Crankmag: numero uno

The zine I found is an Australian mountain biking zine called Crankmag. Especially in contrast to the Piepmeier article, this zine is really masculine and definitely less socially progressive. Instead of having a social-movement intention, Crankmag has more of a “hey-dude-let’s-make-a-zine-with-rad-pics” feel.

The zine mostly consists of action shots of mountain biking, but there are also some ‘articles’ and interviews with bikers. The first ‘article’ is a quasi-opinion piece called “To shave or not to shave: that is the question,” and it very briefly discusses the pros and cons of men shaving their legs. The pros being the supposed sex appeal of shaved legs and the cons being the “gay or unmanly” nature of shaved legs.

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In the interview portion, 17 year old Michael Kearton expresses his emphatic approval of hairy legs and declares that “presta valves are gay.” (That’s a kind of tire valve common in mountain and road bikes. I had to look it up.)

Clearly, this zine is not concerned with being socially progressive, but it is actively addressing issues (and crises) of masculinity.

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2 thoughts on “Crankmag: numero uno

  1. I hadn’t really imagined zines as sometimes portraying simpler or rather less progressive theme, as you put it, for the zine’s main focus. Although maybe there are not many mountain biking magazines. While the use of ‘gay’ in a derogatory or less than desired tone is sad to keep on seeing, I do get that the zine still has relevance in social commentary. To shave or not to shave for males within certain sports does possess an interesting dialogue of masculinity’s relationship with sports.

    • I agree. While there are obviously ways in which this zone can become more socially progressive I think that overall this is a step forward because this zine is appealing to a wider range of readers and reaching beyond the more specific and typical demographic to a rather untapped readership of heterosexual males.

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