Heroku App Helps People Monetize their Spare Bikes and Boards

Spinlister provides a global rental marketplace for anyone to list or rent bikes, as well as snow and surf equipment

Got a spare bike? You may own one of the millions of unused bikes, snowboards, and other sports equipment that are gathering dust in basements around the world. Need a temporary bike? You may be one of the millions of people with a short-term need for such equipment. Maybe you are visiting a new city and need a bike for a few days, or you want to learn how to surf but don’t have your own board. As with other services in today’s sharing economy, ideally you’d rent what you need from like-minded people in your community. You’d get to try out awesome rides, meet awesome people, and get your sports fix when you need it.

The founders of Spinlister saw the need to connect active people who own or need sports equipment through an online platform that allows them to meet and transact. They launched Spinlister in 2012 focused on bikes, but later expanded their rental marketplace to support other sports equipment such as snowboards, skis, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards. Through a simple and elegant interface, owners can list their equipment, set their price, and receive insurance benefits for up to $10k. Renters can browse listings around the world and contact the lister to book the equipment and arrange pickup. Listers make money, renters get affordable, quality equipment. It’s a win-win for both parties and encourages an active, healthy lifestyle.


The Rider’s Marketplace, Powered by Heroku

Spinlister’s engineering team had prior experience with Heroku, so when it came time to consider a platform to run their new app, Heroku was the natural choice. The platform allowed them to accelerate their development cycles and get their new concept to market quickly and efficiently. Starting with a responsive website, they later deployed native iOS and Android apps – all powered by Heroku. The team found that the Heroku platform made the process of deploying, configuring, scaling, tuning, and managing their app simple and straightforward, so they could focus squarely on building a differentiating user experience.

We’ve had great experience with Heroku in the past, so it made sense to chose Heroku for Spinlister. Marcelo Loureiro, Re-Founder, Spinlister

Spinlister was built using Ruby on Rails tied to a Heroku Postgres database and Stripe for payment processing. The team especially loved the range of tools, components, and services available in the Heroku Elements marketplace. Some of their favorites include: Deploy Hooks for update notifications, Librato for performance monitoring, Logentries for log management, Mailgun for email automation, New Relic APM to monitor and tune their app, Papertrail for log management, Redis Cloud to manage their Redis instance, and Heroku Scheduler to run scheduled tasks.


We’ve made business and technical decisions based on what was in the Heroku Elements marketplace, which saves us a ton of time researching and testing technology solutions. If it’s in the marketplace, we know it is top-notch. Carter De Angelis, VP of Product, Spinlister

App Experience

Spinlister users enjoy a simple, highly visual, sophisticated user experience on the web app, or native iOS and Android apps. In 90 seconds or less, anyone can list their bike through the web or mobile app. They upload a photo, type in a description, set rental prices (per hour, day, or week), and add any related accessories such as locks and helmets. Listers have full flexibility over their listing and can accept or decline any requests, and hide their listing at any time. Spinlister takes care of the transaction and equipment insurance.


Renters can browse for equipment based on city and view a map with pins that indicate the general vicinity of each listing. They can also search on special preferences (e.g. high, price range, type of bike, etc.). When a renter finds a ride they like, they can request the ride and select the day or date range they need. Once the owner accepts the request, the renter confirms and pays via the platform. The rental request initiates a conversation between lister and renter, who then agree upon pickup or delivery arrangements. Renters can rate and review their rides upon return.

Spinlister is working to evolve the experience to include a subsidized “A to B” bike share model, as well features to reduce any friction in the lister-renter exchange, including more automation and self-service capabilities.

Three simple words unites sports enthusiasts around the world: Rent My Ride.

Do you need to get your social commerce app to market quickly and still be ready to scale? Spinlister built their app on Heroku so they could jumpstart their business with confidence. For more information, contact Heroku today.