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The Future of BicycleTutor.com

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Alex Ramon Offline
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Vancouver, BC
Posts: 589
Joined: Oct 2009
Post: #1
The Future of BicycleTutor.com
I just checked the traffic stats and was excited to learn over 4 million people have now visited the site! When I started the site I had no idea it would be this popular. I feel I should let you all know what is happening behind the scenes and what my goals are for the future of the site.

First of all, I really appreciate everyone's support and patience. It's been so incredible to hear how many people like the tutorials and want to see more. Unfortunately due to time and money restraints (and the fact it's a one-man show) I haven't been able to post new tutorials as often as I would like. The list of requests continues to grow and I have had a hard time keeping up, especially considering each video takes me 2 full days to produce. I've been running the site out of pocket and doing what I can in my spare time. Just keeping the site running smoothly takes up most of my time and money. Donations and DVD orders have helped lighten the load and are appreciated but don't come close to covering costs. I had originally thought advertising methods would provide the needed funds, but they just don't seem to work on this site due to the nature of the content. I have now given up on that idea and have started consulting with some business professionals for ideas.

I am now working on a new plan to get the site out of debt and towards financial success. I have some fresh ideas that I'll be trying out over the next few months so you'll see some changes. The goal is for the site to make enough funds so that I can treat it as a full time job, and also have the resources to order the bikes, components and tools needed to continue what I started.

Priorities for the future:

1. Video tutorials. To date we have almost 50 videos but it still seems like only a fraction compared to how many topics people have requested, as well as all the other topics I would like to do. I'm expecting at some point we'll have at least 200+ videos just to cover all the basic maintenance and repair topics. At some point I'd also like to expand the content to include other topics like product reviews, riding techniques, etc.

2. Mobile apps. A lot of people want to be able to use the site on their smartphones (blackberry, iphone, etc). For a while I was offering video downloads for a small fee, but I found that system took way too much work to manage, and there were a lot of technical and compatibility issues. At some point I plan to hire some professionals to develop some trouble-free mobile apps to fill this demand.

3. DVDs. I will to continue make DVD volumes available every 25 videos. So far they are strictly chronological, but in the future I will revamp them in a more comprehensive way (all the basics on volume 1, etc.)

4. Studio space. I'm currently filming in the kitchen of my small apartment. This worked in the beginning but has now become a real annoyance. I basically have to rearrange my house every time I make a video. In the near future I hope to rent a larger house with a garage or a proper space for a permanent set where everything is always set up so I can just walk in and record.

5. Website improvements. I've basically pieced together different pieces of software to make the site work (wordpress, mybb, etc). For now this works fine, but as the site grows I will be looking to hire some developers to rework the site so it is even easier for visitors to browse and find what they are looking for. It might not seem obvious on the surface, but in the back end things could flow a lot better.

Those are my main priorities, and I've got plenty of other ideas and resources I'd like to build for you all in the future. Feel free to add your thoughts and suggestions on this thread. Thanks!
Sep 1, 2010 03:12 PM
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GeorgeET Offline
Veteran Member

Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,064
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #2
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Thanks for a great site Alex. AS a Hollywood movie grip I would have loved to volunteer to help you make videos, and learn more about bike servicing in the process. However the commute is a killer. :-)

Good luck with your projects.

Never Give Up!!!
Sep 1, 2010 08:47 PM
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Bill Offline
Veteran Member

NY,USA
Posts: 2,765
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #3
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex,
You are a great man to do all the things you have for this site and personally I still look up to, respect, and applaud you in many many ways!! For one person to do what is needed to keep this site running is an amazing task.

Thank you very much for everything you are doing for the site,
Bill

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Sep 1, 2010 09:26 PM
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ezdoesit Offline
Member

Woodland Park, NJ
Posts: 35
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #4
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Thank you Alex for all you do and continue to do I know I really appreciate it.


Remember it's mind over matter
if you don't mind it doesn't matter

Ride more drive less
Sep 2, 2010 04:16 PM
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Jordan300 Offline
Senior Member

Gainesville, FL
Posts: 482
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #5
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
I love this site. It's a great place for people to find help and give it too. I'm excited for you and I hope your plans come to fruition. You talked about new videos and that got me really excited. There is so much new stuff out there I want to learn about.
Sep 2, 2010 07:49 PM
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nd456 Offline
Member


Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #6
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
This site has been so helpful

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear
Oct 17, 2010 02:51 PM
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wolverine_1960 Offline
New Member


Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #7
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Just joined today but have been visiting for a couple of months now. I love this site, thanks for teaching me the basics of bicycles. If it wasn't for this site, I would probably still be dishing out $45 bucks a month on tune ups for my bike.
Dec 2, 2010 09:06 PM
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etherealglimpse Offline
New Member


Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #8
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Thank you so much! You've taken a big weight off my shoulders. The work on this site is appreciated. Everyone I show it to is really impressed something with so much information on a topic exists. It's wonderful!
Mar 1, 2011 01:11 PM
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rafilas Offline
New Member

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #9
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
This website is awesome! I think you could get some help worldwide by allowing your audience to help you out with the videos. They could send a video following some guidelines you could create, then you'd analyze these videos and decide if they're ok to be uploaded to this website.

Well, this is just a thought. Hope you can keep this running! Smile

The Adventure of my Life: http://alaska-ushuaia.blogspot.com
Mar 12, 2011 12:41 PM
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Rip Van Winkle Offline
New Member


Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #10
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Great site! You do an outstanding job of explaining complicated subject matter in a simple and straightforward way.

