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  • Singletrack Issue 145 – Feedback
  • stwhannah
    Full Member

    Hi folks, hopefully many of you have now had the opportunity to read some of Issue 145. If you’ve got any feedback on the articles, the print quality, the design, any of it, I’d love to hear what you thought. Well… if it’s good I’d love to hear it, if it’s bad it would be useful, so I can try to make the mag better in future! Thanks! Hannah

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    There’s a magazine? (sorry, but tradition says that I have to ask)

    Print quality is fine, but I was conscious of the new(ish) thinner paper, and it doesn’t smell as nice. The design is not flashy, but it doesn’t get in the way either (also subscribe to PC Pro which is on really cheap paper and sometimes makes dubious text/background colour choices, and Wired which is just over designed to the point of occasional unreadability).

    My favourite stories were the one about the Muslim women learning to ride, because it was heart-warming, and the interview with the waterproof guys because it was interesting. My youngest is 26 and there are no grandchildren yet so not so bothered by the kids bike review, but I still think it’s a good thing to do. Likewise with the coil shocks really, I’m never likely to buy one but I’m not going to complain about you running a test of them.

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    I’ve not finished it yet.

    I’ve really enjoyed the women riding and the touring article.

    The kids bike tests aren’t for me, but cute and cool.

    Can’t say I’ve noticed anything changed in paper/print terms.

    Full Member

    The women learning to ride article was (unexpectedly) excellent. Particularly the picture of 2 ladies high fiving – the joy on both faces is brilliant.

    Yeah, the paper doesn’t smell as nice, but if someone hadn’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have noticed.

    Petor’s article looking back at touring was good. The rest of the mag didn’t float my boat at all. I’m not interested in myths, the science of helmets/ waterproofs, recipes, kids bikes or parenting. Coil reviews were slightly interesting.

    Oh, and the Pivot ad caught my attention as it really doesn’t look like an e-bike!

    Roll on the next issue.

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    I’m only on page 14, but I hadn’t noticed the different smelling paper … perhaps it was the ink rather than the paper. Or maybe it’s because i have an electronic subscription? Can we get a new pixel aroma?

    It’s my only online subscription. But, i did discover it’s possible to import the pdf with all the photos into iBook (or whatever it’s called). Previously i’d been getting the almost-text-only version and that wasn’t very inspiring.

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    I’ve enjoyed reading the articles on lo-fi touring and making mountain bikers more than I thought I would. Good pieces that are on topic without being more of the same.

    The recipe pages are consistently unread by me. The pictures look good but I enjoy eating food much more than reading about it.

    Did the MET article read a bit like an advertorial?

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    Only a few articles in and if you hadn’t put this feedback request out I may not have looked for this. I work in an environment of print and packaging so immediatly thought “Hmmm have they changed something in the production process, materials etc, or is it just about the articles.

    My micrometer is in the office so I can’t check the paper gauge, but it does look and feel different. Is it possible the paper is less glossy and thinner? Have you moved from conventional print to digital print? I was thinking the enviro route, have you gone full recycled paper? All of these things may be complete bollock$ and I am looking for something that isn’t there.

    On the articles I have done the Going Off (grid) which was OK but didn’t grab me. Loved the Making Mountain Bikers article, made me feel happy and hopeful. I seem to always skip the Komoot ride section for some reason unless I recognise the area so didn’t read that. Enjoyed the MET tech insight but it left me wondering if this was something special to MET or if it is a standard that all the major players would apply. Becasue of this I felt the same as mtbfix, was it an advert? Looking forward to enjoying more this evening.

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    The standout bits for me are the cover (amazing, I love the fact that we can only see the riders shadow on the front), Redbull Foundation piece (great pics and layout), Making Mountain Bikers (one of the few pieces I’ve actually read so far – the others I’ve mainly looked at the pictures), and Anders illustrations which are actually incredible. So far so good…

    As for the MET piece looking like an advertorial, it does say Produced in association with MET so that’s not really surprising. A bit like various other factory visits that have been done in the past. Personally, I’d say there’s enough interest in there once you look past the marketing to make it a valid piece of content for the mag.

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    I now read it using the web articles as easiest medium for me – are all the pages from latest issue published?

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    Thanks for the feedback so far folks. The paper is the same, so I reckon if it smells different it might be the ink. Supply chain stuff meant the printer did do some switches, and we’ve been working with them to get the reproduction of images up to the standard and consistency we want.

    not all the articles are up yet – we put them up one or two a day in reverse order. Once we get to the Editorial, you’ll know they’re all there!

    The MET article is a sponsored feature, as was the WTB one in the previous issue. We write it but they get copy approval. We do our best to keep them entertaining/informative and not too gushingly advertorial. No one is forced to write anything they don’t want to, so I’m sure Amanda would stand behind everything she’s said.

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    Really enjoyed the article on coil shocks, and the ride up a Scottish mountain. Not read the bike test as I dont have kids so not interested. The helmet article read too much like an advert and very superficial. I would have also like the waterproofing article to have been a bit more in-depth, it all read as very shallow with no real detail as to the how they balance waterproof and breath ability or how the cut of the garment helps etc

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    I’ve only partially read it so far.
    Enjoyed the science of waterproofing.
    Helmet science was interesting but again a little Met heavy – it would have benefited from a discussion as to whether these helmet features are included in competitors ranges.
    Recipes are not for me.
    I’ve not read kids’ bikes yet, but will do with some interest.

