-later.
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Old 03-16-04, 05:27 PM   #12
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Magazine

I think one tin sloth is on to something. Maybe a quarterly would be the way to go. I think the regional views would be interesting. I know that there is a different scene in N.Y., than there is in S.F., having been in both places for varying length of time. I am sure there are variations elsewhere also. I know that there are messenger zines online but they are rather messenger culture specific as they should be. I was hoping for something a little more broad based and less narrowly focused. I will have to work on this some more but the idea is intriguing. I agree on the advertising driving the sales of the thing though. Too bad that Madison Avenue rules. I guess that "freedom of the press only applies to somebody who owns one", as one of my friends who owns a small job printing business says.


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Old 03-16-04, 05:34 PM   #13
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The internet has pretty much killed the idea of a viable paper magazine for for such a niche market. I really doubt I'd buy any copies. Would there be any content that I really couldn't find for free on the net? Or even in this forum?
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Old 03-16-04, 05:48 PM   #14
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Magazine

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Originally Posted by shecky
The internet has pretty much killed the idea of a viable paper magazine for for such a niche market. I really doubt I'd buy any copies. Would there be any content that I really couldn't find for free on the net? Or even in this forum?
I guess there is a difference in the generations. I love the tactile nature of books and magazines and yes for information purposes the internet is great. There is something about sitting up in a comfortable chair though, and holding some reading matter in your hands that will never be satisfied by computers. Just look at the E-book phenom of a few years ago. That was supposed to solve the age old debate as the best of both worlds. It fell flat and deservedly so. It ain't a book and it can't ever be a book. I think that people who grew up on computers, missed out on one of the great sensory experiences of getting involved with an engrossing read in a comfortable chair and losing track of time. No clicking of keys necessary. I like my apple but I love a good book.


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Old 03-16-04, 05:51 PM   #15
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old books smell better than old computers.

going to the library's rare books section is like some kind of legal inhalent [for some]

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Old 03-16-04, 05:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
I guess there is a difference in the generations. I love the tactile nature of books and magazines and yes for information purposes the internet is great. There is something about sitting up in a comfortable chair though, and holding some reading matter in your hands that will never be satisfied by computers. Just look at the E-book phenom of a few years ago. That was supposed to solve the age old debate as the best of both worlds. It fell flat and deservedly so. It ain't a book and it can't ever be a book. I think that people who grew up on computers, missed out on one of the great sensory experiences of getting involved with an engrossing read in a comfortable chair and losing track of time. No clicking of keys necessary. I like my apple but I love a good book.


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One other thing. As to the internet killing the specialty magazine trade. All you have to do is go into any Borders and look at one whole wall that is filled with double high shelving of any number of small issue specialty magazines. I would say that the specialty magazine industry is healthy indeed. somebody is buying that stuff, or they wouldn't have it there.
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Old 03-16-04, 05:59 PM   #17
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one other thing about the internet killing the niche magazine market is that a few people out there still don't have computers or the internet. there is a whole world of people out there who couldn't really care less about who said what on which message board and when. so for those folks, yeah, a magazine devoted to something they love (bikes, fixed gear, track) would be pretty amazing.
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Old 03-16-04, 06:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
I guess there is a difference in the generations. I love the tactile nature of books and magazines and yes for information purposes the internet is great.

I agree. I love paper. I'd hate to read a book on my computer. But when I go to the library to see the general hobby interest mags out there (such as the bicycling publications), I realize they pretty much suck. The content isn't better than what I can get on the internet. I suppose they're OK if you're looking for some new gadgets to buy. But I'm not much on buying new crap. And at >$4 a pop, content has to be worth keeping, not just reading. This criticism actually applies to all my hobby/passion related mags, musical instrument/electronics/bicycling, where all the substantive mags have completely fluffed over or gone extinct.

Maybe I just have crappy fringe hobbies.

I do think there's lots of room for web-based mags. Some pretty good ones already out there. And accompanying niche web based retail outlets.
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Old 03-16-04, 06:46 PM   #19
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Anybody out there read the Rivendell Reader?

I think a SS/fixie 'zine would be a great idea if it is formatted somewhat like the RR is. My suggestion is to have it a little more broad based: track racing (pro/college/olympics) coverage and results, SS mtn bike riding and racing along with street scene/messenger stuff, maybe some riding techniques like brakeless FG stopping (I still haven't figured that one out yet!) Bike/frame/component reviews, even shoes and clothing. And of course throw in an occasional cool CD review or some scraps of poetry about biking or something like that.

Well heck, that right there is plenty of material for a quarterly or even a bi-monthly publication. And, unlike a computer, I can take it to the commode and read it!
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Old 03-16-04, 08:06 PM   #20
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Example Issue of proposed periodical

Fresh off the presses!
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Old 03-16-04, 08:30 PM   #21
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Old 03-17-04, 06:52 AM   #22
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Magazone

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Originally Posted by 165-48:17
Fresh off the presses!
All this done without in put from the editorial board. Amazing!


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Old 03-17-04, 08:56 AM   #23
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I'm gonna sue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 165-48:17
Fresh off the presses!
My fashion tips were supposed to be a secret until spring.. You are so wrong for letting it out early. And anyway, they are not 1/2 mesh shirts. That is soooo Eric Estrada. Who do you take your fashion tips from, Superchivo? Tell him his Adidas warms ups are soo out of style.. they are so old, it's like multigeared bikes old.

Anyway. The shirts (coming in plaid) are 3/4 length. Enough to show a pierced belly button and cool mandala tatoo on the back above the @#$$. Or 2.5 folds of hairy fat. Either way, really. The fashion coup de gras for the summer.


1/2. Sheesh. Next you'll be sporting a mullet. I swear.
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Old 03-17-04, 09:08 AM   #24
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Super Willy sez: <cool mandala tatoo on the back above the @#$$. Or 2.5 folds of hairy fat.>

Uh, otherwise known as the butt-topper.....

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Old 03-17-04, 09:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auk
Super Willy sez: <cool mandala tatoo on the back above the @#$$. .>

Uh, otherwise known as the aiming mark.......

Dave
Wow Dave, I can't believe you said that!?!?!?
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