How 'accessible' is mountain biking compared to other sports?

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  • How 'accessible' is mountain biking compared to other sports?
  • Magazines are all dependant on the industry for a large proportion of their income, so of course they’re going to help perpetuate the idea that you should spend thousands on the latest thing. If any mag came out and said, “buy a £100 clunker from gumtree, that’ll get you where you want” it wouldn’t do lots for their advertising sales I reckon.

    It would also make for a crap magazine.

    Accessible to me = grass roots

    Grass roots of mountain biking is a cheap bike and a bridleway. enjoy it then save up and move up. Pretty accessible in my eyes, but it’ll never compare to football/Running/etc

    yunki
    Member

    Pretty accessible in my eyes, but it’ll never compare to football/Running/etc

    the correct answer 🙂

    creedy
    Member

    I think when discussing these sorts of socio-economic debates it all starts with role models and aspirations. Peer pressure plays a part also in positive and negative ways. If their in place people will find a way to emulate their hero’s/mates

    >I can’t think of a town or city with no half-decent off-road riding within a few miles of the outskirts. OK getting out of the city can be a problem, but I think riding 5-10 miles on tarmac to get to good trails is ok. <

    Take your point but I don’t see your example as being particularly accessible (or desirable) given the traffic levels choking the roads nowadays. More importantly the general attitudes of motorists towards cyclists. Having said that, Falkirk near where I live now has a fantastic network of cycle paths but that’s an exception to the rule.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Mountain biking accessible – not really, as lets be honest only a small percentage on here have ever taken their pride & joy anywhere near an actual mountain 😆

    Riding a bike on trails within woods, fields etc is pretty accessible but lets face it, it’s not exactly seen as a ‘cool’ past time by kids or a lot of adults come to that. The majority of my collegues (other than those who ride) think I’m bonkers for riding a bike in my spare time, let alone chucking myself down some kind of rocky hillock in mid wales.

    Football is easy for any bunch of kids to play, it can provide a high level of competitiveness (?) even if there’s 3 or 4 of you, playing things like wallie, 3 and you’re in ’em (nets that is) etc etc, and balls are bloody cheap. It can also be played anywhere from the scummiest slum in Brazil to the garden of Buckingham Palace.

    It’s also considerably more apsirational and appealing, just look a thte number of youngsters that have made it to the very top, earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week and have come from the very bottom of the social ladder!

    Whereas in cycling, to compete at an equally high level will cost umpteen thousands of pounds in equipment, let alone travel and training.

    Ultimately it’s a niche sport, populated by people with a healthy dose of disposable income or handy credit ratings. Much akin to Golf, Tennis & Horse Riding.

    Even “Grass Roots” racing is relatively expensive, generally £10 to £15 per race, fuel costs etc.

    In my experience, the most under-represented group in cycling has to be Asian women. Some of the reasons for this are really quite disturbing.

    It’s not just cycling. You very rarely see them taking part in ANY physical activity which involves mixing with other groups and ethnicities. I don’t think that this has anything to do with accesibility, more cultural peculiarities.

    Can you please come an explain this to the asian kids next door, they’re riding up and down, up and down from kicking out time at school to dusk! They’re itritating my missus (I couldn’t give a fig, but would like the peace).

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    More importantly the general attitudes of motorists towards cyclists.

    Maybe that puts people off more than the cost. Seems to come up as top 1 or 2 reason in most surveys on why more people don’t cycle. I learned about riding on roads and traffic at an early age but many parents aren’t happy with that level of freedom.

