Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 108 total)
  • Latest Mag
  • chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    “ Our best selling category is kids mags, but I highly suspect that’s due to the plastic cr”p on the front. ”

    My children love magazines and although they do play with the plastic crap (when it actually does what it’s meant to do), they like the magazines for what’s on the paper. An interesting thing we found about all the kids’ mags is that you can’t subscribe to them.

    tenfoot
    Full Member

    why does the digital version take so long to arrive?

    Wot ‘e said.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    The chipps article


    @imrobert
    which Chipps article?

    imrobert
    Full Member

    The one about meeting heroes

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    As for virtue signalling? The alternative is just page upon page of white guys riding bikes. Other people doing things differently is not a bad thing.

    The problem being that a massive majority of MTB riders in the UK are ‘white guys’, so if the mag changes direction and tries to pull in non-white-guy readers then that first group might will stop reading your mag and the second group don’t bother because they were never there in the first place, which leaves you with no readers.

    I received the mag on Saturday. It looks nice, smells nice but, after a flick through, seems to be an off-road-lite version of Cycling UK’s mag. There’s very little of interest to me, yet again.

    ossify
    Full Member

    Mine hasn’t arrived yet 😪

    Our best selling category is kids mags, but I highly suspect that’s due to the plastic cr”p on the front

    I occasionally buy MBUK when I see it in the shop, but only if it has a decent looking free gift 😁

    Can you wrestle Mint Sauce off them?

    inbred853
    Full Member

    I would reluctantly have to agree with IdleJon, looks pretty, might smell nice to some, however I find most of the content irrelevant to me, out of the 10 only 4 stood out for me, Editorial, Interview, Tested and Tech Head.

    TBH, it’s a hard act to balance with all the digital content available out there and kudos to the team for the other content, but each to their own.

    I’ll keep my current paper subs going for now, however might have to cull the paper version next time.

    reluctantlondoner
    Full Member

    I love the new look. There is enough to read and flick through to keep me off the internets for a while – and that’s a good thing. And as I continue to highly value the forum here, I will happily look at the big picture and keep my subs going. I’ve stopped drinking, so boom, one night in the pub covers a whole year of the mag and forum.

    ianbradbury
    Full Member

    My wife has just become the Chair of PetalPower ( women’s riding club based in the Cairngorms), so one article at least is extremely relevant and interesting. Shane they didn’t get a name check at the end though.

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @ianbradbury The project Fi is working on is trying to compile a list of as many groups as possible. Your wife could add PetalPower to the list here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=MH_ksn3NTkql2rGM8aQVG-m_8bLVgORKmo8JMjM0eUlUMkU5UFM2VUxQQVdKMk5LRzBRTklORDNOQS4u

    ianbradbury
    Full Member

    Thanks, I’ll let her know

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Why only female groups? What about groups that welcome everybody

    As others have said not a good issue. I miss bike reviews, have no interest in riding a modified road bike anywhere, and I still have no idea what a purposeful adventure is and how it differs from going for a ride

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Why not female only groups? And expand the list to something-only other groups…plenty of people are happy with mixed groups, but there are plenty other who aren’t…if a something-only group encourages more people to get involved then that is surely a good thing, is it not?

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    The Minority Rapport article is literally about why having women only groups is a helpful thing for mountain biking as a whole. If that’s not enough to make it of interest or relevant to a male mountain biker reading it, I would assume that every bloke reading the article knows at least someone who isn’t a bloke, and understanding their world perspective might be useful?


    @reluctantlondoner
    I like your logic… But is that one night in a London pub?

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    It’s just arrived, and for the first time for a while, in an undamaged envelope. Perfect timing as we’re having a “do very little day”! Ten pancakes in and I think that’s a given so looking forward to reading and relaxing.

    ossify
    Full Member

    Haven’t read much of it so far but must say I love the design of the Balkans article.