I've been riding bikes since the 1950s, and have an amateur repair shop in my garage, along with my 16 bicycles. I've also been directing TV for over 35 years. Perhaps I could help out with the video somehow.

Keep up the good work!

Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle slept for twenty years, and when he awoke all the bicycles had changed!
Mar 30, 2011 11:55 AM
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ghost Offline
Senior Member

Kent, UK
Posts: 107
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #11
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex, you should be proud of this web site. Although I have been a bicycle mechanic for 30 years, there are some great things I have updated on and I enjoy the blogs.

Cycle the streets of Bristol!
Feb 20, 2012 06:02 AM
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RobAR Offline
Veteran Member

Mountain Home, AR
Posts: 725
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #12
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex. The stats are way cool. So is the whole site. Be a shame to see it go away.
To be honest - I was a little upset when the vids got a charge but, I can understand that.
Have you considered commercial sponsorship? I, for one, work at a LBS and have put a Facebook link to BT on our FB page. I often recommend this site to customers with questions that don't go Sheldon Deep.
My boss knows what I've done on FB and likes it. I don't adv on BT per terms. That garage stuff is mine!
What if a little bike shop in Arkansas wanted to help? Are there anymore bike shops? Will they? I can promise you, Alex, there are incognito mechs hanging here. If you can keep it cheap to present to our boss's, you might get some shops in the loop. Cup your hands and blow on that flame. We Didn't Start The Fire!

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
Feb 20, 2012 06:55 PM
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etherealglimpse Offline
New Member


Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #13
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Good luck with marketing, I still love the site. I hope things are working out since last year.

Facebook marketing, twitter marketing, google marketing, newsletters.

Sponsorships back and forth between you and some shops that are willing.

Maybe getting sponsors from sites that are bike manufacturers.

What about the idea of getting on site like kickstart and presenting your ideas for future development. If you have a great idea and a good presentation of said idea you could get some funding to bring your future ideas to fruition.

It's nice that you kept the forums free for people to share. I rather watch your videos 100 times than read all these damn books with black and white photos. lol. Good luck!
Feb 20, 2012 08:05 PM
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surreypete Offline
Member

Surrey, UK
Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 2010
Post: #14
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex I am sure everyone who uses the site appreciates all the hard work you put in to making the videos and sharing you knowledge with those that are here to learn, I've personally learnt a lot from being here and you have a way of explaining the task in simple, easy to follow instructions that even the most ham fisted home bike mechanic can understand.

I originally came here as I was annoyed at the treatment I received in bike shops, a lot of questions I was asking were answered with "book it in to the workshop and we'll do it". thing is I didn't want to pay someone else but I wanted to learn it and do it myself, I am a great believer in the concept that you get strength through joy, if you do it yourself you'll do it properly and nothing beats that feeling of saving hard earned cash.

Keep at trying to promote the site, I'm suprised some of the big bike internet stores like Wiggle don't want to advertise on here as I am sure they would get customers, they could do a tool of the month feature that we could win, that would be great, also as said above a big bike manufacturer on board would be the cherry on the cake for you I'm sure.

Keep at it Alex, you got some great ideas.

Cannondale, handmade in USA............................................Refined in Surrey, England
Apr 10, 2013 02:58 PM
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FredS Offline
Senior Member

Pike co., Mo.
Posts: 133
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #15
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex, I am with everyone here and I love the place. People are friendly and helpful when a question is asked. If you ask i sure that some of the people here would b willing to help with a video or two that you can review and post.

Have fun and just enjoy the ride
Apr 11, 2013 05:50 AM
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redfoxglove Offline
Member


Posts: 46
Joined: May 2013
Post: #16
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Have you considered a membership? Small fee for membership, something like $25 a year. I pay that much to belong to an art guild in my town. It's nothing. You could offer something for it, like a set of vids or something, or an ongoing discount on vids, or a T shirt or cap or bike jersey, or ... or something like esoterica for bike maintenance that only the cognoscenti can access via membership. I know, elitist. But hey Everyman ain't paying your rent.

Membership has worked great for some things, look at rei (member since 1987 BTW).

Not everyone would buy in, some people keep their quarters tight between their cheeks. Some though don't mind forking out a small amount to feel like they are contributing to the larger whole.

Love this site. So ill of the snooty bike shop vibe. Good work, glad to hear you are consulting pros. You can only do work for so long out of love, then it has to start paying its way. Let those of us who benefit be part of that trend. Just sayin.
May 20, 2013 10:59 PM
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budstutor Offline
New Member


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #17
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Alex, I've bee watching and learning from your site since the free days. (My first time in the forum, however) I had no problem with the annual fee. I'm way ahead. You are doing a great job. Thanks and I hope all works out for you to keep it going.
Bud
Jun 13, 2013 07:54 PM
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JCW01 Offline
New Member


Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #18
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Thank you for your expertise! I have both of the DVD's and find them extremely helpful. I do hope you will be able to continue with your tutorials and advice.
Jun 15, 2013 11:48 AM
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1FJEF Offline
Veteran Member

Northern Mexico (Central CA)
Posts: 582
Joined: May 2011
Post: #19
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
Anyone see a post from Alex in the last couple of years?
Jun 15, 2013 05:40 PM
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painkiller Offline
Veteran Member

Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,258
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #20
RE: The Future of BicycleTutor.com
(Jun 15, 2013 05:40 PM)1FJEF Wrote:  Anyone see a post from Alex in the last couple of years?

I think this was his last post when he tried to calm the waters when someones feeling got a bit hurt for taking things the wrong way
http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-3298-post-18215.html#pid18215


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Jun 15, 2013 05:46 PM
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