Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Public Bikes

The founder of Public Bikes says the idea for the company occurred during a trip to Amsterdam in 2002. If you can't visit Amsterdam, but nevertheless want to know what he would find so inspiring, take a virtual trip to Amsterdamize.

Public Bikes has a vision statement that corresponds nicely with our philosophy here at BRFOU:

Our bikes are designed to help make city life a little simpler and a little more fun. Our real mission is to help make our communities more enjoyable. So we see ourselves as a "more livable cities” company. And bikes are a perfect place to start. Bikes make our communities more personal, more vibrant, more civilized, more human and more PUBLIC. That's how we got our name.

Public Bikes offers two basic models: a mixte and a diamond frame.

The mixte, pictured above, is offered as an 8-speed for $1200 or a 3-speed for $900. A bit pricey, but it includes a Shimano Nexus IGH, fenders, chainguard, and rack braze-ons. Here are the specs for the 8-speed mixte:

Weight: 31.7 lbs

Frame: PUBLIC 4130 chromoly steel frame, with fender and rack braze-ons, integrated kickstand bracket

Fork: PUBLIC 4130 chromoly steel fork, with PUBLIC investment cast fork crown, with fender and rack braze-ons

Handlebar: Alloy commuting bar, 25 deg back sweep, 590mm wide, 25mm rise, 25.4mm clamp

Stem: Forged alloy quill stem, 25 degree rise, 25.4mm clamp

Headset: 1" threaded alloy

Grips: PUBLIC triangle grip, 125/90mm, closed end

Freewheel: Shimano 20 tooth cog

Crankset: Alloy crankset, 42 tooth chainring, square taper

Bottom bracket: Square taper BSA English threaded cartridge bottom bracket

Chain: KMC Z410, 1/2" x 1/8"

Pedals: PUBLIC Butterfly alloy platform pedal, with rubber pads, 9/16" axle, ball bearings

Front & rear brake: Alloy dual pivot caliper brake, super long reach (55-73mm), 1-pc pads

Shifter: Shimano Nexus Inter-8 Revoshift twist shifter

Brake levers: Alloy 4 finger caliper brake lever

Saddle: PUBLIC seat, 165mm wide, steel polished rails

Seat post: Alloy 1 bolt, 27.2mm

Seat post clamp: Alloy 1 bolt

Tires: Kenda Kwest, 700x35c, 60TPI, with reflective stripe

Inner tubes: Presta valve

Rims: Alloy deep section, 36 hole, 700c, machined brake surface

Front hub: Alloy, nutted bolt-on axle

Rear hub: Shimano Nexus Inter-8, 8 speed internal geared hub

Spokes: Stainless steel 14G

Chainguard: Alloy chainguard

Kickstand: Alloy center mount

Fenders: Alloy full fender

The diamond frame, pictured above, is available as an 8-speed for $1150, a 3-speed for $850, or a single speed for $600. I like the looks of this orange 3-speed.


Joseph Eisenberg said...

Nice looking bikes.

But I don't understand their prices. Why should the 8 speed cost $550 more than the single-speed? Every component appears to be exactly the same, except for the addition of a Nexus internal gear hub and shifter.

Perhaps the 1-speed is only $600 and sold at a lower profit to provide a reasonably priced option, while the other two models have bigger mark-ups?

It makes me wonder how much it would cost to buy a nexus 8-speed and shifter online, and have a bike shop rebuild the rear wheel on the 1-speed. Less than $550?

Anonymous said...

Well, you can buy a wheel with a Nexus hub from Velo Orange for $285.

Chris said...

And again, city bikes being sold without lights (and without a hub dynamo).. So the question is, what is so "little simpler and a little more fun", "more livable" and "more personal, more vibrant, more civilized, more human and more PUBLIC" on these bikes and this company??? Less visible, more dangerous??

Freewheel said...

Chris, you make a valid point. In the same price range you can get a Breezer with dynamo-powered lights. Otherwise you need to consider the aftermarket options.

Barry said...

They may have realized their pricing was out of line. As of today, their posted pricing is $850 for the 8spd, $690 for 3spd, and $450 for the single. The mixtes are $890 and $750.

Bike Winston-Salem said...

I'm in love with these. Simple style with purpose.

Ron said...

I like the concept and design of these better than anything else in their price range. For me, the full chrome-moly frame and fork are big selling points. That single feature makes all the difference, as anything else can be changed to suit different tastes (although I like them pretty much the way they are).
Two new colors will also be available soon, in addition to those currently shown on their website.

Anonymous said...

These bikes look reaally great! Its a real shame they only ship within the US!!