Outside's top 10 bicycling blogs
Outside's top 10 bicycling blogs

The Top 10 Biking Blogs

The best sites for expert race commentary, gear reviews, and bike porn

Outside's top 10 bicycling blogs

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These are my picks of the best blogs for cyclists. Before you get your chamois in a knot over all the killer pages I neglected and start sending hate mail about how out of touch I am, let me say this: These picks are personal, somewhat arbitrary, and based on the frequency I visit the blogs and the regularity that I ride away with something useful. There are tons of great sites out there that provide detailed, ongoing bike news and coverage (e.g. CyclingNews, Velo News, PinkBike, etc.). These aren’t them. What I look for in a blog is analysis and opinion beyond the headlines and quirky bits that make me scratch my head or laugh out loud. These sites do that, so go check them out. And if you still feel like I missed the mark, bring on the hate mail—just make it informative (i.e. suggestions welcome) or at least scathing enough to give me a good chuckle.

10. Rapha Blog
9. Bike Snob NYC (Tie)
9. Boulder Report (Tie)
8. Vital MTB
7. The Inner Ring
6. BikeHacks
5. Fat Cyclist
4. Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling
3. Rouleur Magazine Blog
2. Adventure Journal
1. Red Kite Prayer

10. Rapha Blog

The most stylish site on our list

Rapha Blog
Rapha Blog (Courtesy of Rapha)

Good for: Cyclists who first and foremost consider riding a statement—fashion and otherwise.

Written by: A handful of the Rapha lads.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of pulling on a merino jersey by Rapha, you may not know just how plush, well made, and gorgeously detailed they are. The thing is, the company does blog posts every bit as good, with soulful stories and odd tidbits about races and events and cyclists. What we like most, however, is the Survey page, which features pro-caliber shots of cyclists with style from around the globe.

Sample post: From The Ticket to Ride, in which the author quotes H.G. Wells en route to waxing lyrical about the etiquette of being a cyclist:

Even if you’re not carrying tools or a spare tube at least pretened to offer to stop for a troubled or punctured rider. It’s about manners really, and whilst your 11 speed groupset costs most of X amount of wages, the camaraderie and respect you get from showing your ticket costs less than 80psi. …

Read more at Rapha Blog

9. Tie—Bike Snob NYC

Long-winded, passionate rants on all things two-wheeled

Bike Snob NYC
Bike Snob NYC (Courtesy of Bike Snob NYC)

Good for: Those who aren’t interested in the latest BB standard, believe doping cyclists doth protest too much, and feel that most bike media takes itself too seriously.

Written by: Eben Weiss, ex-bike messenger, one-time publishing agent, and (by his own account) still a terrible amateur racer.

Exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) stream-of-consciousness rants and critiques of cycling news, culture, and esoterica served with a healthy dose of derision.

Sample post: Midway through a recent post, the Bike Snob took aim (again) at fixie culture videos, which he considers tedious and played-out. (He has a point.)

Speaking of adventure-seekers, can you believe people still make fixed-gear videos? Well, they do, though increasingly you have to go beyond the United States to find them. Here’s one that was forwarded to me by a reader in Olso, Norway…

Amazingly, this is merely Part I of a four-video series, and it sets up a number of compelling questions that will presumably be answered in final installment, including:

–Will they keep skidding for no reason?
–Will the guy in the flannel get a cool new hat?

–Will they figure out that this whole Mash-a-frama fad is so dorky it makes this guy on roller-skis look edgy by comparison? …

Read more at Bike Snob NYC

9. Tie—Boulder Report

Cycling news with knowledgeable commentary

Boulder Report
Boulder Report (Screenshot from Bicycling.com)

Written By: Veteran cycling journalist Joe Lindsey.

Good For: The bigger stories behind pro cycling’s breaking news.

There are very few journalists with Joe Lindsey’s knowledge of the peloton. If you follow pro cycling, this should be your main stop for analysis of the latest news. What does Alberto Contador’s witness list tell you about his positive test result for clenbuterol? Why is Iran being talked about as a hotbed for new cycling talent? Why should you care whether Mark Cavendish has finally signed with Sky? Lindsey tackles these questions and others in well-reported posts that feature plenty of context—on everything from backroom business deals to rare anecdotes about the athletes.

Sample Post: Lindsey has some fun breaking down the UCI’s coming appeal in the Alberto Contador clenbuterol case.

