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 10:06 AM.