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  1. #26
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    In Europe, many commuting bikes for MEN have what is called a "mixte" frame. Americans would say it looks like a GIRL'S bike. Men who ride in heavy urban traffic like a mixte frame because they are easy to mount and dismount at stop signs and stop lights in urban traffic. When you are carrying a heavily loaded rack on the back of the bike, swinging a leg over can get difficult - on a mixte, just step into the bike.

    I gave a friend of mine a 1985ish Schwinn Three-Speed "Girl's" bike that I got cheap on E-Bay. I gave it a "test ride", and thought that it rode and handled as nicely as any men's three-speed I have been on. She has several nice bikes, but her "girl's" bike has become her favorite for shopping and neighborhood riding.

    When I visit a friend of mine, I often borrow her "girl's" beach cruiser. Has that "rock steady" beach cruiser ride. And, I don't worry about it getting stolen while I'm in Krogers. What self-respecting crook would want to be seen riding on a "girl's" bike?

    Rivendell is introducing a Mixte model that uses investment cast lugs. It is probably about the highest quality Mixte frame to ever be sold in the USA. And, the price fully reflects the quality.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 01-23-05 at 09:06 AM.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murrays
    Have a look at any competition quality compact frame such as this one http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/...zElite18_d.jpg

    Compare that to the step through frame shown by the OP. Do you see any difference? I do:

    -The distance between the top tube and the down tube at the seat tube on the step through frame is much smaller. This will greatly reduce the resistance to twist in the frame.

    -The seat stays contact the seat tube at the same location as the top tube, not so on the step through frame. This will cause the seat tube on the step through frame to flex under the load of rider weight and pedaling.

    While the differences are probably not a big deal to the OPís wife, donít pretend that the differences (in weight and stiffness) are insignificant to a serious rider.

    -murray
    Well, the original question had to do with sexiest bias against women's frames. A number of opinions have been expressed in this thread, and you're certainly entitled to yours. No one, myself included, has provided any kind of engineering or testing data, only opinions. Honestly, I'm not convinced that moving the top tube 6" lower on the seat tube has very much effect, but I don't have the ability to either make those kinds of calculations or to do any testing so I very well could be wrong. My opinion is based on the performance of mountain bikes and compact frame road bikes, both of which have seat posts that stick way up from the main frame. What's the basis for your opinion?

    If you want to compare weight and stiffness, wouldn't it make sense to compare women's frame bikes and diamond frame bikes with similar price tags? You're not seriously suggesting comparing a $150.00 bike with the kind of bike a serious rider would use. I'd think that to do so would indicate - well- sexist bias.

  3. #28
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    I'm a man and I ride a bike with a step-through frame. Easier to get on and off, works well with a long overcoat.

    Paul

  4. #29
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Maybe a step through might be less stiff for a 180 pound non cat male rider, but I bet it is stiff enough for a 130 pound non-cat female rider. Lighter, less strong riders don't need as stiff a bike. Over-engineering is not a virtue.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  5. #30
    3speed CitiZen's Avatar
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    I think that bike looks terrific.
    Who the heck wants to hoist their leg over the "man-bar" several times a day? Unless your wife is proficient at the ballet barre, she'll find this frame style much more inviting.

  6. #31
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    This may be really outdated but may still help someone. I'm a female who owns a Trek Multitrack 730 and I love it. I bought it used a few years ago and it's the best bike I've ever owned, light and fast. I don't like a man bar on bikes, because women are generally shorter and it can hurt in places I'd rather not mention. That's probably why a step through frame is more popular in Asia where people are usually shorter. Also it's much more feminine to step through rather than swing one's leg unless one is an athlete. And if you want to keep the bike for years, for a woman it gets even more annoying the older you get. This is probably why King Foo's wife loved the bike.

  7. #32
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Get it, a "modern" compact road frame looks like a girls bike to me anyway, so might as well get used to it.
    Not too much to say here

  8. #33
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingFoo View Post
    My main question was how, whether, and why the extreme angle of the top tube of a classic women's frame is any better, worse, or the same as a frame with a 'man bar'? I am only reluctant to get the bike because I fear that wifey might discover the limitations of the bike sooner, rather than later.
    How is it significantly different from modern mountain bikes...both men's and women's? The pictures I found look a lot like that, and not at all like a traditional step-through woman's bike.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I've built up a couple of mixtes for my wife. They're not as stiff as diamond frames, but it makes no difference to her. I would ride a mixte myself, but it's hard to find them in anything but small sizes.




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