In April 2001, Singletrack Magazine launched its first issue and its website: www.singletrackworld.com – In April this year, it’ll be celebrating its decade with a special commemorative issue.
Editor Chipps Chippendale told BikeBiz: "When Singletrack Magazine first started, no-one really knew how long we’d be able to keep a small, independently produced and published mountain bike magazine going, least of all us. When the first issue went to print in April 2001, right at the height of the foot and mouth crisis, some people weren’t even sure about the future of the sport itself.
"As we’ve grown from three men in three bedrooms to a towering, media monolith with twelve staff in the bustling metropolis of Todmorden, the world around us has changed too. Trail centres have become incredibly popular, trail bikes have as much travel as downhill bikes did and, best of all, suspension forks work properly."
By the fourth issue, the publisher had totaled 1,000 subscribers, enabling it to open a Royal Mail account. At the last count, that figured had risen five fold and total sales now average at 14,000 per issue, according to the publisher.
Chippendale added: "We were among the first to sell digital copies of our magazine three years ago and we continue to innovate in publishing with our Premier digital subscriptions and more. Our website has played an incredibly powerful role in our success, supplying around seven million page views to over 500,000 unique website users per month on our popular website and forum – largely run by passionate volunteer moderators."
Ahead of the anniversary issue, industry figures have leant their thoughts on the importance of Singletrack to the UK cycling business.
Cy from Cotic Bikes said: "Singletrack, both the magazine and the website, have been a huge part of the Cotic story. They were very open to me when I was just some guy with a steel bike frame to show them, published the first ever test of the Soul (way back in 2003 in Issue 9) and have been brilliant ever since at promoting diverse products and companies such as Cotic. The forums are still a place where plenty of people escape the daily grind and I think mountain biking in the UK would be a much poorer place without them. I look forward to being part of Singletrack’s story – and they part of Cotic’s – for another ten years and beyond."
Scot Nicol CEO of Ibis Bikes added: "I rarely make it all the way through an issue Singletrack in a single sitting because the photography makes me want to go for a ride."
The publisher is looking to send out its April issue with a bang, so if you’d like to get involved, contact Matt Letch on 01706 814315.