signpost chipps singletrack world magazine

Cost of living crisis and Singletrack – An appeal

by 260

We are under some pressure and we thought you should know about it now before it gets worse and things get harder.

mark headshot staff

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone and the cost of doing business here at Singletrack is not immune. Postage costs and print and paper costs have risen as have all other aspects of the business. Don’t worry! We have no plans to stop printing Singletrack, despite the fact the costs of printing have jumped up almost 20% in 18 months and are forecast to go even higher over the next 12.

What this does do, of course, is apply a great deal of pressure to the eventual price we sell everything from memberships to merch. That pressure is becoming pretty unbearable. We haven’t put up any of our prices so far and we are trying every trick in our arsenal of cunning to avoid doing it going forward. Putting up the cost of a membership across the board will be hardest felt by those of you who can afford it the least and so we want to do something else instead and we need your help.

First of all, if you can afford to then we appeal to you to become a full member. Digital or print & digital, it really makes little difference. The more members we have the more of the price increases we can absorb. In short we can afford a smaller margin on each thing we sell if we sell more of them.

Secondly, and again, if it’s affordable, have a look through our merch and know that every t-shirt sold helps us keep the rest of the business running. 

And thirdly, and only for those that can really afford it, there’s the simple act of making a donation. 

You can make a simple one off donation by clicking the button above or, if you like, you can add a regular donation of your choosing to your existing annual payment by dropping Zoe an email at..

Singletrack is a community that has grown over 21 years to become more than just a business. It’s a place where many of you come when things are tough and the compassion that we have all witnessed over the years when one of us is in trouble is truly humbling. It feels like it’s not just ours and hasn’t done for a long time – and that’s the mark of a real community. No one can own a community. By definition it belongs to everyone who supports it.

We have never been driven by making a profit. We’ve been driven to be sustainable and just to continue to exist – Of course, profit is necessary in order to exist but to me that just means profit is a tool to be used in order to reach the main goal of sustainability – profit is not the ultimate goal here. Over the years Singletrack has employed several dozen people, providing a steady income. For me personally as a co-owner of the business that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. My greatest wish right now is that we continue to be an employer. That we don’t have to downsize and cut costs in order to continue to exist. That we continue to be a different business to all the others in our market and that we continue to be a community of people who love what we do day in, day out.

If you are in the position of having to cut back on your outgoings then we do not want to be a contributing factor to the position you find you are in through no fault of your own. Cancel your membership if you have to. You will always be welcomed back if you choose to return when things are more comfortable and the community will be there for you whether you pay in to it or not. If it will help then speak to Zoe who can help with downgrading from print to digital to save you some cash.

But if you can, then we urge you to join us – we need you. We need more people like you and so if you could spread the word and encourage others to come and pop by that would be brilliant too. And if you spot a newbie to the community, help them out. Welcome them and make them feel at home.

We have plans.

The best way to ensure sustainability is to adapt and there are changes on the way. First of all, there’s a new look to the website coming. The decorators are in and in the next few weeks we will be launching the new site theme. We hope you are going to like it – it will organise our content better and make it easier to find stuff.

Then come some technical developments including fixing the site search, some nice new features for everyone and a bunch of full members only benefits and very useful products. 

We are already migrating our downloads area to a new, much more streamlined system that will not only make it easier to find archived features and issues but also improve the speed and stability of the website.

The magazine itself is going to change. For our loyal print fans we think we have found a way to make it not only better but also more sustainable. We have some paper changes coming that we think you are going to like and Amanda is already working on a new layout and design that we are all quite excited about.

We have more plans in the pipeline too for you all, but rather than leave things until they are a major financial problem I thought I’d avoid that awful moment down the line where I have to make some really tough decisions only to have you guys say things like, ‘Why didn’t you say something earlier?’. That’s common in business. Things get left until it’s too late because of things like shame, or fear of looking weak. Well, I think over the last 21 years we’ve come to know each other well enough that I can avoid that. And so I’m speaking up now, while it’s not too late to do anything about the tough times ahead.

We appreciate every one of you, from casual visitors to our squad of life members. Everyone who visits Singletrack is a contributor to our future. 

Cheers

Mark

Publisher/Co-founder on behalf of the whole Singletrack team

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Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 260 total)
  • Cost of living crisis and Singletrack – An appeal
  • zilog6128
    Full Member

    Can’t you just **** the reviews off,

    I like the reviews, the articles i can’t satnd are the ones where 2 random people go off on an adventure and blabber on about finding themselves etc.

    clearly the only solution is for the team to individually tailor each copy of the mag depending on who’s reading it 😃 I’d probably pay an extra fiver for that.

    imrobert
    Full Member

    Just my opinion, clearly you aren’t in favour of people having them James. Magazine used to be funny and entertaining, its increasingly becoming boring and politicised, all i am saying. I’m fairly sure i wouldn’t be the only one thinking this. Used to be Northern, working class useful and funny, now its aspiring middle class boring mostly, i’ll hang in and see if it improves.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    @Mark – I think you need to make this thready sticky for a week or so. As not everyone lives on here like some of us!

