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Is there a casual and/or commuter cyclist magazine?

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Is there a casual and/or commuter cyclist magazine?

Old 04-08-11, 07:21 PM
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ianbrettcooper
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Is there a casual and/or commuter cyclist magazine?

I recently joined the League of American Bicyclists and the Adventure Cycling Association and both organizations send me cycling magazines that end up going right in the bin after a quick flip through, because basically I have no interest in the top-of-the-line racing bikes and gear that the LAB's magazines drone on about, or the hyper-expensive adventure camping trips and top-of-the-line touring bikes and gear that Adventure Cyclist magazine constantly talks about.

What I really would like is a magazine that talks about the stuff I'm interested in - commuting, casual touring, cheap vintage bikes and maintenance and repair tips. Are there any cycling magazines like that?

Any ideas?
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Old 04-08-11, 07:54 PM
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http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/
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Old 04-08-11, 08:02 PM
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Momentum Planet; I got a free copy at the hand made bike show:

http://momentumplanet.com/
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Old 04-08-11, 08:55 PM
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I'd recommend Bicycle Times (though I haven't gotten a subscription yet) and if you're into cruisers, check out Kickstand Magazine: http://kickstandmag.com/
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Old 04-08-11, 09:05 PM
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Urban Velo is another good one too. While being mainly fixed gear/hipster culture, there's still a good amount of urban and city cruising info.
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Old 04-08-11, 09:10 PM
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I like Bicycle Times, it seems to be geared more towards commuter/casual cycling.
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Old 04-08-11, 09:22 PM
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I've got two beefs with Bicycle Times:

1) Product reviews. I know they don't like some of the products they're reviewing, but it's so drenched in delicate phrasing you have to read real hard between the lines to see it. Dude, if the bike handles like a pig, required a plumb-bob and a pipe wrench to assemble and fell apart when you looked at it too hard, =say so=. If the accessory was boring and standard, don't waste column-inches on it, just say "Boring, standard, didn't break. OK, I guess." Buy the stuff if you're afraid manufacturers won't just give it to you if you say something mean. I'll pay more for my subscription, really, I will!

2) Shut up about northern Europe already. Really, we get it, and Barcelona is much nicer for biking, anyhow. More how-to articles! More bike-hacks! More bike camping in Turkey! More lugged-frame, canvas-bagged, IGH-geared pr0n!

On the other hand, exclusive Yehuda Moon comic! Yay!
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Old 04-08-11, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RI_Swamp_Yankee View Post
I've got two beefs with Bicycle Times:

1) Product reviews. I know they don't like some of the products they're reviewing, but it's so drenched in delicate phrasing you have to read real hard between the lines to see it. Dude, if the bike handles like a pig, required a plumb-bob and a pipe wrench to assemble and fell apart when you looked at it too hard, =say so=. If the accessory was boring and standard, don't waste column-inches on it, just say "Boring, standard, didn't break. OK, I guess." Buy the stuff if you're afraid manufacturers won't just give it to you if you say something mean. I'll pay more for my subscription, really, I will!

2) Shut up about northern Europe already. Really, we get it, and Barcelona is much nicer for biking, anyhow. More how-to articles! More bike-hacks! More bike camping in Turkey! More lugged-frame, canvas-bagged, IGH-geared pr0n!

On the other hand, exclusive Yehuda Moon comic! Yay!
I agree, but, it is still better than Bicycling magazine.
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Old 04-08-11, 09:59 PM
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I like both Bicycling magazine and Bicycle Times. Bicycle Times tends to be the more enjoyable read for me, but I learn more from Bicycling. Not every issue of Bicycling is great, but some issues are so good, you wonder how they could pack more into one issue. Both mags are worth the price.
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Old 04-08-11, 10:01 PM
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That was a non-sarcsastic "Yay!", by the by. I wouldn't be a dedicated all-weather commuter (barring injury, illness and lack of urban snow-removal) without that strip to give me confidence in my ride everyday.
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Old 04-09-11, 03:22 AM
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Thanks folks,

I just took out a subscription to Bicycle Times. Hopefully that will come closer to what I need. I'm also considering Kickstand and I'm checking out the Urban Velo site as I type.

I get Bicycling magazine from my LAB subscription. I realize it gives some folks what they want from a cycling mag, but for me, it's almost singlehandedly making me rue the day I signed up for LAB membership. To be honest, it's all I hate about both cycling culture and glossy magazines. Like many glossy fluff mags, finding articles among all the ads is a chore in itself, and when you do find one, it seems to support the mentality that the only good bicycle is the kind of machine that wins the Tour de France - and that no one should pay less than $3000 to buy one. It appears to be aimed squarely at the yuppie crowd who want to look like they're training for the TdF and are prepared to pay outrageous sums to achieve that look. To date, my membership to LAB has brought two of these magazines to the door, and so far, I have yet to find anything worth pausing for on my way to consigning it to the trash with all the other junk mail.

