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Rent a bike near you with Spinlister’s new iPhone app

Posted by on July 15th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Bikes listed in Spinlister’s mobile app.

A year-old service that lets you rent bikes from ordinary people has new ownership, a new iPhone app and quite a few bikes for rent in Portland.

For locals, the best thing about this service is that it’s an easy way to track down the sort of bike (or bike accessory) that you might need occasionally. For example, here in town you can find a bakfiets cargo bike for $25 a day, a tallbike for $15 a day, a big bike trailer for $18 a day, a folding bike for $11 a day, a tandem for $25 a day, a two-bike hold-up rack for $25 a day and a Burley tag-a-long for $20 a day.

It’s obviously of potential use to tourists, too.

The nice thing about Spinlister’s iPhone app is that it autodetects your location, making it easier to locate the nearest bike or input the location of one you’re preparing to list for rental to others. The startup promises an Android app to match in “fall 2013.”

To protect against theft, Spinlister uses “a system of reviews, Facebook Connect, and renter credit cards on file.”

This is a business model that Getaround and RelayRides are pursuing for cars and Airbnb provides for spare bedrooms. It’s got similar potential for bikes: saving everybody money by helping us all make the most of bikes that aren’t being used 100 percent of the time. But the New York-based startup seems to have struggled, ranaming itself “Liquid” in an apparent attempt to diversify into helping people share other things before going back to “Spinlister” under the new direction of one of its board members. TechCruch has more on the corporate backstory.

Spinlister makes money by collecting a 17.5 percent cut of each transaction, in exchange for helping the parties find each other. One of the keys to this sort of service is that the more people use it, the more value it has. If you’ve got a bike sitting around, you’ve got little to lose by listing it — and just doing so will increase the chance that this idea is able to take root.

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  • Dabby July 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Just read that Austin Horse helped develop this….
    Messenger power activate!

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  • lazyofay July 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

    “Rental biking is not real biking”..?
    I predict a bizarre reaction from a certain someone in our “community”.

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    • anon1q2w3e4r5t July 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

      This is a “yes for real bicyclists!” endeavor, so I have no problem with this scheme.


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  • aaron July 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

    So… anyone here use this? What’s been your experience?

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    • aaron July 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

      meaning splinster… 🙂

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    • Craig Harlow July 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

      I listed my bike soon after they launched last year. Then they went offline, and it seems they came back again as Splinlister early this year. I haven’t been contacted about my listing by any possible renters. I too am curious about how this has worked out for owners and renters.

      My listing: https://www.spinlister.com/bikes/1177

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  • Todd Hudson July 16, 2013 at 10:19 am


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  • Joseph E July 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

    This is great to know. I was just thinking about renting a road bike for a friend who is coming to visit (we don’t have the right size), if she wants to go on a longer ride. I wonder if someone would rent me a cargo bike for the DRT next year. 😉

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  • dan July 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Wondering what happens if the bike is stolen from the renter, i.e., lock is cut, etc. Is the renter on the hook to replace the bike?

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  • Matt C July 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve had 3 rentals on the site – All were wonderful. Great way to share your less-used bikes with the world.

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  • Matt July 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    It’s funny, use the spinlister service, but don’t actually pay. Look up the person on facebook (if they have one) and then directly contact, cut out the middle man and make more money!

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