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Outside acquires Pinkbike, CyclingTips, and Trailforks

Published July 14, 2021

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Outside, the fast-growing media company that is parent to Bicycle Retailer and an array of outdoor sports media titles, is bolstering its presence in cycling by announcing the acquisition of Canada-based Pinkbike; Pinkbike's mountain bike mapping app, TrailForks; and CyclingTips, which Pinkbike acquired in 2019. In the bike world, Outside already owns the VeloNews, Peloton, Beta, Triathlete media titles, the VeloPress book publishing company, and the Roll Massif event company. In February, the company (then known as Pocket Outdoor Media) acquired Outside magazine and related properties and rebranded as Outside.

The company has titles and other businesses across the outdoor sport and wellness world, most notably Outside magazine, but also Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Oxygen, and Outside Business Journal (previously SNEWS), the trade site and magazine for the outdoor retail business.

But the Pinkbike buy adds considerable readership and revenue in the cycling space, and thus adds momentum to the company's Outside+ membership program. Outside+ offers enthusiasts various bundles of content, services, discounts, and other offerings for an annual fee. The membership revenues complement Outside's revenues from advertising, creating a business model for publishing that CEO Robin Thurston said is sustainable.

Pinkbike is the world's largest mountain bike site in terms of traffic and will be the second-largest traffic source for Outside, behind only Outside Online.

Adding Pinkbike, CyclingTips and Trailforks gives Outside+ more critical mass, making membership purchases more desirable for enthusiasts and providing more readership for advertisers inside and outside the industry, Thurston said.

Brothers Radek and Karl Burkat founded Pinkbike in 1998.

Pinkbike generates more than 700 million annual pageviews, making it by far the largest mountain bike website on the planet; it will be the second-largest traffic source for Outside behind only Outside Online. Its marketplace, something like a Craigslist for mountain bikers, also generates millions of pageviews and is a key revenue source. CyclingTips is a fast-growing site devoted to road and gravel cycling and competition. And TrailForks is one of the leading mountain bike trail apps, with more than 300,000 mountain biking and hiking routes and 6 million users. 

“This acquisition is a key moment in fulfilling our mission to build a vibrant home where active lifestyle participants will discover a wide range of content and tools to fuel their adventures. We’re very excited and honored to welcome the Burkats and their team to our family,” said Thurston. “As a lifelong cyclist, I’m a huge fan of these brands, which are perfect complements to our own cycling titles— VeloNews, Peloton, Beta, and Bicycle Retailer — and to our recent acquisition of Gaia GPS, the dominant mobile mapping app for hikers, backpackers, and overlanders. The marriage of these businesses creates a truly comprehensive resource for all types of cyclists and outdoor adventurers.”

Radek Burkat said, “We founded Pinkbike to show the world how amazing mountain biking is and to inspire others to get out and ride and fall in love with the sport like we had. Joining Outside gives our team an opportunity to tell stories to an even bigger audience and to collaborate with world-class journalists at the other brands and sports in our new family. We’re also thrilled to bring our Trailforks technology and community into the ecosystem that Outside is building. In partnership with Gaia, we intend to map every trail in America, and eventually the world, so that Outside+ members can ride, hike, run, and ski with greater confidence and safety.”

The core Pinkbike and Trailforks teams will continue operating out of their offices in Squamish, BC. CyclingTips will maintain its office in Australia, and its U.S.-based staff will join the larger Outside team in the company’s headquarters in Boulder. Progress Partners acted as sole financial advisor to Outside in the deal. GP Bullhound acted as sole financial advisor to Headwater Equity Partners and Pinkbike.

The parties are not releasing transaction details. 

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Outside's titles include: Outside magazine, OutsideTV, Gaia GPS, athleteReg, Pinkbike, CyclingTips, Trailforks, Peloton Magazine, Yoga Journal, SKI, BACKPACKER, VeloNews, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Gym Climber, Trail Runner, Women’s Running, Triathlete, Better Nutrition, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Clean Eating, Fly Fishing Film Tour, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, Muscle & Performance, NASTAR, National Park Trips, NatuRx, Oxygen, PodiumRunner, Roll Massif, Outside Business Journal, The Voice, Vegetarian Times, VeloPress, VeloSwap, Paleo Mag, Beta, FinisherPix, and Warren Miller Entertainment.

Outside is headquartered in Boulder, with offices in Carbondale and Denver, Colorado; Easthampton, Massachusetts; Frankfurt, Germany; Melbourne, Australia; New York City; Ojai, San Diego, and San Francisco, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Squamish, British Columbia; and Toronto, Ontario.



Topics associated with this article: Media/Publishing, BRAIN News

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