Ride The Rainbow

June 23rd, 2014

It’s Pride week in our home town. Along with cities such as Dublin, Barcelona and Istanbul, San Franciscans celebrate Pride throughout the month of June. The festivities in SF culminate with a huge parade with fantastic costumes, floats and some incredibly colorful and artistic customized bikes (and riders!), like the ones below. The streetsy, progressive, public nature of this event and the celebration of diversity and community are near and dear to our heart.

If you’re local and want to “byke” in the SF PRIDE parade on June 29th, get all the details here where the San Francisco Bike Coalition lists its special programs.

We’re proud to offer a full spectrum of wheels fit for every form and figure. And within our current color line-up of bikes, like those posed above, you truly can ride the rainbow.


PUBLIC Pooch Photo Shoot

June 9th, 2014

We’re hosting a pooch photo shoot at our new Hayes Valley store, at 549 Hayes Street. If you have a dog and a bike, bring them over on Friday, June 20th from 5pm–7pm or Sunday, June 22nd from 10am-1pm. We’ll have a backdrop, a photographer and a prop bike (if you don’t bring your own) for you and “fido” to pose with. We’ll send you home with a digital portrait or two, share the pictures out on our our social media platforms and feature them on the big screen in our Hayes Store.

We want to ensure that we have adequate pet treats and scheduling time, so please RSVP with your name, your pet’s name and the day and time you’ll be coming by. Local photographer Akshay Sawhney will be taking the photos and on Sunday we’ll even have Beverly Ulbrich, aka the Pooch Coach, helping to coax a smile out of your dogs. If you can’t make it, we’d still love to see your puppy pics so send them over via email to (rsvpATpublicbikes.com) or share them on facebook or instagram, tagging @publicbikes.

Alright Mr. DeMille, we’re ready for our furry close-ups.

PUBLIC Puppy Photo Shoot
PUBLIC Bikes, 549 Hayes St.
Friday, June 20th. 5pm-7pm
Sunday, June 22nd. 10am-1pm

Bike To Work Bay Area

May 9th, 2014

Supervisor London Breed on Cream PUBLIC C7

Yesterday the Bay Area celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Bike to Work Day with an impressive amount of bikers hitting the road. One major San Francisco thoroughfare tallied that nearly 76% of the trips made on it yesterday were done by bike. Well done, San Francisco!

The month of May is National Bike Month and we’re happy to see so many people participating in Bike to Work Day. Of course, we think everyday should be Bike to Work Day for anyone who works less than 5 miles from home. In the Bay Area alone, more than one million Bay Area residents live within five miles of their workplace.

If you’re considering biking to daily as part of your commute, but not sure where to start, check out the San Francisco Bike Coalition for maps and tips and more. If you’re a bike-to-work regular or just getting into biking, drop us a line and let us know how your bike commute went yesterday

Imagine how less congested our streets would be and how much healthier and happier people would be if more people made the choice to bicycle, walk, or take public transit to work.

We’re lucky to live in San Francisco where bicycling is a mainstream activity and the majority of our local elected officials recognize the value of bicycling. This year, 9 out of 11 local elected Board of Supervisors, our Mayor, and our District Attorney all participated in Bike to Work Day with thousands of other residents. Bike to Work Day helps remind these elected officials to fully fund and prioritize initiatives like Connecting the City which creates safe and accessible bikeways for anyone from 8 to 80 years old.

We know cities can get more people to bicycle if they create separated bikeways like this new one on Polk Street near City Hall. It takes political will and funding to make these changes happen on our public streets.

We encourage you to find out more about your local Bike to Work Day activities – and support your local and statewide bicycle advocacy organizations working to make bicycling better for all of us.

Bike to Work Day 2014 photos by SF Bike Coalition

Commute in Style With Our New Rickshaw Bags

May 6th, 2014

Rickshaw Duo Pannier Bags

May is national bike month and this Thursday San Francisco celebrates the 20th anniversary of Bike to Work Day. Thousands of people will be rolling to work that day and to help all bikers out in their commutes we’re excited to announce the pre-order of our new Rickshaw Duo Pannier, perfect for everyday commuting and handmade right here in San Francisco.

