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Hey, Can I Borrow Your Bike? AirDonkey Says No… But You Can Rent it

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AirDonkey, a name that…. well, it’s a name you won’t forget for a system that is one part Uber, one part, AirBnB, and all bicycle. Have a bike or two laying around that you’re not using? Want to make some extra cash? Or do you just want to rent a bike close to wherever you’re standing when you don’t have yours? That is what AirDonkey is for.

Click on through and see how many of us could benefit from this bike share system….


Though we’ve seen some variations of bike share devices like the Bitlock smart bike lock, Erdem Ovacik out of Copenhagen, Denmark saw the growing business model of Uber and AirBnB, and thought taking the convenience of Uber, the flexibility of AirBnB, and adding the enjoyment of a bicycle would be a great idea. They have started a Kickstarter page that is off to a good start to put the kit into production. Though modeled around an urban setting and the euro-style bikes with the rear wheel loop lock, who’s to say this system couldn’t be used to rent even higher end bikes to people visiting your area one day?


To put up your bike for rent, you order the AirDonkey kit which consists of an electronically controlled wheel lock, bar mounted instruction panel, seatpost quick release, and decals. After downloading the app, set up seems pretty straight forward. The lock operates via Bluetooth from both the owner’s phone for setup purposes, and the renter’s phone to purchase the rental and unlock the bike. Then like Uber, once the renter is finished, they lock the bike, take a picture which shows its condition as well as establish its location, and the app pays the owner for the rental. Like AirBnb, YOU get to set the price. Depending on what kind of bike you have or maybe if you have a useful accessory like a baby seat on it, you have complete freedom to determine the price based on demand.

donkey-app-unlock-ping iphone-white2

The app is pretty simple to use. Open the app, wait for your GPS to determine your location, then the app shows you all of the “Donkified” bikes in your area. You then scroll through until you find the bike you like for the price you want and book it. If you want to use your own bike, you can also use the AirDonkey lock as a regular lock.

Here is a run down of how the whole process works:

  • Order your AirDonkey Kit.
  • Mount the lock and panel on your bike.
  • Park you bike in a convenient spot.
  • Take a picture of your bike.
  • Create a profile for your bike on AirDonkey.
  • Upload a picture.
  • Define your drop-off zone.
  • List unique features of bike, for example, a baby seat.
  • Select a daily and weekly rental price for your bike.
  • Users contact you via Donkey Republic App.
  • They reserve and pay in the Donkey App.
  • You get 80% of the pay, Donkey Republic takes 20%.
  • Now user can unlock your bike.


AirDonkey even has their own line of Donkified bikes for purchase with covered chain guards giving people the opportunity to rent out a bike if they don’t have one they wish to rent.

AirDonkey Kickstarter Video from Donkey Republic on Vimeo.

AirDonkey Kickstarter Page

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8 years ago

This is just to say…

I borrowed
the bike
that was in
the garage

and which
you likely
get around on

Give me a break
the wheel tacoed
but it was a sweet

parody by JM 2011

8 years ago

We’re gonna need a bigger lock?

8 years ago

There is already spinlister. Ive used it once on a business trip and really liked it

8 years ago

Hi – Donkey Republic here; thanks for your comments and in answer to your questions:

The lock we offer is hammer-proof and cannot be cut using a standard bolt-cutter; as an option the lock comes with a leash which will allow you and other users to lock the bike to something, e.g. a lamp-post. We know that cities around the world have different levels of bike-theft and we do have other designs in the pipeline.

Our service is quite different from Spinlister; we offer a lock that can be mounted on almost any bike and thereby converting it into a shared bike users can rent and owners make money on. No personal transaction required. An integrated rating service will provide the feedback needed. A typical bike in our system will be functional and with all the basics to get around the urban lanscape – hope to also have you as a client one day 🙂

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