Pinkbike’s April Fools Joke Nearly Launches a Print Magazine

Apr 5, 2011
by Julian Coffey  
We may have fooled ourselves with our fake magazine debut last Friday. The Pinkbike Magazine post went live and shortly after all hell broke loose - the support for a printed publication from PB was overwhelming.

How did this come together? At Pinkbike we have a long history of creating some fairly involved April Fool's gags, from turning the site into a 'My Little Pony' mural to actually turning the website upside-down. Needless to say, we take April Fool's pretty seriously. As the fateful April 1st date approached, all sorts of ideas were thrown around the office. One aspect we really wanted to focus on was to ensure that whatever we did was as realistic as possible.

My Little Pony Riding High in 2006
My Little Pony Riding High in 2006

So, two days before April 1st and we were still without a concrete idea. Like a bolt from the blue, Phil Townsley, a graphical designer who had worked on 20/20 BMX Magazine and Revolution, emailed us to inquire about some potential project work. It was like a sign, and suddenly we were all in agreement that the prank would be to create a faux magazine. Take away the April Fool's factor, and you actually have a fairly viable and believable idea. Pinkbike has all the assets needed to produce a publication - so why not?

Pinkbike gets inverted in 2008
Pinkbike gets inverted in 2008

Phil was all over it. We put together some rough layouts and a cover in a night, and sent it to Phil the next day. In about 4 hours he had transformed some InDesign files into what looked very much like a living breathing mag. It had all fallen into place with uncanny synchronization. Contributions from Ian Hylands, Sterling Lorence and Baxter Redfern gave us the rad nugs we needed. PB staffers created actual stories to include and even transcribed Bearclaw's post Redbull Rampage interview into usable copy.

Jon Kennedy at Diamondback stepped it up big time and sent us an actual print ad, as well as a never-before-seen photo of their new DH bike to showcase in the spread. In a mere 24 hours PB had come together and produced a layout that looked as good as anything on the newsstands! To add to the realism, we created a special form to take subscriptions. The form was non-functional and didn't actually record any information, so we don't know how many subscriptions were generated. No credit cards were charged, however many users from around the world emailed asking about more details, and why their order hadn't been processed!

Semenuk graces the cover of Pinkbike Magazine in 2011
Semenuk graces the cover of Pinkbike Magazine in 2011

Once launched, we enjoyed the rest of day as several key industry advertisers began asking to come on board and inquiring about ad rates. Distributors in Malaysia, China, Mexico and Germany wanted to import the new publication. We have certainly had our fun this year, and even though painful, it's time to come clean. There is no Pinkbike Magazine and hopefully, all of our loyal friends who thought we were serious will laugh along with us. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who knew it was a prank and kept the joke alive, and the hundreds of people who commented and helped Pinkbike Magazine be a true success.


There are a number of great print magazines available for people who still like to consume their news in that format, but for the foreseeable future, Pinkbike will focus exclusively on making the online MTB community better and better. We believe that it's better for the environment to send electronic bits around the world instead of tree atoms.

Next year is definitely going to be a challenge - we'll have to start planning now! Can we still do anything that can be made to be believable for April Fool's next year? Stay tuned!


We would like to thank the whole PB team, Phil Townsley, Ian Hylands, Sterling Lorence, Jon Kennedy, Brandon Semenuk and the whole community for letting us have a little out-of-the-ordinary fun once a year Wink


