Gap Khakis With PUBLIC Bikes

February 11th, 2011

We’re excited to announce that starting on February 10th you’ll be able to see a PUBLIC bike in the windows of 24 top Gap stores around the US and Canada as part of Gap’s Khaki promotion. You’ll also see our green PUBLIC A7 intricately laid out in a visual display in the Men’s department of… Read more »

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We’re excited to announce that starting on February 10th you’ll be able to see a PUBLIC bike in the windows of 24 top Gap stores around the US and Canada as part of Gap’s Khaki promotion.

You’ll also see our green PUBLIC A7 intricately laid out in a visual display in the Men’s department of every Gap around the country.

Rest assured when you order a PUBLIC bike using our Ready to Ride assembly and delivery option, your bike will arrive at your door 99% assembled – not in pieces as depicted in the Gap display. The cool, useful PUBLIC orange tools come with every Ready to Ride box to help with the final touches of your bike assembly.

We’re really proud of our growing partnership with Gap, which started with a pop-up shop in Gap’s flagship store in San Francisco. Over time if we become a nationally recognized brand based in San Francisco, like Gap has done, we will have achieved our mission to increase the number of people who get around by bicycle in the United States.

You’ll see our bikes in the following Gap locations. If you happen to visit one of these Gap stores, please email us a photo to messages@publicbikes.com or post a photo to our PUBLIC Facebook page.

  • Valley Fair in Santa Clara, CA
  • Flood Building in San Francisco, CA
  • Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA
  • Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, CA
  • Houston Galleria in Houston, TX
  • Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL
  • Rosevelt Field Center in Garden City, NJ
  • Short Hills in Short Hills, NJ
  • 34th & Broadway, NY
  • 17th & 5th Avenue, NY
  • Northpark Center in Dallas, TX
  • Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, FL
  • Mall at Millenia in Orlando, FL
  • 59th & Lexington in New York City, NY
  • 42nd & Broadway in New York City, NY
  • 85th & 3rd in New York City, NY
  • 48th & 6th Avenue in New York City, NY
  • 42nd & 3rd in New York City, NY
  • Lincoln Square in New York City, NY
  • 54th & 5th in New York City, NY
  • Chinook in Calgary
  • Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto
  • Bloor Street in Toronto
  • Montreal Eaton Centre in Montreal

Austin to Portland: The World’s Best Bikes

February 11th, 2011

Few people realize that the United States is the recognized world leader in handmade bikes. There are pockets of tradition and expertise of this craft in New England and in the Pacific Northwest. But there are skilled independent makers in almost every urban area around the US.  Viewing these bikes all in one place is… Read more »

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Few people realize that the United States is the recognized world leader in handmade bikes. There are pockets of tradition and expertise of this craft in New England and in the Pacific Northwest. But there are skilled independent makers in almost every urban area around the US.  Viewing these bikes all in one place is a real challenge, but this is changing.  There are terrific events coming up this year that you should know about: the North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) in Austin on Feb 25-27, and the Oregon Manifest in Portland on September 23-24. Each of these events will help to elevate this craft to its rightful status.

North American Handmade Bicycle Show Austin, February 23-24
The annual NAHBS show travels to different locations around the country every year. This year it will take place in Austin, Texas. We attended our first one in Portland back in 2008.  Our past Men in Pink blog post highlights the experience. You will see the finest contemporary handmade bikes in the world. The show is small enough that you can talk and hang out with the makers.  While in Austin, stop by the amazing Mellow Johnny’s, one of the greatest bike shops in the US where you can check out and test ride PUBLIC bikes. Just riding around this bike centric town is fun.

Oregon Manifest, Utility Bikes Meet Design, Portland, September 23-24
Back in 2009 we participated in the first ever Oregon Manifest as a juror, so we know it well. In its second year the show has grown to such a level where they have even invited three internationally recognized design firms – IDEO, Fuseproject, and ZIBA – to collaborate with bike builders. The challenge is to create the ideal transportation bike (further testimony to the fact that utility bikes are coming of age).  Credit Portland for being a Mecca for bikes and such a driving force for bike culture in America.   Bring a bike and explore a great American city where 10% of the population and the Mayor ride daily. Here are the guidelines and more on this show.

