Beta Magazine Releases Inaugural Photo Annual

Sep 30, 2021
by Beta MTB  


The third issue of Pinkbike's new sister publication celebrates the beauty of the sport, as defined through the lenses of mountain biking's best photographers.

Now that Pinkbike and Beta are under one roof, our team has some big things in the pipeline. Pinkbike is going to keep doing its thing (no, the comments aren’t going away, and no, we’re not paywalling everything), and you can expect to see things like lab testing, a new podcast, and more of the best writers in the sport over on Beta. We’ll announce more in the coming months, and you can sign up for Beta for access to all those new projects and series as they roll out, as well as the quarterly magazine. Stay tuned!

Words: Nicole Formosa

Home can feel routine, but it doesn’t have to. And if the past nearly two years has taught us anything, it’s that life can be a lot simpler than we may have previously believed. Photographers don’t have to constantly travel the world, shooting somewhere new and exotic, to find inspiration. As they refocused on home following a global lockdown in spring 2020, new depths of creativity emerged. That’s what we strived to capture in Beta Magazine’s first-ever Photo Annual, which is on newsstands in the U.S. and Canada now, and arriving in Beta Pass and Outside+ members’ mailboxes this week. The Photo Annual is Beta's third print issue since launching earlier this year as a quarterly magazine. Beta was started by Outside after Bike Magazine was shuttered, and is produced by the same team from Bike: Nicole Formosa, Anthony Smith, Travis Engel, Ryan Palmer, and Satchel Cronk.

Photo by Robb Thompson
Brett Rheeder photographed by Robb Thompson

Robb Thompson’s stunning image of Brett Rheeder—shot in the early-morning hours as daybreak's soft blanket of fog shrouded a perfectly sculpted jump line—anchors the Photo Annual, and the inspiration continues inside with an uninterrupted 38-page photo gallery. The gallery showcases images from around the world, yet taken primarily close to home by the two dozen photographers whose work is placed on the pages.

Photo by Margus Riga
Margus Riga’s classic Chilcotin scene opens the 38-page photo gallery.

Later in the book, Mike Rose, whose name many will recognize from his long tenure at the helm of Dirt magazine in the U.K., profiles longtime friend Clay Porter, an inspired filmmaker who has profoundly impacted the visual representation of riding and racing. The California native has produced several of the sport’s seminal films, but the drive and determination required to executive his vision has sometimes come at a cost. Rose delves into the mind of the master in “Layers of Sound and Vision.”

Photo by Ian Collins
Inside the mind of the master, Clay Porter. (Photo by Ian Collins)

We also hear from photographer Kevin Lange, a man who moved from the fast-paced world of commercial motion-picture production in Los Angeles to the quiet solitude of shooting alone in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In his essay, "Glints of Inspiration," Lange reflects on how his photography has changed with his life, and how he learned that the true photographic pursuit is illustrating how riding makes us feel, regardless of where you are, or who you’re with. His analog process of mocking up pre-vis grids that turn vague daydreams into image missions, stands alone in its level of specificity and detail.

Photo by Kevin Lange
Photo by Kevin Lange

This issue also contains a robust gear section with features on Cascade Components aftermarket suspension links that alter your bike’s kinematics, a “Standard Issue” on why SPD is a master class in doing things right first time and “Insider Trading,” a piece on how one manufacturer came to dominate the dropper-post cartridge market. And of course, it wouldn’t be a print issue with Mike Ferrentino’s “Eloquent Hack” and Kristin Butcher’s “The Common Ground” columns.

Photo by Anthony Smith
Photo by Anthony Smith

Beta is available on newsstands in the U.S. and Canada at Barnes & Noble, Raley’s and Indigo. The quarterly print issue is available for U.S. residents who have a Beta Pass or Outside+ membership (international residents receive a digital issue). Find more on membership prices and packages here.

Author Info:
betamtb avatar

Member since Jul 13, 2021
103 articles

  • 109 3
 Beta is the absolute worst name for a bike magazine.
  • 36 1
 For a climbing mag sure, but as a mtb one...hell no
  • 21 35
flag wobblegoblin (Sep 30, 2021 at 13:58) (Below Threshold)
 Why couldn’t they call it Alpha Mag???

