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The Cool Spirit of Independent Bike Fashion

August 18th, 2014

Thankfully, the biker of today can solve the “what to wear when riding” problem in so many ways other than spandex and neon.  Today’s urban commuter gets to choose from a variety of independent brands that are creating both comfortable and good-looking bike apparel. The kind of stuff you feel good about wearing whether you’re heading into a business meeting or the grocery store.

We love the unique spirit of today’s independent bike apparel brands. Take Betabrand’s Discolab line of sparkly reversible threads. It’s a party on one side and hipster-cool on the other. Or Chrome Industries’s super stylish sneakers, some are SPD optional but you’d never know it by looking. If you’re into high-tech, yet functional apparel, you can’t get much more slick than the offerings from Mission Workshop. And Levi’s has even come out with a Commuter Line of jeans with a “utility waistband” designed for holding a U-lock.

PUBLIC Bikes on Hayes St is exited to be to be the pop-up shop host this Saturday and Sunday (Aug 23-24) for Iladora, another spirited independent bike-wear brand focused on female bike fashion. Iladora takes wardrobe staples like a draped tops and the pencil skirt and reinterprets them in high-tech fabrics with cuts that are flexible enough for riding. The result is clothing that makes for comfortable bike riding and still looks sharp when worn at work.

In honor of the Iladora Pop-Up Shop at PUBLIC Bikes, for this weekend only Iladora is offering 20% off all Iladora Apparel to both in-store and online shoppers. Online shoppers use the promo code PublicBikesSummerLove. This special promotion for PUBLIC customers ends Sunday, August 24.

Iladora Pop-Up Shop at PUBLIC Bikes. 549 Hayes Street, SF. Saturday and Sunday, August 23-24.


PUBLIC + Rudy’s Giveaway Contest

August 15th, 2014

PUBLIC Bikes is teaming up with Rudy’s Barbershop to launch the newest Rudy’s Barbershop location in Bellevue, WA with a pack of custom PUBLIC bikes to demo on-site.

To celebrate the Rudy’s x PUBLIC collaboration we’re giving away a new PUBLIC V7 city bike, valued at $649, along with The Dirty Birdie gift pack from Rudy’s valued at $83.

Entering the contest is easy. Anyone can do it and you’ll maximize your chances of winning by inviting a few of your friends along. Contest ends September 30, 2014.

And the next time you need a haircut, ride your PUBLIC bike to any Rudy’s location in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, or New York and you’ll get 10% off a trim and 15% off any products from Rudy’s if you show them your PUBLIC bike.

Bait Bikes, Twitter – Bike Thieves Beware

August 12th, 2014

Bike theft is an unfortunate fact of life all around the globe, but in the Bay Area even the police are using smart phones and social to nab thieves. And it’s paying off.

Officer Matt Friedman of San Francisco and his colleagues are on a mission to blunt bike theft and to do this he’s making bikes smarter, and then posting about it on Twitter.
Officer Friedman nabs bike thieves with “bait bikes”, high-value wheels embedded with gps tracking devices that are left outside with the intent of being stolen. Once the bike is stolen, the tracking device is triggered and the police are led right to the thief. This video from The New York Times article, “Police Use High Tech Lures to Reel In Bike Thieves,” even shows a bike thief stealing a bait bike and being apprehended.

After a bike thief is apprehended, Officer Friedman posts a photo of the bad guy to Twitter, using the handle @SFPDBikeTheft. This public shaming of the thief is intentional. Friedman wants to send a message to other bike thieves that “we’re on to your game and you could be next.”

This gets us at PUBLIC thinking that there needs to be more creative ways that technology can be used to deal with this problem. In a world where people can space travel and control drones from thousands of miles away, there has got to be a way for everyday people to keep their bikes safe from everyday thieves.

We’re interested in developing new smart locks to reduce bike theft. We’d like to partner with experienced techies who can help us design and develop some smart products. Send us an email here.

But just as importantly, you should be knowledgeable about the basics of theft prevention. Here is a great theft prevention guide from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.


Paws & Pedals: Now on Tumblr

August 5th, 2014

Two-wheeled objects and four-legged friends mean a lot to us at PUBLIC, so we’re extremely excited to launch Paws & Pedals, a Tumblr page that celebrates all things dog and bike related.

We’re rolling out photos like the one above, taken recently in our PUBLIC Pooch Photo Shoot at our Hayes Valley Store. That photo was not photo-shopped, by the way. It was taken by SF photographer, Akshay Sawhney and those adorable Pomeranians from left to right are Mika, Chloe and their mom, Nana. We need you and your pooch to make Paws & Pedals as epic as possible.

Send your most quirky and fun, dog + bike photos via email and we’ll post them to Paws & Pedals. At the end of each month the user submitted photo with the most likes will get a special gift and recognition from PUBLIC.

