Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bicycling Magazine surpasses itself

With every new issue of Bicycling Magazine, I grow increasingly amazed at how unappealing it's become. (Lucky I have my archive of mags from the 70s and 80s!)

Most issues contain precisely 0 articles that are of any interest at all to me, which should be surprising because I'm so fascinated by so many aspects of the cycling world. But there you are. The magazine seems to try to appeal to the masses and the lycra louts without much consideration for the many, many different interest groups in the cycling world.

One bright spot in the May 2009 issue is the cursory review of the Alternative Needs Transportation Boston Roadster. As usual, the piece lacks any insight whatsoever. One of my least favorite features of the magazine is how it boils down every review into "Buy it if" and "Forget it if" - and this is where the review of this wonderful bike goes off the deep end. "Forget it if you're a real saddle snob - this one isn't real leather."

What? Author Emily Furia couldn't have thought of anything better than that? Of course, its ridiculous to think that a hand-crafted utility bike available in 20 colors wouldn't have any saddle options.

I think a better soundbite might have been "Forget it if you're reading this magazine - you probably don't care about this type of thing anyhoo."


Dottie said...

That is so lame. Every picture I've seen of the ANT roadsters have had Brooks saddles. Anyway, saddles are the easiest thing to change and ANTs are built up however the buyers want them. Ugh, stupid Bicycling magazine.

Tom said...

And in reality, that saddle is genuine leather. It's a Velo Orange Mod 7, sprung saddle.
Not a single rare South African Nauga was harmed in the manufacturing of that saddle. The Naugahide Liberation Front is quite pleased. The Australian water buffalo was not so lucky. PETA is not pleased.

Tom Martin
Velo Orange

One Lung Joey said...

I started reading Bicycle Mag a few years back. Strange, but the more I ride the less the magazine seems to appeal to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. Bicycling is a pale shadow of its 1970's and 80's self. It tries to be hip and comes off as adolescent. I long for the days when engineers like Paul MacCready wrote serious reviews, and interesting travel writers told about their trips, etc. One feature I like in the current version is the Bike Law column. It is well done. Most of the mag is poorly executed, though, and the reviews are worthless, with no objective data.