which bike mag is the best?

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  • which bike mag is the best?
  • Just a quick survey I’m doing at the moment, what mountain bike magazine do you prefer to read, having had my own centre spread in mbr you would think I’d choose that…but I don’t πŸ˜†
    I find reading Singletrack magazine gives me that ultimate riding feel especially early Sunday morning just before a big day out on my stead πŸ™‚ better pics, better write ups etc.
    Some of my clients also think it helps having step by step diagrams of certain biking skills that some mags sometimes put up, does this help you? Interested and looking forward to all your response. πŸ™‚

    ton
    Member

    I find em all crap.

    only so much can be written about bikes, hence why they are all repetitive boretastic.

    iolo
    Member

    Is this going to be a weekly question?

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Subscriber

    Genuinely, it’s Singletrack for me.

    I find that it has much less of a focus on products and much more on inspiring riding stories. I do occasionally buy the others (I like What Mountain Bike and MBR), but I do feel that I “need” some new stuff after having read those. πŸ™

    Used to love DIRT magazine until they ruined it and made it into an MBUK copy!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Probably Singletrack- rarely brilliant but consistently not terrible πŸ˜‰ Dirt can still be great but not often.

    MBR’s had the best writing I can think of in recent years, their combined ride/interview/article things with Guy Martin and Crawfy were outstanding. But they’ve also had most of the worst.

    number18
    Member

    Singletrack by miles. Looks/feels good. Apart from MTB (and football) I also enjoy photography, so Singeltrack uniquely ticks two boxes.

    It’s well written and tells of rides I can [mostly] only dream of as well as articles that strike a chord. The latter most epitomised by a piece titled ‘Loose Talk Costs Rides’, I never did explain to the not-quite-wife what I was laughing at with my head in my magazine!

    bikeneil
    Member

    None. They’re all contradictory and probably get paid to write good reviews.

    I stick with Dirt because I’ve been with it since issue 1. It’s my kind of riding i.e DH and gnarly radness as oppose to STW’s boring old mincers. Most of the time it misses the mark badly though. I find I get everything I need online now.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Member

    Is / was Privateer πŸ™

    shermer75
    Member

    Got to say it’s Singletrack tbh. Appreciate it more the older I get!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    having had my own centre spread in mbr you would think I’d choose that.

    swoon

    ton – Member
    I find em all crap.

    only so much can be written about bikes, hence why they are all repetitive boretastic.

    POSTED 10 HOURS AGO # REPORT-POST

    There’s so much to the biking scene than just bikes themselves ton, I think you need to open your eyes to it.

    nickc – Member
    having had my own centre spread in mbr you would think I’d choose that.

    swoon

    POSTED 8 HOURS AGO # REPORT-POST

    Haha, yes, this was back in the day when I did most of my guiding, I was approached by a member of the mbr team, it was kind of like a mini biography encompassing some of my great expeditions

    Anyway, keep your answers coming in, infact ask anybody you know that’s into biking what they think about the best biking magazine, perhaps they use to buy them but now don’t due to the recession, or perhaps they stopped buying them since online websites came along, whatever, it all helps toward my survey, thanks. πŸ™‚

    JCL
    Member

    MBR. Good writing and the bike reviews have some reasoning behind them rather than pure subjectivity.

    mattrgee
    Member

    MBR is pretty good at the moment. Some months are better than others, their month by month skills thing was pretty good. Some months look like they’ve struggled to find the content while others are a bit dull. Either way, usually a good balance of reviews and columns.

    jedi
    Member

    the albion is my fave

    tanglewood
    Member

    Singletrack.
    The Albion is good.
    The rest seem to me, to be adverts and promotions.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    I enjoy Singletrack but not always as much as I have in the past.

    Occasionally I buy the US mag Switchback too. It depends on if I see it / if there is an article or two that capture my attention.

    saxabar
    Member

    Probably Dirt for me, followed by ST and then MBUK. In a few years it may be ST but it seems to be aimed at a demographic older than me (despite being 38). I really like the imagery in Dirt and the stories are often more insightful than the mag is given credit for. MBUK is a dirty pleasure and an easy read.

    nano
    Member

    Singletrack..

    Just cancelled my sub to What Mountain Bike which probably had 1 or 2 good issues in 12 months of subscribing. It does seem to be aimed at an older rider, but picking up MBUK now and again in Tesco I struggle to see the difference. MBR is probably the best of the traditional monthlies (i.e part of large publishing group) and would probably be the one I would buy if I was stuck with nothing to read at the airport / on the train.

