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Old 09-19-08, 10:16 PM   #1
strange agent
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mixte sizing?

is there a different philosophy when choosing the size of mixte frame to ride?
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Old 09-19-08, 10:21 PM   #2
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Not really. Either you like the way it fits or you don't. Anybody who has a philosophy about it has too much time on their hands. The main difference is on a mixte the saddle is generally closer to the bars than on a mens frame of similar size.
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Old 09-20-08, 01:38 AM   #3
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Well strange agent, I noticed something unusual about the dimensions of my mid-80s Peugeot P-18c mixte bike. It is the only Mixte or drop tube bike I have ever owned, so I selected the size as I might if choosing a Men's road bike.

My seat tube measures 56.5 cm (center to top). The top of the head tube is considerably higher then the top of the seat tube. From the floor to the top of the head tube measures 86 cm. The seat tube from the floor to the top measures 81 cm (yes, 2 inches lower).

If I were to superimpose an imaginary level horizontal top tube, from the center of the head tube to the center of the raised seatpost, my effective top tube length would measure 60.5 cm! This would be a VERY long top tube for a bike with a 56.5 seat tube (that's measured center to top, so figure 55 cm center-to-"effective"-center [if there were a top tube]).

The bike was all original and came with CTA [French] alloy drop bars just as shown in a 1985 catalogue for this model. The effect this geometry has when setting up the bike for my own use, and with saddle and stem top essentially level (as I might do if it were a Mens road bike) is very unusual. The length from the saddle is dramatically stretched out. It was so extreme (and uncomfortable) that I quickly replaced the original bars with narrow moustache bars - which helped me out considerably.

I believe that Mixte framesets in general were really designed for relatively flat or even back-turned bars (such as French "Porteur" bars or raised "Promenade" bars). The idea of offering drop bars on such a bike seems odd. And, I would not be surprised if this was simply done in later years to appeal to an active young woman seeking a more "sporty" bike... but still not wanting the high top tube. However, in this case at least, Peugeot had made no alterations to the frameset to compensate for the additional reach of drop bars.

On all examples of Mixte bikes I've seen, the seat tubes are placed considerably lower than the head tube. I assume this was always with the intention of riding such bikes with bars placed considerably higher than the saddle. This would make the obvious saddle choice something with springs and intended for a more upright rider position.

So, if there is any "logic" to the bikes, my recommendation would be to consider my observations:

If planning to use drop bars, and a typical racing style saddle (either vintage leather or anything modern) anticipate a longer reach than the actual seat tube on such a bike might imply. Because there is no horizontal top tube to measure, it would be difficult to ask a seller to measure the actual length without a lot of confusing detailed explanations. So, perhaps just view it as you might a compact frameset, and maybe just buy a smaller size than you would with a traditional conventional road bike.

Or, if intending to ride it with flat or "touring" bars, just buy it based on the seat tube length, and plan to ride it with a more comfortable cushioned saddle and in an upright position. Hope this makes sense...

Here is a photo of my own bike as currently configured. With the moustache bars I still feel fairly stretched out (notice the forward placement of the saddle)- but more as if I were simply riding on the tops of my brake hoods on a typical road bike, and I can always back off a bit by grabbing the sides of the bars. However, because I really ride this bike only in the city, I'm honestly considering changing the handlebars (again) and adding a sprung saddle - perhaps something like a Brooks Flyer?

I believe it is time to review some of the many examples shown in the extensive Mixte thread in this Forum. Yes, it is always interesting fussing with unfamiliar bike styles...

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Old 09-20-08, 03:59 AM   #4
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Happy Place full of Mixtes

I agree that mixtes look best with upright bars, not drop handlebars.

my wife's singlespeed. started with a Peugeot Iseran frame.
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Old 09-20-08, 05:54 AM   #5
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Whereas I use my mixte for climbing up some big hills, and don't care for an upright riding stance at all--hence the drop bars on all the mixtes I've had.

As for sizing, I've discovered that I can feel comfortable on what would be a medium sized frame if the bike were a diamond frame style.

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Old 09-20-08, 07:21 AM   #6
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i had also noticed in photos that the seat tubes often lower than the head tube which is what drove my original question. thank you for all your input. my next mission may be 650b mixte with upright bars and (depending on overall cost) perhaps an internally geared hub. i'd also like to try some low trail to see what the fuss is about. i know this is pretty specific but i have a long winter in front of me and the hunt is more than half the fun.
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Old 09-20-08, 08:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by strange agent View Post
is there a different philosophy when choosing the size of mixte frame to ride?
My Fuji has about a 20 inch seat tube, and started out from the factory with drop barsÖ Iím 6 feet tall, and I found with the drop bars I felt like I was stretched out way too far, but Iíve had some lower back problems, (two surgeries) and that may have a lot to do with it. I changed out the drops for a set of wide uprights, they make a good place to mount my emergency tire pump, and really like the seating position I have nowÖ Iím not completely upright; but not bent over either.

I think it is so much just a matter of personal choice, that itís almost impossible, to come up with an absolute measurement set for fitting even a standard diamond frame bike, let alone a Mixte. One just has to experiment a bit, I believe.

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Old 09-20-08, 08:13 AM   #8
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It seems to me that the stem on that Peugeot has way too much extension to be used with Moustache bars. I use a stem that's at least 2cm shorter than I'd use with drops. It doesn't look as cool, but taller works better for me, too. I use an 80mm Nitto Technomic Deluxe inserted to 1/4" past minimum on my PX10 and it looks like we ride the same size frame.
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