One of the upsides of being an amateur/armchair bike blogger that nobody's clamoring to send stuff to, however, is that I can wander around the vast internets and choose stuff that looks good to me without all the hard work of actually riding and reviewing said stuff. Sure, it's a clear-cut violation of my own Advertising & Review Policy, but that's why I included the "mutable at my whim" clause. So, consider it muted for this post, as I give you the (never ridden by me) Public V7:
(Image horked from Public's site, where you can learn more about the bike.)
During a recent globe-trotting, the hotel where I lay my head kept a small fleet of remarkably sensible-looking bikes on hand for guests to borrow. I never did, but I was intrigued enough by them to internet-stalk the maker and model, and it turns out it was this here Public V7, wearing the hotel's logo.
To me, this simple steed (and any number of hipster-bait, Americanized-Dutch clones) is all the bike most people need. In fact, if I'm being honest, it's probably all the bike I need. Here's what I like:
- Chubby tires for comfort.
- Fenders to keep your butt dry.
- Upright riding position for (again) comfort.
- Easily adjusted and maintained dual-pivot brakes.
- Simple, user-friendly 1x7 drivetrain.
- A chainguard to keep your pants out of said drivetrain.
- Stylish/non-garish paint and decals.
- Brazeons for carrying stuff.
- Bolt-on hubs to thwart wheel-thieves.
Being a picker of nits, I would tweak a couple things, of course:
- Threadless steerer, please, even though I know it kills the traditional/retro look. I just like 'em better.
- White tires? And white Kenda Kwests (Tires of the Zombie Apocalypse) no less? Double pass. They'll look like crap after one ride, and ride like crap forever.
- I'm meh on the brown saddle and grips, but that's aesthetic, not functional (yet they had me at color-matched rims, which is probably just as silly).
- $500 MSRP, while perfectly reasonable for the feature set, is still pretty steep for the casual "not bike people" audience this thing is targeting (there's a singlespeed version for $100 less, but then you're trading versatility for simplicity and cost).
Again, I cannot stress enough that I have never ridden a Public V7. For all I know, it could go down the road like a walrus in labor. But it ticks many good, sensible boxes... and if someone from Public (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) happened upon this review and wanted to help me make it more exhaustive, I certainly wouldn't refuse a visit from the Big Brown Truck.