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Where are the mixtes with dropbars?

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Where are the mixtes with dropbars?

Old 04-01-23, 10:16 AM
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DrielandenBoy
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Where are the mixtes with dropbars?

Why are there so few mixtes with drop bars? The vast majority of mixtes around me have northroad bars. I can also find some nice old step-throughs with drop bars, but only mixte frames have that mixte look.

Normally I would assume this means that noone built that frame/bar combination, but I found a Motobecane catalogue from around 1979 that shows a mixte version for most of the dropbar models (I would link it, but I can't yet).
So where did those bikes go? I can find a lot of Motobecane mixtes for sale, but they are 95% northroad bars.

The reason I am asking is because I got my SO into vintage bicycles by showing her mixte frames ... now she likes them, but does not like northroad bars.
I did not expect this to be this much of an issue.
If I can only find mixtes with northroads, would there be any issue in converting to drop bars? I know that flat to drop bars requires a different stem, levers, etc. and still leaves you with a weird geometry, which I would rather avoid.

Additional information:
  • I am looking for something suitable for Eroica, so 70s-80s
  • I am located in Germany (maybe not many people in the 70s/80s here afforded high-end bicycles?)
  • so far I have searched on the local Craigslist-equivalents, namely 'Ebay-Kleinanzeigen.de' and 'Marktplaats.nl'
  • I was not alive back then to know wether people just disliked mixtes
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Old 04-01-23, 10:28 AM
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Keep looking, I'm sure they are around. Austro Daimler, Puch, Motobecane, and Gitane all sold Mixte's 70s-80's.
Many were drop bar equipped. Maybe there are not many for sale because owners tend to keep them.
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Old 04-01-23, 11:06 AM
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Here in the UK they are reasonably common, but usually this:




A Raleigh Wisp, but there were other names with different paint. Not high-end but a decent ride. I think they all had drop bars originally, but many have been changed to have flat bars, including 2 by me. I have seen higher-quality mixtes here, but I think they all had drops.

Last edited by gilesa; 04-02-23 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 04-01-23, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DrielandenBoy View Post
Why are there so few mixtes with drop bars? The vast majority of mixtes around me have northroad bars. I can also find some nice old step-throughs with drop bars, but only mixte frames have that mixte look.

Normally I would assume this means that noone built that frame/bar combination, but I found a Motobecane catalogue from around 1979 that shows a mixte version for most of the dropbar models (I would link it, but I can't yet).
So where did those bikes go? I can find a lot of Motobecane mixtes for sale, but they are 95% northroad bars.

The reason I am asking is because I got my SO into vintage bicycles by showing her mixte frames ... now she likes them, but does not like northroad bars.
I did not expect this to be this much of an issue.
If I can only find mixtes with northroads, would there be any issue in converting to drop bars? I know that flat to drop bars requires a different stem, levers, etc. and still leaves you with a weird geometry, which I would rather avoid.

Additional information:
  • I am looking for something suitable for Eroica, so 70s-80s
  • I am located in Germany (maybe not many people in the 70s/80s here afforded high-end bicycles?)
  • so far I have searched on the local Craigslist-equivalents, namely 'Ebay-Kleinanzeigen.de' and 'Marktplaats.nl'
  • I was not alive back then to know wether people just disliked mixtes
Being in Germany, you may be in no mans land, there are plenty with drop bars but I bet they did not have so many in Europe as they were a utility bike from the start.

Originally built and designed for the butcher, baker, candlestick maker, men and women, one for all, etc, etc.

Here in the US, they were marketed as "womens" so most brands had at least an entry model and many had very nice ones, Raleigh, Motobecane, Schwinn, and many others.

Plenty of custom builders made them too.
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Old 04-01-23, 12:21 PM
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Nishiki and Norco made them...I recycled a Nishiki last year.
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Old 04-01-23, 12:32 PM
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@DrielandenBoy

Here's a couple of Paramount's, 40's and 70's, these are cool enough even being stepthrough's and a flat bar.

I would encourage you to go ahead and get a solid one that you can find for a place holder if nothing else, maybe try and steer your SO to the cool factor, history, etc that many have with or without drop bars.

The other option as many others here will confirm is to convert one to drop bars, many here do it with our eyes closed and would be happy to help you along the way if you want.

And welcome aboard, glad you found us, you're in the right place.


