Former Bike Mag Staff to Create New MTB Title at Pocket Outdoor Media

Nov 18, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

Former staff of Bike Magazine will form a new mountain bike media title with Pocket Outdoor Media (POM), Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports.

Pocket Outdoor Media, which also bought B.R.A.I.N in January 2019 and VeloNews in October 2017, has reportedly hired five of the furloughed editors of Bike Mag after it was shut down by American Media Inc. in October. Bike’s former editor-in-chief, Nicole Formosa, along with Ryan Palmer, Anthony Smith, Travis Engel and Satchel Cronk will form the new venture that does not yet have a title but is being referred to as 'The Phoenix Project' internally at POM. There is apparently a brand new website set to launch in December and this will be followed by quarterly print issues starting in the first quarter of 2021.

The new title is hoping to reach a wide audience including those who recently started mountain biking due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside Bike's usual mix of reviews and photos, POM is hoping to expand the video output as part of the new title.

Formosa said, "The Bike-born ethos of long-form storytelling, beautiful photography, authoritative gear reviews and compelling video projects will Iive on in this new project, alongside a greater focus on creating more daily engagement, expanding our sense of community, and creating greater inclusivity for riders from all backgrounds and skill levels. We can’t wait to get started.”

Posted In:
Industry News



131 Comments

  • 167 0
 As with others, I have always throughly enjoyed that crew. As well, I have fond memories of reading and re-reading every issue of Bike magazine when I was first getting into mountain biking. I will definitely watch for anything these guys do, and will do my part to support them. Good luck you guys. I will be there when you emerge with the next chapter of your lives.
  • 55 0
 This was also my experience. As a subscriber for the last ~20 years, having that magazine (and their other publication Powder Magazine) shut down feels like the end of an era. Those were the two print publications that I have supported and loved for decades. Its sucks they no longer exist.

As a side note, I just received a postcard in the mail from the corporation that bought and terminated both Bike and Powder Magazine. Since my subscription is still active, instead of a refund, the company that killed both magazines has transferred my subscription (without my consent) to something called Men's Journal. I've never heard of that publication, and definitely do not want to subscribe to it.

To cancel and request a refund, any subscribers of those magazines have to submit a request via phone before December 1st. The number to do so is 1-800-765-5501.

If you subscribe to either of these magazines, and do not want to support the vulture capitalists that killed them, I suggest calling that number above to request a refund.

I'm going to use that money to extend my subscription to Freehub, Trailforks, buy a Pinkbike T-shirt, or other ways to spend money to support businesses that do not suck.
  • 1 0
 @jerrytek: weird. I emailed a couple days after the bad news and a refund was on my credit card a few days later.