    The way the mountains of that dark teal background keep coming over the image, and especially that one page with the cloudy photo where the text is over the image instead of the background… I like 👍

    chipps
    Full Member

    Thanks for all the feedback so far. Please keep it coming.
    As some have said, we can’t please everyone with every article, but we would like to please most readers with most articles.
    To answer a few random questions:
    Reader reflections – where possible, we try to include submissions from readers, although we still have to produce a good looking magazine, so sometimes the standard of photos (quality, size or number) that we/you demand in a good-looking magazine. We try to run a balance between having lovely looking features of generally foreign places shot by professionals, and more relatable down-home content. We’d have a greater choice of features if we just ran phone photos, but then we’d run the risk of the magazine image quality suffering. See the ‘You can’t please everyone’ comment above.

    Bike tests – as Hannah mentions, trying to get new (or newish) production bikes in to test, all at the same time, is often very difficult. The more interesting the bike, the more demand there is for it from the manufacturer’s demo bike fleet, or even from its customers. We’ve previously been to fancy bike launches, only to be told that we can’t have one to test back home as they were all sold out. If we can incorporate individual bike tests within Grinder and perhaps travel features, then that’s probably a better approach than ‘Three bikes with a Pike fork’.

    Humour – we’ve always tried to have a decent amount of humour in the features we run and write. Sometimes it’s been great fun (usually Mark or myself breaking ourselves) and other times it’s backfired (Pedal car racing anyone?) but I’m currently trying to push the staff and contributors to be a little less serious with themselves and trying to bring back fun features like the one-ton* challenge, which did lead to some great features. (*Having a weekend adventure on £100 – though we might have to adjust that for inflation…)

    In short, we’re here and we do listen. This forum gives you a direct line to the people who write and plan the magazine (and I don’t know many magazines with a similar direct line to the writes), so please keep the suggestions coming. You can email the team any time on the editorial@… address. And I’m on chipps@… Changes don’t always happen overnight, partly as our print planning schedule sees us working on August’s features in February/March time so that there’s enough time for Amanda’s careful design and a fair amount of proofreading before the final files are sent to print.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    How about a list of things that do interest you, the below is what I enjoy most:

    • Glorious photos of great riding in beautiful locations
    • UK route write ups
    • Adventure write ups
    • New bikes and kit reviews
    • Longterm reviews
    • Bike setup and kit use
    • Cycling events and races
    • Funny cycling anecdotes
    • Skills and techniques
    • Training and fitness
    • Health and wellness
    • International travel

    Received my copy yesterday and after a quick flick through, there wasn’t really anything that caught my eye. But sometimes I’m interested in the whole mag. Just different from month to month. I’ve been a subscriber for years and won’t be going anywhere soon.

    convert
    Full Member

    Mine just arrived. I’ve left it captive in it’s envelope, smell and all, until this evening. Has it physically shrunk a bit? By coincidence the recycling lorry has just taken away my stash of past years. It felt weird ditching them as most were lightly thumbed (oh er missus) but my inner Marie Kondo demanded it (or my wife – same difference)

    Good stuff Chipps. I’m glad humour is up there on the priority list. Reflecting back, it’s a thing I’m looking for. Worthy is good, but…..I’ve bought a lot of worthy books over the years and they mostly remain lightly ‘thumbed’. Possibly I’m not as into worthy as I think I am.

    Actually – I don’t think I care about bike tests. Bikes are mostly great these days and unless by some miracle my next bike happens to by one you get lucky with, I’m reading about a thing I’ll never own that turns out to be as good as I’d expect it to be and in comparison to another thing I’ll never own that is also very good.

    What I’d say would be better would be trends and their real world impact. What changes in geometry actually mean – who is doing them and why. How would I have to ride them to benefit from them. A case study of bike X or Y to evidence why it’s good or bad and for whom. Same for tech – what’s coming down the line and what could it mean. Then, a few case study bods – “James here rides this sort of stuff, he’s a bit of a woose and bottles anything gnar but can ride the legs of all his mates – what sort of bikes should James be looking to buy? Not specific models maybe but what features should he prioritise? What will make chuff all difference?”.

    mildbore
    Full Member

    Love the look of the new mag, the quality of ST has always been good but I particularly like the matt background which makes it much easier to read when I have barely woken up at breakfast time

    StuE
    Free Member

    I’ve had a look back at some recent issues and I’m surprised at how the actual content of the mag has been reduced, issue 150 had imho a much better balance of pics and text, I’m not a very visual person and I don’t want want to me almost feels like a picture book.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    The Minority Rapport article is literally about why having women only groups is a helpful thing for mountain biking as a whole. If that’s not enough to make it of interest or relevant to a male mountain biker reading it, I would assume that every bloke reading the article knows at least someone who isn’t a bloke, and understanding their world perspective might be useful?

