Which, oh which, to buy?
So, I love mixtes. Gotta be one of my favourite frame types in existance, but fairly hard to come across. I am torn between two:
The first is a Bianchi ($125), the latter is a Raleigh ($75). Both are steel and fairly low-end stuff (not trash bin worthy by any means, but certainly not worth more than their respective prices).
I like the colour of the Bianchi - which means that if I got the Raleigh, I would probably end up having it painted, which is another $150 - but the frame is a couple inches smaller. I know that's not the end of the world with mixtes, but currently when I ride the bianchi and take a sharp turn, my knee connects with the handlebar. I have already ordered a new handlebar (and other accessories) to outfit the mixte I go with, and they rise about 4", so it would probably work that way. The Raleigh - although I have not seen it in person - looks to be at least a couple inches taller.
The Bianchi is in great condition; the Raleigh is in fair condition but everything is functional. Both are 18 speed. The Bianchi is quite light but I have not had the chance yet to lift the Raleigh.
So... thoughts? If the small frame will not be a problem once the new handlebars are on, I'll probably go with the Bianchi. I suspect, too, that the Bianchi is a better quality bike and probably lighter. However if you guys think the larger frame will make a big difference in how comfortable the bike is, I would go with the Raleigh.
I wish I could have them both now and test them both, but alas, they are on opposite sides of the city from each other!