Incidentally, I don’t think Mens Journal is a terrible publication (like say Men’s Health). But I wanted bike content, so I wanted money back.
  • 1 0
 @jerrytek: Thanks for posting that. I called the number and cancelled. They were friendly enough at least and didn't give me the run around on cancelling. Still A-holes in my mind tho.
  • 1 0
 @Starsky686: I emailed them as well for a refund... different reply though. They told me Bike was on Pause and my subscription would resume shortly.... Ha Ha.
I called bullshit on them and copied the post that Nicole did on Bike's website... they didn't reply : (
Thanks @jerrytek .... I will try the phone route.
I also oddly started receiving Men's Journal emails.... No Thanks : )
  • 1 0
 @jerrytek: calling worked - Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @jerrytek: thank you for posting that number, I don't want men's journal as well, kinda shifty they don't give the consumer the choice.
  • 98 0
 Kudos to you, PB, for sharing competitive news. I like that crew too, and who knows, maybe some collab can come about w/ PB. I'd like to see the editors ride Levy's timed runs, and maybe do some inter-pub challenges and shootouts where comparisons are done in the same way to pressure test these bike companies.
  • 83 0
 The bike media world is small and competitive, but we're almost all friends and appreciate each other's work. Really happy to see this crew land on their feet, and looking forward to see what they do! And yes, we should do some media challenges.
  • 12 0
 @brianpark: IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: I know the bike media industry may be different, but collabs have worked wonders for Youtubers and other content creators.
  • 40 1
 I would love it if PB picked up Mike Ferrentino for a regular column. I really miss that guy a lot.
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: Since we are approaching Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for Pinkbike, VitalMTB, Bikeradar, Seth, Phil, and soon Phoenix to keep my head filled with delightful bike content through the long cold winter. There's room behind my eyeballs for all of you (and maybe a few more). I've got to fill my head with bike content so there's no room for BBQ content and the additional 50lbs it would bring.
  • 2 0
 Well said. Pretty damn cool of pinkbike to share this.
  • 9 0
 @NWBasser: me too.
  • 2 0
 @mobiller: yaaas, and gratuitous huck to flats w/ Jason to see what they can break (bikes & parts, not body parts)
  • 2 0
 @NWBasser: 100% in agreement
  • 82 1
 Back in college a writing professor asked us to bring in our favorite examples of “best” writing. All the students tried out doing each other with dead poets, classics, and other obscure stuff. I brought in one of Ferrentino’s Grimy Handshake pieces. It had the class laughing and the teacher loved it!!
  • 35 0
 Yup, Butcher Paper by Kristin Butcher was some of the best writing I've encountered anywhere and the reason I was a subscriber.
  • 7 0
 For one of my writing classes we had to write a final on a movie of our choice. Same thing happened with students choosing super complex films and I wrote mine on Life Cycles. Prof loved it
  • 2 0
 @mobiller: thanks for the reminder! Always the first thing I’d read when it came in the mail, outstanding storytelling. Looking her up now to see what I’ve missed
  • 36 0
 I bought my current mountain bike based upon a Bible review. Never rode it in person. Just blind faith. No regrets whatsoever.
  • 10 0
 Yes, i rever Engel's feedback!
  • 9 0
 So I take it most parts were plagiarized from Sumerian mythology and Greek literature?
  • 6 0
 So *that’s* what JC got up to when he fecked off into the wilderness for 40 days and nights.
  • 32 0
 Satchel Cronk - now that is name for fame.
  • 3 0
 He should be in a Scooby Doo episode with a name like that! Wink
  • 5 0
 He's on the doinks, and heading for the scooby snax
  • 5 0
 I met him France at Trans Provence. Sound guy, not a scooby doo character or bond villain... Rad photographer rather . Hi Sachel!
  • 2 0
 @howsyourdad: He's got the name of a legend. Glad to hear he's a good guy.
  • 4 0
 @Bikedude666: You meddling kids!
  • 2 0
 @MtbSince84: lol I love that show from my childhood. Now I watch it with my kiddo Smile
  • 2 0
 Their first album is off the hook.
  • 23 0
 I had a subscription to BIKE since it began and loved it. Hopefully this venture gets back to some of the earlier content.
  • 25 0
 I've had a subscription for quite a while too, loved getting that mag. I just received mail from them stating that instead of receiving BIKE mag they will now send me Men's Journal. Not much of a consolation.
  • 13 0
 @zarban: seeing as though my wife was the subscriber, she was SUPER STOKED to get Men's Journal instead.

