PUBLIC Partnering With Sony’s Future Lab Program

September 7th, 2016

We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Sony’s Future Lab Program to help introduce the prototype Concept N to the Bay Area and beyond. Our flagship PUBLIC store in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley will serve as a hands-on demo location between September 15-October 6 where visitors to our 549 Hayes St store can test… Read more »

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We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Sony’s Future Lab Program to help introduce the prototype Concept N to the Bay Area and beyond.

Our flagship PUBLIC store in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley will serve as a hands-on demo location between September 15-October 6 where visitors to our 549 Hayes St store can test out Sony’s new wearable technology Concept N. You can demo a Concept N prototype during our regular store hours.

You might also recognize our Slate Blue PUBLIC R16 flat-bar city road bike in the video above.

What is Concept N? It’s a neckband-style wearable device, designed by Sony’s Future Lab Program, that allows you to listen to high-quality sound, hands free, through an open-air speaker.

Sony_FLP_NB_2O

Several of us at PUBLIC have had a chance to try Concept N. We’re particularly excited that you can hear clear voice-navigation to help you find your way around your city, easily use voice-recognition to find resources and places, and even take photos and video of your surroundings without taking your smartphone out of your pocket or bag.

The open-ear headphones, if you choose to use them, allow you to listen to music or news while still hearing what’s happening around you. The device feels very lightweight around your neck. If you wear collared shirts, it can also fit nicely under your collar too.

Right now, the prototype is only available in the Bay Area for a very select, limited number of participants who can provide feedback on how they use the device in their daily lives. Between September 15-October 6, you can demo Concept N at our Hayes Valley PUBLIC store at 549 Hayes.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can apply to participate in the early adopter program for Concept N.

After you apply to be considered for the program, The Future Lab Program will invite potential participants to several special events in San Francisco in late September and October.

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Going Mutts! Biking With Your Dog

July 19th, 2016

Bike lovers are often dog lovers. And why not? Both are a human’s best friend, lovers of the outdoors and game for adventuring. And when you pair bikes and dogs, well, magic happens. Magic in the form of extreme adorableness (see above for proof), but also in the form of the supremely enjoyable experience that… Read more »

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biking with your dog

Photos by Akshay Sawhney.

Bike lovers are often dog lovers. And why not? Both are a human’s best friend, lovers of the outdoors and game for adventuring. And when you pair bikes and dogs, well, magic happens. Magic in the form of extreme adorableness (see above for proof), but also in the form of the supremely enjoyable experience that can be had biking with your dog, exploring the world and exercising together. Added bonus? No more whimpering beside the doggie door at home while you go on solo rides.

We explore three different ways of biking with your dog: toting them in a bike basket, pulling them along in a dog trailer and having them jog alongside you. We encourage you to consider your canine’s personality, size and fitness level when picking one of the many ride-along or jogging options to find the one that suits your needs and your pet’s best. And please let us know in the comments your personal tips and tricks for riding with your pet.

biking with your dog basket

Photos by Akshay Sawhney.

BASKET PUP

For smaller dogs, front or rear baskets are a smart choice. Their tiny legs are no match for the big strides of your bicycle. But with a basket, they can enjoy the breeze and the sights alongside you.

Attach the basket to your rear rack, front rack or your handlebars. The smaller the dog, the better off you’ll be with a front basket, where you can keep an eye on your friend. Whatever you do, make sure that your dog’s leash hooks to your handlebars or bike. Many baskets are made with clip-on leashes, which is the best option. That way, your dog will be less likely to try to jump out and chase a cat.

Your options include:

  • Wicker (like this or this): An environmentally friendly and classic look, the wicker basket will give your dog ample breeze on toasty days.
  • Wire (like this or this): These workhorse baskets will hold a heavier dog, and they’re easier to clean if your dog brings a mess on the ride.
  • Fabric: Comfortable and often handy with extra pouches and pockets, the fabric basket is commonly waterproof. But they might sway more on the ride or buckle underneath a dog’s weight, making this a better option for tiny pets.
biking with your dog trailer

TRAILER BUDDY

For big dogs who want to sit back and enjoy the ride, trailers are a simple solution. They’re generally built for dogs that weigh more than 20-25 lbs. A few pointers:

  • Be careful to choose a trailer that will actually fit your dog’s shape: The weight ratings of dog trailers don’t always take into account all the shapes and sizes of a dog that weighs that amount. So, try it on for size first. Your dog should have enough room to move around and sit down.
  • Check that you can easily hitch and unhitch your trailer. Make sure the connection is secure so that your trailer doesn’t fly off mid-ride.
  • Practice biking around with your trailer while it’s empty, so you get accustomed to the longer load. On your first ride, you’ll want to reassure your dog by looking like you know what you’re doing.
  • Acclimate your dog to the trailer by having him sit in it at home well before you actually ride. Make sure your dog enjoys sitting in a trailer before you commit to biking with a scared pup.
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JOGGING DOG

  • This option can spell the most fun and exercise for your companion. If your dog is physically fit and big enough for his legs to keep up with your wheels, consider working your way up to this mutually beneficial hobby.
  • It might seem liberating to simply use a normal leash and hook it to a handlebar, but this could spell disaster. If your dog sees a squirrel, it might dart in an unpredictable direction, pulling you and your bike down with it.
  • Instead, shop for the proper supplies before you head out. Buy a non-tangling lead—there are even leashes made for this specific purpose, like WalkyDog and Springer, that keep your dog at a safe distance from your wheels. Also pick up a body harness and an extra leash for when you park your bike and explore by foot. For nighttime rides, invest in a reflective vest and blinking lights. Nice-to-haves include a backpack for your dog to carry its own water supply and treats, rain gear, and booties for rides on hot days.
  • Practice commands such as “slow,” “left,” “right” and “stop” before you even hop on your bike. Then, start out with short rides, making sure to keep your pet on the non-traffic side of your bike. Soon, you’ll be biking around town with your dog like a pro. For those dogs that are especially well trained, you could choose to bike alongside them without a leash at all.

If you love bikes and dogs, there’s no reason to separate the two. Experiment until you find the solution that’s right for your pet. Then, you’ll have a shared hobby that wears you both out for a good night’s rest.

When In Chrome: A Brief History Of Chrome Bikes

April 5th, 2016

Chrome tipped front forks and rear triangles were long popular with competitive cyclists as a way to protect their expensive racing frames from getting scratched during quick wheel changes in a race. We tip our hats to the legacy of chrome bicycles by offering this heritage finish across our D model line of premium diamond-frame… Read more »

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Limited Edition Chrome Bikes

Chrome tipped front forks and rear triangles were long popular with competitive cyclists as a way to protect their expensive racing frames from getting scratched during quick wheel changes in a race. We tip our hats to the legacy of chrome bicycles by offering this heritage finish across our D model line of premium diamond-frame city bikes, including our single-speed PUBLIC D1, 7-speed PUBLIC D7, and 8-speed internally geared PUBLIC D8i.

Limited Edition Chome bikes

1945 Rene Herse Racer, via reneherse.com.

Legendary European artisan bike builders like René Herse and Alex Singer would often fully chrome their handmade custom bicycles to lend them both an elevated aesthetic and a durable finish, reflecting the bicycle’s owner investment in quality in commissioning a custom built model.

Limited Edition Chrome Bikes

Special Edition PUBLIC D8i Champs Elysees

Although chrome was used less often in the later 20th century, some of the most desirable bicycles in the world continued to incorporate signature chrome elements, from the American classic Schwinn Paramount to Italian dream machines from makers like Colgnago and Pinarello.

Today, true chrome is rarely found on production bicycles, and only a handful respected names like Bianchi and Soma are keeping this artisan tradition alive.

Limited Edition Chrome Bikes

Our Limited Edition, Chrome D1 Bike

Rarely do the ideals of form and function meet so perfectly in a single design solution. We are proud to celebrate this beautiful, durable, heritage finish, available for a limited time only across our D model line of premium city bikes, starting at just $399. Check out our PUBLIC Chrome bicycles here.

Introducing The PUBLIC U1 Unicycle

April 1st, 2016

Ever since we launched PUBLIC over five years ago, customers have asked us: When are you going to design and produce a PUBLIC unicycle? At PUBLIC, we think bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation. And the unicycle, in our humble opinion, is truly Mass Transit For One. No longer simply the transportation mode… Read more »

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PUBLIC U1 Unicycle

Ever since we launched PUBLIC over five years ago, customers have asked us: When are you going to design and produce a PUBLIC unicycle?

At PUBLIC, we think bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation. And the unicycle, in our humble opinion, is truly Mass Transit For One.