Going Dutch this Season

November 29th, 2010

I have always been intrigued by the Dutch concept of sharing, equality, pairs, and twosomes. I even did a photo essay about them a while back called Curious Couples. But the concept of ‘Going Dutch’ took on an expanded meaning for me while listening to Bikes Belong spokesperson Zach Vanderkooy.   Zach and I were panelists… Read more »

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I have always been intrigued by the Dutch concept of sharing, equality, pairs, and twosomes. I even did a photo essay about them a while back called Curious Couples. But the concept of ‘Going Dutch’ took on an expanded meaning for me while listening to Bikes Belong spokesperson Zach Vanderkooy.   Zach and I were panelists at a symposium for Dutch Design Week in San Francisco called Seeing Orange.   Biking is wildly popular with all age groups in Holland. Zach explained why and how this came to be.

It turns out that biking in Holland is designed to be as much about fun as it is about efficiency. The sharing and social part of riding is actually built into the urban infrastructure.  For example, whenever possible, bike lanes are made wide enough for people to ride two abreast, rather than in single file. This way people can talk and share the ride together – another expansion of the meaning of ‘going Dutch’.

It makes perfect sense.  Imagine if we were forced to use single file sidewalks – a line of alienated human units proceeding along.  Boring, awkward, even a little nightmarish.  Walking can often be as much about conversation as mobility. And walking deserves wider sidewalks that make interaction possible. And the same should be true of biking.  We all prefer to ride with friends and for social reasons (unless we’re just hustling to get someplace or out purely for exercise). But we tend to value bikes more for the independence they give us, and less for their potential to connect us socially.

So now we’re really dreaming: building bike lanes in the US wide enough for two people? This may seem farfetched when many cities have trouble getting approval for any type of bike lane. But in reality, some strides are being made. In fact you can already see examples of doublewide lanes in Manhattan and in other cities in the US. We can learn from the Dutch – they ask us to look at the world a little different. It may be easier for them to think outside the box: they have cities built around canals and clogs made of wood.

We’re going Dutch this Season: 10% off Pairs

Visualize a Pair of Bikes for the Holidays


Buy any two bikes on one order for us this season, and we’ll give you 10% discount on both bikes.   Our new Ready to Ride home delivery option makes this gift option feasible for anyone. Bikes arrive 99% assembled. This offer is valid through Dec 15th. Visualize a pair of bikes for the holidays. (You may want to take this possibility into account when deciding on the size of this year’s tree). Just make the order online and we’ll take 10% off on both bikes after your order – or call us to make your order if you prefer.


Danish Yakkay Helmets $175



Yakkay Cambridge Complete Helmet – $175

Yes – you can actually look stylish in a helmet. Yakkay helmets, designed in Denmark, have taken Europe by storm in the past two years, and we are pleased to introduce them to the US market this season.  They are the first helmets to meet our strict safety standards and our needs for a helmet with the fashionable appearance of a good-looking cap.

Denim, Cotton, + Steel

November 17th, 2010

PUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the Holidays It’s no secret that the way we shop for stuff has radically changed.  Credit (or blame) the web for most of the changes, but the fact is we can now shop for almost anything, anytime, anywhere in the world.  Digital colossi like Amazon, Craigslist, and Groupon are… Read more »

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PUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the HolidaysPUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the Holidays PUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the Holidays PUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the HolidaysPUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the Holidays

PUBLIC Pop-Up Shop at Gap for the Holidays

It’s no secret that the way we shop for stuff has radically changed.  Credit (or blame) the web for most of the changes, but the fact is we can now shop for almost anything, anytime, anywhere in the world.  Digital colossi like Amazon, Craigslist, and Groupon are a part of everyday life now.  Etsy allows us to buy hand made one-of-a-kind goods with a click.  Even as virtual shopping has become mainstream, there has been a bit of a renaissance in the other direction.  Farmers’ Markets are everywhere. Local crafts fairs and street vendors are back in fashion.  Every week there’s another lunch wagon pulling in our neighborhood offering some seriously non-digital street food. The last few years have brought wholesale changes to retail.

