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Cranked by Seb Rogers - 3w ago

At time of writing, Cranked #13 is a few days away from delivery. We thought it might be a good idea to try setting up a pre-order system for the new issue. We thought it’d be an even better idea to give away some of the Cranked frame decals we had left over from the London Bike Show earlier in the year, for every copy of #13 pre-ordered. Clearly, so did a fair few folk who placed their pre-orders soon after we posted the offer online.

Yay!

Except… not yay. A few subscribers, not entirely unreasonably, felt that they were being left out. “Hope subscribers are getting stickers too”, said one typical message.

Short answer: sorry, no. Slightly longer answer: we don’t have enough stickers in stock to do that and, even if we did, it’s not quite that simple.

But… we’re just talking about a few stickers, right? I mean, how hard can it be?

Here’s the full answer, for anyone who’s interested. We did actually send free stickers out with every subscriber issue when we launched Cranked #1 (at least, we did until we ran out of stickers… see the theme here?). It was relatively straightforward. Back then we handled all the packing and shipping in-house, so we (there were two of us) sat on the floor and put stickers in each copy of the mag, before packing each copy in its cardboard sleeve, sticking the address and postage labels on, and putting it in a mail sack. There were a few hundred of them and it took, if memory serves, about a day and a half. Yep, really.

The thing is, three years later we’ve got rather a lot more subscribers. It would take us more like three or four days to pack and ship all the mags, and that’s without taking into account inserting stickers into each one. So now we leave all that to our  excellent warehouse and distribution crew, who do the whole thing much more efficiently and quickly than we ever could.

But that means a couple of things. First, we can’t just insert stickers (or anything else) into subscriber copies without planning it in advance. And second, there is of course a cost associated with the inserts. It takes time to do, and time is money and all that crap, y’know. Plus, did we mention we have one or two more subscribers than we used to? So the cost of inserting a couple of stickers with each subscriber copy is… actually quite substantial, in total. It all adds up, especially with a long subscriber list.

But, more to the point, we didn’t think of it in time. In one of those ‘this seems like a good idea’ moments, the idea of sending some of our remnant decal stock out with pre-orders had passed from brainwave to social media post before anyone could say, ‘have you thought this through?’

So here’s the thing: we can’t send every subscriber a sticker, this time around. We will send you a sticker if you subscribe, and if you drop Seb a line with your address (so he doesn’t have to spend half his day trawling through our database to match email addresses to real ones). And we may send all our lovely subscribers, who we hold in the highest regard, some stickers with a future issue.

But not this one, OK?

The post A sticky situation appeared first on Cranked.

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Cranked by Seb Rogers - 3w ago

Blink and you miss it. It doesn’t seem three years since we launched our first issue… but our stock of back issues, ever-expanding list of subscribers and the encroachment of even more grey hairs indicate that it must be so.

When we first mooted the idea of Cranked (mostly to people we knew in the bike industry), there was an air of polite incredulity. No-one actually said we were mad, but then it wasn’t their money that was being put on the line.

Three years on and we like to think we’ve somewhat disproved the notion that no-one buys print any more. Let’s see… our Kickstarter campaign, back in March 2015, reached its funding goal in less than five hours. In 2017 our subscription and individual copy sales together grew 48% (by way of comparison, every single other UK-based cycling print mag lost readers in 2017). At the start of 2018 Cranked is available in 75 WHSmith stores around the UK, as well as a select number of the best independent bike and magazine retailers. We’ll be visiting several shows and events throughout the year with the ever-popular Crankedwagen.

Look, we’re not stopping. OK? We’ll continue to feature the most insightful, thought-provoking and inspirational stories and images around… because that’s what we’re all about.

In Cranked #13 (on sale early May 2018) we’ve devoted the inside front cover double page spread to a shout-out to some of our subscribers and regular readers. There are, um, one or two names there. Thank you all. With your support, Cranked will continue to be the fastest-growing, most sought-after print bike mag around.

#readlikeyoumeanit

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The post Cranked is three years old… appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we suggest you look away now?

The longer I lived with the Crankedwagen, the more apparent the limitations of its original Subaru engine transplant became apparent. Thrown in (and I use that term with care) about 12 years ago, the best thing that could be said about the conversion was that it had covered over 40,000 miles. And that it ran.

The original plan had been to coax it through another year or so of use before replacing it with a newer, neater installation. But an internally disintegrating radiator and bodged wiring forced the issue. It felt like I was chasing my tail round in circles, trying to coax a tired and badly installed 25 year old engine back to health.

