Explain the business model. Is this new? 

It’s definitely not a new business model. The biggest difference is that our members are the predominant revenue source, not advertising. That changes everything. 

Our focus is now on you. We will not be hiring a big ad team to service advertising. We’ll be hiring people who add direct value to our content and our community.

The difference between a membership model and an advertising model lies in what we have the ability to say yes and no to. Like any business, we work for the people who are paying us. And that’s you. 

That’s not to say that we’ll be working against the industry. They add lots of value to what we do, and they’re good people. They build the bikes and gear we love. But they are no longer the ones who have leverage over us. 

Do you have a paywall? 


We’ll have what’s called a metered paywall. That means that everybody can access a handful of stories every month, after which the paywall hits. Members get access to everything, of course. 

Podcasts will mostly remain free, though we are considering making some special episodes for members only. 

The paywall is important. It makes you a consumer, not a commodity. It’s also key to making enough money to support all the work that goes into a quality media outlet. 

How can you be truly independent?

You, as a member, will demand it of us. You want us to be independent because it makes for better content. We get to make that content because we work for you. It’s really that simple. 

What does independence mean? To us, it’s an absence of external influence. It’s an ability to say no. No to flipping a press release we don’t believe serves our audience; no to reviewing something just because a company spent money with us that quarter; no to avoiding a story because it makes the CEO’s high-powered friend look bad. 

True independence is really difficult, though not impossible, to attain under traditional ad-driven media models. Being member-funded means we have no need to even think about taking money from sketchy places, or those weird little Google ads telling you there are hot singles in your area (there probably are, but you’re not going to meet them clicking dodgy links on the internet). 

Our member-focused business model flips the balance of power. As a member, you are in direct contact with our editorial team. Literally, not figuratively. You can DM us on the member Discord. We encourage you to. Our library of funny GIFs is well-stocked and ready to deploy. 

Why should I support another media organisation when there are already so many out there?

If we didn’t think we could do things differently, and better, we wouldn’t be doing this. 

There are exceptional writers and content creators across the cycling media landscape, but they are often hamstrung by business models that incentivise homogeneous, race-to-the-bottom content. Stuff like tech roundups that are designed mostly to get you to click an affiliate link, for example. Or sites burying their excellent content in auto-play pop-up ads that make the reading experience unbearable. We hate this stuff with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. 

Under ad or affiliate models, though, that stuff is the only way to stay alive. 

We are not beholden to suits in boardrooms who only care about their quarterly bonus. Media committed to honest and independent journalism. Media that cares about our community of readers and listeners, as well as the health and vibrancy of the wider sport. That requires a new model. 

Is there advertising?

Yes, there is a small amount of advertising on the site and in our podcasts, but we are picky about who we accept. We’ll only ever run with brands that add to the reader experience. As much as they’d have you believe it, adverts for crypto and auto-playing popups do not add to the reader experience.

Lots of folks seem to think that if we have ads, we don’t need members. Or if we have members, we don’t need ads. We’ve run the numbers and it’s clear we need both to produce what you all want – but it’s all about the balance. 

The cycling industry is important to us. What do they add to what we do? They send us product for review. They facilitate access to their sponsored athletes. They invite us to events. They can sometimes help us bring remarkable content to life. They make the bikes and gear that underpin our whole sport. Without engaging with the industry, we’d be pretty disconnected. 

Membership will generate the vast majority of our revenue. We’re talking 80+%. What that majority does is give us the freedom to decide what to say yes to, and what we say no to. 

What do I get for my membership dollars?

There are two membership options: a monthly or annual commitment.

All members receive:
– Support for independent, creative cycling journalism
– 100% ad-free reading and podcast experience
– Full access to all new articles – 110+ per month!
– Full access to our entire catalogue – 2200+ articles
– Exclusive podcast episodes
– Access to exclusive merchandise

Additional Benefits:
– Access to our community forum on Discord
– Easy access to all our cycling games
– Invitation to our annual Escapee Gathering
– Opportunities to help set the future direction of Escape

If we can answer any other questions about the membership or benefits, please send us an email via [email protected] and an actual human being will respond shortly.

How will I know where my money is going?

Your money goes directly to building an incredible cycling editorial product, run by us, for you. There is no evil corporation behind the scenes pulling the strings*.

*Aside from Big Disc Brake.

What is going to prevent this from going down the same path as other media?

The only dickheads that own us are… us. 

No, but really. What’s to say that this won’t go down the same path as so many other media outlets, and you sell it to Venture Capital or Private Equity?

We’ve experienced what can happen when the wrong investors or owners take control of a business. Our business model, being member-funded, is far more resilient than an ad-funded model and allows for more predictable, sustainable growth. If we only grow to be a certain size, we’re fine with that. We know what happens when control is lost. Been there, done that, saw the terrible end to that movie. We can only promise that we won’t make the same mistakes again. We will make all new mistakes.