149 Comments

  • + 100
 It never even crossed my mind that this could be a joke.. DAMMIT! lol i was looking forward to picking up a copy at sea otter so much. I still think a printed pinkbike would be a good idea
  • + 30
 They should actually make a magazine i would def buy.
  • - 46
flag mooseduck13 (Apr 5, 2011 at 19:04) (Below Threshold)
 Oh believe me it crossed my mind... I'm actually kind of disappointed I'm this years prank, just seems like they could have done better
  • + 23
 April Fools Joking about something that seems so real and such a good idea? Not cool. I thought that sh*t was on.
  • + 10
 This was just mean -.- lol I was finally looking foward too having a magazine which had stuff I actually cared about in Razz
  • + 24
 lol we all got played...
at least it wasn't "Pinkbike.com will no longer exist"
Every would flip!
  • + 7
 ah i didnt even realize it was april fools day i was like oh pinkbike mag...sik
  • + 7
 they should still go through with it.
  • + 7
 I'm not sure how the magazine would work, economic wise. Although, the North Shore ladder tires, that's a completely different story. I'd pick up a set.
  • + 5
 i knew it haha! even though they did such a good job on it, why would they release a big announcement on april fools?! that was my thinking. anyways, good job pinkbike! you fooled a lot of people!
  • - 1
 > Did anybody read the "comment box" from that original announcement? Everybody called PB's Bluff - and Nobody seemed fooled
  • + 1
 exactly. Thats why I think they could have done better.... its just seemed too obvious
  • + 0
 because it was april fools. everyone had suspicions.
  • + 0
 I'd be pissed if I spent hours on creating the layout and shot to find out it's a joke.
  • + 4
 Yeah sam^ but the people doing the layout work and copy knew it was a prank to begin with...
  • + 1
 its not even funny
  • + 1
 does that mean those north shore tyres are legit?
coz they were redonkulous
  • + 2
 I've never realised it was a joke...:/
  • + 1
 id buy i love pinkbike
  • + 2
 i was actually pretty disapointed it was joke
  • + 3
 haha you guys missed a great chance to make a couple thousands dollars by taking money off people's credit cards lol
  • + 2
 funny thing is that the day before this, I picked up a copy of Decline and my son was saying "it's cool and all, but already saw all this on Pinkbike like a month ago"... and then we laughed that there would be another magazine out there lagging a month behind all the current events Smile
  • + 2
 I wonder how many people put their CC number down on the site to order it...I know at least one Big Grin
  • + 4
 if you get POD on april fools does it count or are they just messin' with you?
  • + 27
 NOOOOO!!! I thought it might be a joke, but I was so excited!!
  • + 2
 hahahaha told you guys it was a joke!!!!
  • + 6
 Guys its a joke after a joke
  • + 9
 I want a damn magazine! maybe we should make an online poll so that PB can see how much money they could make if they actually published a magazine.
  • + 3
 Such a bummer. It was really believable. The cover looked legit. Frown You should really consider launching a magazine Pinkbike! I was hanging out for that Bearclaw interview!!!
  • + 1
 I want my pride back ! I went all the way... Still i tough it was weird not to have any april fool on that day but heh.
  • + 1
 aprils fools fail haha
  • + 1
 soooo, there not making a magazine?, DAMM!
  • + 9
 At first, I really did think that it was an April Fools joke. After all, why would PB bother going to print, when they've got customers paying for online content already, and advertisers already paying for online advertising? But, when I considered how far they took the joke, with the special notifications and what not, and, considering that they just hired Ian Hylands as an editor or whatever, I began to think that maybe they were actually serious about going to print. Hahaha, they really got us. Frankly though, I am quite glad it's not going to print, as it seems to me it would largely be redundant to their current format/content, and would simply be killing trees unnecessarily.
  • + 13
 So ah ... you're not gonna charge my credit card right?
  • + 15
 ur credit card is charged
  • + 12
 well if you actually read the article you would know the answer to that
  • - 10
flag blue-elephant7 (Apr 5, 2011 at 18:46) (Below Threshold)
 is this an april fools joke?
  • + 8
 No cards were charged - we didn't allow any information to be submitted into the system.
  • + 5
 I thought $20 for an annual subscription was a little cheap. With the issues print magazines and newspapers have been having I was wondering how it would be profitable. But it made sense that you guys would want to monetize the massive viewership you have. Awesome prank.
  • + 4
 It would still be sweet to come up with a pinkbike app that works to update on an ipad or phone that is not always connected to the internet. it could have trail tips and traveling info and some other stuff that would work well for riders on the move!
  • + 3
 This goes out to all the idiots who were alleging fraud and throwing out the class action BS.

