/ 'New wave' of cycling mags - anything similar in climbing?

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Tall Clare - on 01 Mar 2013
Hello all,

(mods - please can you not move this to the cycling bit as despite the title, it's about climbing magazines!)

I've noticed something of a 'new wave' of cycling magazines out there, the likes of Singletrack (okay, that's been round for a while), Rouleur, Privateer, etc, which seem to be characterised by more in-depth articles, fewer gear reviews, fewer adverts, better quality paper - and, unsurprisingly, a higher cover price. They clearly sell in sufficient numbers to retain a place on newsagents' shelves (for the time being at least) but I haven't seen an equivalent in the climbing press. I'm happy to admit that this is because I haven't paid particularly close attention, so if anyone knows the sort of magazine I'm talking about, is there a climbing equivalent? Should there be? Is there a market for such a thing?
a lakeland climber on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I think the nearest would be Vertical and Alpinist.

There's another new cycling mag - Cyclist, issue 007 was delivered by Gert Frobe just this morning.

ALC
Tall Clare - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Cyclist doesn't seem quite the same somehow - it's an 'old-style/new-style' hybrid, to my mind.

I thought of Vertical and Alpinist - are both still around? (Please excuse my ignorance!)
Enty - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

And another one called "Simpson" believe it or not. It was on FB yesterday and a lot of people aren't very happy about it. Looks like a copy of Rouleur.

Sorry Clare - back on to climbing mags - yes I'd like a mag with Rouleur style articles.but I wouldn't pay 12 quid for it.

E
snoop6060 - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Isn't there just tons more money in cycling though? Many times more people. All probably reasonably well adjusted to spending loads of money on shiny things (even if its just paper). Climbing is super cheap compared to biking, at least it seems that way to me. Admittedly I know very little about cycling (Does this include mountain biking?)

Climbers are stingy, and any mag charging £10 a go probably wouldn't do that well on these shores. Alpinist is sold nowhere I've ever seen. Presumably you get it online.
Tall Clare - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to snoop6060:

Two of the magazines I mentioned - Singletrack and Privateer - are mountain bike based.

I think you're right about there being more money in cycling though - I also think there's been an explosion in its popularity in the last four or five years.

Am I right in thinking there have been attempts to launch climbing magazines in recent years which have quickly withered to nothing?
biped - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

The cycle mag I have fondest memories of is the incredibly badly named Bicycle Action from the 1980s. It was a big glossy mag but was all tongue in cheek. It had a monthly columnist called Guttersnipe who drove a Volvo estate and started every article with "People often ask me why I hate cyclists..." He'd then deliver a hilariously ignorant rant that would fit well with quite a lot of the non-ironic posts on here about cyclists. And their mountain bike correspondent was called Rock Stallone. How do you beat that?

Climbing mags? Not sure, it's sort of been done before with 'Mountain.' It was a superb magazine that was more like a quality journal with mostly very good writing and photography, and made me want to get out there so much more than High, Bumbler and Stumbler or even OTE. Mountain Review was almost as good for it's short run but maybe didn't quite have the magic. Mountain was, from memory, more expensive but I was always happy to buy it while I always read the others in shops. I suspect, cynically, that an expensive glossy full of ripped muscle/porn, training regimes and recipes might actually sell quite well as a lifestyle mag.
AlanLittle - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

In German not English, but Climax magazine from Austria seems to be trying for a similar niche: high quality photo reproduction, in-depth interviews, expensive cover price but less advertising.

Clearly it's a challenge for print media to find something they can do better than the internet, especially in a tiny niche sport like climbing where there is much less money than cycling, (or golf).
mattrm - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
>
> Cyclist doesn't seem quite the same somehow - it's an 'old-style/new-style' hybrid, to my mind.
>
> I thought of Vertical and Alpinist - are both still around? (Please excuse my ignorance!)

Yup, both are around. Since Ian Parnell and Dave Pickford took over Climb mag that's been much improved. I would say that Climb and Singletrack are of similar style and quality, they're both great mags.

Sadly Climber is still a bit naff.

Alpinist is excellent, lots of articles for the cost and they're all top notch, however it's mountaineering mainly with very little climbing in it. Vertical is also good, but it's a bit short for the amount of money you pay. I still buy it each month tho.

Tall Clare - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

A magazine named 'climax' doesn't make me think of climbing...
duchessofmalfi - on 01 Mar 2013
Bike mags are mainly full of bike porn and aspirational kit for midlifecrisis cyclists (read bikes with no gears).