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    Going Off-Grid and Making Mountain Bikers articles made it the most interesting edition for a wee while, more like that would be good, highlighting diversity and the fact that bike adventures don’t have to be boutique, meticulously planned or cost a lot of money! Cant say I pay much attention to the cooking bit either.

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    Personally, had a flick through and found very little of any interest at all.
    The kids bike bit was especially grating…do people seriously spend that much on bikes for their kids? How about articles on reasonably priced/quality bikes?
    I’m probably going to change my subscription to digital only as I just don’t find the magazine worth having sadly.

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    Normally read the whole thing cover-to-cover within a few days of receiving it.

    Saying that, I don’t tend to rest the recipes at all.

    Found the kids bike test interesting, as my daughter is 4, so may have something like that in the future – surprised at the cost though!

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    I’m another electronic subscriber but I’m using the pdf version to read on the big screen (it’s me age!).

    One comment is that the pdf version should be slightly reformatted so that the two page spreads display correctly. I get the front cover and a blank to start and the rear cover and a blank to finish. The two page ads then get split by editorial content which spoils the experience. (This is on a Mac using either Preview or Wondersharepdf Element).

    Like this:
    Magazine Double Spread

    Full Member

    @sandwich If you are using Preview on mac then it should display two pages correctly. However, you will need to select ‘Two Pages’ from the ‘View’ menu.

    Full Member

    If using Adobe Reader then you need to select ‘View’ > ‘Page Display’ > ‘Two Page View’  AND also make sure that ‘Show Cover Page In Two Page View’ is ticked.

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    Haven’t finished reading yet, but whilst I’m all for foody stuff, I don’t think STW is the place for recipes.

    Nils’ article is nice in the end, started off as just a ride report but has a worthwhile message.

    Kids bikes, @paul-b I’d say yes they do spend that, and the rest. Good idea for an article.

    Will read the Making MTBers article and Ben Cruachan with a view to riding there soon.

    Full Member

    I’m another who has only partly read this issue.

    I’ve always enjoyed Hannah’s writing (I thought the boring gravel ride in Iceland was great!), so it’s no surprise that the Making MTBers article was good. I do enjoy the ‘in-house’ writers – they are what makes the mag stand out. (I enjoyed the MET article as well.)

    There are 30 pages of this issue that I won’t bother reading, which is quite a lot – kids bikes, coil shocks and the recipe. (I only bother reading the last if the recipe is worth it.)

    I’m not expecting the Scottish ride article to be any different from the many other Scottish ride articles that are pumped out regularly. Ditto, the mythical riding thing. The ride articles can feel a little pointless to me – often too far away and not inspiring enough. Nice pics, but one Scottish mountain looks very much the same as any other from this distance.

    I have said before that, overall, the mag feels a little northern biased. I know that’s where it’s based, and where it has a large readership, but there is a whole world of riding in the rest of the country which doesn’t get as much of a mention. And when it does, it’s often a ‘classic’ ride or a baffling one, like the gravel ride around the Surrey Hills avoiding all the good MTBing. And much of the riding covered is old fashioned, epic xc style, not the sort of off-piste, hand-cut stuff that we ride here in Wales. (One ride recently mentioned that the best descent was a sheep track. I’ve ridden some fun sheep tracks, but won’t travel far to find them. 😀 )

    Recently, when I get the mag I tend to be less inspired to start reading it, but I think that’s me, not the mag. There are always a couple of decent articles to be found inside, though.

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    I thought that the change in smell was down to the packaging. Previously it was awesome smelling plastic, then it went to biodegradable stuff and more recently paper.

    Mmmm hydrocarbons.

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    I have found this one of the less interesting issues for a while. I have flicked through it many times, trying to find something to read while i have my lunch, but then have put it aside.

    The article about Formation was interesting, not least because i had heard a very different account of it on the Pinkbike podcast.

    Making Mountain Bikers, I will probably read. Have looked at the pictures so far and it looks interesting.

    Not interested in recipes, or a multi-page marketing piece from a helmet company, nor the science of waterproofing.

    I have no interest in reading about coil shocks. Not sure how they can be described as a “kit essential”.

    I’m not particularly interested in articles by some person who went on a ride somewhere.

    Looking back at what I’ve just typed, maybe I should just stop buying the magazine!

    Full Member

    From the articles I can access so far (web)…

    Coil shock test – semi-interesting (and I like kit reviews) and may relevent to me some day
    Last word – nope
    To Infinity and beyond – semi-interesting
    Mountain bikes for kids – no interest to me personally
    Singletrack kitchen – no interest
    Waterproofing – semi-interesting
    Ben Cruachan – should be my kind of article but found a bit ‘samey’ as previous trips up a mountain, nice pics though
    Classic ride – liked
    Going Off – like a lot
    Making Mounatin Bikers – like a lot
    MET helmets – started out thinking it would be interesting – but nope

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