To give just one example: when I bought the truck, it needed a tickle of throttle to start. This always seemed odd for a fuel injected engine, but with so many mechanical and bodywork issues to sort it was a while before I got around to investigating. I suspected the idle control valve might need a clean. Turns out it wasn’t even plumbed in, but had been blanked off completely. Which explained rather a lot. One new secondhand ICV and some rubber hose later, and it was working as it should.

But then there was the wiring, which was a mess. And all the rest…

A lowish mileage, latish 2 litre engine became available. I snapped it up and booked the Crankedwagen back in with Jamie at J’s Garage. And promptly began to have doubts. The engine it was replacing was the long-discontinued, but solidly reliable, 2.2. The 2 litre had a bombproof reputation but would be down on power and torque. Hmm. Did I want that?

A much rarer 2.5 litre engine came up for sale. More power, more torque. And a reputation for blowing head gaskets.

Pffft. Head gaskets can be fixed. I bought it.

A couple of weeks in the capable hands of J’s Garage and the new engine was in and running. Properly supported with a bar from RJES, with a custom stainless exhaust and ECU tucked away in a waterproof box on the back wall of the treasure chest.

It’s an installation that has transformed the Crankedwagen. The 2.5 litre Subaru revs freely and has a flat torque curve, so it pulls strongly from low revs and keeps. On. Pulling. All the time it’s doing this, there’s a wonderfully sonorous soundtrack from behind the cab. Tickle the throttle and it burbles. Bury your foot and the rumble turns into a deep, offbeat roar, accompanied by a distinct and ongoing shove in the back. Do this too early in 2nd gear, and you’ll quickly find the limits of the rear tyres’ traction. The grin on Jamie’s face during test drives says it all, really.

Nearly 18 months after buying it, the Crankedwagen is in better shape than when it left the factory in 1985. Faster, more comfortable, more economical and more practical. Coming to a trailhead near you in 2018. If you see us, come and say hi…

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The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 6 (in which we reach a conclusion of sorts) appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we suggest you look away now?

Looking at the MOT records for the Crankedwagen, it was apparent that it hadn’t moved a great deal in the couple of years before I bought it. Driving it from Bristol to London and back was, almost certainly, the furthest it had been asked to move for a very long time.

It made it, with no dramas.

A month later, it was on the road to Manchester and back. Aside from a sticky gear linkage, it was the same story: it just got on with the job.

Although I was relieved it was also, as far as I was concerned, The Whole Point. The Crankedwagen isn’t (just) a show pony; it was always intended to be usable every day. And that means it had to be reliable. There’s a tendency for certain elements of the vintage VW fraternity to give themselves a pat on the back when their 20/30/40/50 year old van gets through a tank of fuel without breaking down. And, while that may be a reflection of the reality of living with an older vehicle, it’s never been something that’s appealed to me.

It became apparent that, although a lot of the mechanical side of things had already been dealt with, there was still more that needed attention. A weeping water pump gave me the kick I needed to sort that, plus some dodgy plumbing, and have the cam belt and pulleys done at the same time. The list of stuff that had been replaced had, by this stage, become so long that it’s easier to list what was still original at this point. It’s not a long list:

  • front brakes
  • rear hubs and driveshafts
  • steering rack
  • springs
  • engine
  • fuel tank

And, er, that’s about it. What could possibly go wrong?

This:

Bugger.

On a long journey north the temperature gauge had been doing some things that it hadn’t been doing before. Given that the cooling system had had a complete flush, the pipework in the engine bay had been carefully re-routed, new thermostat sourced and a brand new, genuine Subaru water pump fitted, the catastrophic and very sudden overheating that led to the AA callout was a bit of a mystery.

I suspected a failed head gasket (spoiler alert: I was wrong). I also knew that I’d need to call on someone who knew their way around both old Subaru engines and old VWs. There are surprisingly few people who do.

The AA would recover the Crankedwagen to anywhere in the country, one way. I knew I couldn’t drive it, so that ruled out going home. The guys at MAD Workshop were great, but weren’t familiar with Subaru engines. But then I remembered the name of a garage whose name kept cropping up in a VW / Subaru Facebook group. I googled it and rang them. Could I have the Crankedwagen recovered there and leave it with them for a diagnosis?

Short pause.

Yeah, sure, they said. No problem. See you in a bit.