/s
  • 7 0
 @Klainmeister: Yeah, they didn't assume anything there at all did they. Confused
  • 21 0
 Stoked to see the Bike staff come back with their own new title. Really missed their output (and the physical magazine). Hope Mike Ferrentino also lands there, or Pinkbike maybe?
  • 18 0
 Glad I'm not alone in this sentiment - Ferrentino is one of my favorite writers in this genre.
  • 7 0
 @Bullit-Boy: changed my username in his honor when Bikemag went kaput.
  • 5 0
 Well coat me in Kasmima! !! Glad they swooped them up!! would be hard to believe that Ferrentino's views/opinions wouldn't be an another asset though...Going to miss that salty mo!
  • 8 0
 Always made me chuckle when after everyone was finally in agreement, he would chime in with his own anarchist opinion. Odd and honest...and definitely my favorite presenter of all time.
  • 3 0
 I, too, hope they figure out how to bring Mike Ferrentino and Kristin Butcher (Butcher Paper) back into the fold. I really enjoy their two columns. Fingers crossed.
  • 18 0
 I somehow stumbled upon volume 1, issue 1, many, many, many years ago. I was a bike mechanic at the time and I saw a magazine with BIKE on it. The pics were awesome, so I bought it. Always loved SURFER for the pictures and stories. I got to actually reading it a few days later and found the Grimy Handshake. I was a shop rat and here was a column about a mechanic. Completely related!! Beautifully written rant about the sucky part of the job. I related. At the time, during the early days of the sport, you had MB Action for the reviews, Dirtrag for the custom and eclectic choices, a few others that were just odd not well put together and then came BIKE. The one that you actually sat down with and read from to back. And was good enough, you could revisit it later to read again. I almost got a job in 1999 as an editor of a brand new website, with a concept almost identically to PB. But money and politics killed it a week before launch. I was chosen for my real world review when a friend wanted to purchase a bike. The style of writing that made BIKE so appealing was the honesty and a bit of humor. I nailed it. I don't believe BIKE tested bikes back in 99, but they did review parts and they were always refreshing. Sorry, sidetracked myself. I do have a 6 gallon milk crate of BIKE back issues from almost every year. Let me say one last thing, Freehub is now what BIKE was, in print form. Brandon does a great job and we should all support his mission! I did have a published story in Freehub, so I'm a bit biased, but it's literally the last of it's kind. I wish the BIKE guys much luck in their newest venture. They opened up so much for me and touched my bike soul and so many others over the years. I hope they can carry on with the mission.
  • 15 0
 I liked those guys. I hope it works out well for them.
  • 16 1
 If it's got The Grimmy Handshake,I'm in.
  • 3 4
 I need at least a dozen articles about why Ferrintino doesn’t want mountain biking in the wilderness!
  • 17 4
 Great news and please continue Palmer's Peeves ! Love it because it is so true !
  • 12 0
 heck yes. bring forward Butcher Paper, Grimy Handshake - love the idea of a Pink Bike colab... How bout buy Dirt Rag's trademarks and create a new BIKE - Dirt Rag mashup.
  • 8 0
 DirtBike?
  • 2 0
 @PeteHall: For real, Bike Dirt, works for me big time.
  • 2 0
 BIKE Rag
  • 12 0
 They should call it: BIKES!
  • 9 1
 Or BikeyMcBikeFace?
  • 1 2
 "SatchScratch"
  • 10 0
 Excited but I really wanted to see Kristen Butchers name. Butcher paper was always the first thing I would read!
  • 6 0
 I believe the core crew are all some variety of editor, while MF, KB, et al are contributors, and may well carry on in those roles. I took Kristen and her husband on their first ever shuttle ride, when they were the IMBA Ambassadors, where we promptly got stuck out in a blizzard. Pretty sure she wrote about it in the mag.
  • 6 0
 I always read it last, like dessert lol Took tremendous willpower to not go right to it.
  • 10 0
 Good news! Generous of Pinkbike to report this. Hopefully you can all still be friends Smile
  • 9 0
 What a world we live in where we drop up to $10k on a bike, but can't spend $5 on a mag to preserve the culture...
  • 8 2
 buying a magazine isnt what keeps mtbing culture alive. Trail maintenance, advocacy and building does
  • 7 0
 @getsomesy: Both could help, no?
  • 2 6
flag getsomesy (Nov 18, 2020 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 @hllclmbr: how is buying a magazine gonna help the sport ( not the industry )
  • 11 0
 @getsomesy: Mags, videos, and other media give the community a common set of touchpoints, which is a critical part of a shared culture. Basically, they help people feel like they're a part of something that matters. If we're talking about your local scene then I'm mostly in agreement, but scene =/= culture.