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    clearly the only solution is for the team to individually tailor each copy of the mag depending on who’s reading it

    Prime Directives

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Just my opinion, clearly you aren’t in favour of people having them

    it was a joke. soz 😳 (just commenting that people obviously want different things from the mag, you can’t please all the people all the time!!)

    imrobert
    Full Member

    No blood no foul bud

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Everyone I know who has a small business or is self employed is really struggling.
    Once the word ‘ recession’ is mentioned then work dries up for me. Luckily nbt has treated me to a digital subscription.
    Personally STW has been amazing over the years and long may it continue.
    Good luck to all.

    montgomery
    Full Member

    Ok, I haven’t bought any bike mag in the last 15 years but I’m in.

    theomen
    Full Member

    Well as I tend to read more than I contribute, I was content to be a free member. However, after reading about your financial issues, I’ve now become a digital member.

    I hope it works out and you continue to operate.

    Mark
    Full Member

    Thanks so much both of you @montgomery & @theomen

    🙂

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Used to be Northern, working class useful and funny, now its aspiring middle class boring mostly,

    I’m a middle class southerner, just became a full member.

    How far back do you recommend I should I delve into the back catalogue before I am unwelcome?

    spawnofyorkshire
    Full Member

    Just my opinion, clearly you aren’t in favour of people having them James. Magazine used to be funny and entertaining, its increasingly becoming boring and politicised, all i am saying. I’m fairly sure i wouldn’t be the only one thinking this. Used to be Northern, working class useful and funny, now its aspiring middle class boring mostly, i’ll hang in and see if it improves.

    U ok hun?

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Magazine used to be funny and entertaining, its increasingly becoming boring and politicised, all i am saying

    I agree with sentiment. It seems to becoming less and less about mountain bikes and having fun on them. If that’s the direction the editor and the team want to take the magazine then that’s fine, it is their magazine after all, but it will mean Im less likely to renew my subscription.

    I guess the magazine is a bit stuck in that its not big enough to get access to all the products it might want to test as quickly as those with bigger audiences. For example if you are brand x with a new bike to review and a limited number to lend, especially pre launch, then do you lend 1 to Pinkbike and Vital etc or ship one over to the UK for STW to try?

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t have any issue if the digital subscription cost was put up.
    I don’t want a print version of the mag as i have enough stuff hanging around the house anyway

    Mark
    Full Member

    Chrism, at 1.4 million to PB’s 1.8million monthly users we have never really had a problem with product acquisition. We often get prioritised over others. Sometimes there’s a bit of a rota where a brand only has a single press bike to offer so they rotate the UK media with it/ Sometimes we are first sometimes we aren’t. A lot of the time the bikes are embargoed so there’s time to get all the main media outlets a shift on the same bike before it goes public.

    Getting product for review is not a problem though. That’s why we invented FGF to deal with the glut.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    Don’t think I’ve got 144 yet.  How long has it been out?  Maybe need to drop a mail to subs folks

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Aside: a few folk have said they don’t like the direction the mag is taking. I don’t think many (any?) have voiced what they’d like to see instead?

    nickc
    Full Member

    I agree with sentiment. It seems to becoming less and less about mountain bikes

    Really? off the top of my head 144 has articles on 4 pot brakes, 3 trail bikes on test, interview with Claudio Calouri (world cup DH commentator), route guides for MTB, pretty inspirational story about a guy with a colostomy bag doing some far out mountain bike riding. Hanna interviewing guys behind WTB- who are a company making mountain bike parts.

    pretty MTB heavy if you ask me?

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Yeah, but then it went downhill fast.

    😁

    spawnofyorkshire
    Full Member

    Yeah, but Mark did a post about gender rights once so this place is all political and shit now

    It’s gone to the dogs i tell thee

    Mark
    Full Member

    To be fair we also published a feature about pedal car racing once. We had to put a fireproof box over the letterbox after that one.

    twonks
    Full Member

    Mark, thanks for deeper insight into the ways of the interweb and how it can be used to help STW.

    I wasn’t aware of the change to cookies and personal data that is coming. Are you allowed to acquire and store user data to such an individual level now, as I can imagine when the ruling comes in and every site has to gather information for similar reasons – a lot of members could get fed up being asked and just default to ‘Do not share’

    Not sure how this sits with GDPR etc as you could be gathering and storing personal data that isn’t directly used. It’s a minefield !

    A good call was made some posts ago, with the desire for STW riding jerseys. I still have the 10th anniversary (iirc) purple top somewhere and although it most likely doesn’t fit, it won’t be thrown out. Think before that it was a beige coloured cotton T Shirt for the 5th birthday, so another riding top might be due.

    Personally I ride in loose fitting wicking polo shirts. I’d happily spend good money on a couple of STW labelled polos, especially if they can be worn off the bike. Something like a regular polo badge on the left chest and singletrackworld.com accross the bottom at the back.

