Bicycling Magazine Has Improved
A couple of years ago, I got a year subscription to Bicycling magazine for signing up with Performance Bike’s Team Performance membership. Quite frankly, I didn’t like reading it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a well written bike publication. It just covered a side of cycling that just didn’t appeal to me – sports riding. From their reviews on all the extremely expensive road bikes to the hot tips on optimizing your performance, it just wasn’t for me. Most of my issues went unread and I never renewed my subscription.
I’m more of an Urban Velo, Bicycle Times, Momentum Magazine kind of guy. These magazines cover the culture of urban and utility bicycling without all the sports hype. They’re for ‘regular’ bike riders, like me.
Well, a few months ago, I heard that Bicycling magazine was changing their format to “carefully expand its coverage to make cycling broader and more experiential.” Also, “The new format emphasizes beautiful photography and longer form narrative storytelling such as The New Yorker might publish.” I was curious to see if the changes were worth another look.
Fast forward a few months. As a perk for joining the League of American Bicyclists (yes, finally), I got another trial subscription to the newly reformatted Bicycling magazine. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the new format. The new page designs, beautiful photography and nice paper all show improvements on the surface. The content has improved as well. Yes, they still have reviews of really expensive bikes and they still give tips on improving your performance. But now, I find these higher quality pages are also filled with other information that I actually find interesting.
The two issues that I’ve received were loaded with content – from advocacy to reviews on urban utility bikes. There’s a fun feature section, written by BikeSnobNYC. Other features cover ways to prevent roof-rack carnage as well as bike washing secrets. There were also a few interesting articles, including one about vintage badges, a retrospective of Campagnolo and one about how to ride during winter.
But even with all its improvements, it won’t replace my regular periodical library. I do applaud their efforts at making the magazine more appealing to people other than ‘roadies’ and jocks. I’ll keep an eye on the remaining issues of this trial subscription. If they keep up the good work, I may end up extending it.
If anything, I won’t hesitate to open and read future issues.