Who will your journalists be?

You’ll be able to read content from Dave Rome, Iain Treloar, Matt de Neef, Dane Cash, Kate Wagner, Cosmo Catalano, James Huang, Abby Skujina Mickey, Caley Fretz, José Been, Ronan Mc Laughlin, Rob English, Wade Wallace, Emily Schaldach, Rupert Guinness, Ashley Gruber, Jered Gruber, Jonny Long, Kit Nicholson, Kristof Ramon, Andy McGrath, Jeff Bartlett with more coming soon.

Where does the name Escape Collective come from?

Escape Collective is the name we chose for various reasons and has various meanings.

Most importantly, ‘Escape’ is the reason we all ride bikes.

Escapism is something we can offer to our readers and members while on the site, which will hopefully inspire them to get off the computer and go for a ride.

Escape Collective refers to the group of individuals who are collaborating to bring you the best cycling content in the world. It would also be meaningless if it were without you. Our members are also part of this collective who we’re in partnership with who make this all happen.

Lastly, ‘Escape’ speaks to our story and how we got here.

The Escape Collective is all of this. This is us.

Who holds my payment information?

Boring but important: We use the trusted providers Stripe and Braintree to handle your payment. Stripe handles credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, while Braintree takes care of PayPal. We never hold your payment details ourselves. 

I work in a bike shop / the bike industry / I ride as a junior or professionally. Can you cut me a deal? 

Yes. First off, bike shops and the folks who work in them are the lifeblood of this industry. Show us that you prowl shop or showroom floors for a living and your membership is $10USD/year.

Secondly, it goes without saying that we appreciate all of you riders and industry folks. We have discounts for you, too, because we’re all in this together. If you are riding as a junior, or ride a bike for a living then this membership is on us. If you work in the industry we have a sizeable discount for you.

Please fill out this application form and we’ll email you back shortly with the full details.

What happens if I decide this isn’t for me?

Bummer. At whatever stage that happens, you can cancel your membership directly yourself, or contact [email protected] line and we’ll take care of it for you.

However, we please ask you to contact us first before cancelling your membership because you don’t agree with something one of our journalists said, a stance they’ve taken, or some lively fandom thrown around in our comments/Discord channel. There is a 100% chance that we (or someone in our community) will say something you don’t agree with at some point in time. We don’t go out of our way to piss people off or create outrage, but we are open to different points of view and may challenge conventional thinking from time to time. In addition to being journalists, we are also fans of the sport and acknowledge our biases. This is what makes us human and makes the discussion in our comments and discord lively.

Instructions for disabling AdBlock extensions on

If you are running an adblocker there may be some components of the site that don’t work properly, for instance being able to take a membership. Below are the steps you can take in order to approve on your browser or device.

Google Chrome
Using AdBlock Plus
• Click on the AdBlock Plus icon on the top right of your browser
• A drop-down menu will appear with a check mark followed by Enabled on this site
• Click the button to until the text reads Disabled on this site
• Refresh the page or click Continue to site, to access

Using Chrome adblock extension
• Click on the hand icon for adblock extension, on the top right corner of your browser
• A drop-down menu will appear
• Click the Don’t run on pages on this domain option on the drop down
• Once clicked a settings popup will appear.
• Click Exclude
• Refresh the page or click Continue to site, to access

• Click on the AdBlock Plus icon on the top right of your browser
• A drop-down menu will appear
• Click the Disabled on option on the drop down
• Refresh the page or click Continue to site, to access

• Firefox “Private Window” runs its own version of adblock. You will receive an adblock detection screen on private window, even if you are not running any adblock plugins. In this case, you will need to open on your standard Firefox window.

Internet Explorer
• Click on the AdBlock Plus icon on the bottom right hand side of your browser
• A drop-down menu will appear
• Click the Disable on option on the drop down
• Refresh the page or click Continue to site, to access

Devices with Apple iOS9 and above
• Go to the Settings app on the main screen
• Click on the Safari button
• From Menu click Content Blockers
• You will see your blocker enabled. Slide button to the left to disable.
• Return to your Safari browser and refresh the page or click Continue to site, to access

iPhone or iPad
Tap the “Aa” button in the address bar
Tap “Website Settings”
Toggle the “Use Content Blockers” setting to off (grayed out)
Tap “Done”

Click Safari > Settings for This Website in the top left corner
Toggle the “Use Content Blockers” setting to off (grayed out)
Tap “Done”


To suspend Ghostery for Escape Collective:
Click the “Ghostery” icon
Click “Trust site”
Refresh page