    OT but ‘city centre escape cycle routes’ – Sustrans do a good job there generally but how many people know of them or how well established they are is another q. Most seem concerned with transport within a city rather than getting the hell out of Dodge.

    it’s not exactly seen as a ‘cool’ past time by kids

    Steve, maybe not but when I was a kid, getting into the woods to mess about on bikes with my mates unsupervised was very cool. Good times just sitting on outcrops mucking about, bombing hills, the usual. At 16-17 it was an excuse to go camping at races and get drunk the night before. Wasn’t all about ‘cycling’, just freedom and fun with friends. Agreed that if ££ is an inspiration, football can offer a lottery-win type opportunity and is simpler to get into, we all did it as kids.

    campkoala
    Member

    David, guess betterer next time.. lopes and cully both came from racing national level bmx as kids, as did gracia, only he’d also been a national level ski racer from an even younger age.
    Girls don’t really count as to get a top 15 WC position you generally only really needed to turn up and complete the course in under half an hour..

    All of the riders you mention came from families that heavily supported their chosen sport as kids (even Missy) hardly comparable to todays UK council estate kids on £50 BMXs

    Mtb is a dull middle aged middle class man’s pastime where paying for bike fitting, skills coaching and keeping up with the latest trends is what’s most important.. Kids aren’t interested in joining fat IT managers in dayglo poc gear mincing about on bridleways

    ac282
    Member

    MTBing as a sport will always be limited far more by transport/entry costs far more than equipment.

    The cost of bikes can be reduced by buying 2nd hand but license + entries + fuel would easily come to > £700 a year

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    I think “how accessible…?” is probably too simplistic.
    It’s easy to answer – as it need cost very little to get started, but that only part of the picture.
    It’s possibly more to do with the route into MTB that people take.

    eg. We recently had a new rider, armed with an aging BSO, come along on an easy Saturday club ride. During the ride various riders helped sort out her gears, her brakes (which were binding badly), a cup and cone hub (which was lose), etc. So yes it’s very “accessible” to start with.

    … but then other factors kick in…

    The bikes that most of those nice, helpful, seeming knowledgable folk are riding are typically going to be around the £2k mark.
    Despite her mechanical trials and tribulations, she had a whale of a time and was hooked (yay, success) so sought advice from those same folk as to a new bike purchase.
    Good advice was given (go try lots etc) and not long after, a rather nice new F/S trail bike appeared.

    So, my angle on this is, yes it’s accessible, but soon after there is an effect based on experiences/norms, what other people have/advise/etc.
    This is what might appear not-quite-so-accessible.

    bellefied
    Member

    ac282 – Member

    MTBing as a sport will always be limited far more by transport/entry costs far more than equipment.

    The cost of bikes can be reduced by buying 2nd hand but license + entries + fuel would easily come to > £700 a year you’re assuming that those entering the sport want to race instead of just enjoying the ride – they can do either.

    Anyway I reckon one of the main reasons why “poorer” countries are not so much into it is because they haven’t got as much access to mountain bikes in their countries, either at the top end or the bottom end and therefore there is also no second hand market for specialist bikes there. Bikes are not seen as a sport but as a cheap method of transportation and are sold on when they get their first moped.

    I watched the commonwealth youth games here in 2011 and on the time trial some of the kids from the “richer” nations were riding custom fitted carbon frames, whereas one poor lad from the carribean looked like he was riding his granddads racer, it was far too big for him and only had about five gears and he really struggled to get up to speed partly because of the gearing but also because he couldn’t reach the pedals properly and had to stand on the pedals and slide either side of the top tube to keep in contact with them on the bottom of the downstrokes.

    So maybe all our old bikes should be recycled and donated to youth centres around the UK and the world to get them into biking? instead of ending up rusted and on the scrapheap.

    edlong
    Member

    you’re assuming that those entering the sport want to race instead of just enjoying the ride – they can do either.

    Surely if you’re just enjoying the ride, “rambling on a bike,” it’s not a sport – isn’t ‘sport’ sort of defined by the competitive element?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    no*.

    and it’s sort of irrelevant to the debate.

    (*to misquote Hemmingway: there are only 3 sports; mountaineering, cycling, and sailing, everything else is a game 🙂 )

    ac282
    Member

    Isn’t the thread about mtbing as a sport.

