Michael Hanslip Coaching

If you want to go faster, you have to pedal harder

ProBikeGarage maintenance app

Probably ten years ago I purchased a Feedback Sports Pro workstand. In exploring the paperwork that came with it I discovered they have an app for tracking bike maintenance. It links to your Strava account and pulls in distances. I've been using that since to keep track of my maintenance. But my Strava updating hasn't worked properly since day 1. Lots of emails to the coders who built the app and some diagnostic work with them and ... nothing. Still updates every so often but not properly.
Then I heard about ProBikeGarage app online somewhere. I was thinking perhaps I should swap when I got an email from Feedback Sports that they had sold their app to another American bike business (an online bike shop?) and there was a link to download the current version of the newly renamed app. Following that link I got the message that the app is not available in Australia.
For less than $10 I thought I should try out the alternative. And now I have been using it for a couple of weeks. It pulls your bikes out of your Strava account, so if it isn't there is isn't in the maintenance list. But once in the app, you can add components and even make complex components built out of other components (picture a wheel made of hub, spokes and rim). One sub-component, like the hub, can have one maintenance schedule (for its bearings) while another, like the rim, can have a different schedule (for rim tape, spoke tension, etc).
Use can be tracked in time or distance or calendar time. Replace fork seals after 100 hours of riding. Re-lubricate a chain after 300 km of riding. Refresh sealant in a tyre after 3 months (whether ridden or not). All of these intervals are possible in the ProBikeGarage.
It allows special circumstances too. Such as when on the trainer the rear wheel doesn't accumulate use. And parts can be swapped easily. Two sets of wheels? No worries. To get proper stats for some wheels I carried over from older bikes to current bikes I had to go into Strava and unretire the old bike. Then it uploaded into PBG. Then I added the wheels and it calculated distance and hours used. Finally I moved the item at the appropriate date to the current bike and it brought its prior use with it. Very nice. (And I re-retired the bike in Strava after to get it out of the way.)
As a maintenance deadline approaches, the bike goes "orange" to warn you. Once crossing the deadline, the bike goes "red". Every day on the anniversary of the part's installation (each item has an installation time on it so PBG can distinguish if you swapped before or after a particular ride) it sends a warning notification through the phone.
 
I had been estimating time of use from distance and estimated speed. I was off. My Ibis wasn't just approaching the 100 hours for suspension seals, but was well past at around 145 hours. So I got a warning every day. My Spot wasn't most of the way to 100 hours, but right at it. So I got a warning every day for that one too. Now that I've replaced the fork seals on both bikes (the fluid in the Spot's fork was crystal clear but there wasn't much of it while there was plenty of fluid in the Ibis's fork but it was a bit dirty - so both needed doing) and checked some suspension sag across different bikes, PBG is happy and stopped sending me notifications every day.
 
I've had extensive correspondence with the developers. They were very curious about my experiences with a competitor's product and seem genuinely interested in customer feedback to guide future development. I need access to multiple Strava accounts to keep track of use on different owner's bikes since I'm the family mechanic. They haven't implemented a good solution - yet. They do plan to have some way to connect with 2 or more accounts. It wasn't clear to me if this was a technical hurdle (how do we do it?) or a time hurdle (when we've done all this other stuff, we'll do that!).
 
If you need to keep track of your bikes for maintenance, and you use Strava, I recommend this one.