    I used to subscribe to the (motor)bike mags and they suffer the same problem of recycling articles. You probably only ever need one buyers guide to pre-war Norton’s, rather than one every 18 months. Same kinda repeated articles in music mags too. Far easier to buy the odd issue if there’s something relevant to me in it.

    joeelston
    Member

    ‘Ride and ‘Spoke’ on Zinio are ok for around a quid an issue. Singletrack and Dirt are ok. The rest are fairly repetitive.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    TBH I don’t think the Cycling mag (MTB, BMX, Road or whatever discipline) that I want to read, really exists at the minute…

    I actually think the way forwards for cycling journalism (perhaps any writing on sports or hobbies) probably isn’t the “traditional” printed monthly magazine anymore, I think online is the way to go more and more now.

    Personally I want to read a more “eclectic” Cycling Magazine, I want to read about racing (of all disciplines) I want to Read about peoples trail building projects, I want to read about big touring adventures and BMX or DH road trips, I’d happily read a bit about peoples commuting experiences.

    And of course I’d be happy to read a few kit / bike reviews…

    But I think in an age where most of us can read about new kit and the latest news from around the cycling world on Bikeradar/ST/Pinkbike/RideIO/MTBR, etc instantly a publication which was put out as a smaller mag but more frequently would make sense a fortnightly, online only “e-zine”, (formatted primarily to be read on 7″ tablets?) and not limited to any one form of cycling, accepting contributions from just about anyone, anywhere in the world, so long as it relates to cycling… That would be just my cup of tea TBH…

    Such a thing would not be easy, Printing and Distribution costs might be less/nil but I don’t think it would work without good quality editorial control.
    You read some of the current online “e-zines” and many are prone to just chucking everything in to a 100+ page pdf file, that actually bores you within the first ten pages. That is not the way to go, that’s why I like the idea of one that publishes less volume, but better quality, and more frequently…

    Probably on my own with these thoughts though.

    z1ppy
    Member

    WhatMTB for my morning toilet break πŸ˜€
    Though I’d hardly suggest it was the best, and I haven’t bothered look at any other in years. All I want is info on new kit, not interested in life interest stories (Sorry STW), and I know it’s so marketing lead it’s embarrassing (FFS, 650 are apparently the best thing this year.. really?). Really disappointed they dropped Steve Worland as a staff writer, but need some sort of bike related reading matter, even though they loop the same themes year after year (I like a magazine not a tablet to read, they aint the same).

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    BunyanVelo is the only mag that appreciates the true nature of riding. The rest are merely consumer catalogues and ‘how to play with your new toy for a couple of hours’.

    : )

    _tom_
    Member

    The Albion is by far the best. I don’t get any magazines any more though, they’re all full of the same crap most of the time, can get everything on the internet anyway.

    dragon
    Member

    None. I don’t know which I hate more awful un-informed reviews, or some tw*t waffling on about whisky in a bothy and fat bikes.

    The Albion is actually by far the best bike mag out there. How they can put out such a quality product for free while Privateer goes down the tubes at Β£9 a pop is a mystery. Or maybe not…

    I sometimes get confused by the Albion. It can be a very dark read. Lots of stories of broken homes, drugs, sex and jail. Then I see a picture of a trick on a BMX and remember what I’m reading. Gaping disparity between the immaturity of the main subject and the reality of the people involved.

    faustus
    Member

    It’s tough, all have things that annoy me. The big monthly magazines are so repetative, with the odd interesting article, and I can’t stand ridiculously posed ‘action’ shots with people gurning and hanging off the bike at strange angles. I still enjoy singletrack, but not so keen on the recent focus on enduro racing. Although I like to read about people going on rides, I’ve rarely read a piece that is well written. They are generally very formulaic and packed with innuendo and boys jokes.

    Best article I read was ST’s own Jenn Hopkins writing about the Tour Divide in WMTB and then ST…not enough articles like that from her these days.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    richmtbguru – Member

    Haha, yes, this was back in the day when I did most of my guiding, I was approached by a member of the mbr team, it was kind of like a mini biography encompassing some of my great expeditions

    That sounds really interesting, I have most of the backissues, what issue was it in?

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber
    mindmap3
    Member

    I still subscribe to Dirt – mainly because I have done for years and am too lazy to cancel the subscription. It’s generally OK although Steve Jones is doing my head in at the moment with the whole wheel size thing. A fair few of his articles are pretty hard to read.