    MTBing as a hobby is a different thing altogether (I would say I do a bit of both) and pretty hard to define. Is riding down a canal tow path on a BSO from Argos MTBing?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    This is what might appear not-quite-so-accessible.

    trying not to get too monty python yorkshire man about it I’ve been riding bikes offroad since I was 13 when my parents were skint and I was buying bike bits via paper round/shop staff money. That got me hooked and kept me going for quite a long time, only when I hit late twenties and started earning some money that I could afford nice stuff. I disagree that it’s cheap to get into but immediately becomes a money sink once you’re hooked, you can keep riding on (comparatively) meagre funds.
    The fact that I was a hardcore mincer in my youth may have helped, my bottle, thankfully, has increased about on par with my ability to afford stronger stuff, I can see it getting unworkable if you throw your entry level bike down fort bill every weekend.

    Coincidentally I played 5 aside at lunchtime, my colleagues (and occasionally me) are supposed to play every week, bet they only manage about 20 times a year tho. It’s only £3, during lunch hour so everyone should have the time, most are pretty avid footy fans/players so there’s the will too but somehow it’s often difficult to get enough players for a game – not that accessible eh?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Re sport/hobby thing, I assumed we were talking about both, I’m fairly sure just for fun riders vastly outnumber racers, what’s it like in football? There seem to be a few kids/adult footy leagues about dunno how the numbers compare to “fun” matches. Surely football is done just as a hobby by lots of people? but then I’m pretty relaxed when I play football, I’ll chase down every ball but take very little notice of the scoreline, so admit I may not be the best authority on this.

    Is riding down a canal tow path on a BSO from Argos MTBing?

    it’s riding a bike offroad so loosely I’d say it is*, as someone said there’s very few of us who have ridden on actual mountains at all never mind regularly.

    *used to say “offroad on a 26″ wheeled bike” as bigger wheels would suggest it was CX, bit more complicated now

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    I disagree that it’s cheap to get into but immediately becomes a money sink once you’re hooked, you can keep riding on (comparatively) meagre funds.

    I wasn’t suggesting that it immediately becomes…
    Just observing that when buying that second/replacement bike, that’s the point at which new-ish riders seem to be heavily influenced by what everyone else rides.

    edlong
    Member

    Interesting one for the accessibility of football: I saw a sign in Leeds the other day for a new five-a-side facility which included something along the lines of “corporate teams only” – have to say I was a bit surprised by that.

    I think, with mountain biking, that the distinction about “sport” may be less clear cut than it used to be: “going for a bike ride” – accessible to many, if not most; doing “mountain biking as a sport”, less so. But then along came Strava….

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Take your point but I don’t see your example as being particularly accessible (or desirable) given the traffic levels choking the roads nowadays. More importantly the general attitudes of motorists towards cyclists. Having said that, Falkirk near where I live now has a fantastic network of cycle paths but that’s an exception to the rule.

    Most towns and cities have little patches of woodland left between the houses. These always have little bits of singletrack running through them.

    Add in parks, wasteground, access roads, rivers and canals and you get a pretty good network of ‘trails’ that kids will have been riding on for as long as there have been kids on bikes.

    In September, I rode 500km in and around the medium-sized (pop 100000) town in the grim desolate north where I live. All the links above are photos I took in September and there’re all inside the town boundary. All ridden on a bike with non suspension that cost me £600, but I’ve ridden them all on cheaper bikes.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I take your point ecky, but I’d say that was an eagerness to have either a. shiny or b. good quality (depending on your cynicism) gear rather than an accessibility issue.

    But that’s a good shout about peer influence, if everyone else is blinged up you feel the need too (noticed myself getting upgraditus last cpl of weeks) also if you’re riding with better riders on better bikes down technical stuff, that’ll increase breakages and push up costs.

    djglover
    Member

    All sports are relatively accessible at the grass roots end, you just have to know where to look.

    Mountain biking is probably one of the simpler ones you’ll find, buy a BSO ride it in the woods.

