New cycling magazine Simpson launches this week

Creators say magazine's tone “will be like chatting to your fellow cyclists while you’re out on a ride.”

by Simon_MacMichael   February 27, 2013  

Simpson magazine Issue 1

This Friday 1 March sees the launch at London cycling café Look Mum No Hands of a new magazine, Simpson, focused on British cycling and which its creators say “will be like chatting to your fellow cyclists while you’re out on a ride.”

The first issue, costing £6, will go on sale from Monday 4 March initially only through the Simpson website, and includes a fan’s perspective of being in Paris for the last day of the 2012 Tour de France – an historic day for the country’s cycling as Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour, with Mark Cavendish also taking the stage win while wearing the rainbow jersey.

It is, of course, the only other British male pro to have won that coveted garment on the road, Tom Simpson, who gives the magazine its title. “It was Simpson’s spirit and style, his legendary tenacity and his ability to suffer that endeared him to cycling fans everywhere as much as the trophies he won,” say the magazine’s creators.

“If this magazine comes to be regarded with anything like the fondness and respect still reserved for Tom Simpson more than 35 years after his death on Mont Ventoux, it will have achieved its aim,” they add.

Simpson promises to stand out from other cycling magazines, saying that it “won’t be a glorified product catalogue for unaffordable carbon dream machines.

“Here at Simpson, we’d rather be out cycling than drooling over bikes we will never ride - we hope to inspire you to feel the same way.

“If we recommend a product, it will be because 
we use it and love it, not because someone you don’t know wants us to market it to you. Simpson will be flannel-free; it will tell it like it is.”

The fact the magazine is entering a crowded marketplace and also at a time when online is competing with print isn’t lost on Simpson’s founder and creative director, Terry Hawes.

“Some people might feel this is an odd time to launch a print magazine when so many are struggling to survive,” he acknowledges.

“All I can say is that sometimes you have no choice about these things. I felt an irresistible urge to create the sort of cycling magazine I knew I’d read so I just went with that instinct. This magazine needed to exist. Sometimes it’s just best to go with your heart.”

You can keep up to date with news of the magazine through its website, which includes a rundown of the contents of Issue 1, its Facebook page, and a Twitter feed.

37 user comments

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Quote:
“It was Simpson’s spirit and style, his legendary tenacity and his ability to suffer that endeared him to cycling fans everywhere as much as the trophies he won

while dosed up on amphetamines and alcohol (to finish the sentence).

I'm going to launch a magazine called "Armstrong" with the same description.
It'll be a winner. Wink

posted by crazy-legs [486 posts]
27th February 2013 - 15:17

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Agree with Chris James.

What a load of pretentious crap. It'll only be read by the plonkers in cycling caps that go to Look Mum No Hands.

And £6?! I think I'll stick to "talking to my fellow cyclists while I'm out on a ride".

posted by TheSpaniard [42 posts]
27th February 2013 - 15:19

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I hope the articles in the mag are a bit more gripping than the one on the website about how t-shirts are made. Yawn

posted by chris75018 [94 posts]
27th February 2013 - 15:40

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six quid, 'ang about!

posted by james mckay [15 posts]
27th February 2013 - 16:43

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Gosh, awful lot of negativity for something that no one has read yet. I'll get the first issue and see what it's like.…

posted by Hicksdesign [9 posts]
27th February 2013 - 16:50

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I'll definitely be buying this.

And by buying it, I mean reading it when I'm in the supermarket and putting it back on the shelf unless there is a decent freebie on the front.

posted by farrell [1308 posts]
27th February 2013 - 16:58

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One for the Rapha boys this one i think.
I think ill stick to reading http://www.spincyclemag.com/ for free.

posted by Some Fella [722 posts]
27th February 2013 - 17:05

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...so it'll be like Cyclist mag (which is ace, methinks) but only about the UK. So lots of photos of rides including busy, crap roads and 'climbs' that last about 10 minutes. And no tech stuff. And possibly as impenetrable as Rouler. Possibly printed on nice paper like The Ride, but without the keepsake-ish-ness.

Wait, it's just for the coffee tables at Look Mum No Hands et al? Ah. Gotcha.

(and like the chats I have on my rides? you mean full of politics, finance, teenager-mismanaging, how the LBS recommended the wrong tyres, etc? wow.)