(Actually I think WokeBikeMag would be most appropriate)
  • 10 1
 When it came out, they posted this release about why it was named Beta. It was one of the most nonsensical things I’ve ever read.
  • 9 8
 Seriously. The douchiest climber term possible.
  • 5 0

Did you know it actually originated from a climbing magazine (R&I) series of articles?
  • 5 1
 @jwestenhoff: The Gaper Gap of Climbing Terms.
  • 11 17
flag Reno233 (Sep 30, 2021 at 21:53) (Below Threshold)
 It makes sense after you see all the SJW articles in there.
  • 7 1
 Agreed. Nothing good about the name. (Loved bikemag and beta while it was free!!!!)
It just reminds me of

Second place, inferior to Alpha,
‘An old beater’ (a broken old car, bike, etc)
‘Wife beater’
‘Beta partical’ - highly ionising and hazardous!
  • 3 0
 @jwestenhoff: only rivaled by Send. Wait, MTB co-opted that one, it must be okay Smile
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: Betamax — an obsolete video standard that was never quite what it should have been.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: sigma mag every issue comes with a cutout pin up girl poster and a pair of pit vipers
  • 2 0
 Worse than "Cuck"?
  • 2 0
 @MtbSince84 Wait until a rebranding is needed and Outside goes full Boulder on it. Or they could have it be a special segment like, Cucks Corner or something?
  • 1 0
 They should have just called it „boik mag“
  • 78 0
 Rebranded bike mag continues doing what bike mag always did.
  • 121 3
 Which is ideal. The internet might have raised me but I still bought every Bike Mag.
  • 15 0
 @mikelevy: Honest question: any thoughts on why the BikeMag name just didn't get carried forward? As a subscriber I got the "sorry, we're ending BikeMag now" notice after the final photo issue, and then never heard another thing - didn't ever hear about Beta or that most of the staff was still intact from BikeMag til literally just now

Seems like A) would be easier just to carry the BikeMag name-recognition & history forward and B) Beta would want to keep the BikeMag subscriber vs. not losing subscribers (regardless of who owns or publishes which I could care less about unless its Nazis or something)

