Too many car ads

I got my August edition of a Bicycling magazine. As soon as I open the mag, a 2 page ad about an SUV greets me. As I go through articles and such, I’m being bombarded with more car ads. So I counted them, 13 car ads total. Some of them with 2 page spreads. I find it very ironic that this is a magazine that heavily pushes the concept of having a Bike Town, yet they sell out to the automotive industry.


  1. Val

    Just another illustration of the fact that no matter how much has changed lately, the tide has not yet turned. The auto industry is one of the major economic forces in the world, and advertixing pays for magazines. If Bicycling were to ban car ads, they might gain a few readers, but they would need to replace all those ads with something equally profitable, or be bankrupt almost immediately. Only the small, independent ‘zines can afford principles. Check out Momentum ( ), The Practical Pedal ( ), and Velo Vision ( ) for true huamn powered reportage, sans petrol ads.

  2. LLrider

    I’m with you…quite stupid. However, a lot of what drives the bike industry is racing and racing teams are sponsored by a lot of automotive manufacturers(Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Jeep(Chrysler)etc.). I think the only way the vehicle advertising will stop is if they are rejected as sponsors. Then again they are not all bad as they do sponsor things like the Jeep King of the Mountain which throws biking into mainstream TV. Interesting situation I guess.

  3. Noah

    Dude, how do you expect these people to get to their group rides and bike paths? They have to have an SUV to tote their bikes!

    For real, the fact of the matter is that Bicycling is primarily a magazine for weekend recreational cyclists. Weekend roadies are typically affluent, successful people and many of them have quite a bit of bank to burn. Even at my local “beginner” ride that I try to go to on Mondays, I see no shortage of high-end bikes. Sure, some of them belong to crit racers and cyclocrossers that are using the Monday ride to recover from a hard weekend of racing, but most of the nice bikes get used once or twice a week on group rides.

    People who can afford to toss $3,000 at a road bike can usually afford to toss some hefty cash at the latest and greatest motor vehicles as well.

    Ironically, Bicycling Magazine has a target demographic that’s ripe for the auto industry picking.

  4. Ken

    I will agree with what Noah says. Where I live, bicycling seems almost like some sort of status sport now, with people driving expensive cars & SUV’s around, with expensive roof racks mounted, carrying expensive bikes like some they’re kind of trophy. Things are certainly different now from when I was a kid in the 1970’s. Bicycling was seen as strictly for kids, or as the sport of nerds.

  5. Moe (Post author)

    I also received my August issue of Mountain Bike Action. Zero ad cars.

    Although I understand that ads are a big source of revenue, I guess what irks me is that whole Bike Town thing. But I guess someone has to pay for all those free bikes…

  6. db

    Another Rodale (“Bicycling’s” parent) magazine, “Backpacker”, has the same problem. It all comes down to the biggest rule in publishing: Ads pay the bills. Subscriptions only pay for postage.

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