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  1. #1

    When possibly business, forums and personal insite collide. Steve Worland

    I am a bit of a bike fanatic, i really like readng all sorts of articles reviews and pop in and out of lots of forums to read bits and pieces, BM really the only place i post, i subscribe to singletrack and have issue every issue ever done, and i even bought the single Bike Magic magazine, called shift, along with these i also get a magazine called privateer, its very highbrow for bikes and rather grown up, plus expensive, but it does do a very unique article and is rather nice, last month they published a really interesting article, all about what it is like to test and review bikes and bike parts, the pressures they face and the scorn and abuse that can now be levelled at them and their reviews, with accusations of favoritism and playing to the money coming in from big brands, The acrticle was written by a stalwart of the bike industry Steve Worland, a man whos acticles and reviews i have been reading and enjoying since the days of me working weekends and spending all my money in the local bike shops.
    The article was brilliant, imformative and honest, and anyone who has read reviews and posts on other websites may be aware of some issues raised.
    It appears that the services of Mr Worland as a bike tester are nolonger required by the established publishing company that he did years of work for, times do come and go, fashions in bikes change and the market moves to different themes, people who use forums, websites and such should realise that these companies do need to make money, but that alot of people work on freelance bases, and that they are working in a difficult industry to make pay, so pleasse support any site you fancy, but read rticles, follow links

  2. #2
    and remember people use your input to justify their wage. hopefully we will read and see more reviews and input from Steve in the bike industry, Maybe on here who knows, i remember seeing posts from him in the early days of BM, and he always seemed to post informed and honest reviews considering the people who would actually be spending their money on those products, So Steve, thankyou for giving me huge pleasure in my late teens / early twenties by pouring over reviews, spending huge amounts of times planning builds and the spending far to uch on stuff, i still have not got over my 2 months wage Pace rc 36 forks i bought in 1998.
    Good luck

  3. #3
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    This is a general opinion that has been brewing for ages and not aimed at the post above :-)

    I wouldn't line the pockets of any of the new breed of magazines, I buy Cycling Weekly for news and content, I MBUK for nostalgic reasons and free gifts alone but wouldn't put a penny in the likes of Rouleur, Privateer, Singletrack.

    I see them as the root of all evil and marketed for exactly the people on the Road/Trail I despise and for what Cycling has become...

    Not that I'm some working class hero or anything... but I remember saving up my allowance, christmas money for fancy mail order parts and Oakley razors. sending off S.A.E's for stuff in the back of magazines. My dad driving me on a round trip to Harry Halls in manchester (before the Irish Bastards blew it up) to get me the only pair of Onza Porcupines we could find.

    The new magazines with their 'on trend' paper stocks and design just wind the tits out of me, cycling winds the tits out of me right now why can't the Middle Manager/BMW brigade go back to doing whatever it was they did before to keep fit before cycling was trendy?


    Here endeth my rant...I've got a cold, and I haven't slept.

  4. #4
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    Last edited by _Dirty Karlos_; 14-03-13 at 09:40.

  5. #5
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    Our club's are a bit like that too, thankfully we also have a weekly Bike Shop ride down here so you get some decent riders, but less of the attitudes/egos and all the gear types.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    By sheer coincidence I flicked through Privateer whilst waiting for a train yesterday. Not sure it does well to promote our interest TBH.

    In addition, (and this may sound arrogant in print but it isn't intended that way) my transition from a DINKY professional couple to a family with 2 kids & a mortgage has put me right back in the position that BHB describes, and FWIW although I'm a bit frustrated (mainly because I stoically refuse to borrow money to pay for things, with the exception of the mortgage) living in the world of fix-it-yourself rather than buy-it-yourself is ultimately much more satisfying, even if I'm starting to get out of trend with the young guns at work.

    Back OT - Whats serge wrote / pasted above is correct - I'll only be buying / reading working class tips and tricks for bike mechanics and training plans (maybe on the latter) if I need to, and I look forward to articles about that rather then the (current) eye watering latest 2999 AM bike which now appears to be the "everyday" price point.

  7. #7
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    with 2 kids & a mortgage has put me right back in the position that BHB describes...

