Online peer-to-peer services like Uber and Airbnb have transformed many industries. Could a similar system be used for sharing touring bikes?
An internet company, Spinlister, offers peer-to-peer bike rental/hire. It isn’t aimed at touring bikes specifically, but there is no reason why it shouldn’t be used for it.
While some people tour constantly, most will spend much of their life working while their expensive touring bike sits unused in a shed. Why not rent out that bike when it’s not in use? Conversely, for people who don’t tour that often, or are thinking about starting but don’t want to spend a fortune just yet, wouldn’t it be useful to hire a bike for a first tour? Even for experienced tourers, using the bike of someone in a different country could certainly be more convenient than lugging your own on a plane.
Bike hire is of already widely available but tends to be for short periods in specific places only, and the bikes are seldom ideal for touring. It also tends to be expensive.
While the Spinlister thing is all new and hitech and shiny, there is nothing stopping you from posting an ad on a cycle touring site and arranging to rent or hire a bike without the middleman. Spinlister does offer insurance however, which may make it more attractive.