Mobile & Blog Improvements
Today I released some changes to bike profiles so that they work better on mobile. Now the photos are near the top, instead of way down under the comments on small screens.
There's also some slight improvements to the blog, including bringing it into the main site where it can be better integrated and updated easier.
Thanks everyone for contributing and flagging content and such. Still making progress on cleaning up spam and preventing it from happening, and will have more updates soon. Cheers!
More Site Updates
Over the last few days, I've switched over the rest of the site so that it all uses the new design, and removed a lot of spam. Still more to remove, but making progress. I'm continuing to work on algorithms that work under the hood to automatically remove spam and spammers, and that's improving too.
I also switched the underlying database, so search may behave slightly differently, but things should basically work the same and be more reliable. On the old system, there was the database and a separate search tool, and sometimes they'd get out of sync or have performance issues. Now that shouldn't happen, and the system as a whole is much easier to work on.
There's still tons to work on, but it's been good to make progress, and I appreciate everyone still adding bikes, flagging spam, etc. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon.
Welcome to the New Pedal Room
You're looking at the updated Pedal Room, at least on this page. Bit by bit I'll be working on the site and improving things, starting with the home page. The home page is now mobile-friendly, and does a better job at showing off bikes.
The general discussion forum is temporarily removed, as it was just a cesspool of scumbag spammers and bots. There's new filters to try to better weed out the bots and spammers in other areas too, and as I improve the tech I'll be able to hopefully get things like notifications working again.
Other pages like bike browsing pages and profiles are also updated to use the new mobile-friendly layout.
I wanted to have the whole site switched over, but figured I'd start small and get something out, and continue to iterate. It's been too long since I've spent time updating and caring for the site, and my goal is to change that and improve things.
What I really want for Pedal Room is for it to be a great space for bikes, with more searching and browsing options, a better marketplace, and less lowlife spammers.
Thank you to everyone who's here reading this, and stay tuned for more work on the site coming very soon. Cheers!
Bug Fixes, Marketplace Improvements, & More
This week a few bugs have been fixed around messaging and various crashes when posting.
Also, the marketplace is becoming more of a first-class-citizen, and I'm making numerous improvements there.
1. Image previews are now displayed on the home page of the marketplace
2. Bikes for sale must now be listed in the marketplace only. Bikes listed as such in the normal bikes gallery will not be surfaced on bike browsing pages or search results until "for sale" has been edited out of the title. This is covered in more detail on the bike guidelines when you go to add/edit a bike.
This week has been busy in terms of much-needed Pedal Room work, and there's lots more coming soon!
NAHBS 2016 Coverage and More
Today we've got some special coverage of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show by my buddy Rob of Domestic Bikes.
Over 125 photos and notes are up at http://www.pedalroom.com/nahbs2016, and there's more!
On the NAHBS 2016 Coverage page, we're experimenting with new higher-res photos, which should show to users with high-DPI displays (like the Apple Retina display) on desktop browsers. Let me know if you notice any quality or speed differences. I hope to introduce higher-res photos to all bikes on the rest of the site soon if all goes well.
I also fixed a couple bugs around photo uploading. Photos should no longer be rotated incorrectly, and when a bike photo is replaced, the new one will always show now.
Please let me know what you think. Things are going good and there's a lot more coming soon. Cheers!
Photogrid & Member Page Improvements
Today I released some quick improvements to photogrid search results and member profiles.
Member profiles now show much larger photos of bikes, and the page layout has been tweaked a bit to accomodate them.
And when you view search results using the photogrid option, the page now loads faster, and bike titles are now overlayed on the images so you have a better idea of what you're looking at.
Hope you enjoy the quick tweaks. There's more coming tomorrow, and I'm still hard at work on mobile apps and preparing the backend of the site for them. Let me know what you think, and stay tuned!
Speed is king. Faster websites are better for both the visitor and the server, and as Pedal Room has grown, bits of the site have gotten a bit too slow for my liking.
So over the last couple weeks I've been working on lots of small improvements, mostly behind-the-scenes and mostly speed-related. Several pages, including bike searches, bike pages, and member profiles should be a bit faster. The speed tweaks will be especially necessary when I release the Pedal Room mobile app, which is currently under development and should be done soon!