    With football you have to find a team, learn some rules.

    But even if you want to get into racing, you simply find a race on line and send off your entry, you have to be much more organised and sociable to play football at any level

    David, guess betterer next time.. lopes and cully both came from racing national level bmx as kids, as did gracia, only he’d also been a national level ski racer from an even younger age.
    Girls don’t really count as to get a top 15 WC position you generally only really needed to turn up and complete the course in under half an hour..

    So I was correct then?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    cybicle – Member
    Well, seeing as how this is a website run by and aimed primarily at the very demographic I mentioned at the start, ie white British men above a certain income bracket, I don’t find that surprising. I’m not saying that the owners of this site deliberately seek to exclude those outside of this particular demographic, more that they perhaps are unable to appeal to other groups due to their own lack of cultural experience/knowledge.

    Sorry, but that’s nonsense.
    The owners of ST know EXACTLY who they are aiming for, and over the past few years they have obviously decided to change tack and focus on those with a higher level of income.
    I’ve been reading ST for years – they are a business set up to make money.
    They may say that they reflect the changes in the market, but they are still part of the problem.
    They have made a conscious decision to represent MTB as an aspirational pastime for the wealthy.
    The price of the bikes that they test has risen massively over the past few years – they don’t seem keen to push many cheaper alternatives.

    I don’t see this as an issue of deliberate elitism, more that representatives of other groups have not sought to become sufficiently involved in cycling, as they have done in other sports, to help shape the media, industry and indeed market so that it has a more universal appeal.

    I don’t agree.
    A pastime that was relatively affordable has, over the past five or six years become the target of cynical price hiking and opportunism.
    Cycling HAD a universal appeal – that is now being lost as the
    industry dissappears up it’s own arse in a rush to separate the fashionable from their cash.
    And cycling is not just a sport.

    Golf has traditionally been quite elitist and exclusive, I don’t feel that cycling is the same, although I suspect there are elements of that mentality within the wider organisation of the sport.

    Really?
    From speaking to many recent converts, cycling is now also seen as another way of flaunting disposable income.

    Mike

    See my earlier remarks re fannying around housing estates 😉

    Seriously though that’s very similar to a lot of the riding I do but I just regard that as training. Have to say I meet very few kids (small or big) on my exploits…

    PJM1974
    Member

    Dahn sarf in this here Lahndahn, I’ve noticed that cycle commuters tend to be an increasingly diverse bunch. Owning a high end carbon road bike isn’t necessarily an exclusively white MAMIL club anymore, which is very encouraging.

    Even in deepest, leafy green Toryville I’ve seen non-white male MTBers, so it’s a sign that things are changing for the better.

    From speaking to many recent converts, cycling is now also seen as another way of flaunting disposable income.

    This also is something worth remembering too. It’s becoming more socially acceptable to be seen on a fortune’s worth of carbon and cranks than it is to be seen sat at the lights in a BMW or Audi.

    A pastime that was relatively affordable has, over the past five or six years become the target of cynical price hiking and opportunism.

    And I absolutely agree with this. I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with an industry that is growing ever more desperate to push the acceptable cost of a bike and components ever upwards.

    A pastime that was relatively affordable has, over the past five or six years become the target of cynical price hiking and opportunism.
    Cycling HAD a universal appeal – that is now being lost as the industry dissappears up it’s own arse in a rush to separate the fashionable from their cash

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve just bought a new bike today (in a sale with 45% off). The last time I bought a new bike was just under 3 years ago. They are similar in terms of their targeted use, frame weight etc but the spec of my old bike which I bought at full price, cost almost the same price as the new bike with 45% off yet actually has a higher spec. That’s just in 3 years, so when I started looking for a new bike I almost immediately felt utterly disenfranchised with the sport and it’s pretty obvious that we are, by the industry as a whole, being taken for one big ride.