Which is how the Crankedwagen came to find itself at J’s Garage in Aberystwyth, in the expert hands of Jamie Lockyer. No stranger to modified vehicles (he owns both a Subaru-powered VW camper and a 400bhp, 1.9tdi-powered 1980s VW Jetta for drag racing, both of which he built himself), he diagnosed two issues. First, a bodged exhaust setup that meant the lambda probe was reading from just one bank (the other bank was running massively too lean, and therefore too hot). And second, sub-optimal coolant hose routing.

A new exhaust setup and revised plumbing sorted the lean running and poor coolant flow. But it turned out that the real culprit was 30 years of rust and grit and crap, released from the radiator core by that thorough flush earlier in the year, which jammed the thermostat closed. For a second time in as many months.

The solution was, temporarily at least, to ditch the ‘stat. Running without the thermostat meant no overheating, but also an engine that struggled to reach operating temperature. It was time for a new plan. So I ordered a replacement radiator and heater core, and scoured the internet for a donor engine. It was time to find the Crankedwagen a new heart, strip out all the bodged wiring and plumbing, and build an engine setup that would just work.

To be continued…

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The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 5 appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we suggest you look away now?

January 2017. Five months after the Crankedwagen first rolled into the workshop at MAD. With a show deadline fast approaching and more work with the welding torch to be done before it was ready for paint, I had other equally pressing matters to deal with: a new magazine to put together and send to print, and the practicalities of a deal with WHSmith Travel to sort out.

But not being ready for the show in mid February wasn’t an option. The Crankedwagen was our transport, our display, our stand. Without it, we had just a carpet, a back wall and some lights. It had to be finished. I posted a couple of pictures on social media. “You’ll never have that done in time”, commented one poster. Hah. I’ve been dealing with deadlines all. My. Professional. Life.

It would be done.

With a couple of weeks to spare, a bare-looking VW doka was driven the few miles across town to Mark at MJ Autobodies. I left it with him and crossed my fingers. “End of the week”, said Mark. The end of the week came and went. I phoned on Monday. “Wednesday”, said Mark. “The prep took a bit longer than we expected.”

Wednesday came and went too. I can’t remember, now, exactly how long it took. Longer than anyone expected. It did, however, look amazing when it was done. The bare van was driven back to MAD Workshop with just three days to rebuild, sign write and prep it for London. It sounded pretty good too. Bonus.

I dropped everything that weekend. So did Adam, Baz and Arthur at MAD. The four of us worked long days (well, I fiddled around mostly dropping things and cursing my limited mechanical knowledge; the other three actually got stuff done). Little jobs that should’ve been simple turned out to be a pain in the arse. New bits like seatbelts didn’t fit quite the way they were supposed to. Odd things were missing. There wasn’t a floor for the rear of the cab. Wiring was unfinished. We concentrated on making it a.) functional and b.) look good from the outside. The interior could wait.

The graphics people turned up and wove their magic with giant sheets of cut vinyl. It began to look like I’d always imagined it. The coup de grace – reworked drop side handles made out of basic square taper cranks – were fitted. 7pm Sunday. Lights were checked. The headlights were pointing way too high. The number plate lights didn’t work. Bugger. Ten minutes later and some work with a screwdriver and some Scotchbrite and I was on my way.

Second gear gradually got tougher to select on the way home; I’d spend an hour the next day under the van adjusting the linkage to resolve the issue. But it didn’t matter. Even ending up stranded at the petrol pump with a dead battery on the way to London didn’t matter (I had a spare battery and tools in the cab).

The Crankedwagen was finished.

Well, almost.

To be continued…

The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 4 appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content (and very little about mountain bikes). We like things of all kinds with wheels. Not all of them are polar bear-friendly. We recognise that. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we suggest you look away now?

MOT time. The crusty mess within inches of the driver’s seatbelt mounting point on the offside front wheel arch was – how to put this? – not encouraging. The remains of double-sided sticky tape under the rubber mat that covered the offending rot suggested the previous owner’s approach had been to hide it from the MOT tester. Naughty. And dangerous.

Fresh metal welded in, it was time for the MAD Workshop crew to check over the mechanicals for potential failure points. I gave them a blank cheque to replace anything that looked old, worn or dangerous. The result? New rear brakes. New shocks all round. New upper and lower ball joints. New upper wishbone bushes. The front discs were pitted and corroded, but still serviceable. There wasn’t time to do anything else.

