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Old 05-11-11, 04:36 PM   #1
creativepart
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BicycleTutor.com now charging to view vids

The website bicycletutor.com was a great resource for learning how to fix and maintain your bike. It was free with a "make a donation" button. But it seems that this week they've gone to a $6 a month or $50 a year payment plan to view any of their videos.

I don't mind them earning money from their fine videos, but I find the pricing a tad high. Seems like about double what makes sense to charge.

Anyone else use them before the new pay wall?
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Old 05-11-11, 05:12 PM   #2
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yes i have use them . he has a link and reasons on facebook why . not only to support his site but also what he will like to do in the future with it .
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Old 05-11-11, 05:29 PM   #3
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Or you could buy the Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repairs or the Zinn and the art of bicycle maintenaince publication for about thirty dollars. Bicycle Tutor completly lost my respect with some of the ridiculous videos posted which were based entirely on uneducated personal opinion. The one in particular I remember was ` Why you should never use WD40 on your chain - its worse than using nothing at all`

The shops I work in use a rag with WD40 to remove exterior grease and grime on a chain before lubing and I have no issues about spraying a chain with WD40 after driving in the rain. It displaces water and will protect the innerard until I can attend to it properly. And it would actually be OK as a chain lube if you only drove once a week and were prepared to lube the chain before each ride.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:30 PM   #4
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Make your own damned videos if you think his fees are high.

He has invested his time to make the videos, he has invested money in equipment to shoot the videos, he has invested money to upgrade his equipment, and he has indicated in the past that he plans to invest more time to re-shoot some of his videos to make them better and more comprehensive.

If you think his product is good then invest in him. If not, make your own and see for yourself how much less you should actually charge to even break even in a reasonable amount of time.

Sheesh,
-j
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Old 05-11-11, 06:02 PM   #5
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All I'm saying is that I think the pricing model is wrong. Websites that move from a donation model to a pay wall have a very hard time staying in operation.

Look I operate 6 websites of my own. I have millions of visitors a month and nearly 100,000 registered members. I've been in business for 12 years with these websites -- longer than most websites have been on the internet. My sites are number one in Google for their niche. I earn my entire living running these websites and have for years. I know exactly what pressures he's facing.

Visits and membership in my websites would be cut by 75% or more if I tried to charge $50 a year to use the website.

That's all I'm saying so please back off if you please. No one is give you a hard time. "Sheesh" indeed.
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Old 05-11-11, 06:14 PM   #6
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I used to donate for the videos that i found helpful at bicycletutor, but i dont see why i would need to subscribe monthly. Besides, i found youtube to be more helpful.
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Old 05-11-11, 07:32 PM   #7
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Those videos sucked anyways, good riddance.

None of their procedures detailed in their videos gave a complete and methodical adjustment procedure. You could've learnt any of those noob techniques from any number of relevant google searches.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:07 PM   #8
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I've watched the bicycletutor.com videos and I think they are good. And, I'm all for a guy making a buck. But, I think they will have a difficult time selling this. There just isn't enough content to support $6/month. As an example, I subscribe to jamplay for guitar lessons. They have hundreds and hundreds of videos for a similar price. And, they add probably 20-25 new videos a week. Bicycletutor really needs to work on volume (and, of course quality) before they can really make a go of it.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:08 PM   #9
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I joined his forums specifically to ask him if he thought charging for previously free material was appropriate or ethical. Suggested that he move the old stuff to Youtube and charge for new things if he thought he could support himself.

He IP-banned me. Ha, ha, ha.

The price is way too steep, and the quality just wasn't that great. I'm sorry that he is apparently having tough times financially, but this isn't going to help.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:18 PM   #10
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I joined his forums specifically to ask him if he thought charging for previously free material was appropriate or ethical. Suggested that he move the old stuff to Youtube and charge for new things if he thought he could support himself.

He IP-banned me. Ha, ha, ha.

The price is way too steep, and the quality just wasn't that great. I'm sorry that he is apparently having tough times financially, but this isn't going to help.
Yeah - there are a few `experts` on the Internet that ban/delete all posts or comments that aren`t glowing reports about what a great job is being done. Bicycle Tutor is one of them. So much for honesty and freedom of speach!
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Old 05-12-11, 12:21 PM   #11
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he a Canadian not a American .
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Old 05-12-11, 12:25 PM   #12
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So much for honesty and freedom of speach!
It's his forum, he can do what he wants. "Freedom of speech" only refers to the government not taking away your rights to speech. Not a private business. He can do whatever he wishes.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:48 PM   #13
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I'm fricking SICK of every effing website on the internet trying to get my money via subscription fees, sorry but I'll buy a book before I'll pay for another website fee. i found some of the videos mildly helpful for beginners but not anything that can't be found for free elsewhere.

To charge 5/month is ludicrous, who is going to be watching that many videos a month? All most people use it for is a specific subject once in a while. He'd be smarter by far to charge say, 99c per video. Well maybe this is a good chance for someone else to make a better website on the subject.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:01 PM   #14
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I'm fricking SICK of every effing website on the internet trying to get my money via subscription fees, sorry but I'll buy a book before I'll pay for another website fee. i found some of the videos mildly helpful for beginners but not anything that can't be found for free elsewhere.

