The response to our ‘Ten things the bike industry needs to stop doing’ feature a couple of years ago has been very good, with readers outraged and in agreement in equal measures. So, just because we like giving the hornets’ nest a prod every now and again, we thought we’d respond to one of the comments on there from cynic_al who suggested we need to do a ‘Ten things magazines need to stop doing’. Given that his article never appeared, we’ve taken it on ourselves to get the ‘Mirror of Truth’ out and see if we can admit to a few failings here and among our peers. We hope you enjoy it…
Number One: It’s 2020
Harping on about the Glory Retro Years. In order to remember the glory days of Tinker and Tomac and chainstay-mounted U-brakes, you need to be at least 45 years old, which makes you a bit of a has-been already. Those were the days of cantilever brakes that didn’t work, tyres made of hard plastic and pudding bowl helmets. Get with it, grandad! There’s much better stuff going on right now.
Number Two: Deifying Riders.
It’s not all about Peaty, Peron and MacAskill you know? Just because they’re the quickest this week, or they have the best #shredits doesn’t mean you have to feature them Every Single Feature. It’s not that there aren’t a load of other great personalities and bike riders, racers and bike people out there. Where’s the John Peel fanzine version to the Top40 of the glossy magazines?
Number Three: The Mouthpiece
Being the mouthpiece of the bike companies. Seeing everyone come out with the same press release with the same information on the same day is getting a bit dull. Don’t you do any proper journalism any more? Where are the scoops and the industry insider leaks?
Number Four: Not Everyone Has A Bike Journo Shed
Assuming everyone has a bike shed full of top shelf spares to play with. It’s all very well for you to talk about the merits of different 12 speed chains, or to play with three different widths of carbon bars. Most of us are riding around on ten speed Deore. And the next time someone says ‘Oh, I just reached into the giant box of free tyres and swapped treads on my carbon rims…’
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Number Five: Where Are The Women?
Ignoring women. There are plenty of female mountain bikers out there, so why aren’t there any on your pages and staff rosters? If half of the mountain bikes are being bought by women, they don’t want to see sweaty blokes on every page. And don’t get us started by noticing how white everyone is…
Number Six: Too Much Glamour
Always focussing on the exotic locations. No, we’re not all off to Whistler this summer like you are. We’re going camping in Wales. Having magazines full of exotic sunsets over places we’re never going to visit isn’t inspiring, it’s depressing!
Number Seven: Not Enough Glamour
Always featuring some dull woods or a quarry in England. Where’s the glossy magazine inspiration? We don’t want to see the same Surrey corners or Lee Quarry drops. We want exotic sunsets in Whistler to inspire us! There’s enough dull riding to be seen out the window.
Number Eight: Going With The Standards
Ignoring the price of things. No one buys a new bike every year. How can you review six different SuperBoost wheelsets when we’re all on 142mm (that you told us then was the best wheel standard in the world…) Do more £500 bike tests and forget the £500 handlebars and GPS units…
Number Nine: What a waste
Ignoring the environmental impact of our sport. Yes, we’re riding push bikes, but what about the raw materials used, the carbon fibre we can’t recycle and the endless trips in the company VW T6 up and down the M4 to do all of those shoots at BikePark Wales? Not to mention flying off to California and the Alps a few times a year to get that one shot…
Number Ten: You Print Magazines On Paper?
Printing magazines on paper. Don’t you know that the world’s gone online? Why are you still chopping down trees to print stuff months after we could have just read it on an iPad screen while simultaneously watching Celebrity Bake-off?
Number Eleven: Catch My Drift, Moto-Bro?
Talking like you’re from California/the Pacific Northwest/14 years old. ‘We’re stoked to see the gnarly trails being shredded by the sick cool dudes, man. Steeze’. You’re from Kent, you numbskull.
Number Twelve: Stop Making Lists!
Stop making lists of ten, twelve, twenty things that annoy us. You know that we never read this kind of thing…