""To add to the realism, we created a special form to take subscriptions. The form was non-functional and didn't actually record any information, so we don't know how many subscriptions were generated. No credit cards were charged, however many users from around the world emailed asking about more details, and why their order hadn't been processed!"
  • + 2
 welll.... their goes your 20$ MR PINKBIKE !!
  • + 4
 i knew it was a joke, as pinkbike has had its great run of april fools! and the fact it was published on 1st of April! But I am bummed that they arent even thinking about it!
  • + 3
 Great prank, but honestly I wish this much effort went into more of the articles. Too many times I read an article or news topic, only to have more questions that will never get answered. Or it sucks when you can visit a hand full of bike websites and they all post the exact same articles. I know it is all free and I appreciate it, but less pictures and more writing is a good thing at times.
  • + 6
 Coming back to this, perhaps a suggestion would be to divide the news up on the front page and create a proper, easy to use original content archive page. Instead of one huge list of general "news", put press releases in one column and original content in another. Searching for old news stories can be a pain in the butt too. And why are your original columns not listed on the front page somewhere? There are some good articles that get pushed off the page after a day or two by random videos with crappy songs haha.

Sorry for ranting. Just some thoughts.
  • + 2
 I think it was a great joke all of you that got all butt hurt need to chill. I know the one year cost was a fake 20 bucks but for some people thats 20 bucks that could pay for gas to go ride. I like that PB is letting all of us check out all this stuff and all you need to do is give them some info. There are no payments or anything. Keep it real PB don't succumb to the pressure of printing a mag. Good stuff
  • + 2
 That prank was priceless, I didn't believe any of it knowing the fact that it was april first and knowing PB's tendancy to overdue things on such a day, but LOL, this one has got to be the best one of all, and just to hear the feedback from it is priceless, Goodjob PB!
  • + 4
 My toilet seat was soooo waiting the arrival of the PinkBike Mag!!!!!!

AAAAHH! They should do it! It would definitely sell!