Also, the home page design has been tweaked a bit to be more compact and load faster.
Several people have requested this, so you can also now browse all of the previously featured bikes. And ordering searches by most-favorited is back by popular demand too.
Cheers! Let me know what you think!
Search and Speed Improvements
Today I'm happy to announce the release of new search tools for Pedal Room!
The biggest change one will notice is that searching or browsing for bikes is now much, much faster. Also, bike pages, the browse bikes page, bikes by tag, member profiles, and your logged-in control panel should all be much faster.
Another big change is the way the search engine now works. Bikes are now only shown if they match all keywords (before it used to be if a bike matched any keyword.) It can also handle smarter phrases, so the following search terms all now work:colnago master -pista
bikes with keywords "colnago" and "master", as long as keyword "pista" is not found@title cannondale track
bikes with title that matches both "cannondale" and "track""columbus max"
bikes with exact phrase "columbus max"
The search engine now also matches shorter words (as short as two characters) and usernames. Furthermore, the search engine now matches only bikes with photos by default. You can still do a search for bikes without photos from the bikes search page if necessary.
Finally, the browse bikes page has gotten a facelift. It now shows photos of recently added and updated bikes. Also, the updated bikes column now excludes recently added bikes so that a new bike doesn't show up twice on the page.
Hope you guys enjoy the new search features. I'm excited because searching is not only better and faster, but the new search engine paves the way for some of the location-based features coming soon. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think!
Improved Comment Notifications
Today I finally revamped the comment notifications so that they work a bit better.
First, when you post a comment on a bike, you'll now be notified when someone replies to your comment.
Also, when you're the owner of a bike and someone posts a reply, you'll now get an improved email notification noting that there's a reply and linking directly to it on your bike's page.
These two changes should improve commenting and make it harder to miss replies. Let me know if you've got any feedback or suggestions to make the site work better. Cheers!
Forum Topic Notifications
I just released some work on the forums to allow anyone to subscribe to a topic. Once subscribed, you'll receive email notifications when a new reply is posted.
You can unsubscribe anytime, or see/unsubscribe from all on the new notifications page at http://www.pedalroom.com/notifications (works only once you're logged in), which is also now linked to from your control panel.
Let me know what you think and what else you'd like to see. I'm also working on things like a quick reply for the forums (which is tricky due to the image uploading) and some other nice improvements. Cheers!
Today I'm happy to release some long-overdue messaging improvements.
The biggest change is that messages going forward will be in a threaded format, so that all replies back and forth are captured in one view. You can also tell if the recipient opened the message based on the icon next to any sent message.
There are also changes to your inbox, as shown above. You can see all messages, including sent ones, at a glance and see reply counts, now that messages are in a threaded format.
Let me know what you think, and if you've got any concerns or suggestions. And stay tuned for more improvements coming very soon!
Some Updates, and More Coming Soon
It's been a long time! The last few months have kept me busy with mending a relationship, nursing injuries and illness, and work to pay the bills, but I'm happy to finally be back into the swing of things with Pedal Room!
Today I released a couple small tweaks.
First off is flagging of forum posts and bikes. There have been some problems lately with trolls, spammers, and fights, and that's going to stop. The first step is community flagging. Now, when you see a forum post or bike that violates the rules (spam, hateful, not a bike, etc.), you can click the "Flag" link, add some comments, and flag that content. I will then review it and take whatever action is necessary. I'm also working on moderator tools and appointing some moderators to help me manage the site.
Second, bikes now show a "last updated" date. Small, but progress!
There are a lot of upcoming changes coming soon, and I'll be posting about those more in the next few days. Cheers!
Today I'm happy to release the new Pedal Room Blog. The design has been refined, and more importantly, the blog should now be much, much faster.
The main reasoning behind this is that Pedal Room's old blog host, Posterous, was aquired by Twitter and is closing its doors on April 30. So the blog had to be moved.
But aside from the blog not going down, there are also great benefits to the new blog. It's hosted on Amazon S3, so it's more reliable. It also uses static HTML, so it's much faster (key parts of Pedal Room, like the home page, also do this to keep things fast). It also gives me control over the codebase, meaning I can fix bugs that existed previously and do things like integrate the blog better with the site in general.