To charge 5/month is ludicrous, who is going to be watching that many videos a month? All most people use it for is a specific subject once in a while. He'd be smarter by far to charge say, 99c per video. Well maybe this is a good chance for someone else to make a better website on the subject.
Park Tool USA should just start making short videos available on their website and put him out of his misery. $5/month? What a joke!
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Old 05-12-11, 01:06 PM   #15
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I'm fricking SICK of every effing website on the internet trying to get my money via subscription fees, sorry but I'll buy a book before I'll pay for another website fee. i found some of the videos mildly helpful for beginners but not anything that can't be found for free elsewhere.

To charge 5/month is ludicrous, who is going to be watching that many videos a month? All most people use it for is a specific subject once in a while. He'd be smarter by far to charge say, 99c per video. Well maybe this is a good chance for someone else to make a better website on the subject.
The beauty of the free market economy is just what you have suggested. If he cannot gather enough revenue in the manner he has chosen to support his plans, he will scale down his plans, lower his price or get out of the business. You are free to pay or go elsewhere. I don't see what there is to complain about. Personally, I won't bother visiting or sending newbies as I used to do since his free content is only one of many places to find the info.

As far as the freedom of speech comments above, they don't apply here at all. First, his is a Canadian company and not bound by the US Constitution. Second but even more relevant, he is marketing his business! Naturally, he is posting only the best reviews - as well he should if he is to sell his site's benefit to potential new subscribers.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:11 PM   #16
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On the contrary, Neil Gunton (crazyguyonabike.com) is much smarter compared to bicycletutor dood.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/website/faq/#why_donate
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/websi...onate/?o=RrzKj

Niel actually quit his full-time job so that he can support CGOAB site.

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Old 05-12-11, 01:13 PM   #17
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To charge 5/month is ludicrous, who is going to be watching that many videos a month? All most people use it for is a specific subject once in a while. He'd be smarter by far to charge say, 99c per video. Well maybe this is a good chance for someone else to make a better website on the subject.
Ditto.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:18 PM   #18
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Suggested that he move the old stuff to Youtube
I wonder how many views his videos have. At least Youtube pays you a little something when your videos gather views.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:19 PM   #19
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the canadians in this thread hate this guy.

I used his videos religiously right after buying a park tool stand and tool kit. What they are is a great introduction into bike maintenance/repair CONCEPTS. I'd set up my laptop right in my bike room and play the video while trying out the various repairs/tune ups.

Would I pay for this? No, only because he isn't the end all be all of repair. He frequently only uses his older MTB as the bike in his repairs which still has a quill stem. I have a couple hybrids/a road bike/an 80's road bike.

I often would view his video as a way to figure out the concept(s) behind a repair - for instance rear derailleur video. Then I'd hit youtube to see if there were any specific repair videos for a SRAM red derailleur installation/adjustment and work from there.

So in a sense he's actually a bike professor not a tutor. because like with college professors they just should give you the concepts behind a lesson and you should do your own reading/research into the subject further to really learn what you need specifically.

In that sense biketutor monthly/yearly payment isn't really worth it in my opinion because you can still learn the concepts for free by searching youtube or checking out bike repair books from the library.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:21 PM   #20
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The nice thing about his site was that all the videos were in one place. But that won't make anyone want to pay to view them. There's just too much stuff available elsewhere, of equal or even better quality.

I doubt that even Sheldon Brown could have made money on a pay-only site. Too many people will create videos for free, that explain things "well enough", that no one can hope to turn a profit. Blogs and youtube's and ad revenue might give you a little walking-around money, but far from enough to support yourself.

When I posted on his forum, I hoped he would talk about what his business model is. Whether he's put any serious thought into this at all. I think I have my answer.
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Old 05-14-11, 10:22 PM   #21
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Just discovered that he's gone to a pay system.. I found the videos useful but i can't see many people paying for a subscription. maybe $1/month.. but for $5/mo there better be some naked women involved

the videos had good production quality though, and there were lot of them. he probably wasn't making enough through donations so went to a pay model. i would recommend he talk to an expert in monetizing sites cause i don't think this move will be a success for him.. though i could be wrong. One problem he has is most people who want to learn to fix their bikes are people too cheap to pay someone else to do it
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Old 05-24-11, 07:38 PM   #22
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No free trial? Or, at least I didn't see it. At least PJTV gives you 5 free "views", sort of. . . anyway
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Old 05-24-11, 08:48 PM   #23
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I've used WD40 as chain lube and got a dozen rides in no problems. I agree with Burton, the whole 'don't EVER use WD40 on your bike EVER' thing is overblown. The fact is it does have a light lubricant in it, so as long as you know you'll need to properly clean/re-grease-lube whatever parts you're hitting with it, it's better than no lubing at all. If you're lazy, prefer riding to cleaning, or just plain don't like wasting time cleaning stuff, then WD40 is A-okay in my book. But WTF do I know?
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Old 05-24-11, 09:05 PM   #24
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+1

WD40 can work wonders on a dry or rusty chain. It is definitely better than nothing, as long as you realize it won't last forever. It actually does a good job of cleaning the chain too if you run it along the chain then wipe off the excess with a rag.

But a good chain lube (oil) is still better in the long run.
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Old 05-25-11, 10:48 AM   #25
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I guess we can take it as: Never use WD40 until you know that you can.

I suspect that the "chain cleaner" that comes in really small cans for like $5 to $12 is basically the same stuff.

But for PCBs? Yeah. I spray it in my phone and laptops whenever apart for upgrade, cleaning, repair. Never have to fear transient moisture or even a dunking.
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