We'll get you back PB! Wink
  • + 1
 if you pinkbike actually dont put out a print publication after all of that insane feed back, I feel that that would be a terrible mistake. Look at the capital this site could make off a print publication, you guys proved it yourself.
  • + 1
 As much as having a Pink Bike magazine would be nice, whats the point when we have the internet. I gave up on magazines years ago simply because all the news and articles within were months old and already common knowledge on the internet. On the other hand however companies seem to dump thousands of dollars into advertising in magazines, so typically magazines are just pages of commercials so to speak, maybe this is a profitable idea for Pink Bike it could bring in a lot of revenue.
  • + 4
 What!!?! no way! .... that madee me a little sad inside.... time to break the bad news to all my friends.. Frown
  • + 1
 Kinda brilliant, but fail. What seemed to be a smart marketing ploy of a killer idea with great April Fools timing, while at the same time had the ability to see if there was solid support from the online community... all while creating suspense and anticipation, failed when there was no follow through. Alas, you turned a strong idea it into a disappointing joke... in the end, was the joke really on us?
  • + 1
 When you say follow through - are you referring to actually printing the mag?
  • + 3
 makes sense... print media is going to hell and mags/newspapers are going more and more online. why would pinkbike take a step backwards.
  • + 2
 holly shit that was a crazy twist, didn't even cross my mind that it was a joke kinda wondering if pinkbike didn't just write this up because they couldn't be bothered to make a magazine after all.
  • + 1
 I mean I can dig the whole environmental aspect of this, but there's something about reading a magazine or print that is satisfying, not to mention there are ways to make this environmentally friendly. I'm pretty sure the amount of carbon needed to produce and distribute these magazines is cheaper than xxx,xxx number of users plugged in on their computers using all sorts of electricity...just sayin...
  • + 1
 hahaha basterds, I Came back to look for the order form and get a subscription only to find this. LOL Good one PB. Now I request More free PB Stickers just for that one. pleaz!! Oh and I need an artist to do a Huge PB Logo on my wall Ride at my pump track.Anyone in LA?
  • + 3
 As a reprographics professional, I would just like to point out that those magazine layouts need 3mm bleed. Wink
  • + 1
 Did people actually give there credit card numbers for this? Seems to me if pinkbike was asking for card numbers for a joke payment sounds a little against the law to me. Wish it really did hit the print tho
  • + 1
 Still think it is an awesome idea! In the UK in my eyes theres only on decent publication,and Pink Bike Magazine would of given them a run for their money!! What a shame,although i had my suspicions!
  • + 2
 Super stoked the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival made the cover of Pinkbike Mag! Wait.... What??? I've heard bad PR is better than no PR. I suppose the same goes for fake PR!
  • + 1
 I actually did not know it was April fools day when I first clicked on the article. So I actually thought it was legit! Then I read the comments and saw what day it was....doh!
  • + 1
 Is the Intense Tire an April fools joke...i want to know that more then anything! I have a co-worker at my shop that thinks its for real, i'm buggin' out with trying to figure out if it is or not!
  • + 4
 Its definately fake man. Lol, Ill admit it was a pretty realistic looking tire and print, but the idea of a tire with patches of micro knobby to grab boards is un-realistic at best, a tire like that just wouldnt work. It gave me a good chuckle though. Smile
  • + 1
 haha figured as much! That was a good one!
  • + 1
 with all the support you guys had, why not make a magazine? sounds like a pretty viable business decision and obviously there's a demand in the bike world for it. you guys proved it could be a good venture
  • + 1
 I got screwed this April Fools...I fell for EVERY bit thrown my way - I actually talked it up with a friend and was going to get him a subscription as a gift - See...TOTALLY had - Nice job folks!
  • + 1
 amazing that people fell for this! come on, readers, really??? ha ha. well funny all the same. and how about that new DH rig?
  • + 1
 Seeing the amount of interest, think it might be feasible for pb to possibly print an Annual/single mag with the best of for the year/season? Just a thought.
  • + 1
 Yeah, an annual would be sweet if it was filled with pics so we can all have nice glossy posters. Or maybe even release a book style mag filled with tech how-to or riding how-to.
  • + 3
 I had it... Im deleting my PB account. okaay maybe not.. good one!
  • + 2
 make a mag.. dirt uk is getting pretty lame and MBUK is for kids... we need a proper mag!!! cmon do it!!!!
  • + 1
 That was so obvious it was an april fool! It cost more in canadian value than U.S. and right now were the big valued dollar! Looking forward to next year!
  • + 1
 Hey, just a thought: there should be some theme options for the site... I'm really digging that "My Little Pony" layout from a couple years ago.
  • + 3
 APRIL FOOLS! boo this sucks i wanted a magazine!
  • + 1
 Pinkbike is great because it allows the interaction of people and current news...a magazine would be out of date by the time the consumer gets it.
  • + 1
 Am i naive? XD HAHA I GUESS SO! wow, they could sell me anything even a shakeweight made by pinkbike, it makes your barspins faster,, yeah no shit XD HAHAA
  • + 1
 I didnt even look into the article posted. I knew it was their April Fools joke. Sorry, couldnt of fooled me.
  • + 1
 i just cried...i cant believe i fell for that..pinkbike gets me every year with April fools -_-
  • + 2
 im closing my pb account and ill wait for their mag
  • + 2
 NOOOOOO i wanted a pinkbike mag!!! please make one!!
  • + 1
 So gutted, They should make one though, they would make so much money and it would fruther pinkbike alot.
  • + 1
 That cover should have said that Semenuk was going to be committing full time to the World Cup circuit this year...
  • + 1
 NICE JOKE ! And it was cool to see the DiamondBack DH in person at the Double Down Hoe Down a couple weekends ago.
  • + 1
 sorry but....does it means that the Intense tires were for real!!! fu*k they are horrific !!!!
  • + 1
 Damn...it's not fair! I have already set a piggy-bank for PinkBike mag subscription...
  • + 1
 Darn it !! I thought Decline was going to have some company on my coffee table !!
  • + 1
 if they did make it look's like it would have been a copy of dirt magazine anyway that's just my view.
  • + 3
 They got me good!!!!
  • + 2
 Dear PB,

