To the nonbiking literate, “fixie” may as well mean “adorable handyman.” It’s actually a one-gear bike that’s as difficult to ride as it is cool to look at.
Now there’s an alternative: Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, set out to make an urban bike whose form truly met its function, and thus, Public was born.
Modeled after classic European silhouettes, the bikes ($600-$1,200) come in two unisex frames (although the sloped M frame is more skirt and boot friendly) and four eye-catching colors: cream, powder blue, chartreuse, and orange. They’re available in one, three, or eight speeds (for those who climb a lot of hills).
And they have SF-friendly details: a durable frame that’s light enough to carry to your third-floor walk-up, a metal basket for your bag, and an upright posture so you can see oncoming Muni buses.
Forbes even made the tires wide enough that they won’t get caught in trolley tracks. Trust us, that feature will come in handy.
Preorder before May 3 online at publicbikes.com. Test-ride the bikes at 123 South Park Avenue, between 2nd and 3rd Streets (415-896-0123).
Photo: Stephanie Rausser / Courtesy of Public
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