This new duo pannier is the most stylish and functional you’ll find on the market and is designed by Rickshaw Bagworks, a local San Francisco company who has been producing superb quality, handmade messenger bags and more for over six years. Customize the flap of this duo pannier in five snappy houndstooth fabrics crafted in the USA from recycled bottles in colors specifically chosen to compliment PUBLIC’s new 2014 color lineup. And if you’re into matching, snag a color-coordinating houndstooth Metro Tote (or two) designed specifically to be used with the duo pannier.

Little details are what set the Rickshaw Duo Pannier apart from the rest:

  • Simple and sturdy velcro tabs make for easy attachment and removal of the pannier from the back rack.
  • A removable shoulder strap is included for carrying the bag into the office or around the farmers market.
  • Load this pannier with up to two bags of full groceries and cinch them in tight with a drawstring closure underneath the top flap.
  • Smartly located snaps allow for pannier straps to be snapped into place so they don’t fly around.
  • Empty panniers can be neatly folded and snapped closed.
  • Interior is supported by a heavy-duty plastic frame, so bag does not slouch and can support a heavy load.
  • Webbing loops are provided for attachment of rear safety flashers on both sides.

Pre-order our new Rickshaw Duo Pannier today for $249.

New Rickshaw Metro Tote

Keep the interior of your pannier extra-organized with our matching Rickshaw Metro Tote. This tote comes in the same unique houndstooth fabrics as the flap of the pannier and was designed specifically for use inside the duo pannier.

PUBLIC Interview With Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett

April 25th, 2014

Some of our customers are as passionate and detailed oriented about their products as we are about our bicycles. Ellen Bennett, founder of Hedley & Bennett, a chef’s apron manufacturer, is one of them. We interviewed Ellen and learned all about her love of aprons and our PUBLIC R16. Read on for the complete interview and then swing by her site for 10% off with promo code: SOFANCYPANTS.

PUBLIC: Tell us about your company and your products?
ELLEN: We’re an apron company that makes badass, functional and high quality aprons for chefs and restaurants all around the world.

PUBLIC: What inspires your creative work?
ELLEN: All the amazing, hardworking chefs we meet. We want to make them happy. We want to make them feel good about the way they look in the kitchen and feel inspired to be different and unique. We also love design and fun bright colors everywhere. Deep down, we’re all kids at heart and love to live life with the mentality that we can do anything!

PUBLIC: What details make your products unique?
We hand pick really beautiful, unique fabrics like selvage denims from Japan and Italy. We make all of our aprons comfortable and functional. We wear them, wash them and put them through the ringer to make sure they are durable enough for our chefs

PUBLIC: How did you come by your PUBLIC bike?
I saw a PUBLIC bike for the first time when my boyfriend Casey Caplowe, co-founder of GOOD Magazine, saw them and sent me a link. They were the most beautiful and clean looking bikes I had ever seen and I instantly wanted one.
Later that year I was in San Francisco walking around and I saw a sign for the PUBLIC bike shop. I ran into the store, picked the one I wanted and then took a picture and put it on Instagram saying “ I want it soooo bad !!”
Then in December Casey surprised me with the exact PUBLIC bike I had Instagramed from my San Francisco trip. First, he gave me a little box with a beautiful copper bell to put on the handle. And then the beautiful bike came out!

PUBLIC: How does bicycling fit into your lifestyle
My office is in Downtown LA so when I have meetings near by I will use it to zip on over and I will ALWAYS take it inside the buildings with me, riding it down the hallway and parking it in the meeting room. People compliment the bike all day long and it sits parked in the entrance of our office.

PUBLIC: How does your PUBLIC bike reflect your personal style?
I love big, bold, but clean design and this bike is exactly like that.

PUBLIC: Are bicycles an important part of the community you live in?
ELLEN: Definitely. LA is becoming such a green city, and with downtown being so close together, it’s easy to take the bike around town to restaurants and fabric shops around here.