They should put the first issue online for free as a sample. If I cannae flick through it on a newsstand it has no chance.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
27th February 2013 - 17:10

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My mid ride conversations generally revolve around uni, how much work we have, how we really shouldn't be out with imminent deadlines etc. But then again, riding with a university club does slightly skew my view on this :-P

posted by pdows47 [103 posts]
27th February 2013 - 17:47

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Time to reveal myself as Simpson's deputy editor. Thanks for the article, Simon, and for your comments, everyone. Hicksdesign, you're my new best friend Smile Farrell, you won't find Simpson in supermarkets cos we've funded it ourselves and thus have the smallest print run in the history of publishing. We're working on our distribution network now - think bike shops, cafes clubs etc rather than WH Smith - but the first issue will only be available from the website or by coming along to the really-not-all-that-pretentious LMNH on Friday. (Actually I think it'll also be available in Condor Cycles too). Hope to see some of you there. If you make it, come and say hello. I'll be the tall bald bloke wearing a Simpson T-shirt.

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
27th February 2013 - 17:51

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Martin Thomas, I wish you luck with this venture and hope there is a niche for your mag. We have a magazine called 'Peloton' here in the States, which sits somewhere between Bicycling and Rouleur, amybe your mag can be the UK equivalent.
One thing though... that name! Why name the magazine after a rider who was a liar and a cheat? (I'm a Brit BTW so this isn't sour grapes from a Yank about LieStrong).

posted by pwake [280 posts]
27th February 2013 - 19:19

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Thanks for the good wishes pwake - I'm sure I've seen Peloton on the newsstands over here...maybe it's a Comag thing? I'll check it out properly the next time I see it.

Re the name: much as I hate to pass the buck on such a fundamental question, you'd need to ask Terry (whose brainchild this is) but I don't think that's primarily what Simpson is remembered for. And hey, if we were to strike from history all the cycling heroes of the 20th century who were lying and cheating because of drug use, who would we be left with?

Alternative answer: we are inveterate liars, cheats and drug-takers. Somehow the legend of Tom Simpson really spoke to us. Smile

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
27th February 2013 - 19:57

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Peloton is sold in WH Smith.

Also available on sub - in fact I'm pretty sure my print and online package is less than my sub to electronic only version of a certain UK professional cycling magazine Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7927 posts]
27th February 2013 - 20:07

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Martin Thomas wrote:
Time to reveal myself as Simpson's deputy editor. Thanks for the article, Simon, and for your comments, everyone. Hicksdesign, you're my new best friend Smile Farrell, you won't find Simpson in supermarkets cos we've funded it ourselves and thus have the smallest print run in the history of publishing. We're working on our distribution network now - think bike shops, cafes clubs etc rather than WH Smith - but the first issue will only be available from the website or by coming along to the really-not-all-that-pretentious LMNH on Friday. (Actually I think it'll also be available in Condor Cycles too). Hope to see some of you there. If you make it, come and say hello. I'll be the tall bald bloke wearing a Simpson T-shirt.

Haha - Chapeau Martin. Hopefully, there will be a few red faced people out there following what I deem to be their prejudiced remarks (but who doesn't have prejudiced thoughts running through their head). The site looks good. I think the look appears to be appealing to gentrified cyclist and to that extent probably those that wear Rapha and/or ride a fixie.

There are a number of new magazines which have angled away from the mainstream magazines which do nothing but print training guides 'For your first 100!' and 'Bikes for less than 1k', which I think do nothing to progress cycling.

I do however like the new 'Cyclist' magazine. Though I wish they had more extensive information on their continental rides. Or information about epic UK riding areas.

Anyway I wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing your magazine around.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1086 posts]
27th February 2013 - 20:09

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I bought the new mag 'Urban Cyclist' first edition, being a fixed week nut I looked forward to the issue two. I paid £4,50 for the first issue but when I found the issue two was £6.00. my interest waned on the spot. The point made about mags being filled with nothing but stuff we can't afford hits the spot, but I love pressing my nose up to the shop window, as I did as a kid wondering what I could afford next with my paper delivery money.

antonio

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posted by antonio [937 posts]
27th February 2013 - 20:51

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My sentiments exactly crazy-legs!

Beat me to it.

TurboJoe

posted by TurboJoe [53 posts]
27th February 2013 - 21:11

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Oh dear,another magazine to read and hopefully not subscribe too, procycling, rouler and cyclist on subscription ! Oh and there is cyling weekly from the news stands. Good grief, is there a clinic I could subscribe to or should that be check into. Also there is the small matter of actually riding the bike from time to time! Anyway, I wish the new magazine well.

posted by onlyonediane [159 posts]
27th February 2013 - 22:27

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The best non-BS magazine I've come across is Bicycle Quarterly - http://www.bikequarterly.com/about_BQ.html

Ok, there is some retro/vintage stuff there that may put off some carbon-brainwashed 23mm folks but there are also many tech articles about rolling resistance, effect of bicycle weight on performance etc.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [172 posts]
27th February 2013 - 22:33

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So you named it after a drug cheat, good luck with that Thinking

posted by TheDoctor [70 posts]
27th February 2013 - 23:09

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Thanks onlyonediane & Colin. I appreciate the kind wishes.

