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In our ephemeral times, a printed magazine allows readers to slowly savour a world otherwise dedicated to speed. And despite reports about the demise of print, indie magazines focusing on niche topics are blooming.

Passion. That’s what a great many niche magazines have in common.

They’re independently led and have smaller print runs than huge fashion glossies like Vogue or business titles such as Forbes that are published by large international media conglomerates and boast print-runs and readerships in the millions. Yet while many big name titles are struggling owing to declining ad revenues and the rise of digital publishing, indies are thriving.

A good example is London-based Rouleur.

“We publish Rouleur because we love cycling and love powerful storytelling,” says Andy McGrath, Rouleur’s editor. “We feel that the magazine can serve as a pleasing analogue object in an ephemeral world. There is a tangibility and power with print publications you don’t quite get with digital,” he adds.

Like just about every independent niche magazine, Rouleur was started because of a strong vision.

“Cycling magazines were following the same tired, old formula,” says McGrath. “We didn’t want to do product reviews or the obvious photographs of the winning moment like everyone else; we wanted to tell the human stories of sport’s best cyclists and its biggest brands – to beautifully portray the sport we love, with natural reportage photography, and incisive, original writing.”

And it’s a winning formula. Rouleur, which means a cyclist who performs well in all types of conditions, has picked up many awards, including CMA Magazine of the Year in 2015 and 2016, as well as Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2016. The high-quality publication also boasts an impressive list of contributors, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, the pioneer of street photography.

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