    Mountain biking shouldn’t be elitist in anyway but the industry is doing its bloody hardest to make it that way.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Rusty Spanner – Member

    I don’t agree.
    A pastime that was relatively affordable has, over the past five or six years become the target of cynical price hiking and opportunism.

    Don’t think I agree with that… Yes there’s opportunism, yes there’s lots of ways to spend a ridiculous amount of money, but look at lower prices, the “first decent bike entry level. And no I don’t mean £1000 hardtail!

    I bought a bike in about 1990 that cost £360- rigid forks, cantis, all quality kit but basic as it comes. You could go cheaper but you wouldn’t want to spend much less. Then in 2010, I bought another £360 bike- proper suspension forks, hydro brakes, slightly lower spec overall but ridiculously more capable. Same sort of price point but the difference in what you get is massive.

    To a new rider I don’t think it matters if you can spend £750 on a rim, or whatever. New drivers don’t care if you can spend a million quid on a chromed ferrari

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    And I absolutely agree with this. I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with an industry that is growing ever more desperate to push the acceptable cost of a bike and components ever upwards.

    See my earlier comment about chicken-egg element of consumerism. Human nature is to blame here, not ‘the evil marketing depts / industry / media’ etc. Why wouldn’t any industry hope to grow by selling higher-end products if people want them? It’s not the arms trade ) We don’t NEED £300 carbon cranks. We have a choice.

    >£5000 bikes are a tiny, minority part of it all that see a lot more focus as ‘halo products’ in marketing / media. Stuff magazine mentality. Av RRP of bikes in a large retailer is still closer to £400, maybe >75% is under a grand. TBH I think it’s great that some people see bikes as something worth spending £5-8k or more on, and that’s not anything I’m ever going to gain from, working on £300-1200 bikes.

    That’s just in 3 years, so when I started looking for a new bike I almost immediately felt utterly disenfranchised with the sport and it’s pretty obvious that we are, by the industry as a whole, being taken for one big ride.

    Global economics is a bitch huh.. capitalism says prices will remain as competitive as possible and that’s still the case. What we’ve seen in the last 4-5 years isn’t confined to the bike industry.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Mike

    See my earlier remarks re fannying around housing estates

    It’s much more like woodland and farm tracks round here. Though they did find a murder victim just up from one of those a week or so ago 🙂

    Seriously though that’s very similar to a lot of the riding I do but I just regard that as training. Have to say I meet very few kids (small or big) on my exploits…

    Last Saturday I rode the same bike to the local trail centre, which is only a 90 minute ride away.

    There’re loads of kids on the 4X and pump tracks.

    campkoala
    Member

    Yes, Dave,
    100% correct.
    In the mid 70s the Lopes, Cullinan and McGrath families were to be regularly found in truckstops across America hitching lifts from state to state so their boys could race their £50 S/H bikes against kids from other poor families

    What’s even more of an achievement is how they always managed to get back in time to stand in line for their social security check each week.

    cybicle
    Member

    Sorry, but that’s nonsense.
    The owners of ST know EXACTLY who they are aiming for, and over the past few years they have obviously decided to change tack and focus on those with a higher level of income.

    Of course, they will target their business primarily towards those who they believe will offer the best returns. I don’t believe they are deliberately excluding any particular groups however. That would be foolish, as I’m sure they’d love to have revenue coming in from any possible source.Hence why I don’t believe there is any real deliberate elitism. If you or anyone thinks that there is, then I’d be really interested to read your thoughts.

    Cycling HAD a universal appeal – that is now being lost as the
    industry dissappears up it’s own arse in a rush to separate the fashionable from their cash.