Doesn't quite work for climbing, while there are a lot of gear fondlers out there climbers don't quite get wet knickers about a shiny new cam the same way bike mag readers do about a new carbon frame.*

* ice climbers excepted
Tall Clare - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> Bike mags are mainly full of bike porn and aspirational kit for midlifecrisis cyclists (read bikes with no gears).

The ones I've referred to in the OP aren't really like that.



AlanLittle - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to AlanLittle)
>
> A magazine named 'climax' doesn't make me think of climbing...

I know what you mean, but fortunately for them the target market - German speakers - isn't well up on English double entendres. They probably thing they're cleverly punning on "climb" as in climb and "X" like, well, "X" as in x-games etc.

Good mag nevertheless; I don't think I'd spend my own money on it, but as the Mrs. got me a subscription for my birthday I'm happy to read it.

altirando - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I think it must be a case of limited sales. There are two excellent monthlies in France, far better articles, far better photography. I usually buy a couple when I am over there.
Wiley Coyote - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
Snoop is bang on the money, It's pure economics. Modern cycling and MTB almost seem to have been invented for people who have trouble getting rid of their money. Hence there are loads of manufacturers both of bikes and aceessories all eager to advertise to a large, free-spending group of people. Climbers by contrast are relatively few in number, hard to part from their cash and do not have to buy/replace gear very often.
So a publisher with an eye to producing a sport-orientated title would be nuts to pick climbing (though at least it would not be as bad as caving) and crazy not to seriously consider cycling as a lucrative potential market
a lakeland climber on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I didn't realise that Rouleur is produced by Rapha - perhaps that's enough said.

ALC
SteveRi - on 04 Mar 2013
The Ride Journal is done by friends of friends - I don't think it makes any money as such, it's done in their 'spare time' and I think they give away the proceeds in any case.

Ironically 10 years ago the discussion 10 years ago was all 'why is there no decent cycling literature (compared to the wealth of climbing)?'

I think a Ride Journal approach to climbing could be a beautiful thing, but would probably need to be a labour of love thing, for the niche appeal it would have.
galpinos - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Alpinist

The higher cover price means less adverts, quality production and content. There are more adverts than before but it went bust last time. My mother in law got me a subscription for a birthday and I’ve renewed it ever since.

The ever-present Climbing Life (short stories, fact and fiction), Local Hero (profiles of “real people” who are out getting after it, mainly American but still inspiring), Mountain Profiles and Escape Route are always good and are supplemented by articles, poems, pictures and art.

The only downside is it’s a bit US biased but there’s still the odd article by a Brit every now and then, they even did a mountain profile on Ben Nevis!
Milesy - on 04 Mar 2013
Alpinist and Vertical.

Alpinist is just an absolutely stunning magazine. While as said very American, the prose and pictures are just amazing, and yes there has been plenty of Scottish stuff in it as well. Issue 31 is particularly good with Ian Parnell.
Chris the Tall - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
I think you're being a bit unfair on the climbing press, which has traditionally been far more wordy and less advert driven that MTB mags. I suspect that things started to change when Trail appeared - "Heres the gear you need to climb Everest" - but even so the likes of Climb are still well above MBUK, which I've always found a bit juvenile.

Only recently started reading Singletrack, but yep it does seem a bit different - recently a very interesting article on depression.

But yeah, there is more money in mountain biking, and biking generally, but in some ways it's daft. The same people who will happily spend a couple of grand on a bike will whinge about spending £7 for an evening at the climbing wall.

So why does climbing induce have such a tight-fisted mentality ?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tall Clare - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I think it might be the way I wrote the OP - I should have qualified it by saying that these magazines had better paper, fewer adverts *than other cycling magazines I've seen*. Sorry - I'm rubbish.

As for climbing being about being tightfisted, I have no idea - especially when forums like this bang on about it being a predominantly midddle class activity nowadays...
Chris the Tall - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
Sorry - I'm rubbish.
>
Not at all ! It's an interesting point, but I think there is room for more "high brow" mags in MTB because the others were so "low brow".

Tall Clare - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

MBUK *did* have Mint Sauce, but that was years ago...
Doug on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: Any one else remember a magazine back in the 1980s called something like "New Cyclist" ? quite wordy, with a focus on environmental aspects of cycling. Didn't last very long unfortunately

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