Should You Wear A Bicycle Helmet?

May 8th, 2016

For adults we think riding a bicycle with or without a helmet is a personal choice. This personal decision should be based on the surrounding riding conditions, the rider’s age and experience, the type of riding the person is doing, and someone’s general overall risk assessment. If you’re choosing to wear a bicycle helmet, read… Read more »

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bike helmet bicycle

For adults we think riding a bicycle with or without a helmet is a personal choice. This personal decision should be based on the surrounding riding conditions, the rider’s age and experience, the type of riding the person is doing, and someone’s general overall risk assessment.

If you’re choosing to wear a bicycle helmet, read our helpful bicycle helmet safety tips on fit and comfort – and why you should replace your helmet every five years.

There’s a lot already written on the heated topic of whether riders should wear a bicycle helmet, and even if laws should mandate wearing a helmet. Although there’s no federal law mandating that bicycle riders strap a shell on their noggins, 22 states have laws regarding bike helmets.

For different perspectives on the helmet debate, you can read the following articles:

Instead of spending energy debating a personal choice of whether to wear a helmet, we think it’s more important that we, collectively, advocate for safer and better bicycle infrastructure to encourage more people to get on bikes. We believe changing the riding conditions in our cities to make bicycling safer – more protected and separated bike lanes, lower speed limits for everyone, and better designed streets for all mobilities – will ultimately do more to protect riders.

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Image via flickr.

In one of the safest cycling countries in the world, the Netherlands, riders rarely wear helmets, according to Co.Exist. That’s because the country’s infrastructure prioritizes cyclists, and as a result, that gear becomes almost superfluous. In countries like the US and UK, having to wear helmets might be a “failure of policy,” according to the British blog Alternative Department for Transport.

Do You Need a Woman-Specific Bicycle?

April 14th, 2016

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, as the feminist slogan goes. But does a woman need a women-specific bicycle? The short answer is: No. The long answer is: Every woman, man, and fish that wants to cycle should find a bike that accommodates their lifestyle and feels comfortable in their… Read more »

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woman-specific bicycle

Images via flickr from here, here and here

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, as the feminist slogan goes. But does a woman need a women-specific bicycle?

The short answer is: No. The long answer is: Every woman, man, and fish that wants to cycle should find a bike that accommodates their lifestyle and feels comfortable in their body proportions. They should shop for a holistically chosen bike—one that factors in their hobbies, health, pregnancy status, affinity for skirts, limb lengths, intended cycling needs and adventures—but not a gender-specific one.

Still, you’ll often find women-specific bikes that try to fill a gap in the market. As a female or gender-nonconforming shopper, cycling culture can feel overwhelmingly male. (Women ride bikes only a third as often as men do, according to Jeremy Singer-Vine, data editor at Buzzfeed.) As a result, many bikes on the market cater to traditionally masculine aesthetics and body proportions. The women-specific bikes hope to whisper: It’s OK! You’re welcome, too, in this culture of bike tubes with logos so large, they practically shout.

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The PUBLIC C7i Dutch-style step-through bike.

It’s part marketing, and part functional: Women-specific bicycles aim to fit the female body, accounting for shorter torsos and longer legs by offering women a more upright position. From cycling’s early days in the 19th century, “women’s bike” often refers to a Dutch bike or step-through frame that accommodates full skirts and doesn’t require flashing onlookers while mounting the bike (even though we all might be able to name men who love skirts and women who hate them).