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Old 04-01-23, 12:59 PM
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And here's another of ours and a great thread.

A thread for uncommon and above average mixtes and step throughs!

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Old 04-01-23, 03:47 PM
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This is a pretty easy conversion if you are so inclined.
The 25.4mm stem that fits the northroad bars would easily fit a road drop bar that takes 25.4
No stem change necessary.
Swap your brake levers and re-cable as necessary, wrap your bars and your good.
Bars and levers should be easy to find (new and or used)
The change would be in riding posture and not so much in bike geometry, going from upright to a road riding posture.
I see a lot of mixte bikes around here that have been converted from drop bars to northroads.
The upright riding position being more favorable for around town riding.
Good luck with your project and
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Old 04-01-23, 04:17 PM
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Thank you everyone for your answers and the warm welcome.

Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Being in Germany, you may be in no mans land, there are plenty with drop bars but I bet they did not have so many in Europe as they were a utility bike from the start.
Originally Posted by gilesa View Post
Here in the UK they are reasonably common, but usually this:

[image]

A Raleigh Wisp, but they were other names with different paint. Not high-end but a decent ride. I think they all had drop bars originally, but many have been changed to have flat bars, including 2 by me. I have seen higher-quality mixtes here, but I think they all had drops.
This actually helped a lot, thank you. I found this exact same model for sale in my country (even if far away) by searching for Raleigh. Lugs, derailleur gears and a nice paintjob are all I am after, and this fits the bill.
If I cannot find anything closer this would be a nice option.

Originally Posted by OTS View Post
This is a pretty easy conversion if you are so inclined.
[...]
The change would be in riding posture and not so much in bike geometry, going from upright to a road riding posture.
That is good to know. My worries were that, similar to a MTB->Dropbar conversion one would need a much longer or shorter stem; but if this is all, a conversion seems easy enough.
And ofc the first (and only) northroad mixte we tried had 22mm French handlebars & stem, which discouraged any conversion from the get-go.

Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I would encourage you to go ahead and get a solid one that you can find for a place holder if nothing else, maybe try and steer your SO to the cool factor, history, etc that many have with or without drop bars.
I carefully suggested this and got the answer I expected - so I am still looking for that drop bar mixte
The thread you posted has some very nice bikes. I feel validated however since only 4 out of 70 posts contain that elusive drop bar mixte combination, so I guess it is not just down to my area of the world.
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Old 04-01-23, 04:22 PM
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One of them is at my house!

Just built this Raleigh mixte frame up with drop bars. As the Brits would say, I'm chuffed!



Raleigh Super Record re-mixte'd
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Old 04-01-23, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DrielandenBoy View Post
Thank you everyone for your answers and the warm welcome.





This actually helped a lot, thank you. I found this exact same model for sale in my country (even if far away) by searching for Raleigh. Lugs, derailleur gears and a nice paintjob are all I am after, and this fits the bill.
If I cannot find anything closer this would be a nice option.



That is good to know. My worries were that, similar to a MTB->Dropbar conversion one would need a much longer or shorter stem; but if this is all, a conversion seems easy enough.
And ofc the first (and only) northroad mixte we tried had 22mm French handlebars & stem, which discouraged any conversion from the get-go.



I carefully suggested this and got the answer I expected - so I am still looking for that drop bar mixte
The thread you posted has some very nice bikes. I feel validated however since only 4 out of 70 posts contain that elusive drop bar mixte combination, so I guess it is not just down to my area of the world.
Yep, I get it, and many not true mixte's. I counted at least a dozen and most of the Japanese ones shown were drop bar when new so....

You should be able to find a later one to convert to or back to that.
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Old 04-01-23, 06:50 PM
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I would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to find an old Austro Daimler in Germany. I got one for my wife from a forum member last year. A couple easy and reversible mods and we have his & hers Cino bikes.


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Old 04-01-23, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
I would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to find an old Austro Daimler in Germany. I got one for my wife from a forum member last year. A couple easy and reversible mods and we have his & hers Cino bikes.


Lotta camouflage going on there, how about a pic in the driveway/gravel?