So it is fitting – as well as flattering – that the Gap approached us last month about putting a PUBLIC pop-up shop in their flagship store on Market Street in San Francisco. Voila.  It is up and running as of last Saturday.  If you are in the Bay Area, please come down and visit.  As you would expect from a leading apparel retailer, the Gap has created beautiful visual displays of our bikes and gear.  Even adding some special touches like iPads imbedded in the desks for ordering our products online.  They have faithfully recreated our South Park vibe on the busiest street corner in San Francisco, all the way down to our low-tech sandwich boards on the sidewalk.  From the second floor bay windows you can watch the flow of bicyclists riding down Market Street.  It feels good, and we love being there. You can visit everyday until 9PM. Please drop by the Gap store on 890 Market near Powell St. next to the cable car turnaround.

Building partnerships and bending the rules are not new to the Gap. In 2008 they created a Colette concept store in New York. So partnering with a local company like ours is consistent with the Gap’s roots. In 1969, they began as a single store in San Francisco selling a range of local products – primarily Vinyl LPs and Levi’s. They were quirky, gutsy, and very locally minded. High quality, casual, and affordable clothing, just the kind of stuff that goes with our everyday bikes, has always been their focus. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to get our bikes – and our mission – out in front of the broader public. So thanks to Gap. We would love our steel bikes to be as popular and ubiquitous as the Gap has made denim jeans and cotton tees.

 

New $495 bikes now in stock

The new A7 and J7Our first shipments of our PUBLIC A7 and PUBLIC J7 bikes are arriving this week. These models were designed specifically to make a quality steel frame bikes as affordable as possible.  They look great and like all of our bikes, ride like butter. And now we have a special home delivery option. They can be shipped anywhere in the US. They’re kind of a perfect holiday gift, no?  Who wouldn’t want to feel like a kid again and get a bike for the holidays?

Ready to Ride home delivery for the Holidays

Ready To Ride BoxWith Ready to Ride, the bicycle is shipped directly by FedEx to your home or office and arrives within 7-10 business days, depending on where you live. We build the bike for you 99% assembled with the wheels in place. All you need to do is unwrap the bike, complete a few simple assembly steps, and be riding in 20 minutes.

Warehouse Sale this Saturday

We’re holding a Warehouse Sale on November 20th, from 11 – 4, to make room for our new PUBLIC bikes.  The Warehouse Sale at 2125 Harrison Street (at Mariposa) will include, but is not limited to, discounted seasonal inventory, over a dozen PUBLIC bikes with slight blemishes, and vintage bikes from our personal collections. We will have all our bikes available for test riding and purchase at our Warehouse Sale.

 

Chic Shoes by Martha Davis

November 1st, 2010

We are offering some exceptional footwear this fall from local shoe designer, Martha Davis. Normally Martha Davis’s shoes are found in upscale shoe stores, like Gimme Shoes in San Francisco, and other chic boutiques around the world, not bike stores. But we think her shoes and our bikes go especially well together – structured yet… Read more »

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Martha Davis Low Lace Boot Martha Davis Low Lace Boot - Gold

We are offering some exceptional footwear this fall from local shoe designer, Martha Davis. Normally Martha Davis’s shoes are found in upscale shoe stores, like Gimme Shoes in San Francisco, and other chic boutiques around the world, not bike stores. But we think her shoes and our bikes go especially well together – structured yet sexy, functional but fun.

They have a lace up back seam detail, leather sole, and 2″ wood heel. Bench made in Italy. You can actually wear heels, pumps, boots, or any type of shoes on our bikes. If you’re going to a dressy event in the city for example, it often means you do not want to walk down into a subway or to scuff your heels walking.

Heads Up in Taiwan

July 20th, 2010

In Taiwan the buildings stretch upward and a sea of scooters flows between them like no place we know in Europe. The scooter population is such that separate lanes have been set-aside for them on some freeways. Parked scooters dominate the sidewalks. Huge packs of scooter riders mass at stoplights where the car drivers allow… Read more »

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Heads Up in TaiwanHeads Up in TaiwanHeads Up in Taiwan

In Taiwan the buildings stretch upward and a sea of scooters flows between them like no place we know in Europe. The scooter population is such that separate lanes have been set-aside for them on some freeways. Parked scooters dominate the sidewalks. Huge packs of scooter riders mass at stoplights where the car drivers allow them to go first when the light changes. They have special scooter-specific graphic messages on the pavement.

