Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Cycle upgrade station
Categories: Ideas, Outline

I have recently been pondering a way to keep track of purchases for my bicycles. Some of these are components for the bikes themselves (e.g. a new wheel after one was stolen), and some are attachments (bike lights, clothing). My use case is to get a view of:

  • What my total cost of ownership is per bike
  • What I spend on cycling in total
  • How long it takes for a bike to break even compared to the cost of alternative forms of transport

Now, most of that could be done by a spreadsheet, but I spy an interesting opportunity for cycling fans to show off their bikes and the modifications they have made.

Thus, I’d be interested to see a web app that presents the user with a choice of bike (MTB, road, downhill, etc) which shows on their “dashboard”. They can then click on areas on the bike (drivetrain, frame, headset, wheelset, etc) and add make/model details for each component. Users would start off adding the details for OEM items, and then add new information based on upgrades during the working lifetime of the bike.

They could publish bikes if they want to show them to the world, or keep them private if they want to just keep it to themselves.

This might also allow cyclists to keep track of maintenance events, such as chain/cassette changes, punctures, fork widening, etc – a sort of “log book” for bikes. This could then be rendered as a PDF and provided to new owner.

Of course, a sale mode could be offered too.

Optionally, users could take a profile photograph of their bike and use it in preference to the standard set.

Potential funding models for this idea are:

  • Users get the service free for the first bike, and pay a fee based on additional bikes
  • Users get the service for free, dealers and commercial users pay a fee
  • The site takes a percentage cut of bikes sold through the platform
  • The site uses off-the-shelf advertising
  • The site uses targeted adverts with a commercial component seller based on the knowledge of bikes they have and what they might want to upgrade next

Leave a Reply