    I look forward to the article about how men only groups is helpful for mountain biking as a whole. I assume every lady reading the article knows at least someone who isn’t a lady.

    See how silly it now sounds when you just switch the genders round. Perhaps I’m just lucky as about 1/3 of our group are ladies so don’t get the whole single gender thing

    imrobert
    Full Member

    Thanks for the update Chipps, I used to always really look forward to getting my hands on the latest singletrack, it meant a good few hours chilling out and having a laugh and learning stuff about mountain biking, discussions with mates about the mag etc – they’ve all unsubscribed now. Last funny one I remember was about 2 years ago, a guest writer about her travels with two men in Eastern Europe I think. Anyway I’m beginning to almost dread it, it’s turned into social commentary with a few bikes in. Nothing to actually read or be of interest – politics, inclusion all the rest of it is constantly beamed everywhere at the moment and singletrack was an escape.  Hopefully it can get its mojo back.

    paino
    Full Member

    why does the digital version take so long to arrive?

    Was thinking the same, but I guess it takes a while for the STW hamsters to recreate the digital fresh paper smell I’m so looking forward to.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    No freebies with the STW mag, not even a packet of haribo.

    I think I’ve a box of mbuk freebies somewhere(no mint sauce keyring unfortunately, sold that off yonks ago) belts, useless knitted gloves, sunglasses etc.

    but I guess it takes a while for the STW hamsters to recreate the digital fresh paper smell I’m so looking forward to.

    Is that what the smell is 😕 I was beginning to think they’d taken advice off the Russian Salisbury poisoners.

    nickc
    Full Member

    The problem being that a massive majority of MTB riders in the UK are ‘white guys’, so if the mag changes direction and tries to pull in non-white-guy readers then that first group might will stop reading your mag

    Or alternatively; white guys might be interested to read articles that aren’t just reflections of what they do themselves. Walk in some-one else’s shoes (metaphorically) My wife, who doesn’t ride, but reads Singletrack sometimes, enjoyed this month’s especially.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    The problem being that a massive majority of MTB riders in the UK are ‘white guys’, so if the mag changes direction and tries to pull in non-white-guy readers then that first group might will stop reading your mag
    Or alternatively; white guys might be interested to read articles that aren’t just reflections of what they do themselves. Walk in some-one else’s shoes (metaphorically) My wife, who doesn’t ride, but reads Singletrack sometimes, enjoyed this month’s especially.

    If you didn’t subscribe would she be reading it? Would she be subscribing?

    nickc
    Full Member

    probably not as she doesn’t ride a bike. In the same way that occasionally I find interesting articles in the 18thC literature journal she subscribes to. Should they perhaps start writing stuff about mountain bikes to temp me d’you think?

    mags like Singletrack often end up in the strangest places, and you never know who’s going to read an article. From my perspective MTB should be a broad church, and if Singletrack can put wheeling 11 year old girls on the cover, or do long form articles about female riding groups, then that’s all grist to the mill. I enjoy them, and someone down the line might be inspired.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    My mag just arrived.  I like the new size and there is a nice mix of stuff to read.  I know it must be hard running a mag these days. When I started cycling the only source of info and place you could indulge your interests was a bike magazine or a bike shop (if you had one close).  Now we we don’t actually need the magazine in the same way as you can OD on bike stuff everywhere.  So I appreciate the efforts STW is going to to adapt and keep the content interesting and relevant.

    We all like a good group test but they are a quick fix and, unless it covers a bike/bike type you are about to buy,  when you have read it that’s it. More thought provoking content may be less immediate but longer term it makes for a better read.

    I applaud the work you are doing on gender equity.  Keep doing it.