    I don’t think the entire industry is acting thus; the numbers of people cycling in the UK has risen steadily over the last couple of decades, and there are more bikes on the roads and trails. That you can now buy a bike for £50 or even less (the quality of such is subject for another discussion) shows that cycling as a whole is surely now more accessible than ever before? I will agree that the ‘mountain biking’ industry has become more exclusive; at the back end of the ’80s, ‘mountain bikes’ were cited as helping re-popularise cycling, largely due to their more ‘accessible’ nature; now, they have definitely become aspirational ‘lifestyle’ products. And mountain biking itself, once seen as a bit of a niche activity, is now seen as quite ‘cool’, associations with ‘fat IT managers in dayglo gear’ aside. And yes; you will get those who buy the latest shiny kit to show off, this has always been the case with pretty much any activity requiring specialist equipment. See ski-ing for a perfect example of this.

    Interesting comments about the Far East; a friend who worked in Singapore said mountain biking is very popular there (even if participants have to go to another country to do it properly). But it still remains an activity mainly enjoyed by those over a certain income level; you won’t find that popularity in many other parts of Asia.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    jameso – Member

    See my earlier comment about chicken-egg element of consumerism. Human nature is to blame here, not ‘the evil marketing depts / industry / media’ etc. Why wouldn’t any industry hope to grow by selling higher-end products if people want them? It’s not the arms trade ) We don’t NEED £300 carbon cranks. We have a choice.

    James, the price of bike tyres (as an example, let’s use Maxxis) has risen from £20 odd a couple of years ago to £40 odd today.
    That’s a 100% rise in a couple of years.
    The price of my car tyres has remained the same.

    Let’s look at the price of forks shall we?
    Again, pretty much a doubling in price in just a few years.

    The ‘downspeccing’ and increased pricing of complete bikes, the ridiculous prices being asked for some generic Taiwanese bikes (Grapil anyone? – They’d have sold thousands of those things if they’d been priced correctly)and the opportunism displayed by some of the clothing companies is beyond belief.

    The industry offers us a greater choice of hugely more expensive bikes, whilst introducing new standards that reduce the possibility of keeping older bikes on the trail.
    The magazines generally refuse to review anything under £1500.

    And your teling me it’s OUR fault?

    cybicle – Member
    I don’t believe they are deliberately excluding any particular groups however. That would be foolish, as I’m sure they’d love to have revenue coming in from any possible source.Hence why I don’t believe there is any real deliberate elitism. If you or anyone thinks that there is, then I’d be really interested to read your thoughts.

    So refusing to review bikes and equipment that is considered ‘too cheap’ to be credible (whilst still being perfectly capable) isn’t deliberately excluding those on a lower income?
    Of course it’s elitist.

    johnellison
    Member

    Ultimately it’s a niche sport, populated by people with a healthy dose of disposable income or handy credit ratings. Much akin to Golf, Tennis & Horse Riding.

    I’d hardly call golf, tennis or equestrianism “niche” – if you look at the numbers who participate regularly, as against cycling, it’s mind-boggling.

    It’s also been mentioned that golf is elitist – again I disagree. It is certainly perceived as elitist in some sectors, but I would suspect the large number of working-class people who play would also disagree. Again, it’s like any sport – it’s only elitist if you want it to be. A full set of clubs from Sports Direct (albeit cheap as chips ones) is about £75; box of balls £5; packet of tees £2. Head to your local municipal course (many towns have them, especially in Scotland) and you’re looking at about £6 for a round.

    Golf is one of my other passions, and I am a member of a club, but there are people from every walk of life there – from “lad and dad” pairings up to the fanatics. Everyone is made welcome, no-one is treated with any deference (except the club officers) and everyone helps each other to get along. In fact, golf is often cited as about the only sport where the man in the street can compete (theoritically) with the pros.

    vickypea
    Member

    If most people bought the cheap stuff, that’s what the shops would mostly stock. No one is forcing people to read magazines and buy top-end stuff.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    But vicky, the magazines only feature the expensive stuff!

    And if the shops stocked the cheaper stuff, it would encourage more people to paricipate 😀

    If we promote cycling as a sport for the rich, the industry gains in the short term.
    If we promote cycling as a part of everyday life that everyone can participate in, we all gain.

    cybicle
    Member

    So refusing to review bikes and equipment that is considered ‘too cheap’ to be credible (whilst still being perfectly capable) isn’t deliberately excluding those on a lower income?
    Of course it’s elitist.

