Cycling down the path of life

Public Bikes – Some Assembly Required


Public Bikes proudly boast that your bike is delivered 99% assembled. Bike Lane Living accepted the challenge this week to see if reality was anywhere close to the marketing hype.

It’s an impressive claim, and one that many bike distributors wish they could own. Bicycles simply don’t fit neatly into the boxes that fit neatly into trucks and airplanes. Transporting product from point of manufacture to customer is very expensive, but finding a better way to do this just may give one brand an edge over another in the fight for market share.

Rather than develop a massive network of bicycle retailers to connect with customers, outside of San Francisco Public Bikes ships directly to you. It’s an innovative business model and an outlier in the bicycle community. Fewer steps in the distribution chain means lower costs, or better quality for your money.

Liability is limited by virtue of the bikes being 99% assembled. Plus, there’s a clear list of instructions that easily enables the customer to remove the packaging and tighten the last few bolts. Our test bike departed San Francisco and arrived in New Orleans just a few days later, in perfect condition.


The 99% assembled Public Bike arrived safely in this box.



Immaculate paintwork, all protected by smart packaging.



99% assembled, and protected for transportation.



Attaching a pedal – easy. Public Bikes provides the tools.



The final 1% assembly can be done is just minutes.



It’s a beautiful bike, and will make a special gift this holiday season.


 What’s your comfort level? Are you happy to buy direct, knowing that you need to tighten a few bolts, or is the local bike store still your preferred option?


  1. Gorgeous Orange Creme-cycle color. I love it!

    • It really does look very sharp. It’s going to be difficult keeping this gift a surprise! I think the cat’s out of the bag.

  2. Great walkthrough and please keep us up to date on how this bike lasts. We purchased Public bikes earlier in the season and were quite disappointed with the quality of the bikes after only a few rides.

    • Will most definitely keep you updated, especially on the quality. Let’s hope things have improved since your experience.

  3. Hunter: Really great photo essay of our Ready to Ride option. Yes we take great care to build the bike and package it carefully to make it simple for customers.

    Jamie: Please email if you care to describe the issues you’ve had on your initial rides. We hope to help resolve any issues. Many times it’s a simple brake or cable adjustment to fix any issues. As you know, bikes are mechanical so most issues are fixable. If there are other issues, we of course want to hear them too. We have thousands of happy customers riding PUBLIC bikes around the country. If we can resolve your issues, we will try.


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