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Which is the best Australian MTB magazine to buy???

Littswood's picture

By Littswood - Posted on 10 March 2010

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Just getting into MTB

Which MTB magazine do you guys think is the best read?

[Mod: moved to Australian forum]

Fankles's picture

AMB of course .... Eye-wink

jpack's picture

AMB is by far the best. I have read others, but they don't come close and are far less professional

Matt P's picture

To find out about anything in the MTB world, I would advise going for either a US or UK Mag (eg: MBAction or MBUK).

If you want to find Oz related articles, then Revolution can be quite good however it only seems to be issued every few months.

I stopped my AMB subscription after a few months as I found the number of articles too few, the general quality of the editorial was average at best and the articles were simply too old compared to the overseas mags or internet.

MBA = my perception after buying a couple of issues is that its for those into serious XC. This hasn't changed after flicking through copies in the newsagents.

hawkeye's picture

Depends on what sectors of mtb you're interested in. If DH/Freeride is your thing, AMB caters really well.

I find the AMB product reviews tend to be akin to "advertorials" - fairly uncritical, aim is to promote the product and keep the advertisers happy. That said, I find their periodic tyre shoot-out reviews and ratings very handy.

I prefer Mountain Bike Australia. They call it as they see it. I remember a review of some Crank Bros cranks that kept failing. Rather than not report on it, they called it as they saw it. The distributor stopped bringing the unit in, whihc wsa noted in the article and reflected positively on the brand despite the problem with the particular part, and on the mag: they pull no punches. With other reviews, they are very up front about both the advantages and the limits of the product.

They may not be as slick in their production values as AMB, but by having a more documentary and less promotional tone their review articles carry more cred as far as I'm concerned. They are also a bit more XC/Enduro oriented. I'd say their demographic is a bit older and more mature than AMB, with a more finely tuned BS detector. Like me. Smiling

(Not saying AMB contains BS - at all - by the way. Just that the unrelentng "gee whillikers ain't this cool" tone tends to engender a degree of enthiusiasm fatigue after awhile.)

Another mag I like - a lot - is Enduro. They run some great articles on training and nutrition that dig a lot deeper than you'd expect from say MBA, which is decidedly non-technical. Sometimes Enduro's typesetting is a bit hard to get on with, but the content is top notch, especially if you are into going long. Their event coverage focus is 6/12/24hr and multi-day stage races. The race reports are awesome and make you want to go out and sign up - despite the warts'n'all coverage.

In making the above comments, I do have some magazine contribution experience, having once been a regular writer for R/C car magazines locally and in the UK, and being the only one that I know of who was paid for most of their articles.

hairylittlehobbit's picture

I've noticed the AMB never really says a bad thing about any of the bikes or products.

LadyToast's picture

I like Enduro

Morgan's picture

Your options.

Mountain Biking Australia
Comes out once every 3 months and takes a few weeks to put together, so "news" is already between say 4 weeks and 4 months old, depending on when you buy the mag.
It costs about $14 (?) in the shops, which is more than imported MONTHLY mags like MBR from the UK (although it works out at just under $5 a month I suppose)
The volume of content is the same or less than Australian Mountain Bike, which comes out twice as often (9 times per year).
Content is OK - it takes me about 2 1/2 hours to read cover to cover, including ads..

Australian Mountain Bike
Comes out every 6 weeks.
Can't remember how much it costs.
Content is OK..takes me about 3 hours to read, mainly 'coz they cram bits in (like the ticker tape stuff).
They have a crap proof reader - eg a couple of months back they ticker taped a whole load of Youtube sites to look at, and half of them were the same URL.

Revolution MTB mag? Comes out every 3 months I think; never read it.

Is Enduro an Aussie mag? Not sure, never read it.

So, basically just buy the lot which will cost you about $15 a month and you'll get about half a day's read every 3 months...

Flynny's picture

For DH Revolution is pretty good.

CLICT is also good if it ever comes out, publishing is a bit random with that one.

hairylittlehobbit's picture

Profile says Trance x3, so im guessing XC/Trail, probably a moto picture.

LadyToast's picture
Is Enduro an Aussie mag? Not sure, never read it.

About as Aussie as it gets, it's even got red racer on the front, in green.

