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Bike Buying Guide

It's easy to pick your bike.  Here are a few guidelines:

1What are your needs?

We are here to help you find the right bike for your needs. At PUBLIC we come from a strong design ethos. Our bikes are designed for the everyday bicyclist, the newbie, or the weekend warrior. Our frame styles (Mixte, Diamond, Step-Thru, and Road Bike) suit a variety of needs. PUBLIC bikes were designed to conquer the hills of San Francisco so we feel confident they will work on any urban terrain.

If you're riding longer commutes or very hilly rides, have special needs or are looking for something beyond a traditional bicycle, an electric assist bike is a great option for many people. We have many of the same frame styles listed below, all with electric motors that make your ride even faster and easier. Learn more about our electric bike options here.


2Choose a frame style:

We think this is a personal choice. Our frames are unisex, durable, and provide a smooth ride. If you like a standard frame commonly found in most bikes, the DIAMOND frame is for you - either the classic DIAMOND frame found in our PUBLIC D, PUBLIC V, or PUBLIC R bikes.  If you like to ride wearing skirts, dresses, kilts, or just don't want to swing your leg to get on your bike, go with the STEP-THRU or MIXTE. If you need a bike for the city and longer recreational rides we recommend our PUBLIC R ROAD BIKES.

See further descriptions here:

From the French word meaning "mixed" or "unisex" the mixte has been ridden by men and women across Europe for more than 100 years. It is a higher priced frame because it is our most complicated build.
Advantages: Easy on and off, especially with stuff or kid on the back. Beautiful design. PUBLIC M is our favorite frame style.

The classic double diamond frame geometry has been the standard for city bikes, touring bikes, and even racing bikes dating back to the late 19th century. This traditional design is available in the widest range of styles: including the PUBLIC D and PUBLIC V, and PUBLIC R series.

Sometimes marketed as a "ladies" bike, this frame has been embraced by both men and women for its elegance and ease of use.
Advantages: Easiest frame for hopping on and off. You literally step over the bike in easy fashion to start riding on our PUBLIC C model.

Road BikeRoad Bike
We design the PUBLIC City Road Bikes to meet the demands of both urban and recreational riding. They have been styled after the best vintage road bikes but with the benefits of modern components for easier shifting, stronger braking, and lighter weight.
Advantages: With drop handlebars or flat bar options, road bike geometry, and up to 24 speeds, the PUBLIC Road Bikes deliver more performance than our other city bikes and are ideal for longer commutes.

3Single-speed, internal hub or derailleur gear system?

It's really just a question of cost and your riding conditions. If you're mainly riding on flat roads and don't plan to do any steep hill climbing, you might consider our single-speed PUBLIC C1 or PUBLIC V1. If your rides require any steep hill climbing, most of our PUBLIC bikes feature multi-gears with a range suitable to tackle even San Francisco hills. The type of gear mechanism is the main price driver between our bikes. The sleeker, internal hub look has a higher price tag because it will last longer and you can shift gears while you're coasting or stopped at an intersection. Your chain never fallls off on your internally geared PUBLIC bike. The derailleur gearing, which requires you to shift gears while pedaling, is most common in the bikes we learned to ride on.

Derailleur vs. Internal Hub


4Check your height:

The nice thing about our bikes is that they are NOT one size fits all.  We have bikes that fit almost anyone. Here is a handy size chart:

  S/M 4'10" -  5'5"     S/M 5'2" -  5'8"  
  M/L 5'6" -  5'10"     M/L 5'9" -  6'2"  
  S 5'3" -  5'7"     S/M 5'0" -  5'6"  
  M 5'8" -  5'11"     M/L 5'7"  -  6'0"  
  L 6'0" -  6'5"          
  XS 4'10" - 5'2"     XS 5'0" - 5'3"  
  S 5'3" -  5'5"     S 5'4" - 5'6"  
  M 5'6" -  5'10"     M 5'7" - 5'10"  
  L 5'11" -  6'2"     L 5'11" - 6'2"  

5    Pick your color:

Our bikes have been called "candy colored road warriors". We agree. To meet the taste of just about everyone, our bikes come in a range of colors from fashion statements to neutrals to classic black. Each PUBLIC bike model has unique color options.


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