Limb proportions aren’t so easily broken down by gender, either, says Kevin Bailey, head fitter of 3D Bike Fit in San Francisco. “You will hear in general that women’s legs are longer and torsos are shorter versus men’s,” Bailey writes in an email. But in the bike fitting community, “we find it’s all over the map, even more so in diverse populations as it really comes down to each individual’s bone structure differences.”

woman-specific bicycle

Instead of choosing a catchall option, cyclists should think about their own bodies and personal needs. When choosing a bike, women—and almost everyone—should consider:

    • Stem length. The stem—the tube that connects the handlebar to the fork on the front wheel—should be long enough to apply pressure on the front wheel and keep control over the steering, especially when you’re going downhill, Bailey says. If your bike is too long, it’ll handle “slow like a limo.” If it’s too small, it’ll be “twitchy” (think: circus bear wobbling on a tricycle).
    • Head tube length. The metal tube that connects the handlebar to the bike frame should be long enough so that you don’t round your back. With a slumped back, your lower leg muscles disengage, putting more strain on your knees and wearing you out. It disrupts the “kinetic chain,” Bailey writes. “A bike ride should feel like you’re not in a hurry to finish due to discomfort. Even after a long ride, you should not hurt or have a hard time standing up, feeling no back strain whatsoever.”
    • Saddle width. Another stereotypical female body proportion? Child-bearing wide hips. But here’s a bubble burster: “The common belief that women have wider hips than men is not supported by scientific data,” writes Lori A. Livingston in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. But if you happen to have wide hips, you’ll want to choose a wider saddle. Bailey breaks it down based on what he’s noticed: “Most women run 120 mm to 150 mm with the norm usually at 125 mm. Men have a norm of 110 mm ischial width [Ed. note: that’s “hipbone width,” for you non–anatomy geeks]. I have seen both sexes vary a lot.” In short, measure your body before picking that perfect, $100 leather saddle—only to find out it’s not so perfect for your hips.
woman-specific bicycle

Image by @mysquirrel at 30 weeks, on her last bike ride before giving birth.

  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women should take extra care, as a fall could be harmful to the baby. “Activities like jogging, using a bicycle, or playing racquet sports might be riskier as you near the third trimester,” warns the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, some women feel that governmental agencies are overly cautious, and that cycling into the third trimester helped them bear the symptoms of pregnancy. Pregnant riders should raise the handlebars and get a wider, more padded saddle, recommends the British cycling charity CTC.
  • Fashion. Adored by women, men and the Scottish alike, skirts are wearable while riding any bike. In a diamond-frame bike, the top tube keeps the skirt far from the gears. But a Dutch bike will accommodate the full length and girth of any A-line so that it still drapes fashionably over your legs, and you can modestly get on your bike. If you wear light-colored or high-quality duds, you might want to protect them from exposed, greasy gears by choosing a bike that comes with a chain guard.
woman-specific bicycle

The Diamond frame PUBLIC R24 City Road Bike.

  • Cycling style. Do you want to pedal at maximum speed on a 60-mile ride in the country? Or use your bike for a city commute of just two miles? Different cycling styles will call for different bike fits. With a diamond frame that angles your body more parallel to the ground, you’ll have extra stamina for a longer, faster ride. But upright Dutch bikes might be preferable if you have a short city commute—they give you a better view of your surroundings, including pedestrians and cars.

The irony is: Despite the market selling women-specific bicycles, women might actually be better at accommodating their bodies to all sorts of bikes. “Women tend to be more flexible, and sometimes, it’s easier to bike fit them because they have less muscular restriction and usually better hip flexion or less hamstring tightness than men,” Bailey writes.

Ultimately, don’t let your gender alone choose your bike. Instead, find what’s comfortable in your body—and your life.

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.

DIY Seahorse PUBLIC Mini Balance Bike

October 22nd, 2015

Humans shouldn’t have all the fun when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. This season we asked local designer Joe Irwin to transform our PUBLIC Mini Balance Bikes into a herd (yup) of little seahorses. The result is currently hanging in the window of our PUBLIC Bikes San Francisco shop in Hayes Valley and… Read more »

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Humans shouldn’t have all the fun when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. This season we asked local designer Joe Irwin to transform our PUBLIC Mini Balance Bikes into a herd (yup) of little seahorses. The result is currently hanging in the window of our PUBLIC Bikes San Francisco shop in Hayes Valley and couldn’t be any more playful and smile-inducing.