I realize rebranding / name changes happen all the time - not a biggie, but it seems that the change w/o much notice would lose, not draw in new subscribers (?) - it lost me
  • 35 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: when A360 Media the shut down Bike Mag, Robin (Outside CEO) tried to buy the Bike name from them as well as take on the employees, but they wouldn't give it up.
  • 9 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13: The publisher presumably did the same thing they did with RideBMX. Despite apparently having no intention of using the name, they refused to sell it to the former employees who had to reform as "OurBMX."
  • 2 2
 @brianpark: Heard. Always way more going on that us civilians would think
  • 1 0
 With so much chaos in the world lately, it’s some comfort that it’s available again, even if it’s not monthly, and the website still feels quite a bit like a beta version (pun intended) of As a longtime BIKE subscriber, and one who’s had the good fortune to meet many of the talented people behind BIKE (and now BETA), I am choosing to be hopeful for the future despite the anxiety of the purchase by Outside. After all, bikes are in fact getting EVEN better each year, there are more and better places to ride, more and better photos to share, and massively creative riders out there to be shared with us? Who better to do the work than a scrappy crew of fanatical dirtbags who love the thing we do even MORE than we do?
  • 6 1
 @mikelevy: Except the name is shit
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Maybe they were afraid of what direction Outside would take the magazine. From what I read in the comments here, it seems a couple people aren't fans.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: i still have every bike, MBA, Mountain Bike, Decline and Mountain Biking
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Good move by them, it'll never be tarnished.
  • 2 0
 @madmon: No dirtrag? Poser.
  • 1 0
 @87vr6: ya I thought about my friends at DRM like Moe and the original gangsters like Lockwood and Guerrero .......though... oh my hope they don't see this!
I have been a long time fan of the Dirtrag family they took part in the Negril Fatta Tyre Festival for about 4 seasons early 2K great bunch of Dirtbags.
  • 52 0
 Longtime subscriber of Bike here, and proud contributor at one point. I signed up for a subscription within 24 hours of Beta seeing the light of day. You know, to support print and all that jazz. Within a month I got a message that they only send the paper mag to subscribers in North America even though the price was still the same for the rest of us. Seriously lame and disappointing.
  • 27 7
 Hey there. We're with you. Offering print to our international members is a big priority. We are working on it, and hope to have news on this front soon. Thank you for the longtime support.
  • 5 0
 Same here, I was really disappointed when I realised I'm only getting a digital copy. I hope we get "back issues"...
  • 8 0
 Funny, I subscribed here in the US and they couldn't manage to send me either one of their first two print issues. I had enough dealing with Outside's "customer service" so I just cancelled my subscription so they didn't automatically renew it next year.
  • 7 2
 @stevemokan: funny because they sent me a copy of their first issue, which I flipped through and tossed in the bin.
  • 2 0
 Actually they only send paper mag to US subscribers, not us Canadians!
  • 1 0
 Same here ... Frown
  • 1 0
 @stevemokan: To be fair, this was even before they were aquired by Outside.
  • 2 1
 @betamtb: Keep doing what you do, the bike world needs more ride culture amongst all the tech stuff. But please, let us international readers be a part of it as well. It wasn't a problem getting Bike and Powder in the mail over here in Europe before so it shouldn't be that hard for Outside to do the same now.
  • 1 0
 Same here @stevemokan:
  • 36 0
 Beta? Oh, that's that website I seldom click on because the things I want to read about are blocked out by some sort of blocking device. Now I remember.
  • 31 29
 Exactly man - I mean its what, $26 a year? Insane. For reels - your $5300 mtn bike and another $2570 in gear & maintenance is gonna get nicked huge if you have pay another $26. Seriously man...what is happening to prices these days...its like selling gas for $7.50 a gallon or something... but with magazines.
  • 45 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Nickle and dime. $5 a month here, $3 there, $17 here. I'm not made of money and choose to put mine where it makes the most sense for me. Beta can charge whatever it wants to and I'm free to pay it or ignore it. I choose to ignore it and find whatever they are reviewing elsewhere.
  • 4 4
 @DBone95: Heard on that - its real. I don't pay a dime for PB, but I did subscribe to BikeMag, Freehub & love having paper - online is great, and searchable, but it ultimately feels like its then lost. Of course ya don't have to sub to Beta - not required, or expected and my point wasn't to subscribe - but its the same editor and staff as Bike so just because under Outside - doesn't mean its auto-crap. Just sayin' it doesn't take a full outside MegaSubscription to get a mag. Nicole was a great editor for BikeMag. She's just as good now - and probably making a better salary to buy bikes & share her love of it.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I subscribe to their YouTube channel as I do like their vibe and always did at Bike.... sometimes a little too hipster for me, but nothing's perfect.
  • 3 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I’d gladly pay $26 if I thought it provided $26 of value to me. I did subscribe to one year of Freehub...but I’m letting it lapse because I never find anything interesting enough to get past the first couple paragraphs.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Long live tangible media. Also lol @ you saying "you don't have to sub to beta".
  • 28 27
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Exactly. Plus, I'd rather throw a few bucks towards PB & Beta to let a handful mountain bikers live the dream of riding bikes for a living, than to Bezos or some other billionaire.
  • 2 0
 @andeh23: Well actually you're throwing your money at a bunch of corporates who just want to get rich, great job.
  • 1 0
 @TobiasHandcock: That's with everything though, the only way to beat it is to join it.
  • 1 0
 @panthermodern: Word, but - don't get the lol / sub thing. Do explain
  • 1 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13: "Also lol @ you saying "you don't have to sub to beta".

Also laughing out loud at you saying that "you don't have to subscribe to Beta"
  • 2 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: my bad...didn't realize they let the sub-teens in here
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I thought this place was all 40 year olds, pre-teens are news to me.
  • 36 4
 Yes! Can we get a Beta podcast? I want Palmers rants in longform
  • 25 2
 Same. We’ve got some in the works.
  • 34 0
 We'll have to get Palmer on the Pinkpod soon.
  • 21 0
 Can we also get @vernonfelton back? Now that rebranded bike mag and pinkbike are together under the same umbrella it could just be a big old jaded family reunion.
  • 22 0
 @adrennan: we miss Vernon. He's busy herding cats at Canyon these days, but we'll see if we can convince him to wreck his schedule even more by doing a column at some point.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: would love to see it tbh
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy is going to have yet another boss
  • 2 0
 @lefthandohvhater: This! As a cranky mechanic, an hour-long Palmer’s Peeves every week is the dream.
  • 4 1
 @adrennan: YES, PLEASE get Felton back! Miss that dude.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree, I would love to see [hear] a Beta and PB mashup podcast. Palmer vs Levy and Engel vs Kazimer! Do it!!!!
  • 7 4
 @scottziesman: Levy vs. Ferrentino.