    A lot of office bods can wear such things at work nowadays, so would be a nice bit of kit to get out.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Mark did a post about gender rights once so this place is all political and shit now

    It’s gone to the dogs i tell thee

    Yeah, but they identified as cats so it’s fine.

    Mark
    Full Member

    The end of 3rd party cookies is coming BECAUSE of GDPR. The collection of data about people who visit the site is defined as 1st party data. We can’t share that with anyone outside of Singletrack without your permission. But using it to our commercial advantage is entirely legitimate so long as we comply with GDPR rules and look after it securely and responsibly. That is and always has been our policy.

    jimmy
    Full Member

    A good call was made some posts ago, with the desire for STW riding jerseys

    Reading this thread I thought, I know I’ll go and buy that Hackney GT STW jersey I’ve been eyeing up for months… Dang it! It’s out of stock (possibly discontinued?).

    So put me down for a Medium if/when stock is back.

    MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/cost-of-living-crisis-and-singletrack-an-appeal/page/2/#post-12505603

    Mark any comment on my post? I know your trying to answer lots of other stuff.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Is thete any way of monetizing the wealth of tech information on the forum?

    It always seems to me that that is a missed opportunity to make money

    I guess technically difficult?

    A database of stw tech fixes?

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Is thete any way of monetizing the wealth of tech information on the forum?

    I guess technically difficult?

    Ah, irony.
    😁

    Mark
    Full Member

    @mrovershoot if it’s about donations there’s a donate button in the story and a link in the Sidebar. It uses the same secure payment gateway as our membership system. It’s not PayPal though.

    fatoldgit
    Full Member

    Can’t justify yet another STW mug sitting unused in my overflowing mug cupboard but I have indulged in a couple of other bits of merch .
    About time I did a bit more than lurk 😜

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Getting product for review is not a problem though. That’s why we invented FGF to deal with the glut.

    im delighted to hear it. It doesn’t always appear that way when other sites have articles about new bikes that either never make stw or are several days later

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I paid the 39, but tbh you dont need to send me anything. I just thought the higher sum would help out more.

    walleater
    Full Member

    Thanks Mark, I subscribed. Knowing what international shipping is like here, I should get the 6 magazines over a 4 year period 😀

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    To be fair we also published a feature about pedal car racing once. We had to put a fireproof box over the letterbox after that one.


    @Mark
    What issue was that in?

    Just to throw even even more unreasonable demands into the mix, I want more weird stuff like that.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    I’ve been a subscriber for years and love it when a new magazine drops through the door. Especially when it has articles as good as the one this month’s about the guy riding in the Cairngorms whilst suffering from bowel cancer.

    The forum is one of my main resources for riding or, well, anything really.

    I’ve made an additional donation and hope that you get through this tough time. I’ll also check out the merch store 👍

    Mark
    Full Member

    Thank you

    IHN
    Full Member

    Aside: a few folk have said they don’t like the direction the mag is taking. I don’t think many (any?) have voiced what they’d like to see instead?

    I’d like to see a return of The Grinder – medium term-ish reviews of normal, every day riding kit used in normal, every day conditions.

    And, in these straightened times (and, if I’m honest, for riders like me who are honest enough with themselves that they don’t need top-end kit, cos they’re good enough to need it) how about a ‘budget’ option in each of the group-tests? The cheapest brake in the the 4-pot group-test is £175 per end, what about Deore (or Tektro, or Cura) for a decent chunk less ££?

    I think the STW testers can be trusted to give an on honest opinion along the lines of “you know what, these are cheap and they’re actually great, I don’t really know why you’d pay more” or “yeah, they’re cheap, but it shows, stumping up a bit extra is definitely worth it”.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Agree on more budget kit reviews. You could also create a forum user section with their kit reviews.

    I like the ride reports, can you also put a members only link on your site for the routes? I know you do it for some but not all.

    How about an events section? Where you could list as many of the cycling events across the UK and even international ones. You could then have forum links imbedded so people can discuss them. If you then added sponsored links then you could generate income that way.

    How about a calendar where people can input their local semi-organised rides. That way I could (for example) look at the calendar for next week and see if their are group rides I could attend. Would help push the social side of mountain biking a bit more.

    How a list of riders route reports, you could then also create a data base of routes, something like walk Highlands do
    https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/

    Can’t talk for everyone but I’d quite like a personalised (subtle) Singletrack sticker with my forum name that I could then affix to my bars. Would be a perfect way to identify (maybe avoid 😜) other Singletrack forum users out on the trails.

    It would also be good if there was a ‘common questions’ section on the forum, how many threads do we really need on ‘what tyres’ or ‘e-bikes are bad! Discuss’ I’m probably as bad as anyone for creating new threads that are about something already covered 🙄

    pondo
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t have any issue if the digital subscription cost was put up.

    This, but will upgrade anyhow come payday. 🙂

    Mark
    Full Member

    Good list of suggestions there @didnthurt 🙂

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 260 total)

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