    ..Being a 15 year old mountain biker in the 1990's?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHB 10.6.6 View Post
    with 2 kids & a mortgage has put me right back in the position that BHB describes...

    ..Being a 15 year old mountain biker in the 1990's?

    mentally maybe.... but no, I meant not being a "buy my way out of this problem" kinda guy.

    Like i said it sounds arrogant in print but hey that's the way it was...

  9. #9
    Senior Member sadbloke's Avatar
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    Having just finished what mountain bike and mbuk on a 1 pound sub for 3 mags, theyre bassicly full of pictures, and strangely all the expensive stuff gets great reviews followed by a big advert on the next page, along with a page of how they actually test the stuff.

    Cycling mags years ago where about actual cycling, not jazzed up fashion mags, with over priced bikes and parts, with decent routes and guides that you could go out and ride.

    Then there are the test of stuff that is obviously made in the same factory, and just renamed something fancy, with different prices and colours.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadbloke View Post

    Cycling mags years ago where about actual cycling, not jazzed up fashion mags, with over priced bikes and parts, with decent routes and guides that you could go out and ride.
    Or jumped up marketing vehicles for removing cash from DINKY IT managers during the Blair/boom/borrow years which is my point.

    I have different reasons as mentioned, but FWIW I see the value of DIY biking returning and chaps like the guy above will get another job on that basis. He's pissed off the mag because he dared to tell the truth that's all, whereas what I want now is someone to tell me how to true a wheel rather than buy the Stans/Hope/AC defacto 300 lightest strongest wheelset which I don't actually need.

  11. #11
    I am sorry but how does Privateer cause the root of such evil?

    As a magazine they do not do bike or product reviews, and as an example of issue 2 i have in my office, there is a history of titanium bikes, a profile of Orange bike company, a catch up with alot of the original canadian free riders, and a big piece on the Transwales, and a piece on Retro bike, and trials riders then and now.
    My thread was more aimed at informing people that someone, who i would guess has probably been heard of by most of the people on this forum, has been let go, the pressures of bike reviews and products are not so keenly felt on Bike Magic, although i remember there were some concerns when BM was sponsored by Marin, I wanted to highlight this fact.
    The article the may have caused this was a brilliant article, which i enjoyed reading and just wanted to talk about it.

  12. #12
    Bike magazines are changing, or me as a reader has changed, maybe 18 years of reading about bikes has allowed me to form my own ideas about kit, and as i am poor i am not that intertested, routes i find on the internet, or in a guide book.
    i like magz with interteresting storys that bring back some of the memories that i have formed when biking to me was new and exciting and i had huge amounts of free time to just ride bikes around fields and bridleways, whilst watching sprung vidoes and wishing i lived somewhere with trails.
    Its why i like BM, i like it because it appears less corporate and filled with people who just love bikes, we amble along etc.
    maintenace sections can be found here, skills, routes reviews ect,
    But i am miffed that someone appears to have lost there job because they voiced there own acknolwedgment of the pressures they face, but also the reality thay they work around these issues as best they can.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    I stopped buying 'em all years ago - I do currently get Singletrack but that's because I won a subscription in a competition. That does have a few good articles in it but the rest is adverts & product reviews that, whilst not as obvious as others, seems to have a few hints of bias here & there.

    FWIW, I really like the Ride Journal - no reviews just short, often heartfelt articles by cyclists of every description. Only out once a year but always worth a read and, by its nature, something you can back to time 7 time again.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Neil Helks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadbloke View Post



    Then there are the test of stuff that is obviously made in the same factory, and just renamed something fancy, with different prices and colours.
    Care to give us an example

  15. #15
    All hobbyist mags are the same, whether you're into cycling, kayaking or photography, there's only so many times you can regurgitate the same old crap. Magazines are useful for noobs, I don't see any interesting or original articles whenever I pick up a bike mag in the shops, just sh1toads of ads and great reviews of whichever brands happen to be in fashion at the time. It really is all marketing bollocks.
    As for Mr Worland, met him once at a race (not that he'd remember me), thoroughly nice chap, down to earth type.

