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How To Borrow A Bike (Or Make Money On Yours)

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Jul 7, 2014
Photo: John David Becker

Since launching in April 2012, peer-to-peer bike share company Spinlister has expanded to renting bikes in more than 45 countries. The service is easiest to understand as the “Airbnb of bike rental.” You find a bike in an area you’re traveling to, request it from the owner, pay through an app, pick it up and get riding. Or you can take one of your own bikes and list it out to traveling triathletes for some easy extra cash.

Spinlister has a variety of listings—from single speeds in New York City to high-end road bikes in Tokyo—and it’s recently forged more into the triathlon market, starting with partnerships with the LA Tri Club and USC Triathlon Team. The company’s hope is to attract renters who either want to train while traveling or try a bike they might not be ready to buy, as well as get more owners on board who see the value in helping out fellow triathletes.

“Ultimately, we want to have an inventory of high-value triathlon bikes all over the world, easily accessible for triathletes to rent by the day, week or month,” says Spinlister’s CMO, Andrew Batey.

The Spinlister app (available on iTunes) is free and incredibly intuitive. Simply pull up a map of where you’re traveling and it shows you where bikes are available in the area. Within the app, you can message the owner (who is vetted with three verification types: Facebook, Twitter, cell phone), to make a request and ask questions before coordinating pickup. Pay through PayPal or check and away you go.

Listing is also free, and Spinlister just takes a 17.5 percent service fee from the rental price, which ranges from around $20–$50 per day for most bikes. And if you’re worried about trusting a stranger to protect your precious machine—rest assured, because the company insures bikes up to $5,000. Spinlister.com

RELATED: Traveling With Your Bike To A Triathlon

FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a senior editor at Triathlete magazine, a five-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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