It passed. Sigh of relief.

With an MOT ticket sorted for 12 months, it was time to move onto the main meal: metal. Or rather, rust.

If you’ve been following the story so far you’ll know that, from a distance, the Crankedwagen already looked reasonably tidy. Given that it wasn’t wearing its original medium blue colour, that wasn’t a surprise. A previous owner had clearly spent at least some money tidying things up, and that had extended to stripping out (most of) the cab interior and repainting that too.

But.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to deal with encroaching tinworm. For the most part, the previous attempt had been done the wrong way. Filler. Expanding foam. More filler. Paint on top.

Oh dear.

The closer we looked, the worse it got. This wasn’t altogether surprising – I’d been expecting some hidden nasties. But I wasn’t prepared for how far the grot had progressed in some areas.

There was nothing else for it: it was time to break out the angle grinder and cut large sections of grot out. Replacement panels were sourced; original VW wherever possible. The front panel, both front wings, front steps, bits of B pillar and sill, and most of the rear panels below the deck were replaced. Factory rear side panels – the ones with the vents – were deemed in the silly money category at around £700 each, so we decided to modify van panels instead.

Hundreds of hours went into the cutting, fabricating and welding. The more we looked, the more we found. An innocuous-looking scab on the back of the driver’s side seat box inside the cab turned out to be hiding extensive grot and a bodged repair to the battery tray. There were many more examples. It all needed to be sorted.

In an attempt to keep costs reasonable, I initially decided not to investigate beneath the chequer plate load bed. But one day, having peered beneath the original load bed with a torch and not liked what I was seeing, I decided that we might as well pull the whole lot off. It created a ton more work, but it also provided the opportunity to build a new bed from scratch, with a custom framework and a hinged rear to give access to the engine and several previously dead spaces that VW’s design had left unused.

Time was pressing on. I’d set a deadline of Christmas 2016 for the Crankedwagen to be finished and show-ready, to allow a bit of wriggle room for its first outing: the London Bike Show. But all the unexpected problems, and the fact that I changed my mind on a few things like the load bed, meant that Christmas came and went and it still wasn’t ready for paint.

What could possibly go wrong?

To be continued…

The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 3 appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content (and very little about mountain bikes). We like things of all kinds with wheels. Not all of them are polar bear-friendly. We recognise that. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we direct you to our other blog posts?

With the newly-acquired doka back at Cranked HQ, it was time to take stock. Although it looked pretty tidy from a distance, its future role as show display stand meant that it was going to need to stand up to much closer scrutiny. Tell-tale signs of filler and bubbling paint around the seams – a common condition among VW Transporters of this vintage – hinted at deeper-rooted rust issues (anyone who tells you cheerfully that rusty seams can be wire-brushed out, sealed and repainted is talking out of their arse… or at the very least doesn’t mind repeating the whole sorry process every year or so).

So I booked it in at the bodyshop, for a thorough going-over. Minor mechanical fiddles I can do myself. Welding, fabricating, paint and anything involving using heat, big hammers and breaker bars I’m happy to hand over to people who actually know what they’re doing.

In the meantime, I had a few weeks to get to know it a bit more and deal with some of the less pressing issues. I liked the interior. Leather: what’s not to like? It smelt a bit funny, but that turned out to be the door cards (don’t ask). The factory-fitted floor mat stubbornly resisted my in-cab efforts at cleaning, so I pulled it out and treated it to a thorough scrub with Muc-Off and a high pressure hose. It took about ten goes before the rinse water was clean.

Those seatback screens? They were connected to the World’s Most Complicated Head Unit. Apparently it should’ve been possible to play music in the front and a DVD in the rear, or something, but I didn’t have the patience to read the Oxford dictionary-thickness instruction manual, nor the manual dexterity to operate the plethora of tiny, tiny buttons (why do aftermarket stereo manufacturers insist on making them so fiddly?). So it – along with several miles of cable – came out.

The speedo was a bit hard to read. It turned out that the reason for this was an accumulation of over 30 years of dust inside the instrument cluster. So that came out too, for a thorough clean. The sun visors were so floppy they couldn’t be relied on to stay anywhere I put them, so I found some new secondhand ones that did. The gear lever was treated to a new bush assembly, which turned out to make almost no difference to the spaghetti-like precision of gear changing. So I added ‘full linkage rebuild’ to the to-do list.

