Rubbee

An Update on Pinkbike & Beta MTB

By now you’ve seen us run some Beta articles on the Pinkbike homepage over the past few weeks, and I want to give everyone an update.

Pinkbike and Beta MTB are one team now. Pinkbike will stay pretty much the same, while Beta will focus on print, long-form stories, and features for members. Beta stories will be included on the homepage and take you out to the Beta site, but all the usual news, racing, reviews, comments, and community-submitted content will stay free on Pinkbike. If you don’t want to see Beta articles, there’s an option to hide them in your news settings.

We’ll be using the Beta membership model to work with more of the sport’s best writers, photographers, and filmmakers. We’ve been growing the team and are working with contributors like Eliot Jackson, Kate Courtney, Mike Rose, Rebecca Rusch, Andrew Neethling, Kristin Butcher, and many more. If you’re interested in supporting the great work they do, please consider subscribing. Beta membership is half off right now, which works out to under 7 cents per day.



Why is Pinkbike changing at all?

We love the idea of working directly for the readers who support us. Some of our favorite media sites have moved to membership to decouple themselves from the perception of bias, and those changes have been largely positive.

We want to support more athletes and creators. People who sign up for Beta are helping fund projects like Pinkbike Academy, The Grim Donut, and Pinkbike Racing (though the series will be free on Pinkbike), as well as work from people like Anthony Smith, Mattias Fredriksson, Dan Milner, Justin Olsen, and many more. Hell, if people keep subscribing maybe Levy will finally move out of Karl’s basement.

But mostly, we want to get weird. We love sharing the biggest stories in mountain biking on Pinkbike, but sometimes there’s a hollowness to being driven by the tyranny of the majority—some of our favorite stories aren’t the ones that “succeed” from a numbers perspective. We’re excited to do more of them on Beta.

Ultimately we believe what we do has value. Mountain bike media is a tough game, and I want to provide for this team as it grows. If you can’t afford or don’t want to pay for membership, no worries! Pinkbike has great advertisers and partners that will allow us to keep making great free stuff too. But if you do like the content we do on Beta, we appreciate the support.


FAQ

• Will comments be paywalled? No.
• Will user submitted content on Pinkbike be paywalled? No.
• Are the Beta Tests going to be members-only? We’re merging the Beta Tests into the Field Test, so there will be a fourth Field Test now.
• Are the Field Tests going to be members-only? No, the reviews will be public but we might do the roundtable discussions for members.
• Aren’t you just going to move all your best stuff to Beta? My view is that most of our biggest and best stuff should be public. I’d rather use Beta to do stuff for the super engaged people who want more.
• What’s happening to the Beta team? Nicole, Palmer, Anthony, and Satchel are all on board and we’re hiring.
• Is the Pinkbike Racing x Cathro project going to be paywalled? Nope, the series will be free on Pinkbike. We’ll look to do some bonus stuff for members—eg. Henry wants to do a podcast from the road or something.
• Why can’t I comment on Beta articles? We’re working on getting comments for Beta articles.
• What’s happening with Beta Magazine? It’s getting bigger and better! We’ve added 40 pages, and we’re excited to do more with print.
• How do I get Beta Magazine? If you live in the USA, make sure you choose it as one of your perks when you sign up. If you live elsewhere, it’s not available yet in a hard copy but you can get the digital version here. We know that sucks and we’re working on it.

Full disclosure, we’ve got a lot to learn about membership under the Outside umbrella. I don’t have all the answers, but as a group we love mountain biking and want to be part of something that adds to it. Fundamentally, Pinkbike and Beta exist to be on the pulse of the sport in service of mountain biking’s global community. We think this model is the best way to do that, and we hope you’ll give it a chance.

Please feel free to email me your feedback, brian.park[at]pinkbike.com. I’d appreciate it if you don’t take your concerns about Pinkbike’s business decisions out on the editorial staff with jeremiads of personal attacks in the comments. They put a lot of themselves into the job and we genuinely want to do the best we can.

Cheers,
—Brian Park & the Pinkbike/Beta editorial team

PS. We’ve got a whole bunch of the team here for a few hours so if you have questions, put them in the comments and we’ll do our best!

PPS. We just signed on to a huge new feature freeride film project, so stay tuned on that. In the meantime you can download the Outside TV App to watch a ton of videos (and we’re launching a new desktop viewer in the next few days too).


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