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Joe was game enough to draw up a how-to-guide that that you can use to fashion your own Seahorse PUBLIC Mini Balance Bike or use as a reference should you want to create an adult-sized version. And speaking of the adult-sized version, check it out on our Instagram here and Joe’s website here. And also check out these these other bicycle Halloween costume ideas.

Download the complete DIY seahorse instructions along with the template here.

Or check out the instructions for creating your own seahorse bike below.

Happy crafting!

Joe-Mini-Drawing

Materials Needed

To Make

  1. Trace all shapes from the Seahorse Template onto the Foamular Rigid Insulation Panels.
  2. Using a hotwire or blade, cutout all the foam pieces.
  3. Glue all tail rib pieces into place.
  4. Cut and form all metal pieces. Metal pieces include the rear hub tail end support, tail base frame connection, and head connection.
  5. Connect the rear hub tail end support by drilling a hole and gluing the bolt from the support into the tail.
  6. Glue the tail base frame connection to the tail with the screw pointing out (to connect to the frame).
  7. Connect the head connection to the head by carving out a slot and gluing the piece in, with the tabs exposed.
  8. Paint, glitter, and bedazzle all foam pieces.
  9. Insert and glue velcro straps into foam cutouts at the tail and the body.
  10. Glue the head velcro straps to the exposed metal tabs.
  11. Connect the tail by slipping the metal tail end support behind the rear hub bolts, connecting the base through the frame bolt hole. Tighten the nut and tighten the velcro strap around the seat post.
  12. Connect the body by tightening the velcro straps around the frame.
  13. Connect the head by slipping over the handle bar connection and tightening the velcro straps.
  14. Get out and ride!

Meet The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Special Edition Bike

October 20th, 2015

The famous Champs-Elysées boulevard in France has been nicknamed by the French la plus belle avenue du monde, “the world’s most beautiful avenue.” In homage to this tree-lined boulevard we created the PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Edition “PUBLIC’s most beautiful bike” — an elegant ride for trips to neighborhood cafes, shops and along any boulevards in your… Read more »

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The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Edition

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Champs-Elysees image via flickr

The famous Champs-Elysées boulevard in France has been nicknamed by the French la plus belle avenue du monde, “the world’s most beautiful avenue.” In homage to this tree-lined boulevard we created the PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Edition “PUBLIC’s most beautiful bike” — an elegant ride for trips to neighborhood cafes, shops and along any boulevards in your hood.

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The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Edition

The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Special Edition bike harkens back to a classic bicycle that has been in the PUBLIC collection for a long time — a stunning 1950’s-era aluminum mixte bike, the French Mercier Meca Dural 3 Speed Randonneuse.

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1950’s French Mercier 3 Speed Randonneuse

We have written before about how this Mercier served as one of the major inspirations for the current PUBLIC mixte bikes. The Mercier’s unisex “mixte” frame, with its moderate sloping downtube built for both men and women riders, was revolutionary and its shiny aluminum tubing has a gleam that is reminisent of the PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysées Edition.

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The PUBLIC Champs-Elysées Edition

The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysees Edition is built off our premium 8-speed Alfine internal hub commuter PUBLIC D8i bike in gleaming chrome. We’ve upgraded the saddle with the inimitable, Brooks B17 leather saddle in Antique Brown that coordinates with our Antique Brown ring grips. To carry your necessities we’ve added the PUBLIC Porter Rack in Silver. And for safety and style, the handcrafted Spurcycle Raw Bike Bell is included. The PUBLIC D8i Champs-Elysees Edition is being offered at the Special Introductory Price of $1,099 $1,500.

Introducing The New PUBLIC R16

July 29th, 2015

x https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJjZiv-RirI You talked. We listened. You wanted a lighter, sportier bike for commuting, fitness and everyday errands. You wanted more gears for tackling the hills and trigger shifters for responsive shifting right at your finger tips. Meet our new PUBLIC R16 flat bar city road bike – built to give you just what you… Read more »

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJjZiv-RirI

You talked. We listened. You wanted a lighter, sportier bike for commuting, fitness and everyday errands. You wanted more gears for tackling the hills and trigger shifters for responsive shifting right at your finger tips.

