Marin Bikes told us they needed a great way to get new riders on the trail. We gave them a community building platform designed to guide anyone on their journey from novice to confident rider

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The Business

Market competition scenario:
Marin as a brand has had a rich legacy synonymous with glorifying the two wheeled vehicle. Over the years ,the brand has experienced a diminishing in popularity owing to factors like heavy competition, multiple buying options and much more.

Competitor rivalry:
Higher number of competitors be it newer or high legacy brands

Power of buyers:
Heavy buying power in the target customer’s hands, due to multiple brand options. This may not be necessarily related to price, but the awareness, presence and evolvement of the brand.

Power of suppliers:
Suppliers definitely have a lower power owing to the presence of a significant competition. This implies that brands like Marin, have to really work on their presence, through innovation. This may not be the product, but some additional services catering to their target audience.

Threat of new entries:
Threat of new entries can be taken as medium to high factor, as this aspect is faced by several legacy biking brands.

Threat to substitution:
Threat to substitution is high as people have multiple outdoor activities and sports to pursue. Thereby leading us to the implication that the target audience may not make an investment into a bike. The cause and conclusions can be derived through a meticulous analysis of reasons like” safety”, lack of awareness for biking routes, etc.

The Survey

Current Riding Habits

We found this to be particularly interesting. The data we collected indicated very weighted results. Frequent riders and infrequent riders.

Sticking Points

So we wanted to know more about the sticking points with riding. We had some ideas and we were curious to see what we got right, and what we got wrong. While there were a number of sticking points, one stood out.

Social Indicators

Here we found that while there were a number of determining aspects, social interaction played a major role in the decision process for engaging in outdoor activities.


Here’s Lauren, a 27 year old female working as a graphic designer. She’s an outdoor enthusiast who loves to socialize with her friends. She loves to gain a vivid array of experiences, that compliment her dynamic exploring personality. She would love to try mountain biking but says:

“It looks kind of dangerous.”
“I just don’t know anyone who rides?”
“How would I get there?”
“I wouldn’t want to slow anyone down”

We want to get her on a bike and having fun bu t needs some assistance, motivation, knowledge and logistics. We took these factors into the ideation process.


The Problem

“Lauren wants to go riding with her experienced mountain biking friends, but she’s not sure how to get started.”


We envisioned our app as something people would use to find a place to ride, find friends to ride with.. We want to build a social center for mountain biking activities that would benefit both the community and the company.

Our initial user flow had some global elements and a path to find trails and friends to ride with. In an effort to make the app useful when out on a ride, we include some how to’s, in case of emergency :(. We also like the ability to add trip reports :). This will help build a community.

The flow evolved to include various options along the way but was still a linear path to find a trail with ability to express interests to others in the community. If others had the same interest in a certain activity, there would be a messaging option to connect.

With the social aspect weighing so heavily in the research, we decided to make it an equal priority with finding a trail. The app could engage the user by offering a choice, trail friend or group, at the opening of the app. Each path would be based on a users particular motivation.

The Solution

This is a flow where Lauren first chooses a trail then goes on to find a friend and initiates a chat. She can start out with the trails that are rated as easy and find friends who ride at her level. As she get more experience, she can find new challenges.


Tell us a story.

It’s really about people. We invite them to contribute content in the form of trip reports. This keeps users coming back, to tell about their experiences and to see what their friends have been doing. This is one of the key ways we hope to build community.

Marin Bikes can use analytics data to see riders interests an offer services connected to them such as a shop lead trip to a popular area.


Marin Bikes is reaching out to accommodate new riders. By targeting the issues revealed in the research they begin to lower the barriers to entry. In return, they get a community of riders on which to build brand loyalty.

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