Also. Beer foam shootout circa 2021.
  • 19 1
 Haters aside...Beta is a great magazine. Worth the money just to get the printer version (honestly I never look at the website cause I hate the way its formatted).
  • 24 28
flag karl-burkat FL (Sep 30, 2021 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 we're working on making it more functional, love to hear your feedback after it's updated.
  • 5 0
 @karl-burkat: FWIW the current setup is just too large...its like nothing is 'above the fold' - I kinda just feel lost when I go there.
  • 23 27
flag karl-burkat FL (Sep 30, 2021 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 @MikeyMT: yeah me too hah. just looking at some mockups tomorrow. the pinkbike layout, though a bit dated, is easy to follow and want to bring some of that across to BETA.
  • 11 1
 @karl-burkat: yeah, if I click on my Beta bookmark, I’m not looking for vegetarian magazine recipes that are behind a paywall. If I could just see Beta articles when I click on Beta, that would be great.
  • 5 0

That isn't consistent with Outside CEO guy's end goal with Beta, PB, and the other properties Outside owns. They want to be Amazon (beware the corporate speak for the effort to lock users down into their ecosystem):

"Thurston’s vision is to build what he calls the Amazon Prime of the active lifestyle: a connected, holistic ecosystem of resources—including content, experiences, utilities, community, commerce, education, and services—that can be uniquely customized for each active lifestyle enthusiast."
  • 8 0
 @genny1: God forbid there is culture that isn't completely commoditized
  • 14 0
 @karl-burkat: today’s stupid article in my Beta feed: How wonderful some new vegan hair care products from Vegetarian Times. If you guys are trying to convince me to never get an Outside plus subscription: keep that crap up.
  • 19 0
 Is Semenuk on the cover of ALPHA Magazine?
  • 3 1
 If he can't make the photo shoot, then Brage Vestavik.
  • 16 1
 If I wanted to read Beta I would go subscribe to Outs-- oh, right...
  • 9 17
flag Mtn-Goat-13 FL (Sep 30, 2021 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 I know right! I mean - its like when I found out Proctor & Gamble owns Pringles, Iams Pet Food AND Tampax - I mean seriously, how can you sell out w/ those chips or feed your dog when women - and all these Pinkbike whiners - are having periods? For real - they're not getting any more my money bro!
  • 11 0
 I'm starting to loose my faith in the Beta Mag ... i subscribed from the begining since i Loved Bike ... but as canadians we pay same as americans but we don't get a physical copy of the mag .... on top of that .. i've had an issue with my account where I never get notified of releases of digital pub or where to get them ... this has been the case for the first 3 published mags ... at this point if it's not resolved I might have to bail out. I want to support but it feels like their are treating us Canadians like second class citizens.
  • 21 20
 I subscribed to Beta from the beginning and was living in the states and stoked to get the first issue. I have since moved back to Canada and will probably cancel if they don’t figure out how to ship to Canada. I want the paper mag.
  • 17 3
 How fast will anti outside comments get scrubbed?
  • 7 0
 the beta reviews were never my cup of tea because they lock bikes in based on travel/category. like for trail bikes they've complained about heavy tires, big brakes, and idk they seem snobbish to me. Mostly because they make it seem unthinkable that you'd abuse a trail bike at a bike park, or take it on a XC ride.

PB and Freehub reviews always seemed more genuine through the eyes of a normal rider and not someone who has access to every bike ever.

my 2c anyways
  • 10 12
 We're still figuring out some of these things (I'm making a company policy that nobody can complain about big brakes! Smile ), but in general the plan is to have PB-style reviews on PB, and add lab testing stuff for members on Beta.
  • 6 0
 I clicked on the link intending to subscribe to the print magazine. Then theres all this outside advertising and its like 59 cents a week or some bullshit? Ok so i guess it evens out to 26 dollars a year, which is a fair price for a print subscription. However i just dont like at all how it feels. Maybe ill go see if i can buy a copy from barnes and noble. I want a magazine, not another account and online bullshit.
  • 9 0
 I hope PB and Beta are working on some collaboration. I want to see Levy, Kaz, Palmer and Engel one screen.
  • 3 0
 Same here - it'll happen eventually.
  • 7 0
 Ah yes Outside of the Pinkbike flavor is pluggin Outside of the Beta flavor. Thanks Outside very cool.
  • 4 0
 If DIRT magazine wants to start up again Ill be down to help crowd fund that. I miss that shit so much, and now with EWS and DH being so big it will go off. The MTB world needs DIRT, since it's about to lose PB and already lost BIKE.
  • 6 0
 Picked up issue 2 the other day, stoked to go grab this one. Some really good articles I wouldn't have read otherwise.
  • 2 0
 I was so sad when bike shut down. I was so excited when Beta was announced as the replacement. I am so disappointed with the content to date. I don't enjoy photos of stunts and jumps I'll never aspire to do. My bike subscription travelled with me from the US in '96 to Italy and many states after. Every issue, up until its demise, sits proudly displayed on a shelf. Can not say the same for Beta. sad face
  • 11 5
 Insert Outside comment here
  • 15 1
 "Pinkbike now being forced to do marketing for the competition..."
  • 11 3
 @Bikedude666, except now they're more like colleagues rather than competition. At least until the PB magazine launches...
  • 4 0
 Big sister is watching
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: still waiting by my mailbox for this.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: lmao me want Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: that was a harsh April fools
  • 4 2
 @mikekazimer: Can you call it Pinker Pages????
  • 3 1
 I was a Bike subscriber for years but somehow never heard about Beta until the podcast after the Outside acquisition. I guess I didn't have the beta?
I'm psyched to be able to read stuff from the Bike crew again. I still feel a twinge of sadness every time a stupid Men's Journal arrives in my mailbox, right before I throw it straight into the recycling bin.
  • 2 0
 I know right? Outside magazine too.
  • 8 6
 I really like and respect Nicole Formosa. And then I read the first "issue" of Bike / Beta, and Ms. Formosa couldn't make it to the fifth sentence without a snide anti-nonliberal joke. I like bikes and nature. I don't want to keep hearing Orange Man bad.
  • 3 3
 They're pot head mountain bikers so what do you expect? They just do what big media tells them and they don't question it.
  • 9 4
 @JohanG: They're redneck conservatives. They do what Fox tells them and they don't question it.

