Crossa: Keeping your wheels spinning
Millions of cyclists across the globe know the frustrating experience of suffering a mechanical failure miles away from home. Burdened with tired legs, the rider must attempt to fix the problem or plot a long and miserable journey home.
A few years ago, Performance Sports Engineering PhD student Agata Tomaszewska was riding alone when a spoke broke on her rear wheel. “The two-hour walk to the nearest train station got me thinking,” she says. “I felt there had to be a better way. After discussing my experiences with fellow cyclists and bike shops, Crossa was born.
“Crossa is a crowd sourced cycling roadside assistance and bicycle servicing app. It has one simple goal: getting you back on your bike, wherever you are.”
Cycle traffic has increased every year since 2008 in Great Britain, with more than five million people now using bikes three or more times a week. Over three billion miles were covered by Britain’s cyclists last year, with trips ranging from endurance races to city commutes.
Crossa was founded in 2014 and its visionary Agata, a bronze medallist in the 2014 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Women Team Pursuit, has already loaded the free software onto Apple’s App Store.
“Crossa is the first community-driven app for cyclists,” she says. “Even if you ride by yourself you are never alone. You are always connected to a community of other cyclists and bike shops who can help when things go wrong.
“We want this free mobile app to ultimately become the go-to market place for all cyclists when it comes to gaining mechanical support, whether it be on the road or at home. Crossa is redefining the relationships between bike shops and their customers, while creating the first cycling roadside assistance network.”
Stranded cyclists can request help for pickup or assistance using the app, sending an automated message to other users in the vicinity with details of their needs. Users can respond to support requests with information including a price quote or approximate arrival times. Many services provided by users on the platform do involve a charge, though Crossa does also encourage Good Will Roadside Assistance which is celebrated through awards.
Users can reach out to local bike shops or mechanics on the app if their bike requires a service or needs a replacement part. Professionals compete for the service and can even offer to pick the bike up and drop it off when it’s ready. There is no charge for bike shop owners to use the tool which brings customers directly to their door.
The Crossa team is looking for investment as the company expands its network. Bike shop owners and members of the cycling community are also encouraged to take advantage of the free tool. You can get in touch with Crossa using the contact form on this page.