PUBLIC: Any upcoming projects/partnerships/designs that you are excited about?
ELLEN: We are about to launch our amazing new chef coat line!

PUBLIC: Anything else you’d like to add?
We love you!!

PUBLIC Response: The feeling is mutual!


Photos courtesy of Hedley & Bennett and Life&Thyme.  

Be Seen (and Heard!) With Our Flashy New Bells

April 22nd, 2014

Woodpecker Bell New Bells Incredibell Original Bell
New Bells Disco Bell New Bells
Public Bell New Bells Federico Red Brass Bell

The simple bicycle bell is one of our favorite bike essentials. An often-overlooked accessory, a bell adds personality and safety to your ride. Easier than hollering and whistling to announce your presence, bells are a simple way of alerting bikers, pedestrians and cars of your approach. We have a new selection of bells for all styles of riders, from unique bells crafted of cherry wood to bells equipped with flashing disco LED lights. Visit our website to see (and hear!) our fun new bell collection.

Single-Speeds in Rome and at Home

November 22nd, 2013

I wrote a piece earlier this year that focused on Italian Women biking in Italy, and the biggest difference between Italy and the US might be that you see a lot more women riding on the streets than men.

Lucky for us, we were in Italy again this past month for a two-week residency at the American Academy in Rome to participate in their visiting artist program. If you don’t know about the AAR, and you have serious interest in Italian culture, check them out. It is a remarkable institution that has various programs and is best known for the prestigious Rome Prize that is awarded to academics, designers, and artists. I was there to finish up a book about design found on the streets, and I took special note of the biking scene there. I focused on single-speeds, like the ones we’ve launched this month. They are very common in Rome, a city of Seven Hills, and the fact is that a single-speed bike will work for many of us in almost any urban environment.

Rome is now one of the best walking cities in the world and something of a poster child for the Livable Cities Movement of which PUBLIC is a member in spirit. In recent decades Rome has cleaned up its act by essentially banning cars from many parts of the city. Just two decades ago, cars – and the related noise and pollution – were so bad that it was frequently cited in tourist literature, along with pick pockets, as a dangerous urban element. All that has changed. Rome is now another beacon of optimism for other less progressive cities (like most in the US!)

Rome has actually been known for enlightened public policy dating back to Emperor Hadrian’s rule (117-138 AD) when many social policies were enacted to make the city safe and pleasant for the entire population. So today’s urban reforms have a lengthy tradition. OK, the Dark Ages and 20th Century car frenzy were serious interruptions to that tradition, but we see now that even the oldest cities in the world can adapt to a smarter way of getting around.

The Rise of Technology and the Decline of Driving

October 10th, 2013

Millennials Prefer to Bike

One of our favorite sources of information about urban issues is the The Atlantic Cities, which recently featured this article by Emily Badger on some of the less obvious effects of the rise of technology.

“Teleconferencing has made telework more common. E-commerce has reduced the need to drive to the mall. Real-time arrival apps have made public transit more predictable. Solar-powered stations have helped bike-share expand. WiFi and smart phones have made it possible to get work done on a moving bus, raising the mental cost of driving alone. And social media, for some people, has reduced the need to travel across town to see a friend you might more easily connect with on Facebook.”

Read the full article here.

A correlation between high-tech culture and smarter transportation is obvious to those of us who live and work in San Francisco. We see many people who choose to live car free, and there are increasing numbers of young people on bikes on our streets. The major tech companies like Twitter, Apple, Google, and Facebook have incentive programs for employees who bike to work, and many have bike share programs on their campuses.

Millennials are a lot more passionate and interested in connectivity — smart phone and apps — than they are about physical mobility and what kind of car you drive. This is an optimistic sign and a phenomenon that appears to hold true in all other progressive cities across the country.

