The Chainlink

Hello Chainlink community!  

Our names are Sachin and Sid; we are two students at the University of Chicago who love to ride our bikes.  Between the two of us, we've worked in 4 bike shops in Pasadena, CA and Boulder, CO, and we continue to stay close to the cycling community.  We are currently in the process of performing some market research around how cyclists in our community get their bikes serviced.  We are developing a survey and will be launching it shortly; we would be very grateful for your participation (will take 3-5 minutes to complete)!  

Thank you!

Sachin & Sid

Contact: skashya0@chicagobooth.edu

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No problem there. You just enter the location, make, and model of your bike, and they will cheerfully angle grind your u-lock off. 

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

Another issue to address is the convenience of the pick-up and drop off.  Scheduling the pick-up and drop off are going to be big issues.  If I am having trouble getting to a bike shop during normal working hours, I am going to have similar issues with using a valet service.

:-)  What should I do after than happens?  If only there were a resource to handle that situation...

Kevin C said:

No problem there. You just enter the location, make, and model of your bike, and they will cheerfully angle grind your u-lock off. 

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

Another issue to address is the convenience of the pick-up and drop off.  Scheduling the pick-up and drop off are going to be big issues.  If I am having trouble getting to a bike shop during normal working hours, I am going to have similar issues with using a valet service.

They'll sell you a new u-lock of course, and re-secure your bike to the location where it was originally affixed. And to think it'll all just be a few convenient clicks away.  

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

:-)  What should I do after than happens?  If only there were a resource to handle that situation...

Kevin C said:

No problem there. You just enter the location, make, and model of your bike, and they will cheerfully angle grind your u-lock off. 

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

Another issue to address is the convenience of the pick-up and drop off.  Scheduling the pick-up and drop off are going to be big issues.  If I am having trouble getting to a bike shop during normal working hours, I am going to have similar issues with using a valet service.



Kevin C said:

They'll sell you a new u-lock of course, and re-secure your bike to the location where it was originally affixed. And to think it'll all just be a few convenient clicks away.  

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

:-)  What should I do after than happens?  If only there were a resource to handle that situation...

Kevin C said:

No problem there. You just enter the location, make, and model of your bike, and they will cheerfully angle grind your u-lock off. 

Joe Studer 8.0 mi said:

Another issue to address is the convenience of the pick-up and drop off.  Scheduling the pick-up and drop off are going to be big issues.  If I am having trouble getting to a bike shop during normal working hours, I am going to have similar issues with using a valet service.

Very thoughtful observations; I agree 100%.

David Barish said:

I filled it out.  It looks like a New York mentality to  me. You can have anything delivered anytime. With a Type A life and unlimited resources this works for food and entertainment in ye olde Apple. I am not so sure about here and not so sure about it working with an audience of cyclists.  By nature we tend to be a little DIY even if we are trusting our machines to the professionals in our favorite shops. I would not want to have pick up and delivery if I had a pair of pants altered as I want to make sure they fit. The same with bike service. We have all picked up our bike and noticed that there was a shifting or some other problem that required a quick tweak from the mechanic.  If the service they seem to be obtaining information really takes root that means cycling has really grown beyond the hardcore that frequent this board. I guess that's good news for the growth of cycling. With that in mind, I hope they succeed. But then again, I don't see myself as a customer.  I like picking up my bike and talking with the folks at the shop. I prefer to take the train there, or get dropped off there so I can ride it home and make sure it works the way I want it to work. 

who cant bring their bike to a bike shop?  I"m sure there are exceptions of people with mobility/strength issues, etc. but at least on the North side (which I know better) outside of a flat how hard is it to bring  your bike to a shop for a tuneup, adjustment, etc.?  God people have gotten lazy.  And if you are a few blocks away, can't you throw your bike on the bus?  

I'll let myself out now.

So, I for one, would never take a bike I actually ride to someone I don't know and trust.

I am sure as hell not going to turn my bike over to an open ticket system and take my chances.
Plus not seeing and hearing the input from the Mech face to face? Not for me.

I think you guys are missing the mark. Chicago is such a tough place on bikes that I would guess people are running 100% away from bikes, bike parts, or bike service as a commodity. You would have much better luck here focusing on reputation and quality based drivers.

But thanks for pushing, any smart commerce into the biking market is interesting
I think for those who don't ride a lot or don't know how to fix their bike they are onto something in theory. I know casual riders who, once they get a flat, leave the bike for months or years sitting in their apt, garage or storage room since they don't even know how to get the bike to the shop, esp if they don't own a car or live near a shop. Many of us more daily or weekly riders may just not be the right market to test this concept with or have the need. But yes a lot of questions like when would they pick up, price etc. Is a huge factor.

Agreed. I think that more casual riders who don't have repair skills or multiple bikes would probably be the ideal market for such a service.
 
Julie Hochstadter said:

I think for those who don't ride a lot or don't know how to fix their bike they are onto something in theory. I know casual riders who, once they get a flat, leave the bike for months or years sitting in their apt, garage or storage room since they don't even know how to get the bike to the shop, esp if they don't own a car or live near a shop. Many of us more daily or weekly riders may just not be the right market to test this concept with or have the need. But yes a lot of questions like when would they pick up, price etc. Is a huge factor.

I could imagine plenty of factors that could make it tough, aside from mobility/strength issues: child care, elder care, daytime job with long and/or erratic hours that could make it tough to reach a shop when it's open.  For many people's schedules and shop hours, Saturday or Sunday might be the only window of opportunity.

If you have a situation where many of the small businesses you patronize have hours that limit you to Saturday visits (not open weeknights, closed on Sundays), or you have family or household obligations that eat up your weekend time, it can be very difficult to squeeze in a trip to the bike shop unless it's very close to home.

I'm sure there are other reasons out there.  Just thinking of some that I or friends have experienced.
 
jolondon30 said:

who cant bring their bike to a bike shop?  I"m sure there are exceptions of people with mobility/strength issues, etc. but at least on the North side (which I know better) outside of a flat how hard is it to bring  your bike to a shop for a tuneup, adjustment, etc.?  God people have gotten lazy.  And if you are a few blocks away, can't you throw your bike on the bus?  

I'll let myself out now.

Definitely. I haven't looked at the survey yet, but some of these comments make me think of things like The Bike Lane's fix a flat service (I have no idea if it's still around and kicking). There were a few occasions where I called them when I got a flat but didn't have time to change it - like arriving to work with a flat around 5pm and needing to bike home around 11pm (without a spare tube and pump in those days).

I'm definitely in agreement about having favorite and not-so-favorite mechanics, and really trusting a core group. I think this idea is much more aligned with casual or seasonal users, maybe even newer bike commuters.

And as a fellow B-school grad student, I'm glad to see an intriguing bike-centric idea like this!



Anne Alt said:

Agreed. I think that more casual riders who don't have repair skills or multiple bikes would probably be the ideal market for such a service.
 
Julie Hochstadter said:

I think for those who don't ride a lot or don't know how to fix their bike they are onto something in theory. I know casual riders who, once they get a flat, leave the bike for months or years sitting in their apt, garage or storage room since they don't even know how to get the bike to the shop, esp if they don't own a car or live near a shop. Many of us more daily or weekly riders may just not be the right market to test this concept with or have the need. But yes a lot of questions like when would they pick up, price etc. Is a huge factor.

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