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Old 08-25-12, 12:39 AM   #1
JPizzzle
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Public Mixte decision making-help appreciated

Hey all,
Sorry for posting this in diff forums-if you came across it already.

So a little background about myself. I'm a grad school student -28 y/o living out of philadelphia-originally from brooklyn NY. My experience with cycling goes back to as a child like many of you. I was into the whole vert bike scene a little bit as a kid-never did any tricks or anything though hah. Anyway, growing up, I bought a trek road bike, which I would not consider a city bike. It was a diamond frame if I remember correctly. So that bike has been in storage for about 6 years now and I have not rode a bike except at the shore since then.

So now I want to get back into biking and want a bike made for the city. I don't want something for training or exercise, but something trendy and for simply getting around. In my research I came upon the company "Public." I found their D8 style bike to be real nice, but then saw these pictures:


It's from their Rivoli bike, but modified without the front basket, but with a rear dock:
http://publicbikes.com/p/PUBLIC-M8-L...Bamboo-Fenders

So I was thinking this looks like a great bike-deff my style although pricey. Now, I started to research the style of bike and found out that it's a "mixte." Having been separated from biking culture, I don't know much about male/female styles except that the traditional step throughs are generally favored by women. I know that older adults tend to like these due to them being easier to get into. I personally am not as concerned about getting in and out and more about the style of the bike (I know I know-prob many rolling their heads at this). Now, I know many will say ride what you like, don't worry about this and that. However, i'm a little self-conscious to be honest, and was wondering how a younger male driving a mixte would be perceived in city life. I know these are silly questions, but this is a lot of money, and hey it's a forum. Any advice would be appreciated-especially from men who ride these style bikes. My girlfriend rolled her eyes, and said that such a bike does not look feminine and she would not see it as such-however she wants her next bike to be purple .

Hah, thx in advance

JP
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Old 08-25-12, 12:56 AM   #2
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A mixte would be fine. Have confidence. Also, look into buying used. You can use the money you save into customizing your ride further.
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Old 08-25-12, 01:30 AM   #3
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Thx for the advice Veloh-used would deff be lower cost-but this is tempting in that it has a lot of cool components that I would have upgraded anyway-bamboo fenders-aged leather brooks seat, leather grips. However, I'm sure i'll find more things as I go along
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Old 08-25-12, 03:19 AM   #4
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If you let a new bike out of your sight in any major northeast urban area, it will be gone in 60 seconds! Cable or u lock, it doesn't matter.
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Old 08-25-12, 05:21 AM   #5
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This has been on Chicago CL for a while and its a stunner. I'm sure you could find something similar in your neck of the woods. I would go vintage on a mixte. The quality of craftsmanship on these older bikes is much better than you will find in modern bikes in my opinion.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3220712024.html

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Old 08-25-12, 05:36 AM   #6
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$1500 for a mixte, WOW. You are asking the wrong person here. The last bike I bought new was 1974 ($160, also when I was a college student), and I would have been much better off buying something a lot better used. To be fair, back then, finding a nice used bike was a lot harder: no Craigs List, no ebay, no etc.. Just ads in the local paper.

Almost everything I buy anymore is used: car, house, bikes, washer/dryer, motorcycle, even my trusty Macbook Pro. And the most I have ever spent on a bike was $600.

I've sold a couple of dozen 1970s and 1980s mixtes, typically for $200 (my market is not as strong as yours). I have one that is very special, it will go for more (but a small fraction of the OP bike).

+1 Theft magnet. My first college bike lasted one week, hence my need to find a replacement back in 1974.

+1 I have not understood the re-creation craze right now, where the vintage original can be found for $200 to $250, how a re-creation ends up being 6X the $$, I am just too thrifty. Some of the vintage details are just not showing up yet on the new versions: chrome lug work, decals, headbadges, etc.
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Old 08-25-12, 05:58 AM   #7
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+ eleventy on buying a used mixte. My first C&V buy was just a few years ago, a Miyata mixte bought for my daughter to take to college. It was a 2+ hour drive to get it, from Michigan, but the bike was in near-mint condition and was only $75.