Meet our new PUBLIC R16 flat bar city road bike – built to give you just what you want in a bike. It’s nimble, light-weight and packed with 16-speeds to power you up the hills and down them. The new PUBLIC R16 is a reimagined version of its drop bar predecessor with a modern, slightly curved flat bar and Shimano Claris Rapidfire trigger shifters. We’ve included fenders for when it gets wet, slender city-ready tires and a comfortable city saddle and grips. It’s also available at the special price of $699 $899

Our PUBLIC R16 has received a lot of positive feedback already, but don’t just take our word for it. Check out the above video to see just what makes this bike great for city riding and everything else.

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Models Needed – Helmet Photo Shoot

April 3rd, 2015

We’ve got a slew of new helmets coming in 2015 and we need some fabulous heads to show them off to their finest. And by fabulous heads, we mean yours! We’re hosting an informal helmet photo shoot on Thursday, April 9th and need models (adults of any age and children between the ages of 1… Read more »

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We’ve got a slew of new helmets coming in 2015 and we need some fabulous heads to show them off to their finest. And by fabulous heads, we mean yours! We’re hosting an informal helmet photo shoot on Thursday, April 9th and need models (adults of any age and children between the ages of 1 to 6) to be photographed in these helmets. The images taken will be used on our website and social media. Examples here.

This is an informal, casual photo shoot to showcase our customers and supporters with our products. There is no compensation for this shoot. If we end up using your photo, the reward is you’ll get to tell your friends and family that you’re an official PUBLIC model!

Our helmet photo shoot will take place at our Hayes Valley Store at 549 Hayes Street in San Francisco. We’ll have two time slots, one for children and one for adults. From 10am – 11am we invite children between the ages of 1 to 6 years old to get their picture taken in a helmet. And from 11am – 1pm, adults of any age are encouraged to swing by and pose with a helmet.

While you’re welcome to drop in, please shoot us a quick RSVP at
models@publicbikes.com so we can get a rough headcount.


THE DETAILS
Date: Thursday, April 9 2015
Two Time Slots:
10am – 11am – Children ages 1 to 6-years old
11am – 1pm – Adults of any age
Location:
PUBLIC Bikes on Hayes
549 Hayes Street b/t Octavia & Laguna
San Francisco, CA

Bike Light Up Your Holiday

December 18th, 2014

Why stop at trimming your tree with lights? Your bike is a prime candidate for a little more glow this holiday season. We amassed a few shining examples of festive bikes below and we’d love to see yours! If you’re decking out your bike with lights this holiday, send us a picture or tag us… Read more »

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Why stop at trimming your tree with lights? Your bike is a prime candidate for a little more glow this holiday season. We amassed a few shining examples of festive bikes below and we’d love to see yours! If you’re decking out your bike with lights this holiday, send us a picture or tag us @publicbikes on social media.

1. Cruiser bikes get a nighttime makeover with neon lights

2. A vintage bike makes for a sweet holiday light show

3. An amazing bike “tree” blinging with Christmas Lights

4. A simple way to get festive, wrap colored lights around your bike basket

5. Transform an old bike by wrapping it in white lights and turning it into a planter

6. A long exposure and LEDs make a great bike light show

Impeccable. Indestructible. Individual. Freitag.

December 1st, 2014

When it comes to chic, bulletproof gear that goes with cycling, there are a few brands that rise to the top. In saddles its Brooks. In apparel it’s Rapha. In bags it’s Freitag. Freitag is a Swiss company that has set the standard in bag production with their elegant, unique and functional products. Each bag… Read more »

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When it comes to chic, bulletproof gear that goes with cycling, there are a few brands that rise to the top. In saddles its Brooks. In apparel it’s Rapha. In bags it’s Freitag. Freitag is a Swiss company that has set the standard in bag production with their elegant, unique and functional products. Each bag is crafted from truck tarps, making them unique and virtually indestructible.