Great looking pair there, I have mixte frame like this, a bit rough and been languishing for awhile, these are very cool.
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Old 04-01-23, 08:35 PM
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majmt Those Vent Noirs look great together!
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Old 04-01-23, 09:03 PM
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@DrielandenBoy, may I ask what specifically she doesn't like about north road bars?
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Old 04-01-23, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@DrielandenBoy, may I ask what specifically she doesn't like about north road bars?
I bet they're not cool enough.
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Old 04-01-23, 10:49 PM
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I had a 1980 Raleigh Record Ace mixte that had drop bars. Donated it to a local mission thrift store a few months ago. Kinda wish I had kept it now.

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Old 04-02-23, 02:06 AM
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One think to know about the cheaper Raleighs: steel rims. The one I have even has cottered cranks although made in 1988. At least the Sakae bars and Weinmann brakes are aluminium. If size matters, they do come with a 58cm frame, but the only one I have seen is mine.
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Old 04-02-23, 02:34 AM
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Mixtes were wildly popular during the 1973 to 1984 era, here in the United States, as sporty drop bar 10 speeds and 12 speeds for women.
Perhaps nearly 90% of those were with racing style handlebars (drop bars) instead of the tourist style used for upright city-tourist riding.

Mixte frames are great, but they fell out of favor since they weren't diamond shape which is more easily carried on a typical automobile bike rack.
Fewer manufacturers produce them today. Stupid idiots preached and continue to preach that no pro rider or serious rider would ever consider a mixte frame.
This idiot mentality keeps the mixte frame from being considered by more than only the old & middle-aged men who seek them out for ease of mounting.
All bike riders in general have been conditioned or brainwashed that mixtes can never be as good as a diamond frame.
In addition to the automobile rack mounting issue, women don't consider mixte frames today largely because they are led to believe this 2nd rate myth garbage. They do not want to take a chance on buying a bicycle that isn't considered acceptable among their LBS ride group and their peer group of riders
Old farts (older men who aren't as spry or flexible as they were when they were younger) typically migrate to larger classic mixte frames when they reach the point of having difficulty mounting a traditional diamond frame. Most men feel like it is somehow shameful to ride a " girls bike" but since they enjoy bike riding they don't wanna stop doing it until they actually cannot do it in some way. Somehow these bozo idiots think somehow it is less disgraceful to be seen on a mixte than to be seen riding on any step through frame Bikeforums members are less like this than The Cabe's forum members, many of whom would never ride a girls bike, and take the unwavering view that a girls bike is only good for a parts bike, or for a girl to ride (wife, girlfriend, daughter, grand daughter, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother.....etc)

Yes, the fact that mixtes and step throughs are more difficult to mount on an automobile bike rack is a very valid reason not to choose one, but that is perhaps the only negative issue if you are simply looking for a quality, easy to mount and easy to ride, comfortable bicycle.
The beneficial side of this "lack of love for mixtes" is that nice old used mixtes are typically priced much lower than similar quality classic diamond frame bikes from the same era, and/or from the same manufacturers. This means that likely you won't need to pay much for one, if you can find one in your size.
Old men have been taking these and removing the original racing style drop bars and replacing them with tourist style handlebars in a style nearest to something like the old Schwinn 7881 handlebars. Never underestimate an old man with a mixte or a step through. It is no longer Sally riding it as she did when she was a student at University of Virginia from 1975 to 1979 when she graduated. Today it is an old man named Sammy that at 68 years old today, he needs the mixte because he cannot easily mount a diamond frame now. Sammy didn't want to, but realized there was no other way around it and he still loves to ride, even if it means riding a girls bike like a mixte. Sammy understands that there is less of a stigma to be seen riding on a mixte than a step through for whatever reason. .....Ride Sammy Ride!
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Old 04-02-23, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
I would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to find an old Austro Daimler in Germany. I got one for my wife from a forum member last year. A couple easy and reversible mods and we have his & hers Cino bikes.
Those are some pretty bikes. I looked them up around here, I like how they found their color scheme and now stick to it 100%
Unfortunately, it's mostly a few stepthroughs, even fewer (men's) road bikes, but not much more. There actually is a his-and-hers pair that looks just like yours on ebay, but ... 2000€ ... phew.

Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@DrielandenBoy, may I ask what specifically she doesn't like about north road bars?
She says she prefers a longer, more stretched out posture, with more weight on her hands. I think her optimal bike would be one of those loooong 90s MTBs.
To be fair, she never rode a frame in her size with northroad, nor with vintage-type drop bars. We test rode a mixte with northroads, but the frame was too small, so it is hard to judge if the bars are at fault.
I did find it surprising how what I thought would be an easy solution ("mixtes were road bikes, just find a mixte with dropbars") turned into an odyssey that makes me want to pull my hair out.
The thread is partly for me to get an reality check whether that's just a phenomenon in my part of the world, or if they're just such a rare breed.
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Old 04-02-23, 08:14 AM
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Here's a neighbors 1980 Concord Mixte I cleaned up and sold for her. Hopefully the person who bought it is still riding it.





Here's 59 pages of Mixtes. Many are drop bar for viewing at your leisure.

Show us your mixte (mhendricks' new happy place)
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Old 04-02-23, 08:22 AM
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There are a lot of Mixtes out there with drop bars the big problem is finding a good quality frame and fork (full ChroMo and forged dropouts) especially in a frame bigger than a 19. It isn't difficult to put drop bars onto one, and I suspect a good deal of the ones you are seeing like had drop bars on them at one and were converted to 'upright' style
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Old 04-02-23, 08:49 AM
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In all the years I worked in bike stores, I can remember running into just one example of a woman asking for more reach. She was a national-class runner who wanted to transition to bike racing, figuring she'd have a better shot at making the national team for the Olympics.

So she got a racing bike, but then she had me adjust her saddle farther and farther back, to the point where it looked almost ludicrous. If she or I had thought of it, she'd probably have had me install a longer stem.

I now realize that the problem was probably that she simply needed a wider saddle. (Pushing the saddle back rotated her pelvis to a narrower section.)

There's at least a chance that that's what's going on with your wife, too, if she doesn't already have one of the wider saddles on the market. Might be worth a visit to a local shop that has a sit bone measuring tool.

Also, just found that Specialized has a do-it-yourself sit bone measurement page.
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Old 04-02-23, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DrielandenBoy View Post
Those are some pretty bikes. I looked them up around here, I like how they found their color scheme and now stick to it 100%
Unfortunately, it's mostly a few stepthroughs, even fewer (men's) road bikes, but not much more. There actually is a his-and-hers pair that looks just like yours on ebay, but ... 2000€ ... phew.



She says she prefers a longer, more stretched out posture, with more weight on her hands. I think her optimal bike would be one of those loooong 90s MTBs.
To be fair, she never rode a frame in her size with northroad, nor with vintage-type drop bars. We test rode a mixte with northroads, but the frame was too small, so it is hard to judge if the bars are at fault.
I did find it surprising how what I thought would be an easy solution ("mixtes were road bikes, just find a mixte with dropbars") turned into an odyssey that makes me want to pull my hair out.
The thread is partly for me to get an reality check whether that's just a phenomenon in my part of the world, or if they're just such a rare breed.
Save your hair, any of this can be a journey and half the fun. Your SO may find she doesn't really want all that weight on her hands once you find one and she puts in some miles.

Many of us struggle with this, especially myself, 6ft tall, 38in inseam so need very tall bikes but many are too long at a certain point and I hate to lean over the front, can't tolerate much weight on my hands and also do drop bars only, can't stand upright for the most part.

What feels right at the beginning of the ride may not work after more miles, especially early on with a new bike, she may settle in or it may become torture especially if Its too long

Doe's she ride regularly now, if not there can be a big adjustment curve sorting it out for the long run.

You might want to consider a fitting or do one yourselves, plenty of calculators online but many have a specific focus so its best to use a couple different ones.

Mixtes' with drop bars are technically oxymoron's as discussed earlier, they were not designed with drop bars in mind being utility bikes.
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Old 04-02-23, 12:34 PM
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non-fixie 
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I am not sure what the problem is, as it is basically all about the desired stack and reach. Both can be achieved with drop bars on most mixte frames.

Mrs non-fixie prefers drop bars these days, so I've converted a couple of her bikes. A shorter stem will usually do the job.

These Mérals originally came with both northroad and drop bars. The first version I built for mrs non-fixie was this one:



Rider feedback made me exchange the stem for a taller and longer one, which was the version she used for L'Eroica in 2019:



After that event, a shorter stem was used for the conversion to drop bars. I used an even taller one for additional comfort. This is the version she is totally happy with and still rides today:

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Last edited by non-fixie; 04-02-23 at 02:31 PM. Reason: typo
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