No longer simply the transportation mode of choice for street performers and circus acts, the unicycle is becoming more commonplace in cities around the world. While hoverboards are gaining all the latest headlines, the unicycle is quietly re-emerging as a retro-alternative.

PUBLIC U1 Unicycle

Our PUBLIC U1 Unicycle features a steel fork-style frame, matching painted rims, leather Brooks saddle, alloy seatpost, integrated kickstand, and high-performance cranks. We’re offering our unicycle in our signature Red, Orange, and British Racing Green colors.

And each unicycle comes with our PUBLIC Trieste Coffee Cup Holder so you can ride highly caffeinated while showing off your awe-inspiring balancing skills.

Since we only plan to produce a few hundred PUBLIC U1 Unicycles, we encourage you to pre-order now for only $99. They will be available to ship one year from now on April Fools’ Day 2017.

If you’re one of the first 25 customers pre-ordering our PUBLIC U1 Unicycle, we’ll also throw in special limited edition PUBLIC colored juggling balls and a multi-purpose clown suit for your daily commute or street performance.

Click here to pre-order your PUBLIC U1 Unicycle now. And if our unicycle doesn’t fit your riding needs, make sure to check out all our other PUBLIC bikes.

As we like to say about the PUBLIC U1 Unicycle, “It’s half the wheels and twice the fun!”

Vertical Parking Through The Years

February 3rd, 2016

With the advent of cars decades ago as the dominant means of transportation, city planners and developers reshaped our public and private spaces to accommodate the storage of these personal vehicles. By making it easy to find free or subsidized low cost parking, many cities simply encouraged more people to own and drive cars which… Read more »

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With the advent of cars decades ago as the dominant means of transportation, city planners and developers reshaped our public and private spaces to accommodate the storage of these personal vehicles.

By making it easy to find free or subsidized low cost parking, many cities simply encouraged more people to own and drive cars which simply resulted in more congestion and environmental problems.

Since cars take up so much space, people have always tried to find ways to store them vertically to reduce their ground-level footprint. This series of photos, “Vertical Parking“, shows how cities have attempted to accommodate the car through the decades.

The photo below is in New York City in ~1920.

An elevator parking lot, where the cars are hoisted up on individual platforms to save space, early 1920s. (Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


This one below is in Chicago in ~1941.

A vertical parking lot structure in Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, c. 1941. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)


If we spent as much effort and resources trying to house people, instead of cars, think about how different cities would be?

In contrast, a few cities like Amsterdam face an entirely different dilemma – how to accommodate the shortage of bike parking spots?

BikeParking-CentraalStation_0Photo credit: Poom!/flickr

In the article, “Amsterdam mulls underwater bike garage as available parking for cyclists dwindles,” Amsterdam is even exploring ways to go vertical but in a different direction than up.

Most cities have more available parking than people think. For example, it’s estimated in San Francisco alone, where people complain about lack of car parking all the time, that San Francisco has enough street parking space to fill the entire California coastline.

The problem is multi-faceted, but there many steps cities can do to improve parking and create better spaces for people. However, we think the biggest bang for taxpayer buck is for cities to be less obsessed about accommodating the car, but more focused on making other transportation options more accessible and safer to a wider number of people.

Not everyone is going to bike, walk, or take transit. But by making those transportation choices safer and easier for more people, it means less people driving and looking for parking. And hopefully, as more cities are successful in shifting people’s choices on how they get around, it will create a new set of good problems – like how to accommodate more bikes, more pedestrians, and more public transit riders.

The urbanist writer Lewis Mumford once wrote, “The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is the right to destroy the city.” Instead of focusing on creating more space for cars, which has destroyed the character of many neighborhoods and cities, let’s focus on building beautiful, enlightened cities for people.

What They Wear: Our Fave Tastemakers Share Their Top Bike Apparel

November 30th, 2015

We asked a few of our favorite tastemakers, writers, and trendsetters who also happen to ride PUBLIC bikes to share their top bike apparel. Their responses range from vintage dresses to classy bike gloves and prove that you can really wear anything (even a wedding dress) while riding a bike! Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman… Read more »

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We asked a few of our favorite tastemakers, writers, and trendsetters who also happen to ride PUBLIC bikes to share their top bike apparel. Their responses range from vintage dresses to classy bike gloves and prove that you can really wear anything (even a wedding dress) while riding a bike!