If anyone doubts the impact a mag can have on a culture, ask a skateboarder what Thrasher means to them. Or just read the comments here and see what Bike Mag still means to a lot of mountain bikers.
  • 6 0
 Congrats to those guys, looking forward to the new venture. I also hope we haven’t heard the last on mountain biking from Kristin Butcher and Mike Ferrentino. One of the last “Butcher Paper” columns, “to all the newbs I’ve loved before” was a brilliant take on all the COVID riders, and definitely made me rethink my attitude toward new riders.
  • 8 0
 Great to hear, hope butcher wind up somewhere, like pinkbike ...
  • 6 0
 Fingers crossed, that would be amazing. If Butcher Paper shows up here it will be hands down my favorite PB feature.
  • 4 0
 Awesome! I was crushed to hear about Bike Mag's shuttering this fall as I ve been a reader and subscriber for nigh on 20 years; consider me Subscriber #00001 to the new mag. Love that crew! Rock on and best of luck to Nicole, Travis, Ryan and Anthony!
  • 4 0
 I subscribed to Freehub, Bike and Dirtrag. 2/3 are now gone. Will definitely subscribe to this new venture. Always a great feeling coming home from a dumb day at work to a new bike magazine awaiting me in the mailbox.
  • 3 0
 I remember so many days spent poring over photos of crazy North Shore ladders, and gear reviews in Bike. I'll be looking forward to whatever comes next. As much as I'm a sucker for the internet bike news, I still really appreciate print, and I just hope they can find a way to make their next venture relevant...and I hope it has the feel of early bike if it's going to have the feel of anything.
  • 7 0
 BUTCHER PAPER BUTCHER PAPER BUTCHER PAPER
  • 3 0
 Why is it that everything that falls apart only to be put back together has to be called Phoenix in one way or another? As a team of writers, I would think they could be more creative. Anyway, I miss the youtube videos and the magazine. I wish them luck.
  • 5 0
 If they can have the same print quality as Freehub and Mountain Flyer magazine I'm in!
  • 2 0
 I’ve been Mountain biking for over 20 years & have bought every issue & still have them each mtb magazine has its own style Bike is like the heart & soul of mtbing I was so bummed to see it end truth is no one reads anymore sad I sit on my break at work outside reading laughing crying knowing exactly what was meant through experiences I don’t see anybody reading under 50 culture has changed people look at me curiously when reading I could stare at a screen & get the same info but it’s not the same companies just don’t get it anymore. I think everyone saw it coming when the # of publications went down The staff often feel like people we know or could hang out with & to achieve this through a magazine should be worth its weight in gold to the right company I wish all staff from Bike well & will pick up wherever they start up again sometimes change in life works out for the better & I think this will be the case Thanks for the years of enjoyment & see ya soon my friends
  • 4 0
 For someone who says they read a lot, you sure don’t punctuate.
  • 1 1
 @TypicalCanadian: Look Punktuations!!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 I expected a some of them to start at pink bike. Bike mag seemed a little more serious but pink bike has the market these days. It could be a good fit. Bikes Rule!
  • 3 0
 Can I get a complimentary subscription for this instead of 'Men's Health', or whatever BS 'target my inner testosterone' magazine Bike rolled subscribers into?
  • 2 0
 Got to admit part of me was hoping Palmer would be at PB so Levy would have someone to bond with over short travel bikes with steep head angles. Happy the bike crew has a new venture though.
  • 4 0
 Bring back Mike Ferrentino too! Good, honest opinions from that guy, always!
  • 3 0
 I'd like to see the entire crew back, honestly.
  • 1 0
 I never actually read Bike Mag (don't recall seeing it on British shop shelves), but my word, do I LOVE Bible of Bike Tests! Somehow, those guys made me almost ignore how pricey their test machines were, & just focus on the coolness & aspirational nature of riding high-end bikes! Pinkbike maybe manage that trick, too, but Bike Mag were/are the best at it!!
Chuffed to hear these guys are coming back!
  • 2 0
 BIKE mag had always maintained that low key look and approach, even back in the day when some other mags were screaming flashy neon on their cover and every other pages. I’ll miss BIKE mag.
  • 5 0
 Looking forward to this.
  • 4 0
 Yes satchel. Put the man in charge and sign me up
  • 2 1
 WCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC repping
  • 3 0
 I'm assuming my 2 year subscription isn't transferring to this new venture?
  • 7 0
 I just got a postcard in the mail saying the old Bike subscription transfers to Men's Journal. I'm not sure who thought that was a good idea, but you can also request a refund.
  • 11 1
 @stevemokan: I called to get my refund and the nice Indian woman says my $2.25 check will arrive in the mail...then offered me a special discount on National Enquirer for only $39.99. . . How could I resist, I need to keep up with who’s gay and who’s princess Dianas secret love child with OJ...
  • 5 0
 @stevemokan: I'm going for refund. I laughed out loud at the cards I got from BIKE and Powder with that offer for Men's Journal.
  • 1 0
 Alas, my print subscription was always problematic. Maybe mail service to Canada?

