The whole Groupon phenomenon is all fine and good, thought Kaili Purviance. After all, his girlfriend bought him a deal on a massage through Groupon.com.
But, Purviance and his cycling pals, Jason Sumner and Matt Cooke, got talking about Groupon and Living Social and realized that though you could get local deals, there weren't many deals through these services that fit their interests as cyclists and endurance athletes.
"We said, 'I really wish every day there was something you were really into,'" Purviance said. "We thought, 'I wish there was a cyling deal.'"
So they created their own site for local cycling deals -- handlebargains.com.
Every Monday, Handlebargains subscribers get an email with a deal on something cycling related, usually local or regional. The deal also goes out on Facebook and Twitter.
The first deal from Handlebargains was sent to subscribers on April 4. It was for a discounted session of classes at Boulder Indoor Cycling.
Their second deal -- half-off the $140 race registration fee for the Superior Morgul Classic bike races, which take place over Memorial Day weekend -- sold out in three and a half hours.
The current deal, for Nuun electrolyte drinks, is redeemable online and thus isn't just for Front Range cyclists.
"We are a regional and local company, but we will also carry these national deals that are available outside of Colorado," Purviance said.
Sumner said as Handlebargains grows, they hope to continue to do a combination of national and local deals. Purviance said they could grow into doing two deals per week eventually.
As of Wednesday, about 2,500 people had signed up for the weekly e-mails, and Handlebargains had about 8,200 Twitter followers, Sumner said.
"Groupon is the big player, Living Social is the other one -- we're definitely the first cycling-specific one out there, and we're proud of that fact," Sumner said.