A Beautiful Mess Shares Their Top Bike Apparel
Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman | @abeautifulmess
Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess love to wear vintage or handmade dresses with tights or leggings when they ride their PUBLIC C7 bikes. They love this vintage inspired holiday-themed dress from Modcloth.

A Cup of Jo Shares Her Top Bike Apparel
Joanna Goddard | @joannagoddard
Joanna of A Cup of Jo likes wearing any loose dress (She’s sporting one from Madewell in this shot) because it’s easy to hop on and off her PUBLIC C7 step through bike in a dress. She also favors high waisted jeans because “you don’t have to worry about your jeans riding down when you’re riding!” She thinks Madewell makes the best high waisted jeans.

Jessica | @hapatime
Jessica of Hapatime loves wearing Converse sneakers when she goes for a spin on her PUBLIC V7 and also recommends sweater dresses because they keep you warm and cool at the same time during the crisp Fall weather.

Tablehopper Shares Her Top Bike Apparel
Marcia Gagliardi | @tablehopper

Marcia of tablehoppper rides her PUBLIC mixte everywhere and finds that a pair of white leather Giro LX cycling gloves is the perfect accessory. These gloves have a classic look to them, with just enough modern performance features. We’re excited that our favorite restaurant columnist was recently selected the winner of Time Out New York’s Win the Ultimate New York Life competition. Prepare to read insightful, fun dispatches from NYC next year from Marcia!


Emma Chapman | @emmaredvelvet
Though not recommended for daily riding, if you’re a bike lover who’s about to tie the knot you might consider getting a snap of you in your wedding gown while riding a bike. Risky, perhaps. But the result, beautiful. Emma of A Beautiful Mess proves it’s entirely possible with this gorgeous photo of her wearing her handmade wedding dress while riding her PUBLIC C7.

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Weylie | @weylie
It’s all about comfort and practicality for Weylie. When she’s riding her PUBLIC Bike she’s usually running errands or meeting up with friends, which is why causal outfits that suit the occasion are her go-to. Her go-to closed toe casual shoes are Nike.

Belting It Out In Public: The Karaoke Rickshaw

November 23rd, 2015

It’s a bike. It’s a disco ball. It’s…the Karaoke Rickshaw. For most of us, a bike is simply a way to get around. But with lots of creativity and ingenuity, bikes like the Karaoke Rickshaw can bring together a community of friends and strangers in public spaces over song, dance, and laughter. We first spotted… Read more »

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600-Karaoke-Rickshaw
It’s a bike. It’s a disco ball. It’s…the Karaoke Rickshaw. For most of us, a bike is simply a way to get around. But with lots of creativity and ingenuity, bikes like the Karaoke Rickshaw can bring together a community of friends and strangers in public spaces over song, dance, and laughter.

We first spotted the Karaoke Rickshaw on a lunch break outside our office in San Francisco. Even though it is San Francisco, a city full of characters and silly traditions, it’s not often you see a rolling, shiny karaoke disco ball-shaped vehicle.

We’re drawn to the fact that the Karaoke Rickshaw brings smiles to faces and also brings something (singing) that’s largely done inside into the public realm.

burning+man+22

Inspired by an article from The Guardian entitled “Playable Cities: the city that plays together, stays together”, we wrote in a previous blog post about some of the playful activities and events in several cities that connect people:

“By riding a bike, you instantly become a more connected part of your community and a little happier. It’s the reason why one of our taglines is “Ride a Bike. Smile More.” Since the concepts of fun and urban engagement are important to us, we took notice when a recent article on the importance of “play” in cities passed by our monitors.”

And that’s why the Karaokoe Rickshaw got our attention. It invites “play” in our public spaces – and helps people feel connected and, yes, a little happier.

Watch the below video to see some of the fun.

PUBLIC Portraits Project

April 24th, 2015

Portraits by Alex Farnum PORTRAITS BY ALEX FARNUM

We’re partnering with local photographer Alex Farnum and creative director George McCalman on a series of 10 portraits of customers in San Francisco. Think about yourself being professionally featured by us. It’ll be fun.

We’re not looking for celebrities nor judging people by glamour standards. Instead, we’re after interesting true stories that communicate the diversity of everyday people who ride PUBLIC bikes.

Teachers, gardeners, musicians, pastry chefs, social workers, artists, lawyers, surfers, carpenters, baristas, programmers, librarians, dog walkers, or bankers. We’ll take all comers, and we’re more interested in your life and story than your occupation. But you must live or work in San Francisco to participate.