    I hope the magazine develops and thrives.  I am happy to subscribe to it even if I don’t like every article as we’d be the poorer without STW.  I take the same view with Bikepacking.com and I get their publication.  I must admit I sometimes look at the photos without reading it all but I subscribe because it comes with a great website and helps keep the activity (sport/hobby/pastime/whatever) that I enjoy alive and developing.

    convert
    Full Member

    The first priority has to be what the people are doing/saying and that being interesting – after that their gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ status might play a part. Their gender or ethnicity has to come second. In a different but comparable world I know a very inspirational person called Cal Major. They are a SUP adventurer and environmental campaigner. Some of their adventurers are awe inspiring (both as physical feats and the scenery they travel through) and what they have to say is very thought provoking. The fact that Cal is a lady makes an interesting sideline to the overall narrative. But if Cal just paddled around in circles like the rest of us muppets then it would be a wholly uninspiring read – unless they were very funny in the way they twisted the tale together. That transfers to mtbs and singletrack – if the person or group of people are doing something completely unexceptional and the only noteworthy thing is their gender, it’s a non story. Much in the same way as writing an article about me going for a ride from my front door is not worthy of words and photos in a magazine that anyone will bother reading unless I was able to thread in some other angle that gave the piece some teeth. I guess the challenge is finding people doing interesting stuff or telling the tale in compelling ways when fishing in the very very small pool that is non white, male, stale mtbers.

    nuttidave
    Free Member

    I agree  ChrisMac, our local group have a ‘women’s only ride’, males are not invited, women are free and encouraged to ride with the main rides. Switch it round the other way and there would be outcry. Magazine is ok, but as stated above is more of a picture book, words take time and constant inspiration to make interesting, and with a small team must be tricky, big pictures not so.

    barney
    Free Member

    The problem being that a massive majority of MTB riders in the UK are ‘white guys’, so if the mag changes direction and tries to pull in non-white-guy readers then that first group might will stop reading your mag and the second group don’t bother because they were never there in the first place, which leaves you with no readers.”

    No, they won’t. Are you suggesting most other riders lack sufficient empathy to be able to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes? Reading about topics you have no direct experience of must be a struggle.

    And at this stage, it’s not about pulling in ‘non-white guy readers’. It’s about educating the white guy readers about the other people who mountain bike – so that any potential new “non-white guy riders” feel a little bit more welcomed than they are at the moment by the more lunk-headed members of our collective. 

    I look forward to the article about how men only groups is helpful for mountain biking as a whole. I assume every lady reading the article knows at least someone who isn’t a lady.

    See how silly it now sounds when you just switch the genders round. Perhaps I’m just lucky as about 1/3 of our group are ladies so don’t get the whole single gender thing”

    Blimey. Well, the vast, vast majority of mountain bikers are men. There is far from parity wherever you go. The sport is widely recognised as masculine, and is filled with masculine tropes. Adrenaline, risk, rarrrr. These are all seen as ‘male’, yes even if women do them. There are many papers on this. I you really want to read them I’ll dig out some links. Getting women who don’t MTB to actually have a go means wading through a lot of common cultural tropes, which includes rad bikes, gnar, and massive air, and risk and all of that, and actually very little of the actual mountain biking that you and I do on a regular basis, involving hills, and adventure, and scenery – all the stuff that gravel is trying to successfully monopolise. Oh yeah, women are taking to greavel in droves! I wonder why? Women who mountain bike feel that they are riding in a male space, regardless of how *you* feel about it. They are interacting with it on male terms. They form their own social networks and prefer riding with other women rather than men, who, blindly or not, have difference social interactions and understandings.  This is all to our detriment. There is research on this too. I am actually involved in some of it.

    It ‘sounds silly’ when you switch it round precisely BECAUSE this is such a male space. And you are male (I strongly suspect). Try substituting it with any other minority group and see if it sounds ridiculous. Women find riding with other women to be relaxing, and affirmative, and fun, and a bunch of other good stuff. Why is that a problem? If we could all learn from that, and then integrate it into mainstream MTB culture, isn’t that a good thing? Ask the very many female riders you know and see if they agree. from what I’ve gathered, a lot of them will.