    That’s an interesting perspective. Having given up on the cycling ‘press’ many years ago (for precisely the reasons re marketing hype given here), I have no idea what sort of kit they regularly review. Last time I read a cycling magazine, MBUK was all about downhilling (and more or less a brochure for Specialized products), and Cycling Weekly seemed to consist mainly of Beligian CX race results. I’d be very surprised if cycling media such as this website were actively pursuing a campaign of deliberate exclusion of any particular group though. Would be interesting to read your expansion on this, and also the thoughts of the owners of this site. Isn’t this website more about making money for the owners than primarily focussing on promoting cycling? I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t. We all gotta eat.

    It’s also been mentioned that golf is elitist – again I disagree. It is certainly perceived as elitist in some sectors, but I would suspect the large number of working-class people who play would also disagree. Again, it’s like any sport – it’s only elitist if you want it to be.

    Perception or not, a visit to practically any golf course will reveal a mainly white male membership. I’ve yet to see one featuring proportionate numbers of representatives from other groups.

    If we promote cycling as a sport for the rich, the industry gains in the short term.
    If we promote cycling as a part of everyday life that everyone can participate in, we all gain.

    This is pretty much the jist of why I started this thread. I love mountain biking, indeed any form of cycling really, and would love everyone else to enjoy it too. The sad truth is, that mountain biking certainly isn’t the inclusive activity that other sports are (more), and it’s proportionately under-represented by all sections of society, whereas cycling as a whole in this country is now more popular than ever before, with many more groups. There are many more people out on the trails compared to when I first started mountain biking over 25 years ago, but they’re still the same ‘type’. Would be nice to see greater diversity out there.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    cybicle – Member
    I’d be very surprised if cycling media such as this website were actively pursuing a campaign of deliberate exclusion of any particular group though. Would be interesting to read your expansion on this

    I don’t think there’s much else I can add.

    If 99% of the bikes a magazine reviews are over £1500 it’s pretty clear they are appealing to a certain demographic, isn’t it?

    And by not reviewing the cheaper bikes, the magazine becomes much less appealing to newcomers and those who want to read about and spend their money on cheaper bikes.

    Coupled with the aforementioned comments regarding £2000 being regarded as the accepted amount that a person will spend on their first ‘proper’ mtb, you can see who the magazine is trying to appeal to.
    Surely that comment is designed to exclude those without that amount to spend?

    I have no idea of the intentions of the publishers, but that’s how it seems to me.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Just common sense though, if someone’s got a small amount of money to spend on their hobby they’re less likely to spend it on a magazine. Inevitable that bike mags are targeted at the enthusiasts and certainly not indicative of the reality of the bike market, any more than forums are (since they’re also for the daft enthusiasts)

    After all, Halfords is I think still the UK’s biggest bike shop, but everyone on here rides a steel singlespeed made by a man with a beard.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Northwind – Member

    Just common sense though, if someone’s got a small amount of money to spend on their hobby they’re less likely to spend it on a magazine.

    Care to provide any evidence?
    In my experience, the first thing I do when getting into a new hobby or researching new kit is to go and buy all the relevant magazines.

    The magazines used to review proportionately cheaper bikes.
    They now focus on the relatively high end.
    A conscious decision by the industry (of which the magazines are an intrinsic part) to appeal to those with a higher income?
    I think so.

    Also a big part of why you hardly see any younger people out on the trails?
    S’all middle aged old farts round here.
    Very little younger new blood at all.

    Anyway, I’m off for a spin in the rain. 🙂

    Edric 64
    Member

    My son is 14 and has played football since he was 6 .Annual subs are £110 this includes the team strip .The club is quite big and has four senior mens teams ,a ladies team childrens mixed teams until under 11 and boys and girls for each age group to under 18.Various fundraisers help subsidise things

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