Cycle Print Media Focus 2010: Part Two

The second part of our media focus...
Publish date:

Read the first part of the feature here.

Toward the end of 2009 IPC launched Cycling Active, placing 40,000 copies (unaudited) on UK newsstands. Starting out as a bi-monthly title, Cycling Active quickly picked up sales and is now a monthly.

Cycling Active caters for all cyclists, from complete beginner to expert, with an informative and entertaining content mix of bike and tech reviews, health and fitness advice, how-to guides, routes to ride and what’s on info.

The publisher also has been having increasing success with its summer Tour magazine. Available only during June, this title is Cycling Weekly’s hugely popular unofficial and independent guide to the world’s biggest bike race – the Tour de France. Now in its eighth year, Tour magazine provides readers with a great value package of Tour De France info, history, star interviews, stats, facts and figures about the most eagerly anticipated event of the year.

Flagship title Cycling Weekly recorded a positive outcome in the ABC figures, clocking a rise in net circulation of 6.7 per cent. Released every Thursday, the title is the longest running cycling title in the UK, now selling over 1.5 million copies per annum, which equates to around 4,100 copies sold per day.

Like every other audited mountain bike title, IPC’s Mountain Bike Rider held its circulation fairly steady, recording only a four per cent fall, which is far from significant given the economic conditions. Now published 13 times a year, the mag is targeted at the older off-road cyclist, containing mainly ride guides, workshop advice and product tests.

London Cyclist is the members’ magazine of the London Cycling Campaign – the charity that fights for cyclists’ interests in the capital. It has a circulation of 12,000 and has undergone substantial changes over the past 12 months, with major improvements to design, organisation, content and printing. It is also expanding in size due to increased interest from advertisers.

Content is a lively mix of campaign and local group news, London interest and travel features, along with product and culture reviews.

Recent campaign features have included strong analysis of cycling issues in Greater London such as road safety, HGVs, theft, the cycle hire scheme, Superhighways, and local and national elections.

Under the guidance of former Mountain Bike Rider (MBR) magazine editor John Kitchiner, the product pages have been expanded and feature in-depth group tests of bikes, accessories and clothing. There are also interviews with prominent London cyclists and information about LCC events and community projects.

LCC will continue to develop London Cyclist magazine, alongside its companion website (, believing that the organisation is in a unique position to offer cyclists content that is region-specific and addresses their needs as cyclists, not just as consumers.

Case arrived in the summer of 2009, aiming to create a fresh and exciting BMX magazine for riders who have been in the game for a while.

“That’s not to say that Case isn’t for everyone, though,” editor Mike Netley informs BikeBiz. “To sum up the product, it’s a large format of paper, with nicely printed (and large) photographs, easy to read and nicely spaced text, along with interesting designs and articles. From the unknowns, to the up-and-comers, the professionals in the spotlight and the veterans, it’s all covered.”

Case is quarterly, with issue two ready to drop in late February. The third edition of the magazine is set to arrive in June with the fourth showing up in late September. Case readers can expect to see coverage from around the globe, from deep in the woods, to the competitions, local jams and unchartered scenes around the world.

Case is UK-based, with ambitions to reach into Europe and the USA in larger numbers in the coming months. Netley says that ad revenue is vital for the title: “Caseis free of charge, which means it is heavily reliant on advertising. I hope for the magazine to stay this way for as long as humanly possibly.

“To be honest, I believe that there would be no future for Case if it had a cover price. That’s not to say the current magazines on the market are doing it wrong by charging, because they’re not. They are all great and do what they do very well –I’m just trying something new.”

Netley adds: “I really didn’t want to help flood the BMX market by offering just another alternative BMX publication. In my view, Case is different.”

Potential Case stockists should contact Profile Racing Europe of 4Down Distribution to get store copies.

Now in its 125th year of publication, the CTC’s magazine is today sent out to 46,000 members six times annually. Dubbed Cycle, the magazine has received numerous awards and is currently the highest circulation specialist cycling title.

Technically informative with a fun slant, Cycle is consistently rated as one of the most important benefits for new members and the second most important reason (after CTC’s campaigning work) for members to renew their memberships.

Having undergone a rebranding and redesign in 2005, the magazine has expanded its editorial content to include surveys. One such piece of editorial research found that of the magazine’s audience, CTC members own 36,661 touring, 33,656 commuting, 27,045 mountain, 20,454 performance road and 15,025 hybrid bikes. Combined with the CTC’s website and weekly e-newsletter, ‘Newsnet’, the magazine delivers a unique communications strategy which adds value to membership and provides a vibrant and engaging shop window to CTC for new recruits.

Triathlete’s World
After launching this time last year, Triathlete’s Worldclaims to be snapping at the heels of the market leader [Origin Publishing’s 220 Triathlon] and even outselling it on the newsstand.

Editor Alison Hamlett tells BikeBiz: “In the long term, our goal is for Triathlete’s World to become the number one triathlon magazine. We are confident we can build on the success of our first year by growing our subscriptions base and boosting newsstand sales in 2010.

“We’re also encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received from those within the triathlon community. By targeting new triathletes and improvers, we feel we’re genuinely growing the market,” Hamlett concludes.

The Ride Journal
The Ride Journal has continued to grow its readership, with each issue to date selling out.

Editor Philip Diprose tells BikeBiz: “If we had plans for world domination this would be the time to keep reprinting, but we’re happy to keep it manageable and slightly exclusive.

“Our distribution network is continuing to grow at a perfect speed, with shops and small distribution companies from across the globe getting in touch with us.

“As always, we are nothing without our contributors and thankfully we are still finding, and being offered, fascinating stories that cover subjects not usually found in cycling magazines.”

Issue four is currently in the works. Diprose adds: “It looks like number four will be the best Journal yet, but when it isn’t our best issue it will be time to stop. Issue four will also be bigger than previous issues.”

All profits generated from The Ride Journal go to charity and with the increasing interest in the Journal, each issue to date has raised more than the prior copy.

IMB Web Magazine
Launched to plenty of praise from the bike trade in August 2009, IMB magazineis a free-to-read bi-monthly online MTB magazine that uses Flash ‘page flip’ technology integrated with video and audio on the pages. The tech achieves a ‘magazine feel’ in an online environment. It is produced by Next Element, which has over four years’ publishing experience in the field of online publishing.

Launched in August 2009, the magazine has quickly established itself as one of the publications to watch out for in the future. The content is aimed at all riders and there is no bias towards a particular style of riding. Instead, the journalism is broadly spread and the magazine aims to engage riders of all levels. The most popular feature is the technique section. Headed up by Richard Kelly, it includes in-depth videos, photos and text to help riders progress and improve.

IMB also tests bikes and components, featuring full video tests of all the bikes it receives. The rest of the content is made up of interviews and features from within the sport and around the world.

Being an online magazine, the business model is a little different to traditional print media. The firm allows readers to access the magazine with just one click, with no need to pay, subscribe or give an email address. IMB magazine relies solely on advertising revenue rather than charging a cover price. This ensures a maximum number of readers and hits for the advertisers.

IMB has gained over 22,000 readers per issue in just six months. The goal for the next year is to get that figure over 60,000 and beyond. With an impressive marketing campaign, utilising the team’s social network expertise, and of course a budget, the team is confident it will achieve that goal.

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