Confused for community bikes because of the name Public, Public Bikes (referring to the brand) is a young American bicycle company with a deep-lying Dutch heritage. The brand’s mission is to create a fun riding community, thus the name Public. That aside, are Public bikes good?
Public bikes are good because they are lightweight, comfortable to ride, and of good quality – making them fantastic entry-level and casual city bikes. They are also affordable, stylish, accessorized, and come in multiple sizes and good warranties.
Public Bicycle Company makes kids’, men’s, and women’s city bikes. So, if you are looking for an urban-tailored bicycle to commute with, ride for fun, or use to run errands with, think no further than Public bicycles.
But like I mentioned, these bikes are only best for entry-level and casual urban cycling. So, they are not the best for serious riding or off-road adventures.
I’ll share more about Public bicycles to help you understand the urban bike brand. But before I do, let me briefly give a company overview.
In a rush? See my most recommended Public bicycles on the hotlist below:
6 Best Public Bikes
- Public Bikes V1 – Best Single-Speed Diamond Public Bike for Men
- Public Bikes V7 – Best Multi-Speed Diamond Public Bike for Women
- Public Bikes M7 – Best Mixte Public Bike for Women
- Public Bikes M7i – Best Mixte Public Bike for Women
After falling in love with the Dutch cycling culture and the simplicity of the modern Dutch bikes, American Robe Forbes thought of spreading the lifestyle in America. That saw him establish Public Bikes Company in 2010.
According to Forbes, even though all Dutch people are not cyclists, nearly all ride bikes, and that’s the heritage he wanted to promote in America.
The company’s goal is to bring the Dutch people’s riding freedom to the streets of America and create a similar riding community, thus the name Public.
The other reason behind the name ‘Public’ is the company’s drive to make better usage of public spaces. The bicycle brand focuses on everyone, young and old.
Public bicycles make cycling simpler and funnier. Generally, these city bikes are designed for all kinds of urban cyclists – from the city commuter to the guy who only wants to run errands or the newbie who has no history of cycling.
8 Reasons Public Bikes Are Good
Here are eight primary reasons why Public bicycles are good:
1. Public Bicycles Are Lightweight
No city rider wants a heavy bike. We all want a lightweight option, one we can pedal with ease, push around, and sometimes carry on the shoulders.
Well, that’s what you get from Public Bicycle Company. The bicycles weigh between 25 and 32 pounds, depending on their size, frame type, and gearing. Expect single-geared aluminum and carbon options to weigh the least and multi-geared and steel options to weigh the most.
But given that the most weight is 32 pounds, these bicycles qualify as lightweight. Their low-weight makes them portable and a fantastic urban choice.
2. They are Comfortable to Ride
While a low weight makes a comfortable bicycle, there is more to Public bicycles than their low weight. For one, these bikes enjoy an upright geometry that encourages you to ride head-up, thus gentle on your spine.
Their gear systems allow you to smoothly shift as their powerful brakes make braking seamless. The bikes also enjoy a shorter stand-over height that makes them easy to get on and off.
They also come in low gear options (mainly 1-7 speed) for easy pedaling around town. Furthermore, their seats are also well-cushioned and ergonomic for comfortable cycling, and a majority of them come with bump-soaking ability.
3. They Are Good Quality
Public bikes are undeniably not the most high-end bikes on the market, but they promise some decent specs. For starters, these bikes come with strong, durable, and reliable frames and tires, which can take on all the hard tarmacs.
They enjoy modern disc and dual-pivot alloy brakes that are dependable on the streets and drivetrains that can take it all. Plus, components such as the handlebars, seat posts, fenders, and pedals are all decent in build, though you may want to upgrade after some time.
4. The Options Are Affordable
Public kids’ bikes start from $219.99, while adults’ options start from $499.99. That makes Public one of the most affordable bicycle brands on the market today. Even their most high-end options are affordable, given that they average just slightly above $1000.
5. They Come in Stylish Designs
If there is one area that Public excels beyond a reasonable doubt, it must be in its bike looks. These bikes have a unique modern-retro design inspired by the Dutch style that makes them trendy.
Some borrow from the French, making them just as stylish as the Dutch-inspired options.
The bikes enjoy a curvy frame design and come in vibrant frame colors and matching fenders to catch the eye of everyone who sees them.
Even their tires are super attractive, given that they complement the frame and fenders. So, if you are looking for a stylish and timeless casual bike, you cannot go wrong with Public.
6. The Bikes Are Accessorized
Not many urban bikes come accessory-packed. That’s prevalent in touring and some hybrid bikes. Public bicycles, however, are exceptional on that note.