BT's picture

As said is shocking. EVERY issue has obvoius mistakes. Last issue for instance had every reader letter titled the same. This issue the title for the Trek article (top left of page) has found its way past the end of the article and onto the next four or five pages!

I still buy it though. Smiling

christine's picture

let them know - we publish a magazine and we would certainly want to know if our proof reader wasn't on the ball - lucky for us she is anal - maybe she could apply there as well, she is a local.

I have read all of the other magazines mentioned (thanks george) and the only one I like is AMB (despite proofreading) and I have to say I find their 'how to' articles really good and have been most helpful in the past

They must be doing something right, loads of magazines are cutting back and losing readership but they have increased their releases per year up to 9...

Littswood's picture

Yes, moto (but don't hold that against me). There is a lot of cross-over between the two. You guessed right, I got the X3 for XC and trail. Just don't have any MTB photos yet.......

Rob's picture

Our friends in print won't like this, but I read lots of stuff on-line. Print is good for a road trip or flight, or for people starting out to get advice, but on-line news is pretty handy these days.

A few things I read:

Bicycle Design
Bike Hugger
NoBMoB (shock!)
Singletracks Mountain Bike Blog
Speedgoat Blog

All via RSS of course... I love Google Reader Smiling

This is stuff I happen to have stumbled across without actually searching for any specific topics. I'm sure there would be a far better list to come up with. Any suggestions?

BT's picture

I'm suscribed to this:

VC's picture

The one that has AUSTRALIAN on the front cover....'Australian Mountain Bike'
Although the proof reader may need to brush up on his skills , 'sum ov the misteaks
in the spelling are atroshus '

pikey's picture

Women's Day & Who magazine has more content that the Aussie MTB mags, I have only bought one mag this year choosing now to start reading through my 5 year back catalogue and you know what, they just keep repeating themselves, must admit how much can you go over a mountain bike and keep it original?
I don't know why the local mags never seam to do articles on local bike groups, their trails and the people in them, for example.
I also like the ads in the USA & UK mags, heap of them with prices, the stuff I like to see.
Also on the repair/mech sections of the mags I'd like to see details for mechanically minded people, actually spent 4 pages stripping down forks for example, not just no brainer issues all the time.....

Ok back to work Sad


CB's picture

In the 7 months I was off the bike, I had to commute by bus every day. Needless to say, I had to have a constant supply of reading material and basically read every mtb mag available ( at least once...) I'm 44 years old and have no real interest in DH or freeride ( or jumps / slopestyle or whatever is next ) With that in mind I found the best mags to be Enduro ( Australian) and Singletrack ( UK ) probably followed by What Mountain Bike ( UK).

I think the most obvious link between all three is that they all seem to be written by adults for adults ( or old farts as the case may be...)

I usually prefer AMB to MBA and particularly enjoy the recent dvd freebies.... 'How To...' and the World Champs at Stromlo. Less fussed about the ones with trailers for various other mtb vids. I tend to find MBA a bit flat but I agree that they are not afraid to make negative comments about products they review.

I keep trying to like Mountain Bike Action ( US) but every time I get one, I find it soporific. I also freak out when they describe a bike as having 4.35 inches of travel and weighing 28.73 pounds without pedals ( which weigh 7.3 ounces). Mind you... if they finally went metric, I would be riding a Yeti 147 instead of a 575...

There is a very interesting comparison when you look at What Mountain Bike and it's sister mag, MBUK they are very much stablemates but WMB clearly aims for more ...ah...mature riders while MBUK is for a much younger market ( so much so that i'd only get it as a last resort...too much 'sick to the power rad' language). I remember when MBUK was the only mtb mag available back in the UK. Who would have thought there would be so many to chose from now ?


hawkeye's picture

that came with recent AMB issues were indeed good. The How To was excellent, especially for skills-challenged old farts like me. More please!

Dunno if it was just my DVD player, but some of them were a bit glitchy especially around menu navigation. Played on the laptop with WMP tho', they were great. Smiling

Will keep an eye out for Singletrack. Will I enjoy it if I've never been to the UK (passing through heathrow doesn't count)? Eye-wink

CB's picture

They mostly deal with the same stuff as here, just usually a few months in advance.

The only real difference is the frequent references to riding in mud and a preoccupation with talking about the weather... usually the non existent summer...


barney's picture

The articles seem well written and it's packed with interesting content, not just adverts.

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