Escape Collective

Table of Contents

Cycling Tips

Magazine

In my view, CyclingTips was the leading source of information on maintaining and repairing bicyles in 2020, 2021 and 2022. CyclingTips started as an online magazine (web publication in 2008; commercial web publication in 2013). It was published successfully as a web publication, with associated podcasts and other internet content. The Nerd Alert podcast was informative.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Pocket Outdoor Media, the corporate owner of Beta, a site focusing on mountain bike and endurance cycling acquired Outside Inc.’s brands in February 2021. 1Outside Integrated Media, OutsideTV, Gaia GPS, athleteReg, Yoga Journal, SKI, BACKPACKER, VeloNews, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Gym Climber, Trail Runner, Women’s Running, Triathlete, Better Nutrition, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Clean Eating, Fly Fishing Film Tour, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, Muscle & Performance, NASTAR, National Park Trips, NatuRx, Oxygen, PodiumRunner, Roll Massif, SNEWS, The Voice, Vegetarian Times, VeloPress, VeloSwap, Paleo Mag, Beta, FinisherPix, and Warren Miller Entertainment. The entity renamed itself Outside and acquired Peloton Magazine, a publication about competive road racing. In July 2021, Outside acquired CyclingTips and the mountain biking brands Pinkbike and Trailforks. Outside bundled its publications into the Outside+ subscription service.

The Suits’ Purge

CyclingTips founder Wade Wallace left CyclingTips and Outside in August 2022.

Publishing, like other retail businesses in the 21st century, is dominated by marketing, appearance, and financial engineering. Outside had some bicycle maintanance content, and technical material by Lennard Zinn (a column and some articles in VeloNews). Outside appears to have had doubts about the tone and direction of the CyclingTips material. Outside appears to have thought that stories about:

  • lifestyle,
  • travel,
  • 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 gossip news

would attract readers, which would drive ad sales and generate revenue, while coverage of maintenance, repair and criticism of bike industry trends would not.

It has developed a lifestyle cable TV channel which appears to attempt to fill a “lifestyle” niche.

In November 2022 Pocket Outdoor/Outside laid off the CyclingTips staff who had been addressing cycling tech issues, including the writers who had recorded the content for the Nerd Alert Podcasts. The Nerd Alert podcast disappeared. Cycling tech sites noticed – Zero Friction Cycling reacted November 18, 2022.

Escape Collective

Many of the writers, editors, producers, podcasters and web designer associated with CyclingTips content reappeared, in stages, in March, April and May 2023 as the team of a new venture. In April 2023, Escape Collective launched as an online magazine on a subscription service basis, with a paywall that gives readers some free web articles a month. Subscribers have access to a Discord server and a newsletter and some perks.

Podcasts in the Escape Collective network were not subject to the paywall for a few months but some podcasts have introduced a subscribers only version, releasing “public” teasers. The Geek Warning podcast produces the content that Nerd Alert had produced.


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