Five years ago I visited the Freitag headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland (shown left). Their flagship store and factory is created entirely out of recycled freight containers and has become a kind of architectural icon. Fitting for a company whose products are iconic as well. I bought a few products on that visit, and I have been a passionate customer ever since. That’s my green bag shown below left. Like all their products they just get better over time.

Just last week we launched Freitag products our Hayes Valley Store. There’s a terrific selection of popular styles there that range anywhere from $32-$340. These make great gifts for others as well as yourself. If you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to swing by and check out the collection.

What makes a Freitag a Freitag?

The Freitag company was started by the Freitag brothers. Both were designers and cooked up the idea for these bags while they were students, 20 years ago. Listen to an interview with Markus, one of the Freitag brothers. Since starting the company, the brothers have built a reputation that’s based on a commitment to sustainable processes, impeccable design, and legendary quality.

Of course, by now there are numerous imposters selling lookalike product, but Freitag bags are truly the original. More and more companies are getting on the upcycled product bandwagon and you could argue that Freitag paved the way. Learn more about the Freitag production process.

Here are 5 reasons why Freitag stands above the rest.

1 | INDIVIDUAL

Each bag is custom. Based on the inherent words, textures and colors found on each unique piece of fabric, a team of designers works together to design each bag individually.

2 | SUSTAINABLE

The fabric used for each bag comes from truck tarps.  This upcycled material is incredibly strong and durable and the reason why we call these bags “indestructible.” All tarps are cut, washed, designed and sewn into bags in the Freitag factory in Zurich.

3 | FUNCTIONAL

Not only are these bags made of  impermeable fabric, but they are smartly constructed for everyday wear. Their straps will stand up the the toughest use and the velcro closures are super strong. Don’t fear using your Freitag bag all day and in any weather conditions.

4 | GUARANTEED TO LAST A LIFETIME

The materials and construction are top-notch, but if for any reason you need to, you can send your Freitag product back if it needs repairs.

5 | CHIC

It’s very rare to a find a company making industrial-grade products that are this fashionable. Their products are frequently seen on the backs of both fussy designers and hard-core cyclists all over Europe.

We are delighted and privileged to introduce Freitag to the Bay Area and hope you can come by our Hayes Valley Store and check these out. We do have a limited selection and the sooner you come by the more likely you will find a piece with the colors and graphic sensibility that suits your personality.

Best,

Rob Forbes

Founder, PUBLIC

 

Go Big And Go Chrome – Our New PUBLIC D8i

October 22nd, 2014

When we caught a glimpse of our brand new PUBLIC D8i in Chrome for the first time, we all got a little giddy. There’s something about the sheen of chrome when translated into bike form that looks downright sexy. When you see the bike for yourself, we think you’ll agree. Our Chrome PUBLIC D8i is… Read more »

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When we caught a glimpse of our brand new PUBLIC D8i in Chrome for the first time, we all got a little giddy. There’s something about the sheen of chrome when translated into bike form that looks downright sexy. When you see the bike for yourself, we think you’ll agree. Our Chrome PUBLIC D8i is one elegant set of wheels.

It’s constructed of high-quality, light-weight chromoly steel and features a premium eight-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub. This bike is guaranteed to turn heads.

We’re offering this bike in two configurations:
1) The PUBLIC D8i in Chrome, with a sporty white city saddle and matching white ergo grips retailing for $899 (List $1249)
2) The PUBLIC D8i in Chrome Special Edition, with a Brooks B17 Saddle in antique brown leather and our matching PUBLIC Ergo Grip, retailing for $999 (List $1394).

As we enter gifting season next month, we think this bike would look radiant wrapped with a red bow and/or positioned near twinkling lights. We only produced 50 of these Chrome bikes so get them now before we sell out.