    Also, International Men’s Day is Nov 19th, before you ask.

    hooli
    Full Member

    Although I haven’t finished it yet, I read a bit yesterday and I liked what I saw. I enjoyed the article on Surrey Hills as well as the custom bikes section. Some good photography and a variety of interesting destinations.

    nuttidave
    Free Member

    It is true tho that most bikers I see are white middle aged male, less ladies and very few coloured riders, it’s a large topic and would make an interesting article that would not only be of interest to mountain bikers but a wider spectrum as it takes in societal issues. We are after all rather privileged to be able to prat around bike trails drinking artisan coffee on £5k bikes.

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    I’ve now read about a third of 153 and I think that it’s excellent. I’m looking forward to reading the rest when the fumes from the print calm down and I stop sneezing – this is not an exclusive problem for STW but something that affects me with some other publications!

    I must say I opened it with some trepidation as I’d read some of the negative views above but to use the vernacular “I don’t get their problem”! I do enjoy the out and about stuff, especially in Britain (I don’t have a passport), I enjoy the gear tests and recognise there’s only so much a team can do (perhaps get some of the more active readers to help test stuff?), I also enjoy the social observation pieces. When I’ve finished the magazine will be going up the road to the local tyre depot where after the staff have finished with it (male and female) it goes into the waiting room to help spread the word. Oh yes, well done, I didn’t spot the word “cockpit” anywhere – my subscription will carry on!

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    About half way through, I tend to read it in dribs and drabs.

    I like the new size, it’s slightly handier to hold in one hand (stop it! Whilst holding a mug of single origin organic Ecuadorian coffee in the other – obvs)!

    I like the thicker paper, printing quality and and general ‘feel’ of it.

    The bits I have read so far are well written and have held my interest.

    It smells a little odd, I haven’t quite decided if I like that or not yet.

    It’s a thumbs up from me so far 👍

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    probably not as she doesn’t ride a bike. In the same way that occasionally I find interesting articles in the 18thC literature journal she subscribes to. Should they perhaps start writing stuff about mountain bikes to temp me d’you think?

    My point was that STW need to tread the line between attracting new readers and maintaining their existing readers, NOT that they ignore those potential new readers, but there needs to be a balance otherwise they lose their core audience, and that seems to be happening judging by this thread and previous ones.

    Your point about C18th lit mag is interesting because you’ve hit the nail on the head, maybe without meaning to. No, that mag won’t write lots of powder-puff filler articles* to try and entice you in – why would they? – but that’s what STW are doing.  I browse through plenty of mags of all genres (via Readly) and STW seems to be the only one agonising over who their readership is. The others just get on with whatever it says on the cover. And that really is helpful, because if I subscribe to a birdwatching mag, let’s say, I want to read about birdwatching and all that entails. I’d be disappointed if every third article was written by someone who has barely ever seen a bird, or the article was a thinly disguised excuse for taking mum for a nice cup of tea. Or repeatedly wrote about bloody Scottish sparrows!

    *How to make coffee like Defoe.

    How to style yourself like Pamela.

    Candide or Les Liaisons Dangereuse to impress on a date?

    Which environmentally friendly tote-bag to carry heavy books?

    Short coffee shop walks in London.

    😀

    Metasequoia
    Full Member

    As a white 50 something mountain biker the last thing I want  is a magazine full of white 50 something mountain bikers, surely it’s best for mountain biking to be open to all. I want my daughter to feel that she would be welcomed into mountain biking community!  🙂

    nuttidave
    Free Member

    This could be it IdleJon, articles to be well researched and relating to the subject matter on a deep level and for god sake don’t ask readers for stories, and don’t write about a ride across the Peaks telling us what you took to eat and what the weather was doing, we’ve done it and it isn’t that interesting that we need to read about it. Sell us dreams, not how grey the skies were over Sheffield on a Tuesday nite.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    And at this stage, it’s not about pulling in ‘non-white guy readers’. It’s about educating the white guy readers about the other people who mountain bike – so that any potential new “non-white guy riders” feel a little bit more welcomed than they are at the moment by the more lunk-headed members of our collective. 

    That is fantastically patronising. I’m amazed that I’m allowed out without supervision, being a white, middle-aged MTBer. (Maybe that attitude is why some of us are struggling with the mag recently.)

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