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Old 05-12-09, 02:16 PM   #1
545h4
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Starting out - Seeking Sage Advice about the Mixte

So my husband and I are planning to do some weekend-long to week-long bike trips (some B&Bs, some camping, 30-60mi a day). I've got a predisposition towards the more vintage bikes, but of course I also have some short legs, and apparently the 60cm+ frame size was the cat's meow back in the 70/80s. Something I've seen a few times in my recent prowlings of craigslist and eBay is the mixte.

Will a mixte handle the luggage for lighter/shorter trips? Are there any particular models that allow for better long-distance positioning?

When I'm not using my future touring bike, I plan to commute ~20mi each way a few times a week. I'd like to find something that's a bit quicker than my 3spd Rudge. Would I be disappointed with a mixte?
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Old 05-12-09, 02:25 PM   #2
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The mixte is a beautiful frame design and quite capable of what you are asking. It's unfortunate that they are a rarity nowadays, except for a few speciality suppliers and custom builders.

I believe Velo Orange is one source.

There are still some nice vintage examples floating around, as you have noticed. Restoring them will require modifying the frame if you want to run modern components. This will be not a small cost and investment of time and expertise.
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Old 05-14-09, 09:12 AM   #3
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I really appreciate hearing that! I am going to pick this bike up this evening, I think it's gorgeous and now I know it will suit my needs!!!

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Old 05-14-09, 09:42 AM   #4
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nice looking bike

Be careful of old Peugeot's b.b some are French and take a bit to find replacement. Also many peugots from that erra have strange sized seatpost which is hard to find so don't go and through it out if you thinking of replacing it, make sure you have a replacement before throwing out.

This is a beautiful exmple of a mixte

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINTAGE-LADIES...3A1%7C294%3A50

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Old 05-14-09, 11:32 AM   #5
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Wow, attractive bicycle. I want to build up a vintage mixte frame someday but they're very difficult to find in my size.
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Old 05-14-09, 12:49 PM   #6
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I believe Soma Fabrications is coming out with a new Mixte frame soon. Might want to check that out.

Just checked their site, here it is: http://www.somafab.com/bvista.html

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Old 05-14-09, 05:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 545h4 View Post
So my husband and I are planning to do some weekend-long to week-long bike trips (some B&Bs, some camping, 30-60mi a day). I've got a predisposition towards the more vintage bikes, but of course I also have some short legs, and apparently the 60cm+ frame size was the cat's meow back in the 70/80s. Something I've seen a few times in my recent prowlings of craigslist and eBay is the mixte.

Will a mixte handle the luggage for lighter/shorter trips? Are there any particular models that allow for better long-distance positioning?

When I'm not using my future touring bike, I plan to commute ~20mi each way a few times a week. I'd like to find something that's a bit quicker than my 3spd Rudge. Would I be disappointed with a mixte?
My wife still has her mixte from the 70's or so. Recently I tried to modify it with lower gears, improved brakes and better wheels. In the end, I decided it was too expensive.
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Old 05-14-09, 05:54 PM   #8
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Rivendell is still building mixte frames. I just finished an old Peugeot and it is the bottom bracket that will give you trouble, Phil Wood is the only replacement now available and runs about $250. This is necessary to change the crankset which will change the gearing which is much too high as it is. That's a real pretty bike you got there and it might be worth the $$ to hang onto it and upgrade.
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Old 05-14-09, 11:08 PM   #9
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All of the advice above is good, and I'm going to be presumptious enough to give an opinion on women's bikes. My wife rode a mixte (Motpbacane), 10 speed,with stem shifters. We all road 10 or 12 speeds at that time. I crashed my Peugeot PX-10 and had to buy a new bike. That was a real revelation- Index shifting, 24 speeds, etc. I could not pry the mixte out of her hands until she tried a little Specialized road bike. I think the new bikes fit a lot better, especially for shorter people. We made it an early Chiristmas present and she never looked back. She's used it on tours and also for triathlons. She has also added a "real" touring bike to her fleet(I just heard a comment from the living room, "I really like my touring bike!"), and used it on a 3650 mile cross country ride as well as some shorter multi-week tours.

The problem with vintage bike is the gearing. They tend to be pretty high, and touring cranks and other parts are hard to find. Most have 27" wheels which limit tire selection, and there is something to be said for having a "granny" gear. If you like the geometry of the mixte, some of the "compact geometry bike might appeal to you. Her bike is a Cannondale T-800.

Talking about bike, tires or saddls is almost as bad as dicussing religion or politics, and it is especially thin ice when a guy starts talking about what would be a good women's bike!
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Old 05-15-09, 02:44 AM   #10
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I really appreciate hearing that! I am going to pick this bike up this evening, I think it's gorgeous and now I know it will suit my needs!!!
Gorgeous, indeed! How bout the Rudge?
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Old 05-15-09, 11:53 AM   #11
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My wife and I are just getting into cycling, and even though I got her an old MTB off craigslist about a month ago, I kind of wish I had waited because there is a sweet mixte (raleigh silhouette) that she likes on craigslist right now for the same amount that I paid for the MTB (and replacement tires).
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Old 05-30-09, 06:21 AM   #12
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Sorry about getting in on this thread a bit late, but if I could get my hands on this bike (admiring the Mixte frame as I do) I would love to have this Mixte for Touring.

http://www.koga.com/fsi.asp?id=26198

Being a man that has issues with my hip joints, and knees, and being one who enjoys carrying things in a utility way on the rear rack my bike, has given me a great admiration for what the inventors of the Mixte frame style were trying to do. Not to get off subject, but I think it's a shame that a Mixte frame style has been more regarded as a "ladies" frame in the U.S.A. With it's lower top tube design it makes mounting a fully loaded bike so much easier than a regular Diamond Frame. As far as strength goes, I'm not a light weight at 250+, and with a fairly heavy cargo load on my Fuji Mixte, I've never heard or felt anything to make me think the bike was being over stressed. Nary a squeak, or a click, or unwelcome flex...
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