Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB
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Is there a particular reason why you need a mixte/step-through frame?
I have used a "true" mixte for commuting with racktop bag/panniers. The main issue is that they become way too flexy under load... really scary feeling when your bike starts to fishtail. Mine is a hi-ten steel Nishiki frame from the early 80s. I have heard the similar comments from other C&V mixte owners. Maybe the newer mixtes are not so flexy, but based on what I've read, I would err on the side of caution and not recommend them for touring purposes.
Now, the advantage one gets with a mixte/step-through frame is for mounting/dismounting. Mixte frames are stronger than traditional step-through frames but definitely not as strong as traditional diamond frames. For loaded touring purposes, a diamond frame is the way to go. This is the main reason you don't see bike manufacturers making mixte touring frames, not even for women. I believe there might a higher liability issue advertising them for that purpose.
Many newer touring bikes have a sloping top tube which does help a little when you have to tilt the bike down if one has hip issues, for example. This is not nearly as ideal as a mixte/step-through frame for mounting/dismounting, but it's better than losing control of the bike due to a frame that's not stiff enough under load.
Last edited by Chris Pringle; 10-23-12 at 06:41 PM.