I was like a kid on Christmas. I eagerly awaited FedEx to pull up with my new bike. Having tracked my shipment throughout the total of 6 days I waited for her, amazing if you ask me.
I was a bit surprised to see FedEx just drop the box on our porch without need for signature or even ringing the doorbell. The driver was like a parcel ninja. The box arrived with minor wear and tear. I knew it had to be an awkward item to ship.
Inside the bike is wrapped in cardboard tubes, zip ties and baggies to protect it’s precious parts and beautiful paint finish. Make sure you have some good scissors, and a garbage bag ready.
I should mention, that I opted for PUBLIC BIkes’ “Ready-To-Ride” option, which brings the bike in this condition to my door for $125. With the instructional video, and the included tools, all that is needed (in my case) is to attach the handlebar stem, screw in the pedals, and that is it. I believe the video shows the seat post as well being installed, but mine was already there. Also impressive, is that any accessory I had ordered at the time of purchase was already installed, and ready to go. For me this was only the matching Public bell, and the PUBLIC rear rack with spring clip and Planet Bike Rack Blinky 5 Taillight . The brown box nested in the frame above, contained the cool Public tools, which have great orange rubberized grips on them, and the manual, and my and Two-Strip Bungee Strap. The only shipping problem my M3 had suffered at this point was the taillight, mounted on the rack, had somehow gotten dislodged, and the bracket itself was broken. PUBLIC was very quick to fix this, and had one mailed out the next day. Also, I LOVE that PUBLIC provides you 10 innovative ways to transform your cardboard bike box after you’ve finished assembling your bike. FUN!!
Within minutes I had the PUBLIC M3 assembled and ready to ride. I am incredibly impressed by how light the bike is weighing in at 30 lbs. As an all steel frame, I figured it would just feel heavy, which it doesn’t at all. It doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy either.
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My maiden voyage on my M3 left me feeling so good. The ride was smooth, and the position was comfortable. For me being so ill-acquainted with riding, this was a huge deal. I should mention that I had spent some time figuring out my seat height, and bar height. Guesswork, mostly, but I feel I came pretty close. I went through seat height to a great degree with my Trek. The Mixte frame is incredibly stable and strong, and supports me adequately.
The M3 comes equipped with a Shimano Nexus 3 Speed internal-Hub gearing. This setup is ideal for moderate terrain, much like we have here locally. This is my first 3-speed, and with internal gears to boot. I am sure I have a lot to learn about bicycle gear ratios. In my riding thus far, I find 1st gear, which I presume to be more of a hill climb gear, to be almost worthless for me. I have found 2nd to be my optimum starting gear, with 3rd for most of my riding. I will say that I find myself wanting more, and at first I also felt the range was a big jump between gears. Again, my lack of experience may show here. Aesthetically, I am not a huge fan of the twist-grip shifter, and sometimes, I occasionally bump it into a gear without trying.
Overall though, so far I find it to be a wonderful ride, and I have put over 50 measured miles on it. For me, being a bit of a NOOB, I found it as if I was flying. It feels that good.
I was working with a bit of a budget. This can lead to both careful shopping, and also to a “You-Get-What-You-Pay-For” situation. While the PUBLIC M3 is not a dime stores price-range bicycle, it is a real bargain, at $765 (Again, on sale, something they do occasionally it would seem) considering the style, quality and features.
These are my initial impressions of my M3. With PUBLIC’s incredible customer service and consumer experience, and the quality and fun-factor of this bike, I am so far in love, and I expect to see many great miles on it. I expect I will be talking more about my experiences and maybe some modifications soon.