In short, scooters set the pace and the tone for movement around their cities. They are like the taxis in New York, except that they lack color. They form a sort of moving grey monolith – like government issued, anonymous machines. There is none of the style or glamour of the Vespas in Italy, but neither is there the noise level. These scooters are much quieter than their European counterparts, and Taiwan lacks groups of kids noisily terrorizing peaceful piazzas or quiet streets. In Taiwan scooters create an omnipresent, but fairly quiet, visual and auditory background drone.

The helmets on the riders of these non-descript scooters are, on the other hand, all about diversity. Sitting at a busy intersection watching the throngs of riders go by, I noticed many styles and colors of helmets, most refreshingly free of any commercial branding. Offer a population a very limited range of choices and they will still find ways to express their individuality. The bouquet of helmets scooting by made for an optimistic contrast to the otherwise pervasive asphalt gray.

 
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PUBLIC Helmets

Protecting your noggin is important, and we try to make the daily ride a little more fun – and your head little more visible – at the same time. We sell a few helmets that are not designed for scooters but bikes.

Special Deals this Month

Free shipping on bikes. A good way to view the details of our bikes is on this short video clip courtesy of Fast Company.
Apparel Sale. All of our clothing is On Sale.

Commuter Chic in Europe

July 14th, 2010

We took a look at bicycling attire on the streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam recently. This was good fun, as you can see the friendly faces of people riding around when they are not concealed under a helmet. We noticed that there were actually more scarves than helmets on riders. It’s not that they are… Read more »

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Commuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in Europe

We took a look at bicycling attire on the streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam recently. This was good fun, as you can see the friendly faces of people riding around when they are not concealed under a helmet. We noticed that there were actually more scarves than helmets on riders. It’s not that they are more concerned with fashion than with safety abroad. It’s rather that scarves, like front zippers on jackets or gloves, allow you warm up, or cool off quickly. They are an easy way to adjust to changes in weather from morning until night. They allow people to ride more often, and in greater numbers. This might be the real key to safety.

Facts: Safety in Numbers

Cars respect cyclists in these cities. Riders have some special rights and privileges, like dedicated lanes. Serious bicycle injuries have been in decline in recent decades in Copenhagen and Amsterdam because more people are riding. A recent 20% rise in cycling was accompanied by a corresponding 20% decline in injuries in the past decade. The same dynamics occur in US cities. When more people ride, the streets are safer as the car drivers and bicyclists pay more attention. There is safety in numbers.

 
Commuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in EuropeCommuter Neckwear in Europe

PUBLIC Gear

We recommend helmets for bicyclists in the US and we sell a few that are quite special. We also sell some gloves and other accessories for comfort—some are On Sale right now. We look forward to a time when we will have separated safe lanes and paths for bicyclists in US cities, more respect from car drivers, more scarves than helmets, and more hard-core commuter footwear like this on the street.

 

Bondage in Amsterdam

July 13th, 2010

Bicycle theft is a sad fact of life in every country we know. It sucks. And most of us have had a bike or bike component stolen at some point. Depending on our mood, theft hits us somewhere along the unfair–depressing–devastating continuum. Is there any way to see something positive in bicycle theft? Not really,… Read more »

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Bondage in AmsterdamBondage in Amsterdam

Bicycle theft is a sad fact of life in every country we know. It sucks. And most of us have had a bike or bike component stolen at some point. Depending on our mood, theft hits us somewhere along the unfair–depressing–devastating continuum. Is there any way to see something positive in bicycle theft? Not really, but if one had to try, studying the scene in Holland offers some rich material.

We learned on a recent trip to the Netherlands that 750,000 bikes get reported as stolen every year. That’s about 2% of all bikes in that country. The Dutch typically employ a standard rear wheel clamp to deter petty thieves, and a hunky steel chain sheathed in fabric to discourage hard-core thieves. These Dutch chains and locks are as ubiquitous in Amsterdam, and they make for some compelling compositions – studies in contrasting materials, color, and form. The durability and permanence of steel in our world of plastics and virtual safeguards is a compelling story. And chains and locks are quite brilliant low-tech solutions that have endured without much change since the advent of civilization. There is something cool about that.