If you’ve got doggy style, Paws & Pedals wants to see it.

Photo Credit: Akshay Sawhney

Valencia Store Closing Sale Through August

July 31st, 2014

After two wonderful years on Valencia Street inside Harrington Galleries, we’re saying a PUBLIC goodbye with a month-long Valencia Store Closing Sale through August at our 599 Valencia Street retail location.

From now until August 31, 2014, we will be selling off all bicycle and gear inventory at special in-store only prices. We encourage you to stop by in August, especially if you’re looking for a great deal on a PUBLIC bike before the summer ends.

Some bikes will be on sale for 50% off list price. Everything must go before the end of August. We’d rather have you ride away with a PUBLIC bike in August than move our bikes back to our Oakland warehouse.

We’ve settled into our new flagship store at 549 Hayes, which is more than double the size of our Valencia store. At our new Hayes location, customers throughout San Francisco can come test ride and purchase PUBLIC bikes, schedule maintenance and repair services, and buy bicycle accessories and gear.

PUBLIC Valencia Store Address: 599 Valencia Street

Monday, Tuesday, Sunday: 11-6
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11-7
Closed Wednesday.

Getting Ready for the Playa

July 30th, 2014


Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

San Francisco is the birthplace of PUBLIC Bikes. We take a lot of inspiration from the cultural and social diversity of this city that continues to innovate and transform itself.

It’s no surprise that San Francisco is also the birthplace of Burning Man, which has since become a worldwide cultural event celebrating art, music, community, and creative self-expression.

Several PUBLIC employees are regular Burners. In fact, one of our regular bike builders has already left for the entire month to help prepare Black Rock City.

The focal point of Burning Man is the building of the temporary Black Rock City where 65,000+ participants are expected to gather in the Nevada desert. Burning Man takes place before Labor Day weekend, which means thousands of people from around the world, especially in the Bay Area, are preparing their camps and art projects in August in anticipation for the Burn.

One of the essential items to bring to Burning Man is your own “Playa Bike” or “Burner Bike.”

Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

Burner Bikes

People go to Burning Man for different reasons, but one of the best parts is to experience what it’s like to live in a city where the primary mode of transportation is by bicycle.

Black Rock City is essentially a bicycle paradise. The landscape is perfectly flat, spans for miles and motorized vehicular transportation in any form other than an art car is prohibited (with the exception of arriving and leaving Black Rock City).

Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

Thus, two-wheeled transport is essential with the bicycle being the primary way to get around the city. Imagine living in a city of 65,000+ people where almost everyone moves by bicycle or foot. One of the best articles about this topic is “The Bike Culture of Black Rock City” by Matthew Roth.

And for many participants, the bicycle also becomes a vehicle of creative, artistic, and individual expression. We’ve rounded up a selection of fun, quirky, and inspiring art bikes in a Facebook album so check them out.

Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.

Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.


Playa Products: Incredibell Disco Bell, SpokeLits and Trieste Coffee Cup Holder

Playa Bike Recommended Picks
If you’re heading to the desert later this August we’ve rounded up a few playa-perfect products that are sure to make your trip that much brighter, colorful and safe. We think our Disco Bell that offers an LED light show of red, yellow and green upon every ring is totally techno-ready. Our SpokLits come in either Disco or Green, effortlessly attach to the spokes of any bike, and create a LED light display upon revolution.

Other gear to consider: our Trieste Coffee Cup Holder (you can put any cylindrical vessel inside it), colorful Spring Clip Rear Racks and baskets for holding anything you might pick up along the way and, of course, bike wash (because you won’t be the only thing needing a good scrub down when you get home).

Check out our complete collection of fun Burner recommended products here.

New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

July 29th, 2014

Introducing Our New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

Bikes, like people, have personalities and at PUBLIC we love the idea of taking a bike and making it feel special. The same way earrings and shoes can make an outfit, bike accessories like bells and fenders add character and individuality to a set of wheels.

Each of our new Special Edition models is outfitted with individual touches like polished silver fenders and brass bells, handmade leather saddles and grips from Brooks of England. Built atop our durable, lightweight steel frames for a distinctive (and durable) ride. Starting at only $549.

The PUBLIC C1 Amelie edition is a classic single-speed city bike with European chic. This timeless ride is dressed up with a Brooks B67s Aged SaddleBrooks Plump Leather Grips in honey and a classic PUBLIC Brass Bell. Toss a bouquet of fresh flowers or bread into the Peterboro Original Front Basket and breeze down any boulevard with an effortless je ne sais quoiRetail price is $549 (list price $741).


The PUBLIC V1 Harrison edition gets its moniker from being one of the best bike routes in San Francisco’s Mission District and the home address of PUBLIC’s original warehouse on Harrison Street. Accessorized for the street-smart urban rider, this low-maintenance high function single-speed ride features the bulletproof Brooks B17 Saddle in black, our cargo-ready new Porteur Front Rack in silver, Black Cork Grips and aPUBLIC Brass BellRetail price is $549 (list price $750).

