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Old 04-30-2012, 03:29 PM
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k7ty k7ty is offline
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Default Bicycling magazine comparison

Yesterday, two of my cycling-oriented mags arrived in the mail - Bicycling and Momentum. (I've subscribed to Bicycling since the late 70s but am a fairly new subscriber to Momentum. I also take Bicycle Times.) Flipping through them last night I was stuck by the observation that was no one smiling in Bicycling but everyone was smiling in Momentum. This difference was so striking that I gathered some data by counting whether people were smiling or not.

Bicycling
No smile Smile
Ads 17 17
Articles 37 9

Momentum
No smile Smile
Ads 9 28
Articles 9 61

Other observations included that Bicycling has car ads while Momentum has none. More importantly, Bicycling only has ads for non-alcoholic beer while Momentum has microbrew ads.

This is all just an observation. Perhaps I was a recreational rider in the old days however over the years I've become much more of a full-time utility cyclist. I have a hard time with car ads in Bicycling and their obsession with frame materials. I won't be renewing. I highly recommend both Momentum and Bicycle Times for informative utility, fun cycling.

-John
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:43 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Maybe Bicycling's editor and publisher sees non-smiling faces to be more evocative of their idea of what the mindset of people that ride bikes is.

Since I don't read either of the magazines you're referring to, I don't really have particular ideas about them, or the car advertisements they run. How I feel about car ads in other magazines depends on different things, such as the marketing pitch, the photography, graphic design and layout.

Motor vehicles being the integral part of modern civilization they are, it's inevitable that people have an interest in them even if they seek to travel by other means when possible.

Something on the order of utility bikes that I think would be good if interest in it grew, would be the development of upgraded, lighter weight, higher performance descendants of the old plodder, the Schwinn Town and Country 3-wheeler.

In a 3-wheeled bike, the stability of a 3-point base gains some importance as people age. The upright seating position of the T&C probably appeals to a lot of older riders. More people might like the bike if it was more responsive, quicker and faster. Somewhat ironically, with my pop at the Portland Auto Swap Meet some weeks back, I happened to see three guys that had ridden to the show on their bikes. One guy had a trike with a mixte frame that he'd somehow set up with front and rear derailleurs and gears. He was doing crazy, funny stuff with it too...wheelies and tight circles on two of the three wheels.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:24 AM
Jim E. Hat Jim E. Hat is offline
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well, you're not really reading Bicycling Magazine explicitly, you're reading a Rodale pub, so you're basically also reading Men's Health and whatnot. There is crossover in the advertising. Bicycling writes to "active, affluent professionals." which sounds like somebody who can afford a car,

Momentum is indy, so they have no overlords to serve... they have "fun" in their mission statement...

this happened in my world with skateboard magazines. Transworld used to be the best mag for photos and stories and design and such, but they got bought out by Bonnier and started running ads for the army and speed stick, and lost their relevance. Hence, The Skateboard Mag was formed, and everybody with talent defected to it. they did not want to have anything to do with dirty ad money. relevant advertisers only...

I see a parallel in radio advertising as well...
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:36 AM
lovedoctor lovedoctor is offline
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As part of my League of American Bicyclist membership, I get Bicycle Times. This is now by far my favorite bike mag. As with most publications, its revenue is generated by advertising, and so several pages are dedicated to product reviews. But they list genuine criticisms, rather than the typical dulled enthusiasm for everything, and the products are usually small boutique products (aka Christiana Boxcycles). The articles generally focus on commuting challenges, highlight atypical cycling events, or describe how different communities focus their bike-centric efforts.

Although Bicycling does have a bit of good stuff (the last issue had a great article on biking to school and one family's challenge), they and most other mags seem much more geared to the "BUY THIS, YOU NEED THIS, BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT" end of the spectrum, rehashing the same training plans and diet tricks to break up the ads.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of Bicycle Times. And they do often have smiley folks actually riding bikes on the pages!
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