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Archive for the ‘Cycle Chic’ Category

PUBLIC Interview With Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett

Friday, 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

Tuesday, 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.

Bikes are Up, Traffic is Down in San Francisco

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

City Leaders and Bike Advocates on Bike to Work Day. Traffic on Bay Bridge.

Many of us accept punishing traffic situations on a daily basis. Traffic can seem as inevitable as having to file your taxes every April. But while we haven’t figured out a better solution for the 1040 form, traffic is a problem that can be solved. Cities all over the world are being reconfigured to be more pedestrian friendly, limiting car traffic by a number of means, with amazing results. The latest news from the SF Chronicle is that commuter traffic has improved all over San Francisco in the past couple years, with fewer cars on the streets and shorter waits at lights. How did San Francisco manage to reduce automobile congestion? We made our streets better for bikes.

According to the Chronicle, car traffic is improving because more residents and commuters are choosing bicycles and public transit, and leaving their cars at home. The number of people biking in San Francisco has doubled since 2006, thanks to the advocacy of the SF Bike Coalition; the city’s improvements in bike infrastructure like green bike lanes, signals, and parking; and bikes like ours that are designed to be easy for all kinds of people to ride.

The new Bay Area Bike Share is a good “last mile” solution for transit riders to get to their final destination, and regional commuter train BART now allows people to bring their own bikes on board during peak commuting hours (finally!). There are many other forces at work to help solve the traffic problems, such as charging more for parking, creating pedestrian zones and congestion pricing, but bikes are proving to provide the most simple and affordable solution.

These bike-positive changes are happening all over the country, from big cities like ChicagoDC and New York to small towns like Edinburg, Texas. And no matter where you live, it’s a movement you can be part of. Joining a state or local bike advocacy group like the California Bike Coalition is a great way to start. And of course, choosing to ride a bike (using the best commuter bike) or take transit instead of driving a car is the easiest way you can curb traffic in your city.


Is Dog Your Copilot? Portraits of Pets Who Pedal

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Meliza and BuddyWe often have dogs hanging out with us at the PUBLIC store, and we know the only thing more fun than riding a bike, is a bike ride with a four-legged friend. That’s why we want to do a bike photo shoot that features our customers with their dogs – or any other bike-loving pets! Here are a few examples from Copenhagen Cycle Chic and one of our own. Whether or not you’re available for our March 29-30 shoot, please get in touch as we may schedule a few photo sessions. And if you don’t live near a PUBLIC store, but you know a dog who likes to bike, please send us a photo too. We love seeing your pet photos and if we gather some good ones, we’ll do a feature on our blog soon.

(Speaking of photos, we’re also looking for humans who bike for a spring photo shoot, the weekend of March 29-30. Learn more here.)

Casting Call: Show Us Your Bike Style

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Seeking Bike Models
At PUBLIC we design our bikes for all kinds of people. But if there’s one thing all PUBLIC owners have in common, it’s their personality and original sense of style.

So whenever we photograph our bikes we prefer to shoot them with our real customers and fans. You really make our bikes look great, just like we hope our bikes look good on you too.

We’re getting ready to debut a new spring collection of bikes and colors, so we’re once again reaching out to our community of PUBLIC owners and friends and inviting a few local Bay Area people to participate in a bike photo shoot at the end of March. If you’re available in the Bay Area on the weekend of March 29-30, have a good sense of humor, like riding bikes and being on camera, drop us a note at models@publicbikes.com.

Be sure to include some photos (headshots and full figure shots). We look for diversity. If you are selected, we’ll follow up in the next week, and everyone who participates will receive $150 in store credit and our promise to make the shoot a fun adventure. We’ll be shooting for one day that weekend in either San Francisco or in the East Bay.

If you want some more inspiration for your bicycle couture, Copenhagen Cycle Chic and The Sartorialist are a couple of our favorite places to start.

PS: Got a pet who loves to pedal? We’d like to do a photo shoot of dogs on bikes. Learn more here.

Internal Gears: What Makes Our Best Bikes Better

Friday, March 7th, 2014

PUBLIC Bikes C7i Shimano Nexus Internal Gear

When customers ride a PUBLIC bike for the first time, they’re often amazed at how much smoother and easier our bikes feel compared to the clunky old bikes they’ve tried before. 

One of the big reasons our bikes ride better and last longer is the Shimano Nexus internally-geared rear hub. Internal gears have become the standard in Europe and wherever people want seriously good commuter bikes for city riding. They are catching on in the US, and there is a reason for this.


With internal gears, shifting from one gear to the next is smooth and quiet. You can even switch gears when you’re sitting still at a stoplight, something you can’t do with a derailleur gear system. And because the gears are all sealed off inside the rear wheel, the moving parts are not exposed to elements like snow, salt, water, and other gunk on the road, making them very low maintenance. And there’s no annoying slack in the chain, so you won’t have to get your fingers greasy trying to put back a chain that’s jumped off the gears. Their simplicity also adds an aesthetic element too: they make your bike look really classy.

Our internally-geared bikes are great for urban commuters and everyday riders and they are terrific for someone who’s just getting back into biking. And right now every PUBLIC bike with internal gears is on sale – up to $300 off. That includes our dutch style step-through PUBLIC C7i, our PUBLIC M8i mixte model, and our classic double-diamond PUBLIC V7i 7-speed and premium 8-speed PUBLIC D8i. Shop our all sale bikes now and see how much smoother your commute could be.

PUBLIC C7i $799 $599 PUBLIC V7i $799 $599 PUBLIC M8i $1099 $799

Our Medalists in Bike Style at Sochi

Friday, February 21st, 2014

While you won’t see bicycles on the official program at the Winter Olympics, all over Sochi this year there are bikes of every color proudly representing their home countries. Our unofficial judges at PUBLIC scored every country’s contenders, and we congratulate our 2014 medalists in Bicycle Style.

Gold Medal: Netherlands
Not only did the Dutch roll out a fleet of orange step-through bikes for their all of their athletes to get around the games, but the King and Queen themselves have been riding everywhere in Sochi with coordinated orange outfits. While some of our US presidents have been known for their bicycle enthusiasm, clearly we still have plenty to learn from the Dutch.

Silver Medal: Finland
The Finnish men’s hockey team is a strong runner-up this year, sporting blue step-through bikes and bright blue team hoodies. While scoring a little lower in elegance, they earn strong marks for generosity by autographing and auctioning each of their bikes for charity. With two weeks of bidding left, national hockey star’s Teemu Selänne’s bike has already raised over 5,000 euro.

Bronze Medal: Sweden
Sweden’s men’s hockey team earns an honorable mention this year, with high scores from our judges in both the formalwear and fun categories. How could you help but smile when you’re riding your bike in a sharp suit and shades?

Single-Speeds in Rome and at Home

Friday, 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

Thursday, 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

Friday, 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.