See how easy that is?

Fox news is the real mainstream media. There is genius in the way they've convinced their followers that they are somehow edgy rebels.
  • 3 0
 @rollingdip: I think it’s absolutely brilliant that Corporate Media and the Democratic Party so effectively used Trump to convince self proclaimed socialists to support Biden and big Pharma. But yes, I agree that Fox News watchers are also suckers.
  • 8 4
 So, if you're not going to paywall everything. I’m guessing you’re just going to paywall almost all of it?
  • 1 0
 I also used to love Bikemag..We used to be able to buy it here back in the day but their video reviews and one reviewer in particular have put me off big time. Maybe they take themselves a bit too seriously. Unlike Levy, Bradshaw, Kazimierz and Co...:-)
  • 1 0
 just scrolled up, and found the answer....'Beta is available on newsstands in the U.S. and Canada at Barnes & Noble, Raley’s and Indigo. The quarterly print issue is available for U.S. residents who have a Beta Pass or Outside+ membership (international residents receive a digital issue)'
  • 7 4
 Cool stuff. I like the name and cant wait to see more. This is the future of the sport.
  • 4 0
 Quick, we Beta start thinking of some puns..
  • 1 1
 Dirt Rag is gone, Bike Mag is gone and Beta is what's now. So much crying going on while that cover photo is so fkn dialed. The absolute most clicked can on the most geometrically pleasing set of jumps during the most peaceful time of day (when most pinkbikers are sleeping).
  • 2 0
 This is corporate synergy at its finest. Wait as Beta slowly dissolves and is absorbed by Pinkbike.
  • 4 0
  • 2 0
 i really enjoy Meta and thought Beta seems like theyre trying to do the same thing. funny they went with such a similar name.
  • 2 0
 yea great as long as you live in the U.S subscribing/buying is worth it but not for the rest of us?
  • 2 0
 It feel like when wcw and wwf merge.
  • 8 5
 The infection spreads.
  • 4 0
 All culture is going to be owned by Disney and Conde Nast at some point, we are getting close.
  • 7 4
 Who cares.
  • 2 0
 The paywall is still in Beta.
  • 1 0
 Love to see the photo annual! @brianpark what happened to POD though or POY comp?
  • 3 1
 Can't they think of a beta name for the mag
  • 1 0
 I delta they can tbh
  • 2 0
 @TobiasHandcock: they are gonna alpha think of something.
  • 1 0
 has anyone picked up a print version in Montreal ? if so, where ? (tried Multimags on Mont-Royal, they hadn't heard of it)
  • 8 7
 To woke for my tastes rip bikemag
  • 4 2
 It’s more woke than bikemags final years????
  • 2 0
 "Pinkers" bike magazine.
  • 1 0
 No I understand you are an asshole and you should piss off.
  • 10 11
  • 21 1
 @pcloadletter WTF does that mean?
  • 17 0
 @Caddz: "engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity"
  • 1 0
 @savagelake: gotta sound like there's marbles in your mouth so the guy from massive two shits can understand it when he reads it
  • 1 1
 @weebleswobbles: you too stupid to understand the reference? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your are under 21.
  • 1 0
 @Caddz: you know when you assume you only make an ass of yourself
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