CyclingTips started as an online magazine (web publication in 20O8; commercial in 2013), and remained an online service into November 2022. CyclingTips was the leading source of information on maintaining and repairing bicyles in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The Nerd Alert podcast was informative.
Pocket Outdoor Media, the corporate owner of Beta, a paywalled site focusing on mountain bike and endurance cycling acquired Outside Inc.’s brands in February 2021 (at that time, the Outside group of brands, VeloNews, Peloton and a triathlon publication). Pocket Outdoor/Outside bundled their publications into the Outside+ paywalled subscription service . Pocket Outdoor/Outside acquired CyclingTips and the mountain biking brands Pinkbike and Trailforks in July 2021. CyclingTips was not paywalled at that time. CyclingTips founder Wade Wallace left in August 2022.
In November 2022 Pocket Outdoor/Outside laid off several CyclingTips staff including the staff who recorded the content for the Nerd Alert Podcast.
Other cycling tech sites noticed – Zero Friction Cycling reacted November 18, 2022.
Publishing like other consumer facing (retail) businesses in the 21st century, is dominated by marketing, appearance, and financial engineering. There is some cost to produce content. Costs of content can be reduced if the cuts do not reduce revenue. The cost of paying salaries and providing resources to employees can be calculated. Outside has not said that it plans to decease coverage, but readers have reasons to suspect that it is changing the scope of coverage.
A publisher’s revenue gains and losses depend on how many buyers will pay for a publication that change the scope of coverage.
Outside is betting that more stories about:
- the challenges of outdoor activities,
- new products, including new electronic ways of bragging about how readers have achieved success,
- the rebirth of Lance Armstrong as a new media celebrity, and
- bike racing
will generate revenue, while deep coverage of maintenance and repair will not. Outside will not announce that coverage is declining. It will see how the market responds.