Peer-to-peer carsharing is taking off in Oregon and California. But what about bikes? In answer to that question, Spinlister launched peer-to-peer bikesharing this spring in New York and San Francisco, with plans to expand around the country. Spinlister is built on the same model as Airbnb (lodging) and Getaround (cars)–creating a web-based tool for individuals to rent out what they own.
There are obvious questions about this kind of service, and Spinlister appears to have answers for most of them. In order to rent, users are required to have a valid credit card on file with Spinlister, providing what amounts to a security deposit for bikes that are damaged or stolen during the rental period. If Spinlister is unable to recover costs from the renter, they guarantee bikes up to $5000–and they’ll buy you a cake. Spinlister also carries liability insurance at $1 million per claim.
Spinlister accepts listings from individuals as well as existing bike shops and rental operations. Users set their own rate ($20/day is the current average), and Spinlister keeps a 12.5% fee. Facebook and Twitter verification are not required, but are encouraged. The site includes a series of short How It Works articles.
There’s no precise word on when Spinlister will begin expanding their geographic area, but their website says “The more bikes we get [listed] the sooner we can go live!” I listed three of my bikes, and found the process pretty painless and intuitive. I’m imagining a Rogue Valley where visitors can easily find a nearby bike to rent during their visit, no matter where they’re staying. Where locals can try a new kind of riding, regardless of what kind of bike they own. And where all of us who love bikes can justify and subsidize our habit a bit more easily. Spinlister.com