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
28th February 2013 - 0:11

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Good luck Martin, launching new magazines is a helluva ride. If you can find your niche and cover your costs, you'll be doing well.

My advice would be too have an online or app version in development as a backup (if you haven't done so already).

I shall buy a copy from the website.

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posted by nostromo [65 posts]
28th February 2013 - 8:44

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Sounds spiffing to me. Plus I'm a Nottingham racing lad in my youth, so Simpson's grand. I wish I could come along to LMNH but I'm on way to City Cross.

It's so terribly easy to knock things. And so very very hard to create things and see them to fruition. Even if I didn't like your mag I'd always respect that.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

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posted by aslongasicycle [291 posts]
28th February 2013 - 9:56

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Thanks nostromo & aslongasicycle - online/app version had crossed our minds. If only we didn't have the pesky day jobs...

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
28th February 2013 - 10:17

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First thing which came my mind by the word "Simpson", was that small GDR motorcycle, which by law was allowed to go 50 mph within Germany. Surprise So good luck selling your mag to the Germans.

Cycling has become a kind of life style, a part what I consider the Retro style, the non-digital-existence. These days we depend on chips, computers etc. Cycling, analog photography can do without these things. (My bike runs on chocolate, cookies and Kettle chips) Big Grin

So what we get as result are stylish mags which can take on the better car mags in respect to quality of pictures and text. Nothing wrong with that. Style seems to be connected to pricey, upper market approach. Well, upper market has more budget to run ads, so products featured will be to certain percentage also upper market. Still there is nothing stoping us from buying something different: http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/06/60-years-queen-elly-ii-kind...

Ok, I shall stop here and wait till I got my Simpson issue (from Condor) on my desk.

Regards,

Dr. Ko

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
28th February 2013 - 10:28

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Chris James wrote:
'the launch at London cycling café Look Mum No Hands'

That and the title of the mag says all I need to know.

Are you suggesting it might be twatwaffle? Thinking

“will be like chatting to your fellow cyclists while you’re out on a ride.”

There's a good reason I ride on my own.

posted by David French [49 posts]
28th February 2013 - 10:36

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Martin Thomas wrote:
Thanks nostromo & aslongasicycle - online/app version had crossed our minds. If only we didn't have the pesky day jobs...

But if you're creating the mag in InDesign, say, then you can export to something like Yudu for free. Alternatively, ask your designer to crate pages in layers and then export to HTML5.

Just saying like ....

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posted by nostromo [65 posts]
28th February 2013 - 10:44

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Best of luck with the venture: nothing but respect for people who give stuff a go.

As others have said I'm not sure that naming it after a cyclist who died in a fug of amphetamines is quite the right way to go, but in fairness it would be difficult to find another cyclist from the pre-Boardman era who the English cycling market have ever heard of.

I really must get to LMNH one day, it's only 10 mins from my office...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [753 posts]
28th February 2013 - 10:52

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Did you get permission from Tom Simpson's family or estate to use his name? Even if you did, I personally have a problem with people promoting commercial ventures using the names of deceased celebrities (or, with CGI, their faces, as in the new advert in which Audrey Hepburn flogs cheap and nasty chocolate bars from beyond the grave.) For all we know, Tom Simpson might have thought this magazine was a terrible idea.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
28th February 2013 - 12:52

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+1 for the guys at Spincycle - issue 2 out now for nowt!

posted by big shug [40 posts]
28th February 2013 - 14:27

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nostromo wrote:
Martin Thomas wrote:
Thanks nostromo & aslongasicycle - online/app version had crossed our minds. If only we didn't have the pesky day jobs...

But if you're creating the mag in InDesign, say, then you can export to something like Yudu for free. Alternatively, ask your designer to crate pages in layers and then export to HTML5.

Just saying like ....

If you want a magazine that looks like it has been shrunk for iOS then great. Or, redesign for the different medium. Personally think reading magazines on a phone is a complete and utter waste of time.

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posted by daysofspeed [10 posts]
11th March 2013 - 12:03

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