Daughter loved it and still has it, and rides it into Philadelphia from her school out on the Main Line. Certainly it doesn't have all the special things that the Public bike you have pictured does, but I think we're going to take a Brooks B67 we have on a bike here and put it on the Miyata.

As far as being a guy riding one...I don't but would have no problem doing so. And as young hipsters have no problem wearing 'girl jeans' or wearing their long hair up in a bun, riding a mixte is evidently not regarded a sign of decreased masculinity among the young folks. (Who should get off my lawn, btw.)

In Europe, most utility cycles you see on the street are some variety of step-through frame, ridden by everyone.

The mixte Big Chainring points out does look to be in amazing condition, and could make someone really happy, but is really steeply priced at $250 (half that would be more realistic) andthe 'cool chromed rims' the ad brags about are heavy and not good for stopping when wet.

Best bang for your buck is likely to be a Japanese mixte from the 80s, esp the mid to later 80s. The bike market was so competitive then that even entry level bikes had great features that would have only been on top bikes from a few years earlier.

If you don't have to worry about bang for the buck and can realistically think about a $1500 bike, please tell us what your major was so I can encourage my own kids to look into it.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:01 AM   #8
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Whoa! $1500! I didn't look up the price. Jeepers I'm selling my mixte's too cheap. OP, you can get a really nice mixte, add a Brooks saddle, wood fenders and have a rockin bike for under $500.

Here are a few that I gave the ole Big Chainring mojo too. All of these I acquired for less than $100 a piece. Sold them from between $140 and $175.



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Old 08-25-12, 06:13 AM   #9
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Unrelated, but what model of crank is that? Trying to help a guy with a very similar one.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:36 AM   #10
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Unrelated, but what model of crank is that? Trying to help a guy with a very similar one.
My Le Jeune has the same, I believe it is Nervar.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:43 AM   #11
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If you want a used Mixte, fully reconditioned, I have several to pick from including Peugeot and Shogun. I am in NNJ, near Montclair. Buyers from Temple, Princeton, and all 5 boroughs have made the trip to my garage to obtain good looking vintage bikes.

Fenders can be added and are available from about $15 and up. Velo-orange.com has some slick looking fenders, for considerably more $$.
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Old 08-25-12, 07:26 AM   #12
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Go vintage if you can find a nice clean example that fits you. I gave up trying to find the right size and built up a new Soma Buena Vista. Definitely not the cheapest route.

Mixte is french for mixed, meaning they're for men and women, not a "women's" bike. I see more guys than gals on them around here, especially near campus.(University of MN) Here's my wife's(which I love to ride!):
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Old 08-25-12, 07:28 AM   #13
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Got a couple of pre-owned mixtes. I'm a male who thinks mixtes make great city bikes. BTW, many guys here in the Bike Forums own mixtes and we ride them proudly. You can easily set them up in such way that they're more male-oriented... pick a good color and stay away from wicker baskets. On the bike I keep in San Diego, I even switched the handlebar end-caps for Arrogant Bastard Ale bottle cap (not shown.) It is true, however, that the vast majority of mixte riders are women. So, if you don't think you'll feel confident in one (i.e., self-conscious), then choose a different style of frame. There is no point.

My 83 Nishiki mixte in Mexico. I got it for USD $50 originally, but put love and some serious dough into it.






Here is my 81 Motebecane Nomade II Mixte that I keep in San Diego...