I will stop looking at Playboy if you make a magazine(:
  • + 2
 Props! Excellent Joke! Fooled!
  • + 1
 i was really looking forward to order the magazine. none the less. that fucked up!
  • + 2
 so the ladder bridge tires aren't a joke? what?
  • + 2
 Thought it seamed a little fishy. Good one PB, It'll be hard to top!
  • + 0
 what a horrible joke... its like saying"you won a brand new car!!" .........jk thats not cool pinkbike we were actually looking forward to a pinkbike magazine
  • + 1
 this was a epic joke !!! however i am very disappointed at the lack of a Pb mag
  • + 1
 Um - so who were these guys talking about how they had paid for a subscription, etc.?
  • + 1
 wwwwwwwwwooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.............
  • + 1
 That, was a good one! Kudos! (except the lack of bleeds on the design layout Wink
  • + 2
 That was the one big omission we had that some people in-the-know caught on to. doh!
  • + 2
 Buggers! Talk about good market research though lol!
  • + 1
 yes it was Wink It's a lot of work to put together properly and would take a ton of resources from the site, but the feedback has been overwhelming and something now to consider...
  • + 1
 Print mags are a losing game Im afraid. They have been for years now. Ive been getting mags for years and they used to be thick and packed with advertising............these days, not so much. Magazines like Car and Driver and Road and Track, practically pay me to get their mags........I paid 5 bucks for a year of Cycle World ! Rolling Stone used to come with big glossy pages. Then they shrunk it. Its expensive to print, its alot of paper, ink, workers wages, mail cost. In a world where you can do it all online- it makes no sense. Not to mention it gets you information faster than ever. I still get mags, I like Decline and I like Bike, but you know when I get them there is no "news"........I already read about those new products sometimes months ago............on Pinkbike.
  • + 2
 That being said.............because now you have me thinking on this, Im wondering why I do get magazines still. One thing that Pinkbike does not do imo up to par with the print mags is product reviews and testing. I would like to see more complete bikes and parts objectivly tested. I mean I love stuff like the Dirt100 and Bike's "bible".........and pretty much any real world long term testing. Not enough of that on here. hope you are reading this Pinkbike Smile
  • + 2
 dang, i was really hoping it was real
  • + 3
 i hate you guys so much
  • + 1
 dam i was totally a believer..... never ever had crossed my mind in the slightest bit. holy moly
  • + 1
 Pinkbike is the king of April fools pranks. Well done guys, even though I was stoked for a possible magazine.
  • + 2
 Pinkbike trolled us all !
  • + 3
 NOT FUNNY!!
  • + 1
 prints are a waste of money and resources...so it didnt make sense from the getgo
  • + 1
 They said the mag was offered in 12 languages. Guys it was april fools day, I cant believe most of you didnt catch on there!
  • + 2
 that was the best one ever GREAT JOB PB IM LMFAO soooo bad that was good
  • + 2
 Owned, bummed there's no mag but that prank was badass!
  • + 1
 i was so stoked to get a pinkbike mag and i was mad at first. but now i realize it was a good april fools joke!
  • + 2
 Omg, crazy.... Beleived it. Frown
  • + 1
 what was the point in that... arnt april fools jokes ment to be funny?
  • + 1
 Ah ha ha ha I knew it. Good one guys
  • + 1
 that was a joke?!?!?! aww I was wishing it was true ;-;
  • + 1
 New this was a joke...but SOOOO wanted it to be real!
  • + 1
 I honestly still want a pinkbike magazine......
  • + 1
 AHHHHH COME ON MAN!!! i was so damn stoked on a PB Mag!! :@
  • + 1
 good joke tho
  • + 1
 They would make great sales though.
  • + 2
 i wanted a mag Frown
  • + 2
 so did i..
  • + 1
 i subscribed. Damn it, i was looking forwards to it!
  • + 2
 dam it!!! they got me !
  • + 1
 lol my brother thought this was legit hahahahahahahhhahhahhahhahhahha
  • + 1
 D'aww... I was excited... lol
  • + 1
 shame the april fools are bad now.
  • + 1
 yhe we all want that mag to be real!
  • + 1
 LOL Good one guys, I walked in with clean goggles tup
  • + 1
 awesome prank! got a few good laughs out of it. nicely done
  • + 1
 i was gonna order that magazine
  • + 1
 HAHAHAHA definately got me!
  • + 1
 Dang.... My Hunch was right at the mark, i just changed my mind..
  • + 1
 I feel stupid today. Never even crossed my mind it was a joke.
  • + 1
 lol good one
  • + 1
 HAHAH so awesome
  • + 1
 DAMN U GUYS!!!!
  • + 1
 Had me fooled.
  • + 1
 PB pulled a good one..
  • + 0
 I hate you guys Frown
  • - 3
 Wow - what a shitty way to treat every-one.
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