  16. #16
    Senior Member sadbloke's Avatar
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    Perhaps lets look at the income of a young lad or girl, who buys the magazines as theyre intrested in cycling,just how are they expected to afford to buy the stuff,theyre bombarded with adverts and road tests, to tell them if they can actually afford a 2000 quid bike and all the ancillary stuff to go with it, like a camel back, over hyped rucksack mine was a tenner from tesco,fancy carbon bars,fancy pedals and shoes, and lots more engineered stuff, when i was younger we just rode basic mountain bikes, no suspension, big tyres, and caried water bottles, a pump and a few tools,we rode and enjoyed the rides miles off road.
    Now you turn up at a trail centre and the bikes are pimped , as are the riders, and all anyone sems to be concerned with is weight and high cost thyve paid, which they seem to really enjoy telling anyone nearby how much they paid for some fancy bit.

    What we need is a back to basics mountain bike mag,rides, gear reviews of the cheaper affordable stuff and more importantly, how to fix stuff.

    Currently the mags are going overboard on 29 ers,a nd the 650, s along with the start of fat ,,bikes,gps and as wmb and mbuk, seem to be doin the same tests on the some forks in the same issue month.

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldnick's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I even read a mag for free in Smiths, the same ideas just swing round every year.

    Cracks me up when mags mention a product breaking followed by "but <importer> sorted it out quick smart so no problem". Of course they did you f#cktards, you're a magazine. Try it when you are just Joe Public with, ooh lets see, a Hustler with an obvious manufacturing fault and see how bothered they are then.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadbloke View Post
    Perhaps lets look at the income of a young lad or girl, who buys the magazines as theyre intrested in cycling,just how are they expected to afford to buy the stuff,theyre bombarded with adverts and road tests, to tell them if they can actually afford a 2000 quid bike and all the ancillary stuff to go with it, like a camel back, over hyped rucksack mine was a tenner from tesco,fancy carbon bars,fancy pedals and shoes, and lots more engineered stuff, when i was younger we just rode basic mountain bikes, no suspension, big tyres, and caried water bottles, a pump and a few tools,we rode and enjoyed the rides miles off road.
    Now you turn up at a trail centre and the bikes are pimped , as are the riders, and all anyone sems to be concerned with is weight and high cost thyve paid, which they seem to really enjoy telling anyone nearby how much they paid for some fancy bit.

    What we need is a back to basics mountain bike mag,rides, gear reviews of the cheaper affordable stuff and more importantly, how to fix stuff.

    Currently the mags are going overboard on 29 ers,a nd the 650, s along with the start of fat ,,bikes,gps and as wmb and mbuk, seem to be doin the same tests on the some forks in the same issue month.
    So what you're saying is that we should all be driving a mark 3 Cortina?

    Things evolve, develop, move on, improve etc etc. A mate bought one of those Tesco ruck sacks - three rides it lasted & was uncomfortable to boot.

    The harder, faster, bigger you ride the more punishing it is on equipment - a gentle pootle in the sunshine every now & then would be fine on a cheap, rigid, cheapo bike but if you chose to ride it full tilt down Snowdon I'd recommend ringing the air ambulance bfore you set off.

    T'interwebs is where most I know go to look for reviews these days - not so much from websites but real world users on forums such as this on.

  19. #19
    plus you are assuming that kids do not have money, I know when i was younger i had lot more disposable income to spend then i do today.
    all the kids, and i am possibly grouping everyone under 25 in that group, well lets say 16/22 will have smartphones, Laptops, cars etc, they live at home as they can not afford the rent so have money to spend. add in the 50 plus brigade who want a final upgarde bike, and money is not an option as it will eb chaper then a gym membership in 2 years and keep me fit and you have the type of person who buys teh top end stuff,
    we all know that most stuff is never ridden to its limits, thats like in all things in life, do people really need North Face jackets in Milton Keynes??

  20. #20
    Senior Member oldnick's Avatar
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    There would certainly be a place for a back to basics source, but seeing as there are only so many spoke key suppliers advertising revenue would be almost non-existent.

    Changing the subject, has anyone ever seen a review that said "This product is shit"?

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