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Old 08-25-12, 08:16 AM   #14
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If you're really interested in buying new, a Linus may be less expensive than the Public. Definitely give them a look. My wife has a Linus Mixte 8. They are nice bikes with the exception of the stupid unicrown fork.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:14 AM   #15
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Have you seen this mixte thread? Lots of guys with mixtes:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...w-happy-place)

I also would not buy a mixte for that much money. Public seems like they have nice bikes, but that is way too much. I bought my Peugeot for 50 bucks on Craigslist. It needed some love, but you could probably find one in pristine condition for 300 or less.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:29 AM   #16
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If you do buy a used mixte, which is a great idea, be sure to consider any changes you want to make.
They are not always Plug and Play. French mixtes often have different enough sizing to make you want to nuke Normandy.

For the price of that Public, you could build that Soma up pretty nice, or buy 3-4 top-notch used mixtes.

Heck, even bikesdirect.com has mixtes, cheap.
I doubt their best one rides as nice as a late 70's, early 80's Puegeot, though.
The rub is in getting the Pug to be as convenient, in regards to components.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:39 AM   #17
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Have you seen this mixte thread? Lots of guys with mixtes:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/227038-Show-us-your-mixte-(mhendricks-new-happy-place)

I also would not buy a mixte for that much money. Public seems like they have nice bikes, but that is way too much. I bought my Peugeot for 50 bucks on Craigslist. It needed some love, but you could probably find one in pristine condition for 300 or less.
+1 There are really a lot of nice used mixtes out there for not much money. Remember that a lot of people buy bicycles with the intent of riding them and then they sit. I have some bikes from the 1950's that were bought and then never ridden. My 1951 Hercules Lion is entirely original except for the shifter and the inner tubes. The tires are even original! In any case, used will save you some serious coin.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:41 AM   #18
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This has been on Chicago CL for a while and its a stunner. I'm sure you could find something similar in your neck of the woods. I would go vintage on a mixte. The quality of craftsmanship on these older bikes is much better than you will find in modern bikes in my opinion.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3220712024.html


Holy crap, that's still hanging around at $250?" It's a stunner, I'm surprised that lasts long at all even given that stem shifters, turkey wings and chrome wheels all say low level. Around here mixtes pull a premium.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:43 AM   #19
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For the price of that Public, you could build that Soma up pretty nice, or buy 3-4 top-notch used mixtes.
Indeed the Soma is a pretty nice frameset. I was considering building up one of those before I bought my wife her Linus.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:49 AM   #20
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I've never ridden a mixte, though I've never really had to make a conscious decision about it - those I've encountered have tended to be a bit on the small side for me at 6'3". 'Quality' mixtes always catch my eye, though.

I, too, have heard that the term French term 'mixte' refers to the general multipurposeness and implied 'unisex' nature of this style of bike.

Funnily enough, and this is an aside meant in no way to reflect my own judgment on the topic, in French-speaking Quebec (where I've spent a good six years, and where I am currently residing), the term 'mixte' is little-used and almost all step-through frames including mixtes are referred to as 'velo de femme' (or 'velo pour femme'). I find the term used much more in English-speaking North America than in Quebec. Just to give that some empirical backing, the term 'mixte' appears once in the Montreal Kijiji online classifieds (more used by French-speakers than Craigslist), applied to a hybrid with a sloping top tube. This compared to 10 or 15 mentions (largely correctly-identified by the criteria those on the Forum would recognize) on, say, Toronto or Chicago craigslist on any given day. So the 'French' term is more popular in English, for whatever reason...at least on this side of the Atlantic.

In any case, nothing wrong with riding one...unless you think it won't work for you, for whatever reason. Seems potentially practical, and I do see men on old mixtes regularly.

I am with everyone who has suggested that a used, vintage example might be a better option in light of the $1500 price tag on the bike you've specifically asked about.

The difference in price could certainly allow a great deal of customization, and a great deal of savings.

