Public S7—Dutch Style That Won’t Break the Bank.
Public Bikes have that classic look that so many crave. Decked out in cool colors, available in many configurations and offered by bunches of bike shops, they continue to gain popularity. I rode these two bikes at our newest neighborhood bike shop, North Park Bikes. They have these in stock, can get you any Public bike you like and will back it fully just like you would expect.
The S7 is their entry level bike, but it might be all you’ll ever need. You can get it in a low-frame or diamond frame model (T7). I rode both and mostly zeroed in on the red low-frame model because, of course, red is one super desirable color. Blue is my favorite color and the last Public I rode was in that class. The low-frame S7 comes in red, black and silver, while the diamond frame T7 comes in the same three, although the red is called Golden Gate and has a distinctive red shade.
Frame candy aside, it’s what these bikes can do for you that counts. And that is make you look great. Just kidding, even though it’s true. Riding a bike is what it’s all about. When you ride you feel good, stay happy and look special. Riding on a bike with a stand-out appearance can be quite important, yet riding one with the right pieces and a great feel is a step above that.
All those pieces are hung on a hi-tensile steel frame. Some might talk that down and push for a Chromoly steel frame. Public has those too, but at this price point, you can’t complain or worry about it. Steel frames have that romantic ride and vintage quality, and most riders can’t or won’t notice the difference between these two. The braze-on mounts for the fenders and optional racks are cleanly done. The lines flow in the best way, something you don’t see while riding, yet will appreciate the rest of the time.
The seven-speed derailleur drive train works well. Add that super low 1st gear for easier hill-climbing when needed. The twist shift on the handlebars works quick and easy, taking you to any gear you desire with a twist and a click. I worked through them many times myself as I pedaled the local neighborhoods. Public bikes can be purchased with 3 and 8 speed sealed gear hubs if you want. I would choose one of those options, yet it does raise the ante at the sales counter.
As I rode up and down some mellow hilly areas, I got a chance to put the brakes to the test. These dual-pivot brakes are of a modern and sleek design. They grab well and were as quiet as a mouse. The extreme polish of their alloy is impressive. Many of the bikes parts are alloy. That includes the beautifully painted fenders. It helps to make the Public S7 an agile and light-weight machine.
The bike does come with a nice dual chain guard kind of set-up. I have been seeing this on several bikes nowadays and I really like it. A kickstand is part of the package, and Public offers a optional center stand that can help keep it stable when parked on uneven ground or when your sweet bike is loaded down with cargo. A fairly firm saddle and supple hand grips round out the features on this Public gem. Don’t forget the alloy butterfly pedals, that look good and work just right.
Eddie over at the brand new North Park Bikes let me take the Public S7 out for a good long spin. You might be familiar with North Park here in San Diego. It has gained nationwide recognition for the transformation they have achieved. Just north of our fantastic Balboa Park, it is filled with craftsman homes, quaint eateries and a thriving arts community. Many of our group rides tour through this area. The generally quiet streets are easy to ride and offer interesting sights.
These are what I enjoyed as I pedaled the S7 to get a feel for this entry-level Dutch style bike. I also took out the diamond framed T7 for several blocks of two-wheeling. Both bikes are comfortable, light and easy to handle. It would be smart to chose some finishing accessories from Public’s wide selection of pieces. A rack or basket, some lights and a bell would do the trick. A fully rounded bike is what we all aspire to, right?
Public has quite a selection of different bikes, and customs too. They can be had with Brooks saddles and other cool additions (including fancy paint jobs) straight from the factory. Look below for a link to their site for the full run-down on some classic bikes that could be just what you’ve been looking for. Jogging around on their site can be fun. Although I call this style a college bike, they have that European appearance that brings a fun smile while you ride. Biking is all about getting where your going, but fun and good looks figure big on the total picture.
If you have been looking for that ‘it’ bike to get you back on two wheels, you may not need to search any further than your Public dealer. Looking like something out of a hundred year-old cycling advertisement poster, the S7 has so much going for it. Just picture yourself on this bike and I think you’ll see what I mean. Vintage feel with modern nuts and bolts is the greatest of combinations. I love my old bikes, but many would rather have a brand new set of wheels that just look old (but new and shiny of course), than have to do the work themselves.
Make that ride, Turbo Bob.
“At some point I figured out that it’s all about fun. If you bang your head against a wall and scream, ’I wanna win,’ it won’t happen. Have passion.”—Myles Rockwell.
Link to Public Bikes on the web or Facebook
North Park Bikes? Here you go
This is the video I took of the Public S7
I took this video of North Park Bikes
A link to the article I wrote on the Public D3