The ease-of-posting with the new blog, coupled with the recent infrastructure upgrades, should also encourage me to post more as I get some much-needed work done on the site and work on new things like the Pedal Room mobile app, which is currently under development.
I plan to migrate comments over in the next few days, along with some other tweaks to Pedal Room in general. In the mean time, feel free to email me at email@example.com with your comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions. Hope you like the blog!
Maintenance This Weekend
Just a heads up that you may experience slight downtime this weekend as the servers the site runs on are upgraded. The new servers will allow for a faster site with improved features such as better searching (not immediately, but soon), and should be more stable as well. Follow @pedalroom on Twitter for updates as I transition over to new servers. Cheers!
Pedal Room Shirts/Stickers
I've still got a few shirts and stickers left from our first run, and once these are gone, I'll be making some more.
So if you want a shirt, contact me and we'll work something out via Paypal or whatever. Quantities and sizes are limited. Right now in red, I have 5 size smalls. In gray (which has that weird darker gray defect area on the upper part of the front, see last picture), I have 4 size smalls. Shirts are $10 shipped in the US for the red ones and $6 shipped in the US for the gray ones, because they've got that weird defect (see last picture). I'll include some Pedal Room stickers and random other bike stickers in each order.
And I hope to get started on the next run of shirts soon! Cheers!
Some Plans for the Future
So yesterday I promised a post about what's coming in the near future, and while I'm still not 100% sure on what exactly is coming and when, here's some of what I've got planned.
Something I'm really excited about is a rating system for bikes that will personalize your bike browsing experience. For example, if you rate a bunch of classic Italian steel bikes highly, you'll see personalized suggestions for more Italian steel and similar bikes we think you might enjoy based on what users similar to you like. I think this will really be great, and I'm super excited to build it out.
For bikes with bike history, I'm working on better management manage stages and photo. For example, dragging and dropping photos to stages, which is buggy, will be fixed soon.
Another thing in the works is better moderation and management of content, including community flagging and a small moderator team to help keep things in check.
Finally, I've got some improvements to the marketplace, including a feedback system and search, that will be launching soon.
I've also toyed with the idea of building a feature/mobile app to find others to ride with as well as provide a calendar of planned rides/events, but I'm not quite sure on that yet. I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks of this.
That's some of what I've got planned, but that's definitely not it, and I'll be working hard to improve the site a lot in the coming weeks. Let me know what you think, and what you'd like to see on the site. Cheers!
Some Small Improvements
So over the last few days, I've been working like crazy on the site. Most of what I've done is behind-the-scenes stuff, like catching up on technical debt and cleaning up the code base. In doing that, I've made it easier and faster to improve existing features as well as develop new ones, and have also improved a few things.
- Speed is key, and I strive to make Pedal Room fast, so I've improved the page load times significantly when sending messages or posting new comments.
- Some of the styling and page-interaction code has also been simplified and cleaned up, which should result in some speed increases as well.
- The forms on most sections of the site have been cleaned up to use nicer, consistent buttons, which are also faster, because they don't use any images.
- If you get a lot of messages, the inbox now has pagination and loads much faster thanks to database improvements.
There were also numerous bug fixes and slight improvements here and there, and there's a lot more coming soon! Hopefully I didn't introduce any new bugs, but if I did, please let me know and I'll get them fixed ASAP.
PS Tomorrow I'll post about what's coming in the near future for Pedal Room.
Interview/Shop Visit with Tall Bryan of Emerald City Bicycles!
Recently I visited Tall Bryan of Emerald City Bicycles and shot some photos as well as did an interview about his shop, Seattle riding, and his beautiful Tommasini Sintesi!
Read the interview and see the photos here!
Announcing the Pedal Room Marketplace!
Today I'm happy to announce the launch of our new Marketplace! It's been a long time coming, but it's finally done, so be sure to check it out here, and let us know what you think!
By the way, there are several improvements planned for the marketplace in the near future, such as a buyer/seller feedback system, improved photos, and search features. Stay tuned!
Interview: Tim and his LOW// x Death Spray Custom
"I didn't know too much about what he was going to do to them, and in honesty I didn't care, I love everything that comes out of Death Spray Custom"
Read the full interview with Tim about his LOW// Pursuit x Death Spray Custom, alleycats in the UK, The North Race, and more!