Electric Bikes and Millennials

PUBLIC BionX mixte electric bike in San Francisco

We don’t have any stats on Millennials’ preferences for electric bikes in the US yet. But studies in Europe show that these new electrical-assisted bikes are the fastest growing transportation segment in their cities. This new generation of faster, easier bikes have become a logical alternative to a car for many people. We’ve launched a range of e-bikes this month. Some are made from PUBLIC DNA with a BionX system, and others from the Swiss bike design firm Stromer. They combine technology in a manner that will appeal to both Millennials and the older crowd alike.

Chic Undies, Elegant Bells & Other Kicks for Cyclists

September 6th, 2013


The leading bicycle industry trade show, Interbike takes place in Las Vegas (September 18-20), and it is the traditional source for new bike products introductions. But we’ve seen that some of the most interesting design innovations in bicycle-related products don’t necessarily come from the big traditional bicycle companies that can afford to pay for an exhibition space and all the costs associated with travel to Las Vegas. And not to state the obvious, but why should the leading bike show in the industry be held in such a bike-unfriendly city? We attend the show every year and always come away with the same reaction.

That’s why we’re big fans of crowd funding websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other platforms that feature new bike products and accessories that come from entrepreneurs.

Here are three crowd funding products that caught our eye recently, two from the Bay Area and one from Austin, Texas.

Bicycle Bell
Spurcycle’s Reinvented Bicycle Bell
Our friends at San Francisco-based Spurcycle are designers at heart. They’re raising money to finance a new, American-made bicycle bell, and they have already raised over $230,000. Kudos.
Urbanist’s Chamois Panties
Austin-based designer Christiana Guzman is developing stylish, comfortable riding underwear, and changing the way we think about panties. It’s encouraging to see a woman succeeding in this male dominated business. Kudos to Ms. Guzman for already exceeded her funding goal and attracting over 500 backers.
Bluetooth LED
Erogear’s Fos Wearable LED Display
San Francisco-based designer Anders Nelson is offering this wearable LED display system that can be used for bicycling and other purposes.

Back to Interbike. So maybe it’s true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens on the web happily does not. All around the globe people can see these cool Kickstarter supported products and help fund these entrepreneurs. Please let us know about other products you find online or from other sources.

Win a 3-Night Stay at a Kimpton Hotel

July 19th, 2013

We’re incredibly excited to work with another San Francisco-based company, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to debut custom Kimpton PUBLIC bikes at all their 60 nationwide boutique hotel properties.

To celebrate we’re giving away a 3-night stay at any Kimpton Hotel.

It’s easy to enter the contest. All you need to do is get your friends to enter the contest by signing up for our newsletter. Deadline to enter is September 30, 2013. Click here for contest details.

You are probably familiar with many of their hotels that exist in many cities across the country. We’re big fans and customers of Kimpton for their shared emphasis on design, high quality food and amenities. We frequently put our guests in their San Francisco properties. Some of our favorite Kimpton properties are the Hotel Monaco in Chicago, the Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona, the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, and the 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York. But all of their 60 hotels in 26 cities across the US reflect their commitment to the same high standards and that personal touch of a boutique hotel.

Kimpton has always been considered an industry leader and this program is one further example. They are the first boutique hotel brand with a national presence to offer custom bicycles for hotel guests at every property. You can read the full description of the nationwide Kimpton complimentary bike program here.

The bikes are complimentary for guests’ enjoyment, in keeping with Kimpton’s commitment to health, well-being and sense of fun and adventure. The Kimpton PUBLIC bike will be easy to spot on the street with its custom cherry-red frame with orange and blue accents, cream tires, matching double walled rims, brass bell, and rear basket. The three-speed mixte frame bikes make city riding a fun adventure for novices or expert cyclists alike.

So join the contest, and think about taking a Third Wheel on your next hotel stay at a Kimpton Hotel.

Get two free cocktails for $1. When you book your reservation at any Kimpton Hotel use promo code PUBLIC. For one dollar more than the best available room rate you’ll receive 2 free cocktails per night during your stay. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or packages, and some alternatives may apply based on each individual hotel property. Take advantage of this offer between July 22nd – September 30th, 2013 at Kimpton hotels across the country.