Something like this might suit your purposes, and I suspect that the remaining $1375 and change in your wallet (wait: $1520, don't forget the $145 shipping/assembly charge) would take care of the desired seat, grips, new tires, etc.:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3179828156.html

54cm Peugeot Iseran Mixte 12 spd - $125 (Valley Forge or Drexel Hill)
Date: 2012-08-21, 9:04AM EDT


Mid-80s Peugeot Iseran mixte framed bike with lightweight Peugeot HLE Cromoly steel tubing. Components include Nervar cranks, Mallard hubs and Rigida eyeletted rims, and Shimano brakes, shifters, and derailleurs. [...]

MORE PICS ON THE Ad...





Just my 2 cents (as a 29yo grad student who rides a purple bike ). If the Public bike you link to and discuss is really the complete package of precisely the options you want, the brute fact of massive 'off-the-lot' depreciation seems worth the assurance that nothing on there has seen any use (let alone abuse), the added danger of theft if locking outside (even temporarily) is not a concern, and the 'vintage' patina does not appeal to you over the shininess of a new bike, then you may have found the bike for you. Riding a mixte seems perfectly cool to me, but I'd personally consider keeping open options other than the specific bike you mention here.

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Old 08-25-12, 10:22 AM   #21
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Unless you're shorter than average, you may have trouble finding a used mixte to fit you. Most of them have small frames because they were mostly sold to women.
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Old 08-25-12, 10:28 AM   #22
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Unless you're shorter than average, you may have trouble finding a used mixte to fit you. Most of them have small frames because they were mostly sold to women.
This.

I'm not morally opposed to riding a mixte, but I've seen very few of then that would be a correct size for me and I'm only 5'10 - 11". I've handled more than a few, and I can count on one hand the number that have been big enough for me to get a correct fit.

They are out there, though....... I've seen at least a couple of 21" frames in the last 10 years or so.
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Old 08-25-12, 10:35 AM   #23
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^ I suppose that I assumed a stature appropriate for the style, but good point. Could nix the 'used/vintage' option, or make finding a good option a PITA.

As I stated, I've never even had to seriously consider the idea. Simply not available in sizes appropriate for 6'3".

I don't know about the Public, but the Soma comes up to 58cm, I think. So perhaps a point in favour for a 'new' one, depending...

OP: so, how tall are you, anyways?
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Old 08-25-12, 11:24 AM   #24
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Wow-what a huge amount of feedback-thanks to all who replied.

Ok so some background-Although i'm a grad student, i've been working in my field for a bit and have my masters degree (going for doctorate) so I do have some cash saved up. Used seems to be a great way to go-judging by the responses-however i've found that many are smaller and that they don't come with the best components. The bike i pointed out for example has a shimano nexus 8 interhub and wrist shifter. Again, it's not all going to add up to 1500-although i'm getting a little discount form public. So, I will will forfeit the argument that it's worth $1500 to most people, but to me in seeing the bike, my jaw dropped and i haven't gotten that gut reaction in a while. .

So that brings me to whether a man riding a mixte would look bizarre in city culture. I've heard mixed things-but for the most part would it be safe to say that it seems to not bring about any strange looks or comments? Also the website doesn't have exact sizes on their different size frames-i'm 5'10.5 (hah exactly- so the large frame can accommodate up to 6 feet. I spoke to the company over the phone and they stated that people over 6 look fine on it-so i'm hoping it'll be ok. It's a 30 day return-HOWEVER I would have to pay return shipping. Anyone can advise on what specifics that I should ask them regarding their large frame???

Anyway-you guys have truly been great with the feedback! Really appreciative

JP
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Old 08-25-12, 12:00 PM   #25
RobbieTunes 
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Good point on the size. My mixte is a 56cm, but my wife doesn't know that, and won't be told.

Another option on a nice used one: find one that is "standard" i.e. not French, and let a shop customize it for you.
I'm willing to bet, with prudent choices in bars, components, etc, you'll be well under $750 even with labor, on a really nice one.

A Centurion was listed here for $250-, then $225, then $125 and lasted maybe 10 minutes at that price.
I'm pretty confident saying the ability to fit tons of replacement parts made it attractive to many more buyers.

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