The outside threw up a similar list of pressing niggles. Twin Ducati cans gave the engine a Beetle-esque burble off the throttle and an Impreza-like growl on, but it soon became apparent that the business end had its own issues.

Various minor oil leaks and dribbles hinted at gaskets that needed attention. The coolant header tank seemed to be full of sludge, so I pulled it out, gave it a thorough scrub and put it back in again. It would have to do, for the time being at least. I treated the engine to new plugs, a new oil filter and an oil change. The oil that came out looked like primordial goop rather than something that would effectively lubricate an engine. Hmm. Not encouraging.

I knew my way around a water-cooled VW flat four, but the Subaru was a steep learning curve. I was perplexed by a rat’s nest of wiring and coolant pipes, held in place in many places by nothing more than a knitting pattern of zip ties. It didn’t look good, but I was reluctant to start pulling stuff apart without a plan. It was in, it was running. That’d do for the moment.

I wasn’t quite done. Baffled by a rear light cluster that seemed to consist entirely of blown bulbs, I removed it to find that it was full – and I mean full – of water. Looking disconsolately at the mess of rust and oxidation that was the remnants of the bulb holder, I shrugged my shoulders and stumped up for a brand new pair of holders, lenses and LED bulbs. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was the start of a pattern.

With the MOT approaching and a big ol’ rusty hole near the driver’s seatbelt mounting point to deal with, it was time to stop my fiddling around and hand the Crankedwagen over to the VW experts at MAD Workshop (it stands for ‘Motoring and Driving’). Cutting, fabbing, welding… that stuff is above my pay grade. If I’d known what I was about to get into, I might well have had second thoughts. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

To be continued…

The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 2 appeared first on Cranked.

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Warning: this post contains petrolhead content (and very little about mountain bikes). We like things of all kinds with wheels. Not all of them are polar bear-friendly. We recognise that. If you’re offended by talk of non human-powered vehicles, may we direct you to our other blog posts?

Here’s a question for you: what d’you reckon the most popular category of Cranked social media post is? Sick riding shots? Rad trails? New gear? Mag previews?

Nope. None of those. It’s the #crankedwagen, Cranked’s 32 year old VW crew cab pickup. Bests anything else we put up on social media, by a country mile. Go figure.

Given its popularity, we thought it was time to tell its story. Well, the last 18 months or so of its story. We don’t know much about the first three decades…

For a while after Cranked’s launch I’d had the idea that it’d be handy to have a mag vehicle. It could serve several purposes: rolling billboard; trailhead transport; mobile event display stand. So far, so conventional. The solution was obvious: buy a VW T5, slap some bling wheels on it and treat it to some new paint or a wrap. Right?

Wrong. I’ve never been a fan of obvious. I mean, print mags are dead, right?

So if not the obvious, practical solution, then what? Something less obvious, that’s what. I’ve been a fan of the 1980s crew cab pickup version of the VW Transporter – doka, or doppelkabine, to its friends and fans – for a while. To my eyes, it’s the best of the bunch. The squared-off lines suit its utilitarian purpose. The cab is spacious, with plenty of room for up to five riders (or fewer riders and a lot more kit). The load bed is the ideal length for transporting bikes. There’s even a full-width locker under the bed and behind the cab for all the extra gear that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. And it’s cool.

Say what?

Yeah, you read that right. It’s cool. Or, at the very least, it stands out. Which, for a vehicle destined to spend its life shouting about something other than itself is important. Sure, there were likely to be downsides to buying an 80s builder’s ride – decades-old bodywork, neglected mechanicals, thirsty engine among them. But hey. Ultimate practicality is over-rated.

I spotted a suitable-looking recruit for a Cranked makeover on a VW forum. It had clearly had some bodywork and paint at some point in its life, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good, in that it had had some love. It’s bad, in that filler and paint can hide an awful lot of trouble. But I’ll come back to that.

It also had a couple of very appealing features. First, a previous owner had spent a fair bit of money having the five cab seats trimmed in leather. Leather seats in a bike-transporting ride are a Good Thing: wipe clean and durable. And second, this particular doka was running a Subaru engine. That meant, in theory, decent power and a more modern design than the quirky, thirsty and generally rather awkward VW flat four water-cooled alternatives, of which I already had some experience (not all of it, as you may have guessed, good).

I made the owner a (very low) offer. And stopped talking. He hummed. He hawed. He thought about it. For 10 days. And finally, after the longest price negotiation in the history of buying and selling used vehicles, Cranked was the proud owner of a new (old) set of wheels.

