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Old 06-03-08, 11:53 AM   #1
501breeze
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Mixte or Step-Through?

So i just bought my girl a 83 schwinn world sport step through for her birthday,
and after looking around here, I noticed that a mixte and step through are two
different things. Everyone seems to say mixtes are superior, but I couldn't find
out why. Does the extra stay give more frame rigidity, or do they just look
sharper, or is it something else?

Anyway, since you all love pics, here you go. It was $150 including shipping. I
suspect I paid too much, but she was going to buy a $20 huffy, and at least
this will be something worth maintaining, you know? Also, anyone used these
Nitto "commuter" bars? They look like the Soma "Noah's Arc" bars. Oh and the
front deraillier is not present, but Ohio is pretty flat, so I think she'll be fine.

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Old 06-03-08, 12:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 501breeze View Post
So i just bought my girl a 83 schwinn world sport step through for her birthday, and after looking around here, I noticed that a mixte and step through are two
different things. Everyone seems to say mixtes are superior, but I couldn't find out why. Does the extra stay give more frame rigidity, or do they just look sharper, or is it something else?
According to our dear departed Sheldon Brown, a mixte frame is stronger than a step-through frame (although according to Rob Van der Plas, not stable enough for loaded long-distance touring).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 501breeze View Post
Anyway, since you all love pics, here you go. It was $150 including shipping. I suspect I paid too much, but she was going to buy a $20 huffy, and at least this will be something worth maintaining, you know? Also, anyone used these Nitto "commuter" bars? They look like the Soma "Noah's Arc" bars. Oh and the front deraillier is not present, but Ohio is pretty flat, so I think she'll be fine.

It's a beautiful bike, and I don't think you paid too much, it's in outstanding condition and well worth that $150.

Nice score!
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Old 06-03-08, 12:27 PM   #3
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from Sheldon:
"Mixte frames are stronger than conventional lady's frames, particularly in resisting the tendency of the seat tube to get pushed backward in the middle when ridden by a heavy rider"

Well at least that won't be a problem, i don't think she's 100 when soaking wet!
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Old 06-03-08, 02:27 PM   #4
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I would prefer a mixte frame for structural reasons, but you did fine, and she will probably get years of enjoyment from that bike.
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Old 06-03-08, 06:37 PM   #5
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Hey 501...where did you get those bars?? I googled "Nitto Commuter" but couldn't find them. They do look like the Noah's Ark bars.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:08 PM   #6
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Your GF's step through is quite lovely!

Here's a mixte for comparison:



Note how the rear brake is so elegantly arranged that you almost don't notice it being there.

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Old 06-03-08, 08:15 PM   #7
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Mixtes are definitely stronger. Occassionally you will see step-throughs with a seat tube bent right at the point where the 'top' tube meets it. I haven't seen it on one like yours where the 'top' tube meets a little higher, but have seen quite a few on the older bikes with parallel tubes. I wouldn't expect a problem though, the tube bending is definitely the exception, not the rule.

For further reading, Peter Wiegle did a nice article on building ladies frames and the engineering behind them in one issue of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly. As with all articles in that excellent publication it is a very nice read. Back issues should be available. (I am not affiliated with the mag except that I very much look forward to receiving it every three months!!!!)

PS I am a 175lb Male who rides a 70's step through fixed gear on a daily basis without any problem. In fact, it's my favourite bike right now!
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Old 06-03-08, 08:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 501breeze View Post
from Sheldon:
"Mixte frames are stronger than conventional lady's frames, particularly in resisting the tendency of the seat tube to get pushed backward in the middle when ridden by a heavy rider"

Well at least that won't be a problem, i don't think she's 100 when soaking wet!
I’m about 270lbs soaking wet, but I ride a 1985 Fuji Mixte and so far (knock on wood, praise the Gods, sacrifice a virgin or an animal, cross fingers) I’ve not heard a squeak or rattle from it. I will admit I don’t ride a bike as hard as I used to when I was younger, but I don’t baby it either…
Mixtes do seem to be strong frames, I personally like the design, and lines of a Mixte, but like others have said, I think all the modern step though frame designs will handle about anything you want to do with them. I think the main problem with the old step through frames was more often an issue with the materials sometimes used, then the design itself. Just my opinion though.

By the way 501breeze that is a fine looking bike… I’m sure your daughter will get many years of riding enjoyment out of it, so that makes the price well worth it, and more.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:53 PM   #9
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501breeze. Thats a nice looking bike and I'm sure its going to hold up just fine. For the most part females are not normally as tough on equipment as guys. I like the look of it, real nice and understated. I'm really liking the front fender
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Old 06-04-08, 07:03 AM   #10
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Schwinn chose not to make a Paramount mixte. They only made step-throughs.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:41 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the replies, and peace of mind!
Maddox: I don't know, the seller called them Nitto "commuter" bars. Maybe they're a custom job?
Bionicle: It's my girlfriend (no children yet), just to clarify.
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Old 06-04-08, 02:06 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the replies, and peace of mind!
Maddox: I don't know, the seller called them Nitto "commuter" bars. Maybe they're a custom job?
Bionicle: It's my girlfriend (no children yet), just to clarify.
Sorry… when you said “my girl” I mistook that to mean your daughter… it’s all good either way.

East Hill got it… I guess she is just smarter than I am.
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Old 06-04-08, 04:50 PM   #13
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bars

the 1993 Bridgestone X-05 came with a Hsin Lung Arc bar they look just like these.
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Old 06-04-08, 05:28 PM   #14
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This bar is similar. http://www.nycbikes.com/item.php?item_id=328

I bought one and I was surprised at how nicely finished it was for the price.
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