Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Mixte sizing?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Mixte sizing?

Old 09-19-08, 10:16 PM
  #1  
strange agent
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mixte sizing?

is there a different philosophy when choosing the size of mixte frame to ride?
strange agent is offline  
Old 09-19-08, 10:21 PM
  #2  
mswantak
Glutton for Punishment
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Leandro, CA
Posts: 2,896
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
mswantak is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 01:38 AM
  #3  
stronglight
Old Skeptic
 
stronglight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 1,044

Bikes: 19 road bikes & 1 Track bike

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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...

stronglight is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 03:59 AM
  #4  
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Posts: 12,737

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1990 Gardin Shred, 2006 Bianchi San Jose

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
bbattle is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 05:54 AM
  #5  
East Hill
Lanky Lass
 
East Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Take a deep breath, and ask--What would Sheldon do?
Posts: 21,434

Bikes: Nishiki Nut! International, Pro, Olympic 12, Sport mixte, and others too numerous to mention.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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.

East Hill
__________________
___________________________________________________
TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...
East Hill is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 07:21 AM
  #6  
strange agent
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
strange agent is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 08:11 AM
  #7  
Bionicycle
No I'm Not a Pirate!
 
Bionicycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The middle of somewhere in Indiana
Posts: 696
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.

Bionicycle is offline  
Old 09-20-08, 08:13 AM
  #8  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Stronglight

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.
Grand Bois is offline  
Old 06-13-18, 10:12 AM
  #9  
haddersus
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 24

Bikes: Holdsworth Mistral (2), Holdsworth Autograph, Holdsworth Competition, Devinci Road Bike, Canondale CAADX, Bianchi (Under resto)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Holdsworth Lady Mistral

Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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...
I completely agree with you and at first was worried this bike at 20Ē would be too small but I could ride it no problem
at nearly 6ft. Itís fitted with cow horn bars and a lot of fun. Although these bikes were later marketed as ladies bikes they are UNISEX hence the MIXTE.

This was for a friend but I also want one as it was great fun to ride.

Holdsworth Lady Mitral
haddersus is offline  
Old 06-13-18, 10:13 AM
  #10  
haddersus
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 24

Bikes: Holdsworth Mistral (2), Holdsworth Autograph, Holdsworth Competition, Devinci Road Bike, Canondale CAADX, Bianchi (Under resto)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Holdsworth Lady Mistral

Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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...
I completely agree with you and at first was worried this bike at 20Ē would be too small but I could ride it no problem
at nearly 6ft. Itís fitted with cow horn bars and a lot of fun. Although these bikes were later marketed as ladies bikes they are UNISEX hence the MIXTE.

This was for a friend but I also want one as it was great fun to ride.

Holdsworth Lady Mitral
haddersus is offline  
Old 06-13-18, 01:27 PM
  #11  
hokiefyd 
Senior Member
 
hokiefyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,496

Bikes: '18 Redline Zander MTB, '14 Surly Pugsley, '97 Trek MultiTrack 750, '70 Peugeot UO-18 Mixte

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1193 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 338 Posts
A 10 year old thread resurrection is pretty impressive, but who doesn't like a good mixte thread, right? Beautiful bikes, all of them.
hokiefyd is offline  
Old 06-13-18, 05:06 PM
  #12  
verktyg 
verktyg
 
verktyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,469

Bikes: Current favorites: 1988 Peugeot Birraritz, 1984 Gitane Super Corsa, 1981 Bianchi Campione Del Mondo, 1992 Paramount OS, 1990 Bianchi Mondiale, 1988 Colnago Technos, 1985 RalieghUSA Team Pro, 1973 Holdsworth

Mentioned: 168 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 778 Post(s)
Liked 486 Times in 312 Posts
ARRGH! Zombi Thread

Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
A 10 year old thread resurrection is pretty impressive, but who doesn't like a good mixte thread, right? Beautiful bikes, all of them.

