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: 614635_10151996724515392_1338550750_o-1.jpg21440_13-1.jpg
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 .
I've always liked the way a mixte looks and always thought they were neutral gender. Seems like a good frame for that type of a bike. Much easier to ride in regular clothing then a bike with a top tube. I'm looking to get a couple of matching vintage 3 speeds for my wife and I and if they have mixte frames, so much the better.
This is not the 1970s when a mixte frame bike was generally considered a "female owner" bike, at least it was in the bike store I worked in back then.
I can see that this bike has some features that can be considered both a plus for a city rider and a drawback. It has the Shimano Nexus 8 internal hub so there are fewer drive train parts exposed to the elements. The hub itself sells for around $250 which is pretty cheap for something as complicated as an 8 speed internal hub. See the Sheldon Brown website for an actual exploded view of the hub (sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html) Shimano sells a higher end version called the Alfine 8 for about $400. You have to be pretty technically competent to work on one of these and I would want to know how well they hold up. There may be some other readers who can comment on their experience with this hub. I've used the 3-speed SRAM dual-drive internal hub on my recumbent trike for many thousands of trouble-free miles so some internal hubs are pretty robust. Personally, I never found standard gearing on a bike all that much trouble to maintain.
A couple other things caught my attention - the price of $1,500. That's pretty pricey for a bike like this one, even if it includes fenders, kickstand, and chainguard. I've bought quite a few bikes over the years, some new and some used. I would expect to get a pretty good quality bike with very decent quality components for that kind of money and I could do even better with that amount on the used bike market.
At 31.5 pounds it is lighter than many of the cheap entry level bikes you could find at the mass merchandisers but quite heavy for something that costs $1,500.
Maybe the saddle with the springs underneath it are your cup of tea. Not mine. The wider the saddle, the more likely you are to get chafing of the thighs. Somewhere between the really narrow and really wide saddles are what I would choose. Before my recumbent days I used to ride them long distances without chafing.
Let me clarify a couple of things-with my discount the bike is actually $900- the model for $1500 is with all the additions I want (minus picnic basket ) I will be having public install only the bamboo fenders and rear rack-I will buy the aged brooks seat b-17 (without springs) and grips from another source since it's much cheaper.
I also learned that the frame is 22" from the seat tube to the top. Checking the online chart-it looks like that should fit someone who's 5"11 ok-but I don't know how accurate those things are....
The company lists a dealer in Philly and you can find the location on their website. Why not go there and test ride one to find out if it really is worth even the discounted amount. BTW, in a standard frame road bike, a 22 inch frame is not for someone 5' 11". I would guess from about 5' 7" to 5' 9" but of course it actually depends upon your leg length more than the total height of the person. I'm short - 5' 4" with a 28" inseam and rode a 21 inch road bike for years. My Balance MB450 MTB on the other hand is a 19" frame.
If you're just toolin' around town for fun, dressed up, no hills, then consider a Linus. It's old steel but still looks quite nice. You can accessorize until you're out of room and still have money for a nice tweed jacket.