Getting Ready for the Playa

July 30th, 2014

  San Francisco is the birthplace of PUBLIC Bikes. We take a lot of inspiration from the cultural and social diversity of this city that continues to innovate and transform itself. It’s no surprise that San Francisco is also the birthplace of Burning Man, which has since become a worldwide cultural event celebrating art, music,… Read more »

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Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

San Francisco is the birthplace of PUBLIC Bikes. We take a lot of inspiration from the cultural and social diversity of this city that continues to innovate and transform itself.

It’s no surprise that San Francisco is also the birthplace of Burning Man, which has since become a worldwide cultural event celebrating art, music, community, and creative self-expression.

Several PUBLIC employees are regular Burners. In fact, one of our regular bike builders has already left for the entire month to help prepare Black Rock City.

The focal point of Burning Man is the building of the temporary Black Rock City where 65,000+ participants are expected to gather in the Nevada desert. Burning Man takes place before Labor Day weekend, which means thousands of people from around the world, especially in the Bay Area, are preparing their camps and art projects in August in anticipation for the Burn.

One of the essential items to bring to Burning Man is your own “Playa Bike” or “Burner Bike.”

Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

Burner Bikes

People go to Burning Man for different reasons, but one of the best parts is to experience what it’s like to live in a city where the primary mode of transportation is by bicycle.

Black Rock City is essentially a bicycle paradise. The landscape is perfectly flat, spans for miles and motorized vehicular transportation in any form other than an art car is prohibited (with the exception of arriving and leaving Black Rock City).

Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

Thus, two-wheeled transport is essential with the bicycle being the primary way to get around the city. Imagine living in a city of 65,000+ people where almost everyone moves by bicycle or foot. One of the best articles about this topic is “The Bike Culture of Black Rock City” by Matthew Roth.

And for many participants, the bicycle also becomes a vehicle of creative, artistic, and individual expression. We’ve rounded up a selection of fun, quirky, and inspiring art bikes in a Facebook album so check them out.

Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.

Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.

 

Playa Products: Incredibell Disco Bell, SpokeLits and Trieste Coffee Cup Holder

Playa Bike Recommended Picks
If you’re heading to the desert later this August we’ve rounded up a few playa-perfect products that are sure to make your trip that much brighter, colorful and safe. We think our Disco Bell that offers an LED light show of red, yellow and green upon every ring is totally techno-ready. Our SpokLits come in either Disco or Green, effortlessly attach to the spokes of any bike, and create a LED light display upon revolution.

Other gear to consider: our Trieste Coffee Cup Holder (you can put any cylindrical vessel inside it), colorful Spring Clip Rear Racks and baskets for holding anything you might pick up along the way and, of course, bike wash (because you won’t be the only thing needing a good scrub down when you get home).

Check out our complete collection of fun Burner recommended products here.

New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

July 29th, 2014

Bikes, like people, have personalities and at PUBLIC we love the idea of taking a bike and making it feel special. The same way earrings and shoes can make an outfit, bike accessories like bells and fenders add character and individuality to a set of wheels. Each of our new Special Edition models is outfitted… Read more »

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Introducing Our New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

Bikes, like people, have personalities and at PUBLIC we love the idea of taking a bike and making it feel special. The same way earrings and shoes can make an outfit, bike accessories like bells and fenders add character and individuality to a set of wheels.

Each of our new Special Edition models is outfitted with individual touches like polished silver fenders and brass bells, handmade leather saddles and grips from Brooks of England. Built atop our durable, lightweight steel frames for a distinctive (and durable) ride. Starting at only $549.

AMELIEPUBLIC C1 AMELIE $741 $549
The PUBLIC C1 Amelie edition is a classic single-speed city bike with European chic. This timeless ride is dressed up with a Brooks B67s Aged SaddleBrooks Plump Leather Grips in honey and a classic PUBLIC Brass Bell. Toss a bouquet of fresh flowers or bread into the Peterboro Original Front Basket and breeze down any boulevard with an effortless je ne sais quoiRetail price is $549 (list price $741).

 

HARRISONPUBLIC V1 HARRISON $750 $549
The PUBLIC V1 Harrison edition gets its moniker from being one of the best bike routes in San Francisco’s Mission District and the home address of PUBLIC’s original warehouse on Harrison Street. Accessorized for the street-smart urban rider, this low-maintenance high function single-speed ride features the bulletproof Brooks B17 Saddle in black, our cargo-ready new Porteur Front Rack in silver, Black Cork Grips and aPUBLIC Brass BellRetail price is $549 (list price $750).

View all our Special Edition Bikes here.

$299 Single Speeds Are Back For School

July 18th, 2014

We’ve had a hard time keeping these new models in stock this season, but right now the PUBLIC V1 and the PUBLIC C1 are back in stock for just $299. The diamond frame PUBLIC V1 comes in Royal Blue and Red. And the step through, Dutch-style PUBLIC C1 comes in Cream and Turquoise. These wheels… Read more »

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We’ve had a hard time keeping these new models in stock this season, but right now the PUBLIC V1 and the PUBLIC C1 are back in stock for just $299. The diamond frame PUBLIC V1 comes in Royal Blue and Red. And the step through, Dutch-style PUBLIC C1 comes in Cream and Turquoise.

