The Ten Most Read Articles Of 2016

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There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. There are no lies here, but we do like a good statistic or two here at Singletrack Towers. In this modern age of publishing, understanding them is essential to survival. Singletrack has a huge audience, spread over a mix of subscribers (we have seven thousand of them, with subscription packages starting at £1.49 per month), 85,000 registered forum users, website visitors (we have about 1.4 million of them every month), and Facebook readers (we have 552,000 followers and reach over 5 million Facebook users every month).

Told you we like statistics. How about some more figures for you? Three thousand people read each issue of our magazine in digital format. 24,800 people follow us on Instagram, and 48,600 people follow us on Twitter. Most people come to our stories through Facebook, with Twitter referrals second. And what stories did they read in the last year? Let’s have a look…

Since we’re going statistics mad, let’s split it into two Top Tens. First up, here’s the most read stories on our website:

10. The Great Mountain Bike Swindle

Do we need to spend ALL our pocket money?

Antony de Heveningham wonders if mountain biking needs to be an expensive hobby.

9. Pro XC Racer Jenny Copnall Speaks Out At British Cycling

British Cycling Logo

Jenny Copnall gave us this exclusive column as British Cycling continued to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

8. Ten Reasons Why a Fat Bike Should be Your Only Bike

No n+1?

Sanny tried to persuade us that fat is your friend.

7. Video: Hangover Trail, Arizona

A bit of vicarious vertigo clearly floats your boat.

6. 9 Top Tips From The World Cup Downhill Circuit

How to look pro.

Sanny again, this time with mechanical tricks from those in the know.

5. 12 reasons 1x Drivetrains Suck

shimano XT 1x chainset singletrack magazine
Does 1x suck, or does Sanny have weak legs?

There’s a theme developing here…Sanny gives us another list of reasons to agree with his perspective on the world.

4. Rampage Rider Kerry McGarry Dies


Having done many death defying tricks, it was heart failure out on a ride that brought about his untimely death.

3. North Shore Hiker Sentenced After Trail Sabotage Captured On Camera

Trail sabotage is not new, but this was a rare example of someone being prosecuted for it.

2. First Case Of Pro Level ‘Mechanical Fraud’ Confirmed By UCI

Not pedal assist as we know it.

Our focus may be mountain bikes, but our readers are interested in wider cycling issues. The ‘motor doping’ scandal proved to be a pretty wild tale of conspiracies and surprising facts.

1. 10 ways to be a dick in your local bike shop

Can I just try on that kit I saw on the web?

Who else could possibly hold the number one spot, but Sanny again. If you’ve not read this, you’re one of the few. With twice as many website reads as the number two slot, it’s how to be a dick in your bike shop.

Meanwhile, On Facebook

Over on Facebook, the Top Ten looks a little different. Interestingly a number of fairly recent articles feature on this list. That’s because our reach has grown throughout the year, so posts shared towards the end of the year could reach more people than those at the beginning. We do reshare older stories where we think they’re still relevant and of interest. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but by and large, the Facebook algorithms filter out multiple postings so that things that aren’t of interest to a reader don’t keep getting waved under their noses – so you shouldn’t see the same article in your timeline on repeated occasions. If you do see a story more than once, we’re not trying to annoy you, it’s probably that Facebook’s algorithm is convinced you’d like it.

10. 10 Things Every Rider Should Have In Their Pack

Younger readers may struggle to identify this artifact.

Here’s that Sanny again, prepared for anything, and helping to make sure you are too.

9. 14 Things That Drive Perfectionists Up The Wall

What’s wrong with this picture?

Wil likes things to be just so. Turns out you lot do too.

8. 15 Bikes We Wish We’d Owned

So purple, so retro, so want.

It was our 15th Birthday this year, and this 15 themed list we published to mark the occasion proved popular.

7. Five Lessons For Roadies. Love from mountain bikers…

Silly shoes?

Attracting hate, love and mirth in equal measure, this list was taken far more seriously by some than was perhaps intended.

6. CTE The Silent Killer

Courtesy Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool.

Our columnist James Cornford wondered whether mountain biking has been blind to the risks of CTE.

5. MTB Instructor Loses Court Case Over Paralysed Student

This news story with potentially significant ramifications for the skills and guiding industry attracted a lot of attention.

4. Ten Things We Know We Should Do…But Don’t

Carry the essentials?

Yes, yes, we’re quite sure you all read this and were smug that you do all these things all the time. Right?

3. Trail Sabotage Or Attempted Murder?

Credit: Twelve50 Bikes Facebook Page
Credit: Twelve50 Bikes Facebook Page

It was no surprise that this shocking image hit the headlines.

2. 12 reasons 1x Drivetrains Suck

shimano XT 1x chainset singletrack magazine
Who still has a triple?

Website readers liked it, Facebook readers liked it. Despite that, we suspect there’s an awful lot of you out there who have already said goodbye to your front mechs, or will be looking to do so in the year ahead.

1. 10 ways to be a dick in your local bike shop

Dude, where’s my freebie?

Sanny does it again, claiming the top spot in both the website and Facebook charts. With this many people reading this post, surely bike shops are going to see a measurable improvement in customer behaviour?

And there we have it. Most of these articles are fairly long reads, showing that times have changed since the days when anything over 500 words was deemed too long. Current wisdom is that around 1600 words is the ideal length, though with technology and online behaviour changing who knows what the year ahead may bring, or what next year’s Top Tens might look like. For now, long is good, so why not settle down and check out our many online features.

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