The drive back to base threw up a few issues. Filling up at the petrol station, my observant daughter asked if it was supposed to smell that much of petrol. I peered underneath at a slow but steady dribble of fuel from somewhere near the top of the tank. No, I said, but not to worry – we’d drive a bit and the level would go down. These vans have a U shaped channel in the top of the fuel tank that originally accommodated the heat ducts for the air-cooled engine at the rear. They tend to accumulate crud and rust out over the years, so I’d been half expecting it (I was wrong about the cause, as it turns out).

There was more. The gear change felt like I was stirring a pot noodle with a particularly long and imprecise fork. A persistent creak under the passenger seat was, I was sure, a knackered upper wishbone bush (I was right on that one, at least). It didn’t seem particularly keen to go faster than 50mph. And I already knew about the rotten offside front wheel arch, just forward of the seatbelt anchor which was going to be the only thing preventing me from ejecting through the windscreen if we stopped suddenly. That, apparently, hadn’t prevented it from passing its MOT.

So, then: a project. This much I had been expecting, having previously owned two 20+ year old VWs. What I hadn’t expected was just how much of a project it was going to be.

To be continued…

The post Infernal combustion: the #crankedwagen story, part 1 appeared first on Cranked.

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Cranked by Seb Rogers - 8M ago

I’ll get straight to the point: after 2 1/2 years of absorbing increasing shipping costs, we’ve taken the difficult decision to make some minor changes to the way we charge for Cranked. Here’s what’s new:

For a single issue shipped to a UK address, the shipping cost has gone up from £2 to £2.75.

For a single issue shipped to an EU address, the shipping cost has gone up from £5.50 to £6.

That’s it. Rest-of-world shipping prices haven’t changed. Neither have subscription prices (which makes them even better value than they already were).

No-one likes increasing prices. We’ve always taken the (slightly unconventional) view that the price you see on the website is the price you pay; there are no nasty surprises lurking once you get to the checkout. The new rates reflect the cost (to us) of packing and shipping a copy of the magazine. We don’t make a profit on these charges… but previously we were making a loss. Since we intend to be around for a (long) while, that was something we had to address.

Thanks for reading…

Seb

Editor / publisher

The post Shipping inflation strikes appeared first on Cranked.

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Cranked by Seb Rogers - 8M ago

Mission statements are all the rage, it seems. Here at Cranked we’ve never had one, only a (mostly unspoken) sense of what’s right and what works. That’s one of the benefits of a small team.

Still, a couple of years in and a few themes have emerged, so now is as good a time as any to get them out into the open and say, in effect, This Is What We Stand For. Ready? Good. Let’s go..

  • Don’t be a dick

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it underpins absolutely everything we do at Cranked. It’s common sense, really. Things like paying our contributors a fair rate, on time, always. Not using courier services who mistreat their staff. Being straight with all the companies and people we deal with, every day. That kind of stuff. It’s really not rocket science, but it helps keep us grounded.

  • Cranked’s readers come first

No readers, no mag. It’s a simple equation, and one that we always have at the front of our minds. The entire purpose of Cranked is to create an inspiring, inspirational and aspirational journal that mountain bikers will want to buy, to read, and to keep coming back to. That, at least, is what we’re aiming for. It also means we do our best to put right anything that’s gone wrong, and to reply personally to every reader who contacts us. It’s the least we can do.

  • Be better

It doesn’t really matter how you define this. Better than the rest, better than last time, better than the alternative of more screen time… just better.

  • Ride more

Riding is the reason we produce Cranked, and the reason our readers buy it. Without riding, we’d have nothing to photograph and nothing to write about. Getting out onto the trails is an important part of what we do (though it’s probably the thing that tends to slip towards the bottom of the to-do list when things are busy, if we’re honest).

  • Editorially independent, 100% of the time

Cranked’s advertisers are a key part of what we do, and one of the reasons why the mag is thriving. But advertising in Cranked doesn’t buy any favours. We don’t do reviews in any case, but coverage of an interesting new product or niche manufacturer has nothing to do with how much (or how little) the company in question has spent (or has promised to spend) on advertising. All our advertisers know this, and we’re completely upfront about it with them. We’d rather lose a sale than compromise on our editorial independence.

  • Ride like you mean it

Because life’s too short to trundle down the trail like a sack of spuds with a wheel at each end, y’know?

The post Cranked: a mission statement appeared first on Cranked.

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