They feature colorful fenders for protecting you against mud splashes, chain guards to protect the chain from slipping off, and kickstands for easy parking. Others come with rear racks and baskets for hauling a few loads or allowing you to mount them.
You can also accessorize the bicycle further as they are mount-ready. As a result, the bikes are fantastic for running errands in town and urban commuting.
7. They Come in Multiple Sizes
Public makes bikes that are fun to ride because they fit easily. The company makes all its bikes in multiple frame sizes to suit a variety of riders.
8. They Enjoy Good Warranty
Public bicycles come with descent warranties that differ according to the parts. For example, the frame and forks come with a lifetime warranty that showcases their build quality and long-term reliability.
On the other hand, Public-branded components, bike paints, and decals come with a one-year warranty.
As good as Public is or has been, the bike brand faces a few downsides, which include the following:
- Limited to entry-level and casual choices – Sadly, Public bicycles are not for the serious and the competitive-minded cyclists. These bikes are best for entry-level urban bikers and casual riders such as commuters, urban tourers, and recreational riders.
- Not High-end – While Public makes quality bicycles, the bike specs are not the most high-end. You may have to do a few upgrades to make them a little high-end, but that can be costly. That again explains why these cycles are not best for advanced riders.
Bike Range (Public Bikes Review)
Public bicycles come in three different frame styles as follows:
a) Step-Through Public Bikes
Public step-through bicycles are Dutch-inspired options with the most upright geometry. They are the easiest to get on and out of, owing to their low swooping curvy frames and a low stand-over height.
These bikes are best for women, given that women can ride them with skirts. They are also best for kids and beginners. They are generally suitable for fun riding, but you can also commute with them as they are pretty comfortable.
Currently, Public stocks the following step-thru options:
- Kids options – Sprout C16, Sprout C20, and C7 24.”
- Women – C7 24″, C1, C7, C7i, C9 aluminum, and C8i Alfine Disc
My overall picks are Public Bikes C1 and Public Bikes C7.
Given that C1 is single-speed, it’s a good choice for women’s casual riding and everyday urban commuting. It comes in a trendy Dutch style to complement the modern lady cyclist.
On the other hand, C7 enjoys a 7-speed drivetrain that makes it best for various city roads. This city bike resembles a cruiser bike, making it suitable for out-of-town use.
b) Diamond Public Bikes
Unlike the low-lying swopping step-through design, Diamond Public bicycles feature a high-top tube. They have a high stand-over height to suit men more but enjoy an upright geometry, just like step-thru frames.
The frames are usually the strongest, and you’ll find them on all kinds of Public bikes.
Currently, Public stocks the following styles of diamond bikes:
- Kids options – Sprout V16 and Sprout V20
- Men’s’ options – V1, V7, V7i, V9, R18, R18 Drop Bar, and D81 Alfine Disk
- Women’s options – R18 Disc and R18 Drop Bar
My overall picks here are Public Bikes V1 and Public Bikes V7.
V1’s single-speed drivetrain offers an easy way to get around town and tackle light to moderate terrains, while V7’s multi-speed drivetrain enables you to take on the most challenging hills.
c) Mixte Public Bikes
Mixte frames combine the best features of step-thru and diamond frames to give you the best of both worlds. Their diagonal top tubes make them easier (than diamond frames) to get on and off, while their sporty forward-leaning position is more comfortable than that of a step-thru.
So, mixte frames combine comfort and versatility, making the bikes great adult choices.
Today, Public stocks the Public Bikes M7 and Public Bikes M7i for men and women, respectively. Both options come in 7-speed and enjoy a classic French mixte design.
People Also Ask
1. Where Are Public Bikes Made?
Public sources its bicycles components from England, Japan, and other parts of the world, but the frames are made in Taiwan and assembled in Marin County, California.
2. Do Public Bikes Have Gears?
Yes, Public bikes do have gears, some up to 18, as it’s the case with Public Bikes R18 Disc. The majority of bikes, however, have 1-7 gears.
3. Who Owns Public Bikes?
Mikes’ Bikes owns Public Bikes. The retailer bought the company from the original owner in 2017 after a bankruptcy incident.
4. Why Are Public Bikes So Expensive?
When it comes to the most expensive bicycles, Public bicycles are nowhere near expensive. These bikes average under $1000, with only a few options costing slightly more. But overall, their pricing is because of their build quality, reliability, and unique Dutch style.
In Conclusion: Are Public Bikes Good?
When it comes to entry-level or casual urban cycling, Public bikes suffice. These bikes are comfortable, fun to ride, decent quality, and irresistibly stunning. They are also easy to fit and come in various styles. What else can you ask from a modern city bike?