Hopefully the future will be Grimy.
  • 1 1
 phoenix b.c it rising from the ashes. CLEVER. sponsored by PIVOT. might as well get in the e-bike game at the ground level. im sure the big mfgs will pay big bucks to positively associate their artsy cultural vibe with EBIKELYFE. not hating. gotta put food on the table.
  • 3 0
 Where are the rest of the Bikemag crew landing, such as Lydia Tanner, or ManBun?
  • 1 0
 Focus 99% on the long-form storytelling please BIKE folks! A whole site dedicated to MTB stories and opinion articles would fill a gap in the market. Gear reviews etc are pretty saturated.
  • 1 0
 FANTASTIC! Freehub and Mountain Flyer are good magazines, but BIKE always had more tech and product reviews which I enjoyed.

And LOL @ "The Phoenix Project"....what a great MacGuyver ode.
  • 3 0
 Congratulations to that team! Best of luck with the new outfit.
  • 3 0
 I will support this in an any possible. Sign me up!
  • 3 0
 Ah I hoped it was going to be a recreation of Dirt mag
  • 1 0
 Yessss!! So stoked to see this group remaining in the industry. Really looking forward to seeing the awesome projects these guys have up their sleeve
  • 2 0
 I bought spec enduro because Palmer said it was great. I cannot even ride it. It rides me.
  • 1 0
 This is awesome. Hopefully this fall's Bible of Bike tests will find its way into this new media venture for the crew at Bike.
  • 1 0
 Best of luck to these guys and gals!

And another vote to include Ferrentino. Best mtb column ever: The Never-Ending Gift of Shit!
  • 3 0
 So great to hear!
  • 3 0
 Such good news!
  • 2 0
 Gta have the posters inside the mag for kids to put on the walls!
  • 1 1
 I thought for sure one of those recently posted Pinkbike gigs was designed specifically for Ryan Palmer. Guess not!

Glad they’re able to get the band back together.
  • 1 0
 cool, happy to see a good crew land on their feet somewhere else. Look forward to what they do.
  • 2 0
 Would love it if Dirt Magazine came back with the recent bike boom.
  • 1 0
 Cool the travel mag part of Bike was unique, hope this works out and looking forward to it.
  • 1 0
 Hey BIKE, thanks for taking my money recently for a digital subscription knowing you were pulling the plug.
  • 1 0
 Word: support PB (imagine for a second no PB).
P.S. not sure about @Dolores
Peace
  • 2 0
 Great news!
  • 2 0
 Sign me up!
  • 1 0
 This is some good news, hope it happens.
  • 1 0
 I always powered a can of beer with these kids and the SOC.
  • 2 0
 Ferrentino PB 2021
  • 1 0
 I want the Bible of Bike back!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Bring back Chopper.
  • 1 0
 Great news.
  • 1 0
 I hate videos
  • 1 0
 Good news!
  • 1 0
 So rad!
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