After more delays than a congressional debt panel, the UCI’s appeal of the Alberto Contador case will finally get under way next week in a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (barring any last-minute postponements, of which there have already been two).

Contador appears to be set to continue his argument that his clenbuterol positive was a case of inadvertent contamination from eating meat from a cow that had been given the drug.

The tactics of WADA, which will argue for a ban, are not entirely known. But a detailed discussion of Contador’s witness list that appeared this weekend in the Spanish daily El Pais gives a hint that he’s not leaving much territory uncovered.

Read more at Boulder Report

8. Vital MTB

The best site for all biking dirt

Vital MTB
Vital MTB (Courtesy of Vital MTB)

Good for: Dirt fiends looking for race coverage, rider interviews, multimedia gear reviews, and, most importantly, all the greatest mountain bike clips.

Written by: Founder Brad McDonald hails from a BMX and motocross background, with a long stint at Transworld Media prior to the launch of the Vital Media Network in 2006. Eight staff members produce the company’s three websites.

Okay, it’s a website, but the multiple daily updates makes it read more like a blog. From an iPhone Q&A with DH World Champ Aaron Gwin (his power animal is the penguin, btw) to an acoustic guitar-accompanied video review of the Easton Haven wheelset, this is largely fresh, video-driven mountain bike content. Fun-haters who don’t appreciate footage of pros screaming down rugged DH courses need not log on.

Sample post: In “Downhill Mountain Bike Legos?” Vital MTB documents one man’s quest to get the iconic toymaker to bring DH mountain biking to their stable of products.

Read more at Vital MTB

7. The Inner Ring

An earnest take on racing and gear

The Inner Ring
The Inner Ring (Courtesy of INRNG)

Good for: Anyone seeking not only a fair round-up of news about pro cycling and the bike industry, but also balanced analysis of it that’s not influenced by advertising.

Written by: According to the author: “I do the blog anonymously just to help separate cycling from the day job.”

From predicting who would win the World Championships (wrong choice, incidentally, of Peter Sagan) to pointing out the inherent self-serving nature of Specialized’s new carbon recycling program, INRNG isn’t afraid to express some opinion. And for the most part, it’s well thought out stuff, as are the reader comments, which seem imminently more intelligent and polite than on many other cycling sites. Great commentary on stories that otherwise might get lost.

Sample post: In “Longo’s Escape Loophole,” INRNG does a nice job of explaining how the greatest female of all time managed to escape a ban for doping on a technicality stemming from jurisdictional issues between the governing bodies involved.

Read more at The Inner Ring

6. BikeHacks

The blog for commuting advice

BikeHacks (Courtesy of BikeHacks)

Good for: Commuters looking to ditch their combustion engine for two wheels and seeking advice on the practicalities of riding for both utility and diversion.

Written by: A trio of cyclists from the coasts, the first who just traded bike commuting in NYC for Boston and the other two who ride daily in Portland (“rain or shine”).

Think ReadyMade for the utility bike crowd. Find an easy trick for extending a rear fender (answer: a Gatorade bottle), improve your highway visibility by installing automotive LEDs, and rig up a bike carrier for just about anything (including surfboards and fishing poles). Good, practical tips and tricks for making your life on a bike easier.

Sample post: It’s not all just good advice; BikeHacks also have some great anti-car, pro-bike propaganda. “10 Bike Graphics” offers a smart assortment of T-shirts: “Bikes Kill” (complete with machine gun graphic and stats on auto accidents), “BILF” (pictured on an appropriately beddable young lady), and “Behind bars for life” (with accompanying graphic of road handlebars).

Read more at Bike Hacks

5. Fat Cyclist

Dispatches from an everyday cyclist

Fat Cyclist
Fat Cyclist (Courtesy of Fat Cyclist)

Good for: Anyone who prefers down-to-earth musings and misadventures of an average schmo rider instead of the usual snoot of top riders or journalists.

Written by: Elden Nelson, an average cyclist who captured reader’s interest first with humorous posts about weight loss and riding and then with reflections about his late-wife’s battle with cancer.

Fat Cyclist won a lot of readers with touching entries full of humor, grace, and honesty when his wife, Susan, was battling cancer. He uses the platform to raise money for LiveStrong and other cancer foundations. Hardly a downer of a read, though, FC lampoons just about everything in the cycling world (himself included).