    I subscribe to ST digitally because quite a lot of stuff doesn’t really interest me and I do find it a bit repetitive with the ‘epic rides’ and travel features. Some of these do appeal but others don’t. I also download the odd copy of IMB on my tablet – it’s a pretty light read but I hate the skills section because I find the chap who writes it a bit annoying (I’m sure he’s a loverly chap but for some reason his article annoy me so get skipped).

    Other than that I hate MBUK, What MTB and haven’t looked at MTBR in years.

    I read a fair amount of stuff online and quite like Bike Magic. Pink Bike can be OK too but some of it is too rad for me bro. The main issue I have with a lot of bike content is that I don’t really fit into a category as a rider – I just ride bikes. I prefer descending to climbing but I’m not really brave enough or talented enough to be a DHer, too much of a girl for freeride / big dirt jumps and not fit enough for XC. I just like mucking about on bikes basically.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Occasionally I buy the US mag Switchback too. It depends on if I see it / if there is an article or two that capture my attention.

    +1

    singletrack – whilst it may well encompas the riding I do, it’s chuffing boring reading about yet another “3 blokes went for a ride, camped halfway round and rode back” article. The last artice I liked was a bivi one about 5 years ago where they listed every bit of kit they took between them with a mini review. It was actualy usefull having all the reviews for all the kit in one magazine. Rather than a review of a stove in isolation, great, but a) how does it copare to the other 5 or 6 options? b) I now have a stove, what about a bivi bag (wait 2 months for the bivi bag review issue). That and I just don’t think it’s that well written or the photographs that good.

    Dirt – better than MBUK, not as good as it used to be (peaked just before/after the re-launch at issue 50)

    MBR – repetative, articles seem recycled on a yearly basis. And their reviews are very all or nothing, there’s always one stand out winner, no ambiguity or personal preferance, I’ve heard brands complain that their sales nose dive after getting 8/10 (and the inevitable spesh got 10/10) because there’s no “buy this bike if”.

    Deveron53
    Member

    I’ve stopped buying them regularly. I bought the anniversary issue of MBUK but that’s about it in the last 5 years I think.
    I have the following favourites on my browser bar:
    http://enduro-mtb.com/en/
    http://www.pinkbike.com/
    http://dirt.mpora.com/
    Along with stw, retrobike and the EWS site.

    edlong
    Member

    I think they’re all up-and-down which is hardly surprising. The ones I read most often are Singletrack and MBR. MBR went through a poor phase, imo, under their last editor, but has improved considerably under the present one. Singletrack, conversely, I’ve not enjoyed as much the last few months as previously. I’m sure it will all come back round though.

    I’d agree with the recycling of content though, particularly MBR on technical (maintenance) and route guides. And sometimes they’re pretty lazy and haven’t really got a big feature, just a compilation of small stuff, it sort of reminds me of those tv series like Mock the Week where the six part series is five plus an offcuts episode – like they’ll run features through the year on trail centres, reviewing one per edition and then at the end of the year run a “big feature” on UK trail centres with a little summary box on each. Then I feel cheated.

    At least MBR seems to have moved slightly away from the predictability of every single group test being about which bike is going to be runner-up to the Specialized.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Singletrack is the only one to which I subscribe, but I’ll pick up some of the others if I’m bored. None really hit the mark for me though. In theory I like to read about new gear, but the total lack of any objectivity in gear reviews makes most of them unreadable.

    There is a real gap in the market for a magazine that takes a more skeptical view of the latest trend. Not just rubbishing everything for the sake of it, but not leaping on every bandwagon that rolls past either.

    edlong
    Member

    There is a real gap in the market for a magazine that takes a more skeptical view of the latest trend. Not just rubbishing everything for the sake of it, but not leaping on every bandwagon that rolls past either.

    MBR made me laugh with this – very skeptical of 29ers other than as a niche thing right up until they did a complete volte-face and declared them to be the future about five minutes before seemingly the entire industry did their volte-face and decided that 650B was the future and 29er was niche…

    Magazines do have a hard job though, with their key stakeholders being the industry (advertisers) and the readership, and the interests of the two often being divergent – explains why the magazines seem to think that lights for riding at night have to cost many hundreds of pounds, and also why in the next edition they’ll have a few letter from readers saying that’s ridiculous, what about the cheap Chinese jobbies (that don’t get advertised in their mags)?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Definitely Singletrack*. I’ve explained why on countless threads on STW over the years πŸ˜€

    *but don’t get cocky, it’s still not perfect πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Actually, thinking about it, I’d have to also nominate the CTC mag (Cycle) as the one that comes closest to objective gear reviews. I might not agree with them but at least I can’t always predict exactly what they’ll say without reading them.

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