View all our Special Edition Bikes here.

Halfway Is Not Enough

July 24th, 2014
Bike-able Bridges

Images courtesy of Rob Forbes, The Botster and Ipv Delft

PUBLIC is headquartered on both sides of the San Francisco Bay, with a new flagship store and design studio in Hayes Valley, SF, and a distribution center and office in Jack London Square, Oakland. I often enjoy taking the ferry across the bay to our Oakland office, but sometimes the best choice is to drive across the Bay Bridge.

Every time I sit in bridge traffic returning to San Francisco from the East Bay, I have two conflicting emotions. First, how majestic, elegant, and inspirational the new bridge is aesthetically –and second, how unfortunate, even cruel it is that even after spending $6.5 billion on the modern new eastern span that opened last fall, a person still can’t ride a bike across the bridge from the San Francisco to the East Bay. For those unfamiliar, you can only ride half way across!

Riding the bike lanes on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, you’re treated to a gorgeous, expansive view with incredible vistas that are a treat for tourists and locals alike. But there are no definite plans to complete the bike connection on the existing western span to San Francisco, which is an opportunity unfulfilled. Take Copenhagen, it’s already awash in bike-able bridges and it’s now considering creating the 2nd largest bike bridge in the world.

Bay Bridge Lights Image Courtesy of Greg Del Savio

We have made some world-class bridge designs in the Bay Area, the Golden Gate Bridge at the top of the list. It gets over 10 million visitors every year, and the bike ride across it is epic and loved by locals and tourists alike. The recent Bay Lights project on the west span of the Bay Bridge rivals any urban lighting you’ll see in Copenhagen or anywhere else in Europe.

The vision behind these grand works casts a shadow for cyclists with the halfway solution of the new Bay Bridge redo, and makes us realize that we are still playing catch up to many European cities when it comes to comprehensive progressive transportation solutions. At PUBLIC we sincerely hope there will enough public pressure on politicians and government executives who make transportation planning and funding decisions to eventually make the Bay Bridge fully open to bikes and pedestrians, not just cars.

PUBLIC Talk: Amy Wibowo on Traveling with Bicycle

July 22nd, 2014


Two years ago Amy got her first bike ever, a limited edition PUBLIC C7 step-through she named Peppermint Patty. After learning how to ride in San Francisco, Amy packed up her PUBLIC bike and PUBLIC Twin Pannier bags for a grand adventure riding and camping all over Europe with a friend, from the forests of Finland to fields of lavender in the French countryside. Everywhere she met helpful, friendly folks and turned plenty of heads with her free-spirited style. You can read all about her travels with Peppermint Patty on her blog, which is full of beautiful photography and helpful tips on how to plan your own bike adventures.

Bikes In The Woods / Image courtesy of Amy Wibowo

Bikes In The Woods / Photo Courtesy of Amy Wibowo

We love Amy’s story because she’s such an inspiration, showing how much fun anybody can have just by hopping on a bike and riding somewhere new. Although we didn’t have international bike touring in mind when we designed our PUBLIC C7 bike, we’re glad that its simple, relaxed style worked just as well for Amy when she was cruising around Europe as it does getting her across town in San Francisco.

We’re really excited to host a special event with Amy Wibowo at our new San Francisco flagship store in Hayes Valley, next Wednesday August 13. She’ll give a talk about how anybody can have an epic bike adventure without needing a bunch of fancy gear, and she even made a really cool zine full of bike travel tips (shown left). Meet Amy and get your own free copy of her zine at our event Wednesday night, details below.

WHAT: PUBLIC Talk: Amy Wibowo on Traveling with Bicycle
WHERE: PUBLIC Bikes, 549 Hayes Street (between Octavia and Laguna)
WHEN: Wednesday, August 13 from 6pm-8pm

$299 Single Speeds Are Back For School

July 18th, 2014

We’ve had a hard time keeping these new models in stock this season, but right now the PUBLIC V1 and the PUBLIC C1 are back in stock for just $299. The diamond frame PUBLIC V1 comes in Royal Blue and Red. And the step through, Dutch-style PUBLIC C1 comes in Cream and Turquoise.

These wheels are ideal for the graduate heading off to college. The single gear is calibrated for flat or moderately hilly terrain, so getting from classroom to dorm room, with a cafe stop in between, is a piece of cake. Plus, they are built with a durable high-quality steel frame at price point that won’t break the Top Ramen budget.

To help protect your bike and your college minded coconut, a bike lock, helmet and a way to carry around the laptop and books will be necessary. Check out our selection of gear essentials like our new Porteur Front Rack and handy baskets for all the extras you’ll need to really put those wheels to work.

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