When I started mountain biking back in 1990, the bikes were very basic. Suspension forks were rare and simple, clipless pedals were just launching, there was never a thought of tubeless tyres, rear suspension or hydraulic disc brakes. In 25 years the changes in mountain bikes are remarkable. – Sean Badenhorst, Editor
The last few years have seen some really exciting changes as the bigger bike brands began to hire pure engineers (not bike geeks), who don’t let certain things, like traditions, become boundaries and find new ways to make bikes and parts better.
Also in 1990, I began a three-year journalism diploma. We learned how to type on typewriters and how to make notes with shorthand in pencil on (paper) notepads. We had access to computers, but they weren’t all that common back then. The Internet wasn’t around yet and mobile phones were also a couple of years away.
Print media was powerful. Newspapers and magazines were essential in delivering news, disseminating indepth information and offering inspiration.
Fast-forward a quarter of a century and the world is a very different place. We consume our media anywhere we want to using our phones, tablets and laptops… And we can create our own media with social media posts, using words, photos and video.
When we launched TREAD magazine in March 2009, mountain biking in South Africa was hungry for a dedicated mountain bike-only magazine that focussed on locally relevant content – where to ride, what to ride, who’s riding, why we ride…
In the past seven years, media, both locally and internationally, has developed into being primarily online based. The ability to create content and share it widely is now possible for anyone with a smartphone and a social media profile…
About a year ago we started looking at how we’d manage this at TREAD. We realised that while there were still a good many buying our magazine, there was a younger generation moving into our target market that doesn’t read magazines, but consumes his/her media digitally.
Creating compelling, authoritative media content that’s relevant to South African mountain bikers is what we do. Issue 40, this one, is the last edition of TREAD’s current format. From now on, we’ll be creating special edition printed magazines, focussing on themes such as trails, races, bikes and gear and spending the rest of our time building our website into a place South African mountain bikers get their daily information and inspiration.
The world has changed significantly in the last 25 years, especially in the last seven years. What hasn’t changed is how riding mountain bikes make us happy. And that’s what drives us at TREAD. Every. Single. Day.
Change is good. Let’s embrace it. See you on the trails…