So, when working out some dates for various products and when they were first seen in the wild/released, we often use magazines of the time as a guide. Comps are very good to use for a guide because we know exactly when they took place. The problem with this is, often the date of the magazine, is months later than the event that actually happened. A perfect example of this is as follows.

Extreme Games 1995 – This event took place June 24 to July 1 in 1995. Ride BMX Magazine has an article about this event in their October/November 2015 Issue. That’s 3 whole months July/August/September 95 that go by before the actual event gets reported on in their mag.

Another example, this time from BMX Plus.

1995 BS Comp Round 2 / Hampton VA – This event took place on the weekend of July 8-9 1995. BMX Plus reported on this event in their November 1995 issue. That’s basically 4 months.

So, if you were looking to use magazine issues to try and date parts, and when they are first seen being ridden, you have to take these things into account when working out the dates. This is why competitions are great, because we know the fixed dates they happened and if a rider was seen with a particular part at that comp, we know it was available at the time. This issue is made even worse by the fact that a lot of the magazines were out before the month they were actually for. Example, the March edition of a magazine, would have come out early February, it just adds to the difficulty in dating things.

It’s understandable as to how this happens. Things didn’t work as fast back then as they do today. A person would have to attend an event, photograph the event, get the photos back to HQ, develop photos, write the article, get the entire content for the magazine ready, put it all together with the pics, send off to the printers, get the mags printed, get them all shipped out to retailers. It all took a significant amount of time.

As a general guide, unless i can date exactly when a photo was taken, for example at a competition, i use 3 months prior to the magazine date for RIDE BMX, and 3/4 Months prior to the issue date for BMX Plus. It’s not a perfect science, but it’s a rough general guide.