If selected, you’ll need to make yourself available for an extended interview and a portrait photography session. We’ll use these portraits in our stores, our website, and social media – and you will have editorial approval. Here is what we need:

  • A headshot or portrait of yourself. A selfie is preferred over anything professional or stylized.
  • One short paragraph about yourself, your background, and what makes you an interesting character.

We’ll give everyone who participates a $100 merchandise credit, but you should only volunteer if you’re excited about this project and have a story you’d like to tell.

Send your submission to hello{at}publicbikes{DOT}com before May 3. We’ll just follow-up and schedule photography sessions with those selected customers.

Seattle Is Leading The Way

March 23rd, 2015

Seattle Bike Lane Divider / Image from SDOT If you haven’t heard the news, we’re opening our first PUBLIC store outside the Bay Area next month in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with our sister city to the north to advance our shared mission to grow cities that… Read more »

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Blue Bike Lane Divider Seattle Bike Lane Divider / Image from SDOT

If you haven’t heard the news, we’re opening our first PUBLIC store outside the Bay Area next month in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with our sister city to the north to advance our shared mission to grow cities that are more bike, pedestrian, and transit friendly. There’s a lot happening in Seattle to be excited about. Take its creative bright blue bike lane separators, as one clever example.

It is home to the most influential walking and biking advocacy organizations in the country. The Cascade Bicycle Club is leading the way, along with allied organizations like Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and local blogs like Seattle Bike Blog, to push for changes to Seattle’s public spaces. The city is investing heavily in bike infrastructure, with new protected bike lanes and a new bike sharing system just rolling out.

Two Way Bike Lanes Davey Oil, pictured with his kids, is owner of G&O Family Cyclery in Greenwood. Behind them is Madi Carlson, author of FamilyRide.us, with her kids.

The new safe bike lanes on 2nd Ave have tripled bike traffic already. It’s also one of the safest cities in the US for pedestrians and cyclists. The Seattle area has long been one of our top markets for online orders, and our friends at Ride Bicycles in NE Roosevelt, Seattle have been among our top independent PUBLIC dealers for years. We look forward to joining forces with them across town!

But the simplest explanation we can find for why Seattle is quickly becoming one of America’s great livable cities is summed up in this chart:

Communities Graph Institute for Quality Communities Graph, University of Oklahoma

Despite all the hills, and the rain, and the sprawl, more people in Seattle get to work without a car than any other city on the west coast, besides our own. That’s not just because people in Seattle are a special breed, but because city leaders and effective advocacy groups are bringing smarter design to their city, making it a friendlier place for humans to get around, not just cars. At PUBLIC, this livable cities movement is one we’re proud to be a part of, and we can’t wait to help Seattle give San Francisco a run for its money.

But the real question is: when the 49ers play the Seahawks next season, what colors will we wear? Stay tuned!


Rapha + PUBLIC Giveaway Winner

February 12th, 2015

We’re excited to announce that the winner of our Rapha + PUBLIC Giveaway is Elliott S. from El Dorado Hills, CA. Elliott grew up riding mountain bikes around Folsom Lake, CA. In college he recalls riding his rusty single speed road bike between his classes and his grocery job, and then going for trail rides… Read more »

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Congrats to Elliott, the Rapha + PUBLIC Giveaway Winner!

We’re excited to announce that the winner of our Rapha + PUBLIC Giveaway is Elliott S. from El Dorado Hills, CA.

Elliott grew up riding mountain bikes around Folsom Lake, CA. In college he recalls riding his rusty single speed road bike between his classes and his grocery job, and then going for trail rides on the weekends.

What draws him to riding is the convenience and the freedom. “When I bike I don’t have to worry about parking or spending money on car insurance,” said Elliott.

When he previously lived in San Francisco he bike commuted daily to work and loved seeing the bike infrastructure improvements in the city, like bike lanes along the Embarcadero. Since bikes have always been a part of his life and he believes in encouraging the biking lifestyle, he donates regularly to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Currently, Elliott is living his “dream job” as a videographer for Kirkwood Mountain Resort. When the gig ends, he’s excited to move back to the Bay Area where he plans to “ride this PUBLIC D8i Chrome everywhere!”

We look forward to seeing Elliott riding around the city on his stylish new wheels. Sign up for our e-newsletter to hear about our next giveaway!