These wheels are ideal for the graduate heading off to college. The single gear is calibrated for flat or moderately hilly terrain, so getting from classroom to dorm room, with a cafe stop in between, is a piece of cake. Plus, they are built with a durable high-quality steel frame at price point that won’t break the Top Ramen budget.

To help protect your bike and your college minded coconut, a bike lock, helmet and a way to carry around the laptop and books will be necessary. Check out our selection of gear essentials like our new Porteur Front Rack and handy baskets for all the extras you’ll need to really put those wheels to work.

Liberté, Égalité and Beautiful Design

July 15th, 2014

France has a lot of reasons to celebrate in July with the Tour de France cycling all over its countryside and Bastille Day marking the start of the French Revolution. We’ve got a French connection here at PUBLIC in the form of our PUBLIC M7i, our mixte bike. In French “mixte” implies “mixed gender” and… Read more »

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France has a lot of reasons to celebrate in July with the Tour de France cycling all over its countryside and Bastille Day marking the start of the French Revolution.

We’ve got a French connection here at PUBLIC in the form of our PUBLIC M7i, our mixte bike. In French “mixte” implies “mixed gender” and the mixte frame illustrates this perfectly by falling somewhere in between a step through bike and a diamond frame bike. The mixte has a French and European heritage that we’ve blogged about before, and has been a best selling bike for PUBLIC since we launched.

In the spirit of all things liberté, égalité and beautifully designed, we’re excited to announce the launch of our front cargo rack, the PUBLIC Porteur Front Rack.

Like the mixte, this elegant and functional rack has French roots, as the style was pioneered by french newspaper delivery couriers (like the gentleman above).

We designed our PUBLIC porteur-style rack for function and versatility as it’s simple to strap boxes and awkwardly shaped items to it that wouldn’t easily fit in a side bag or backpack. Add a crate atop the front rack and Fido can ride proudly with you, or it allows you to keep your eyes on your laptop bag or a six pack. This style of rack is popular amongst bike courier set because they look sharp and are seriously handy. But until now you could not find one with this capacity and quality at this price. Load yours up today at the special introductory price of $99 (list price $129).

Custom Company PUBLIC Bikes

July 11th, 2014

We’ve been designing unique company bikes since the beginning of PUBLIC, and we take pride in these projects. Working with a client to customize color and design produces a product that’s an elegant fit for their brand and ours. Our first client was Hotel Healdsburg and since then we’ve been lucky enough to work with… Read more »

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We’ve been designing unique company bikes since the beginning of PUBLIC, and we take pride in these projects. Working with a client to customize color and design produces a product that’s an elegant fit for their brand and ours. Our first client was Hotel Healdsburg and since then we’ve been lucky enough to work with larger well known companies like Clif Bar and lululemon.

Check out our eclectic list of clients both big and small.  Recent additions to the list include apartments like Lex on Orange and Nema SF who offer our customized bikes to their tenants, Indian Springs Resort, the Frisk winery and  Mojo, a Clif Bar division.  Our recent lululemon event was a total kick and a unique collaboration that benefits employees and their communities.

If you’re interested in partnering with PUBLIC for your business head here for more information or drop us a line via this inquiry form.

Watermelon, Wine and Vitamin D.

July 1st, 2014

  We know how summertime works–impromptu park picnics, serious backyard grill-offs and beach blanket afternoons that turn into ocean front sunsets. Summer is all about maximizing time outdoors and there’s no better way to increase vitamin D intake than by biking to all your fun-in-the-sun events. It’s an enjoyable and effortless thing to do when… Read more »

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We know how summertime works–impromptu park picnics, serious backyard grill-offs and beach blanket afternoons that turn into ocean front sunsets. Summer is all about maximizing time outdoors and there’s no better way to increase vitamin D intake than by biking to all your fun-in-the-sun events. It’s an enjoyable and effortless thing to do when you’ve got the right gear and we’ve made it simple by grouping our bike-related, picnic-perfect items together just for you. With our wicker picnic baskets that easily attach to our colorful spring clip rear racks, bike holders just for wine, and smile-inducing helmets like our watermelon or polka dot patterns, you’re ready to take to the great outdoors.

Compare & Contrast: PUBLIC V1 and PUBLIC D8i

June 4th, 2014

We make a variety of bikes to suit a variety of riders and wallets, and the question we get asked frequently is what differentiates our bikes from one another? Here’s a comparison-contrast of two popular models with the same diamond frame style: our most affordable single speed PUBLIC V1, and our best commuter bike the… Read more »

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We make a variety of bikes to suit a variety of riders and wallets, and the question we get asked frequently is what differentiates our bikes from one another? Here’s a comparison-contrast of two popular models with the same diamond frame style: our most affordable single speed PUBLIC V1, and our best commuter bike the eight-speed internally geared PUBLIC D8i. Both bikes ride like butter and have lifetime warranties on their frames, but there are noticeable differences.