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Old 04-09-11, 07:43 AM
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You weren't referring to the LAB magazine, were you? It is generally entirely full of bike advocacy stuff and devoid of gear.
Bicycling mag has had it's ups and downs overs the years. More than occasionally you can find an article of substance in it, in between all the other content you reference. It is hard to tell where the ads stop and the articles start.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
You weren't referring to the LAB magazine, were you? It is generally entirely full of bike advocacy stuff and devoid of gear.
Bicycling mag has had it's ups and downs overs the years. More than occasionally you can find an article of substance in it, in between all the other content you reference. It is hard to tell where the ads stop and the articles start.
I get 'Bicycling' magazine with my LAB membership. As far as I know, it's the same 'Bicycling' magazine I can get at the local bookstore. I have yet to see a 'LAB' magazine. The magazine they send me is full of expensive gear ads, spandex, articles on how to pedal more efficiently (rolleyes) and $3000 carbon fiber bikes.

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Old 04-09-11, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
I get 'Bicycling' magazine with my LAB membership. As far as I know, it's the same 'Bicycling' magazine I can get at the local bookstore. I have yet to see a 'LAB' magazine. The magazine they send me is full of expensive gear ads, spandex, articles on how to pedal more efficiently (rolleyes) and $3000 carbon fiber bikes.
American Bicyclist is their bi-monthly mag. http://www.bikeleague.org/members/magazine.php
Previous issues available online.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:30 AM
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If you shaved your legs, wore spandex and pedaled more efficiently on your $3k bike, you would get to work faster.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbagrannygear View Post
Great magazine!
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Old 04-09-11, 08:58 AM
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I used to subscribe to Bicycling, but got feed up the "10 Things You Need To Do To Climb Better" articles and the Beavis-and-Butthead artwork.

Next I subscribed to Bicycle Times, but now they are slowly turning into a Bicycling clone. I let the subscription run out.

I'm seriously thinking about Bicycle Quarterly, as my interests lie more in old fashioned steel framed bikes with friction downtube and bar end shifters. I'm in a carbon-fiber-free zone!

I, too, yearn for a magazine that pays more attention to commuting, recreation riding, day tours, and how to integrate bicycling into other activities, such as boating, or how to haul your bikes along on vacation.

Haven't found one yet.
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Old 04-09-11, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stdlrf11 View Post
If you shaved your legs, wore spandex and pedaled more efficiently on your $3k bike, you would get to work faster.
That's funny! :-)
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Old 04-09-11, 11:13 AM
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I'd like to recommend the Ecovelo blog. It may not be a magazine, but it is a great source of information for commuting.

http://www.ecovelo.info/

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Old 04-09-11, 12:16 PM
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"Bicycling" magazine no doubt is mostly about racing and/or performance, but they seem to have figured out that there's more to the market than just racing.

This last issue had several pages dedicated to cargo hauling bikes and gear. There were also tips on how to change a flat without tools, a blurb about a bike sharing program that doesn't require kiosks, and how one company moved their office using only bikes.

They also have some pretty good "human interest" stories that I enjoy which very often have nothing to do with racing. I remember a huge article they had last year about a guy who was basically housebound because he was so overweight. He turned his life around by starting to bike.

I think the key to enjoying "Bicycling" magazine as a commuter often requires just going to the second page of the table of contents.

A common problem with many print publications is the emphasis on expensive gear. How often do you see articles about "What to look for in a used bike and where to find them?". I think the dependence on ad revenue is part of it.

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Old 04-09-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
"Bicycling" magazine no doubt is mostly about racing and/or performance,
Oh, man, I feel a video coming on.....

youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMITu4

EDIT: Ugh. the link will not work automatically - one must copy and paste in a browser, or youtube search "It's about performance"
It's pretty funny. Enjoy!
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Old 04-09-11, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
Haven't found one yet.
Hard to find on Bike Forums too; utility and commuting lists seem to be dominated by posts asking/bragging about the next piece of equipment to buy for the next "build" or N+1 bicycle.
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Old 04-09-11, 01:09 PM
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You're on it.

Seriously, I used to subscribe to a half dozen magazines or so. I haven't subscribed to any (*) for the last 5 years, I can get better and more up-to-date info on absolutely any hobby, and discussion and personal reviews, online than in print.

I really question if there's a need for a casual/commuting cyclist magazine anyway. Newbies certainly need some guidance (I did), and it's nice to get valid personal opinions of new equipment and companies, but once you've been riding for 3 to 5 years, you'll probably never really need any more info anyway. The only new equipment I've bought for the last 3 years have been tires, lube, brake pads and a repair stand, plus replacements for worn out clothing (and I'm phasing out specialty bicycle clothing, except for rain gear).

(*) I do still subscribe to one very low print run specialty magazine, but I have it delivered in PDF format, and it's kind of an odd exception.
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Old 04-09-11, 01:10 PM
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I also tussle with my own dislike of seeing page after page of ads while searching for readable content, while also realizing that few publications could survive without the ad revenue. It's a paradox, but it is reality. I think Bicycle Quarterly approaches the ideal balance, but it is (naturally) more expensive and produced less frequently.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Hard to find on Bike Forums too; utility and commuting lists seem to be dominated by posts asking/bragging about the next piece of equipment to buy for the next "build" or N+1 bicycle.
Most "gear" related threads I've seen on the commuting and utility forums (I lurk there more than write) seem to be pretty pragmatic, i.e. racks fenders, lights, assessing viability of different bikes for different commuting conditions, etc.

I don't mind that sort of discussion (or sharing of what we're riding) at all. I don't see it as bragging when someone is enthusiastic about getting set up in a way that suits them and shares with others here.
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Old 04-10-11, 02:48 PM
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Bicycle Quarterly looks pretty good. I just bought a subscription.
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