Sample post: On his review of DZNuts Chamois Cream, Fatty takes aim (in part) at the packaging instructions:

Drop your shorts to your ankles, or remove completely from body. Does anyone else’s Fight or Flight reflex kick in when a man with a pornstar mustache and a tube of lubricant instructs you to drop your shorts to your ankles. I’m panicking here. …

Read more at Fat Cyclist

4. Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling

The dirtiest bike blog you’ll find

Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling
Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling (Courtesy of Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling)

Mario Cipollini

Mario Cipollini There are lots of shots like this

Good for: The ladies, and anyone else who finds tight kits and shaven legs appealing.

Written by: Hard to know. Wouldn’t you shield your identity?

In their own words, “Objectifying the hottest men in the peloton for your amusement and titillation. We’re open to suggestions, so please send us the name of the spandex-clad man you most enjoy getting a 40KPH eyeful of…ladies.” They also add lots of photos, like the one of Mario Cipollini below.

Mario Cipollini
There are lots of shots like this (Screenshot of Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling)

Sample post: From “BDIPC’s Road Racing World Championships of Bangability 2011.

We’d like to say we regret announcing we lack jerseys to award, but doesn’t giving our Most Bangable Pros of 2011 more clothing feel counterintuitive? So we’ve subbed in big silver trophies filled with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. We trust our Dudes will know exactly what to do with that. …

Read more at Bangable Dudes in Pro Cycling

3. Rouleur Magazine Blog

A look inside the racing life

Rouleur Magazine Blog
Rouleur Magazine Blog (Courtesy of Rouleur)

Good for: Roadies after more than just another play-by-play race report.

Written by: Weekly posts are supplied by magazine staffers and contributors as well as a steady stream of guest bloggers, most of whom are both avid racers and pretty darn good writers to boot.

Rouleur, the bi-monthly cycling journal, brings more of its incisive prose and big-format imagery to the web with reports and essays that capture a vivid sense of the motivation, thrill, and suffering of racing a bike.

Sample Post: “Viva La Vuelta,” by Garmin-Cervélo racer Christian Vande Velde, gives nice insight into the third grand tour of the season.

Ambition is the key word here. There are Spaniards whose likeness will be cast in bronze in their respective villages after any sort of breakaway (doomed or otherwise), stage win or halfway decent performance. There are riders without contracts for the following year killing themselves to get into breaks, others who need to turn around a horrible season. And, of course, the guys trying to prepare for the world championships … All of this gives the race a unique feeling of opportunity. …

Read more at Rouleur Magazine Blog

2. Adventure Journal

Images to inspire and gear reviews for practical shopping

Adventure Journal
Adventure Journal (Courtesy of Adventure Journal)

Good for: Those interested in another sort of bike porn: a bike worth ogling every single day.

Written by: Bike magazine founding editor Steve Casimiro and a cadre of other big names in the outdoors.

Adventure Journal covers all manner of outdoor topics, from skiing and surfing down to environmental issues. But our favorite feature of the site is The Daily Bike, which features anything from hard-to-find custom track bikes to historic shots (think Audrey Hepburn aboard her Schwinn). Good eye candy, often with a nice vignette go along with it.

Sample post: From The Daily Bike, July 11, 2011.

The idea is bloody genius. Public bike workstations aren’t completely uncommon, but stations that are attended by a vending machine filled with bike parts, tubes, patch kits, energy bars, and drinks? There’s only one. …

Read more at Adventure Journal

1. Red Kite Prayer

The number one bike blog on our list

Red Kite Prayer
Red Kite Prayer (Courtesy of Red Kite Prayer)

Good for: Anyone after commentary and analysis of the best in the bike world—minus sarcasm.

Written by: A cozy group of bike industry insiders, ex-racers, and cycling journalists. RKP just added Charles Pelkey, whose popular The Explainer column was a recent casualty of the staffing musical chairs at Velonews.

Essays, reviews, and training advice focused on the positive things in the sport. “There are plenty of haters and cycling has more than enough to comment on that is worthwhile and upbeat,” writes RKP founder Padraig.

Sample post: “By Accident,” longtime contributor Robot’s poignant meditation on a run-in with a motorist.

I got hit by a car and learned how large my ego had become, learned that, more than anything, I was in my own way, and that the best way to get where I wanted to go, i.e. everywhere, was to let myself be small and let the world be big. …

Read more at Red Kite Prayer

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