The PUBLIC V1 is the bike built for the minimalist. It has a classic steel frame and a single, carefully selected gear that’s calibrated for comfortable flat cruising and modest hills. You’ll use this bike for about town jaunts, smooth rolls to work and coasting through the park on a Sunday. It has color matching fenders and cream tires, along with contrasting red cable housing on the royal blue model and black cable housing on the red model. Its stem has an elegant rise for a more comfortable, upright riding position. We just introduced this bike with a special introductory price of $299 (regularly $449) and at that price it even makes a great gift. Father’s Day, perhaps? Or maybe that special graduate?


Our PUBLIC D8i is a workhorse set of wheels, built with the everyday, power commuter in mind. Its lightweight 100% chromoly steel tube set is strong and durable enough for everyday use and its eight gears are ready to power you up any hill. The new polished silver Shimano Alfine internal hub makes shifting silky smooth and the encased gears reduce the chance of bike grease marring your pants. Polished silver alloy fenders contrast smartly with the black tires and black cable housing and gives it a more serious and masculine personality than our brightly colored bikes with cream tires. The lower rise handlebar stem imparts a more powerful riding position. This bike is new this season with special introductory price of $899 (regularly $1249).

They Don’t Come Back

May 27th, 2014

I was in New York earlier this month and rode from my Chelsea hotel through downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge to visit our dealer, Joe Nocella who runs 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn. Riding in New York keeps getting better and better with excellent signage, more riders and respectful taxi drivers. Well, at least two of… Read more »

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Image courtesy of wellandgoodnyc.com

I was in New York earlier this month and rode from my Chelsea hotel through downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge to visit our dealer, Joe Nocella who runs 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn. Riding in New York keeps getting better and better with excellent signage, more riders and respectful taxi drivers. Well, at least two of those three statements are true. Honestly now, riding in New York is a pleasure compared to most other cities. And riding over the Brooklyn Bridge is epic, even more so than our Golden Gate Bridge because of its history.

Joe’s bike shop, 718 Cyclery is cool – really cool. Joe calls it the “inverted” bike shop, meaning that they turned the concept of the traditional bike store upside down. His innovations range from teaching bike classes, working on bikes with customers, and creating an atmosphere that is super customer friendly, the way your neighborhood café is.

718 Cyclery Inside View

718 Cyclery does high-end custom bikes, everyday city bikes, and everything in between. Joe has been selling a lot of our bikes for years. When I asked him why, he said, “They don’t come back”. Basically, the quality is such that customers don’t return with the quality problems that plague other city bikes. We love getting these compliments, and we love having bike professional like Joe getting our bikes out on the streets where they belong.

We select our bike dealers the way we design our bikes – with great attention to detail. While out bikes rarely “come back” for quality problems, they need servicing and tune ups, and all of us need our local bike shop. For a list of other great dealers click here.

Header image courtesy of wellandgoodnyc.com.

How Does Your Bike Locking Grade?

May 12th, 2014

Locking up your bike appears a task as obvious as brushing your teeth. Open lock. Thread lock through bike to something solid. Done. But, like teeth brushing, there’s a right way and a wrong way. This freshly cut vimeo highlighted last week in The Atlantic Citiesis the fourth video installment on bike locking from the brutally-honest New York… Read more »

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Lock Up Your Wheels The Right Way

Locking up your bike appears a task as obvious as brushing your teeth. Open lock. Thread lock through bike to something solid. Done. But, like teeth brushing, there’s a right way and a wrong way. This freshly cut vimeo highlighted last week in The Atlantic Citiesis the fourth video installment on bike locking from the brutally-honest New York bike mechanic, Hal Ruzal. In this installment Ruzal walks around New York grading people’s bike locking skills from A (well locked) to F (poorly locked).

This video was released in honor of National Bike Month and it’s a good reminder for places like San Francisco where an average of 11 bikes are stolen per day. As we’ve written before, this is a global problem and even bike-focused cites like Denmark see over 100,000 bikes per year stolen. The truth is many of the thefts are related to user error and are avoidable.

In short, Ruzal’s tips boil down to the basics: 1) Get the best quality U-lock you can. We recently released the latest Kryptonite Series 5 Mini U-Lock and highly recommend it; 2) Lock your frame (not just your wheels) to a solid pole or a bike lock—wooden posts and chain link fences don’t count; 3) For quick release wheels either remove the front wheel and lock with your back wheel and frame, carry a cable or extra lock to secure them or purchase a set of locking axle nuts like these so your wheels can’t be quickly removed; and 4) Permanently lock/attached your seat to your bike.

For more resources on bike locking check out the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s thorough page on Theft & Locking. And if you live in a city where you can register your wheels (San Franciscans, head here) make sure you do this.

Commute in Style With Our New Rickshaw Bags

May 6th, 2014

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

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Rickshaw Duo Pannier Bags

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

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

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

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

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

New Rickshaw Metro Tote

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