These compositions are as individual as the bike riders themselves and offer us one chance (admittedly desperate) to put a happy face on bike theft.

 

A Gallery of Bike Locks

Bondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in AmsterdamBondage in Amsterdam
 

Bike Locks

Our own Public Kryptonite lockWe sell two basic solutions that work for most situations in the US. Our Kryptonite u-lock will keep most hard-core thieves away, and using a cable lock in addition will offer even better protection. Using your good senses and defensive instincts are the best deterrents to bike bandits, and most thefts are a result of bicyclist naïveté. If your PUBLIC gets stolen keep in mind that we have the serial number on record to help track down your bike.  

Also, please check out our Shoes and Socks Sale for the month of July.

 

Bikes & Boudoir

July 12th, 2010

We’re teaming up with our friends for a rather unique Bikes & Boudoir event this Friday, July 16 from 6-8 pm at My Boudoir on 2285 Union Street @ Steiner in San Francisco. It’s not often you see bikes and boudoir in the same sentence, but we’re joining forces with My Boudoir and Pedal Panties… Read more »

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We’re teaming up with our friends for a rather unique Bikes & Boudoir event this Friday, July 16 from 6-8 pm at My Boudoir on 2285 Union Street @ Steiner in San Francisco.

It’s not often you see bikes and boudoir in the same sentence, but we’re joining forces with My Boudoir and Pedal Panties to celebrate “Where the PUBLIC Meets the PRIVATE.”

My Boudoir is a highly regarded retailer in San Francisco’s Union Street whose mission is to fill a woman’s ever changing lingerie mood.

Pedal Panties’ Bicycle Lingerie brings you a fashionable alternative to traditional bike clothing.

Besides being with friends for happy hour, you can test ride PUBLIC bikes, get special deals on PUBLIC accessories, get 25% off great lingerie from My Boudoir, and also discounts on Pedal Panties.

We are also converting four parking spots into gathering areas in front of the My Boudoir store for this event – inspired by PARKI(ing) Day and our friends from REBAR.

You can RSVP or use Facebook to invite your friends.

Note from Copenhagen: Hard-Core footwear

July 5th, 2010

I was with a group of American friends last month, riding around the streets of Copenhagen. We were checking out the way the Danes have made cycling the appealing, logical, and safe choice of transport in the city. The most noticeable differences, after the sheer number of people riding, was that there are as many… Read more »

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Yellow sandals for commuting complete with matching toenail polish

I was with a group of American friends last month, riding around the streets of Copenhagen. We were checking out the way the Danes have made cycling the appealing, logical, and safe choice of transport in the city. The most noticeable differences, after the sheer number of people riding, was that there are as many – or maybe even more – women than men on bikes and that people wear their everyday clothes while riding.

There is still the expected competitive cyclist attitude with faster riders forcing slower riders to get out of their way, but it takes a different form:

“Back home the riders passing me are typically aggressive guys in bike shorts and cleated shoes on racing bikes pumping away with their heads down. Here it’s women in leggings and sandals, or some guy with dress shoes, on three-speeds sounding a warning from behind with a bell.”

– New Yorker bicyclist

Here is a sampling of some hard-core commuter footwear from Copenhagen.

Bikes and sandals - a perfect picture of summerSocks over the pants make up for lack of chainguardSummer sandalsA more traditional lookRed heels, classic white fendered bike, and a skirted rider make a beautiful imageYou won't be seeing these in the Tour de FranceBallet slipper flatsA version of Chuck Taylors pedaling awayEven the simple flip flop is comfortable to ride withCasual sandals and a visual example of why a chainguard is a good ideaRed flats on a commuterCycling doesn't mean having to give up your business attireMaking a statement with blue Chuck Taylors - and check out those stripesIn the US, we're used to seeing flip flops like these on the boardwalk more often than on a bikePoppy red low heelsTasteful heels with denim - but when's the last time you saw this on a bicycle?Stylish strappy redBright blue flats