Alternative to London cycle hire - rent out your own bike

byke.mobi

New Member
Hi,

We're making a general announcement about this app soon, but at this stage we're in Beta and looking for people to try out the service, so that we actually have some real bikes on there for launch!

In a nutshell - we are putting bikes sitting in back-yards to good use by allowing cycle owners to rent out their bikes to commuters and travelers nearby when they're not using them.

There is a deposit that the customer has to pay into our site before renting the bike, so this safeguards against theft.

For more info, go to http://byke.mobi

It works anywhere in the world, but ideally some Londoners are reading this, because we're telling them about it first! So if you're from London and add your bike early, you could pick up some customers fairly soon.

Let me know if you have any q's or comments.

Best regards,
Peter
 
Location
Edinburgh
I am not in London, but the thought of letting some stranger ride one of my bikes puts a knot in my stomach. No thanks!
 
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byke.mobi

New Member
I am not in London, but the thought of letting some stranger ride one of my bikes puts a knot in my stomach. No thanks!
Hi Touche,

Thanks for your comment. It isn't intended for high-spec bikes, so I can understand your concern - more if you have an old bike lying around which is only used every now and then (and there are lots of those). You can choose to rent or not to rent to particular customers also, and they are liable for returning the bike in the same condition. Bike riders may need to be rated in future, so we can work on that.

Incidently, people can try it outside London too, Uncle Phil.

Peter
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
No chance....I won't let my beloved into the hands of a stranger who will quite likely ride it up the pavement.Thanks anyway.
I don't think they mean your good bike, but an old hackbike that is hardly ever used these days and which you wouldn't really miss.

I would donate Creaky Bike to you, but just simply the noise it makes (hence the name) would probably put all but the most determined (or deaf) off!! :rolleyes:
 

Sh4rkyBloke

Jaffa Cake monster
Location
Manchester, UK
... and where would you stand if someone borrowed your bike and was injured whilst using it? Presumably you are liable for maintaining it to a reasonable standard of safety, are there details of its service record etc. Sounds like a nice idea, but one that is full of problems waiting to happen!
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Yes, TBH, I'd be more comfortable just selling/ donating an old bike to a hire outfit so that they themselves are responsible for it (although I would still like to know how the bike was doing).
 
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byke.mobi

New Member
... and where would you stand if someone borrowed your bike and was injured whilst using it? Presumably you are liable for maintaining it to a reasonable standard of safety, are there details of its service record etc. Sounds like a nice idea, but one that is full of problems waiting to happen!
I agree there are potential issues - which is why we're putting it open to the forum at this stage and why it is in Beta only, so thanks for your thoughts. No, currently we don't have a safety record, but that can be easily added and I think that's a good idea. Currently if as a rider you feel the bike is not up to standard you can contact us and have your rental money refunded.

Perhaps the best approach here is to work on a public rating system for the bikes?

We are still considering insurance, so any thoughts in this area are welcome also.

Mad Doug, you might like to donate a bike to a local bike shop and have them rent it out from there - if you had the account details we can provide a way for you to track Creaky Bike :blink:

Best regards,
Peter
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
The last hire bike outfit I used was one in Brockenhurst, (just opposite the station, Cycle Experience or a name similar to that. I was on holiday from Sunny Scotland by the way), and they had nice new Giant Bikes (I got a Rincon), so I do wonder who would take on an old rusting heap.

Will need to find out as I'm sure my other older Hack (1996 vintage), The Tank, could get a new lease of life (for anyone willing to ride a bike that weighs half a ton but is fairly bomb proof, hence the name)
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
I like the sound of this, and I guess it'd appeal to the folks that have a bike and only use it a couple of times a year. I'm not too clear on how the scheme works though... If someone was to hire a bike would they be collecting it from the owners house? If so, then I guess that'd limit the practicality of the scheme as having to wait in for someone to collect a bike would be a pain, and many people are uneasy about strangers arriving at their doors!
 
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byke.mobi

New Member
I like the sound of this, and I guess it'd appeal to the folks that have a bike and only use it a couple of times a year. I'm not too clear on how the scheme works though... If someone was to hire a bike would they be collecting it from the owners house? If so, then I guess that'd limit the practicality of the scheme as having to wait in for someone to collect a bike would be a pain, and many people are uneasy about strangers arriving at their doors!
Hi Mark,

It is up to the bike owner as to how the bike is handed over. The details for collection become available after the rental deposit has been paid, so this could be providing instructions to collect the bike. If someone is uncomfortable with meeting strangers or doesn't have the time to meet, an idea is to provide a combination for a combination lock (or a key in particular place) in these instructions. Because the deposit is only returned after return of the bike, and acceptance that the lock or key are back, it should be safe. The paranoid might want to change the combination/key location after that though!

Best regards,
Peter
 
Erk! An absolute minefield methinks

And I feel unsafe riding a bike that has been set up by someone else as it is - I'd never go for a long ride before giving the bike my own check-over and that's from a bike shop. I'd be terrified at the thought of riding something that might have been maintained by a ham-fisted bufoon.

It's the unseen things - like say on the BSOs you are talking about, with the old fashioned saddle clamp - an over-tightened nut then suddenly BANG the threaded rod shears under the strain. Seen that happen, luckily on a bike that was leant up. Say that happens on a hired bike whilst being closely overtaken....

In that situation I can bet the close overtake will be the lowest on the list of liabilities
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
what happens when people rent chainsaws

I imagine there's some sort of legal thingy people agree to
 
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