In the 70's French mixtes, Gitane, Bertin and Motobecane in particular came in 3 frame sizes: 50cm, 54cm and 57cm measured from the center of the BB to the top of the seat tube. The 50cm and 54cm sizes were the most common and readily available.

Mixtes provided more lateral stiffness than other drop tube style frames but they were notorious for a front to rear rocking effect when pedaling hard.

The advantage of larger size frames was they allowed for less seatpost extension thus a more rigid rear end section. Also the head tubes where longer so the bars where positioned better for an upright riding position.

One draw back of the mixte design was the loooong virtual top tube. The center to center distance from seat tube to the head tube on some 57cm mixtes was ~62cm. Not such a big deal with upright bars but with 90-100mm stems and the long reach bars of the day it didn't provide a comfortable riding position for many people. Add to that, the long reach MAFAC brake levers used on drop bars didn't help matters much.

In the European market upright bars were standard on most mixtes. During the Bike Boom Fad of the 70's the marketing theme was "10 SPEED RACING BIKE"! Consequently, many fixtes were fitted with drop bars either at the factory or by dealers.

One of the problems with fads:



Most of the mixtes that we sold were purchased by men rather than women.

Customers who had problems swinging their leg over the top of a diamond frame opted for a mixte, especially when we told them that the mixte design was developed for the French army because 1 size fit all and they were quick and easy to mount and dismount. (not sure of this "fact" but my friend who owned our shop did some research on it BITD).

Our shop was 3 blocks from the university. During the burgeoning women's movement back then, many young women were insulted when we suggested that a mixte was more appropriate for their physique! They wanted a BOYS bike not a GIRLS bike.

As an aside, we had Cycles Andre Bertin make 48cm frames for us with about a 27" stand over height for those customers. They used 700c wheels for 18mm-20mm clinchers or sewups. They required cantilever brakes because of the short reach. We also imported 160mm & 165mm cranks from TA and Stronglight plus MAFAC and Weinmann short reach brake levers and 60mm stems.

Many small frames rode and handled like wheelbarrows. These were comparable to larger sized bikes.





I put this Flickr album together for a similar discussion on mixtes back in 2010. Note: none of the bikes are mine.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/282672...57624757110832

verktyg
__________________
Things aren't always what they seem... Don't believe everything you think!

Chas. ;-)

Last edited by verktyg; 06-13-18 at 05:17 PM.
verktyg is offline  
Old 06-14-18, 07:00 AM
  #13  
hokiefyd 
Senior Member
 
hokiefyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,496

Bikes: '18 Redline Zander MTB, '14 Surly Pugsley, '97 Trek MultiTrack 750, '70 Peugeot UO-18 Mixte

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1193 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 338 Posts
This thread is interesting to me because I recently bought my first mixte, a late '60s Peugeot. It has a 52cm seat tube (CTT) and a 56cm effective top tube (CTC). I expected that it would feel "roomy" to me, but it felt the opposite -- maybe a bit cramped. This frame sizing is somewhat similar to other bikes I ride (very similar to my 21" Trek 750).

I decided that the primary difference is the relatively short reach stem, and the city bars that the bike had, which had a ~20 degree backsweep to them. Most of my other bikes have longer reach stems and bars without so much backsweep. It's amazing what just a few cm here or there can do to the fit and feel of a bike.

I ended up using a much taller stem (a Nitto Dirt Drop style stem) with a different handlebar. It's a postino-style bar, which combines a backsweep with a forward "kick" on either side of the clamp area, so the grip position is further forward relative to the saddle than it was with the stock parts. It feels great to me now.

It definitely has a higher head tube than standard diamond frame bikes -- the top of the seat tube is 30"/76cm from the floor and the top of the head tube is 33"/84cm from the floor. That's quite a difference. It makes me think that today's "dual sport" type of bike (like Trek DS), with its high head tube and sharply raked top tube, is the modern "mixte for men"!
hokiefyd is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Onyxaxe
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
21
08-16-14 10:33 PM
TripleU
Commuting
16
02-27-13 02:10 PM
mickey85
Classic & Vintage
5
02-11-13 08:50 AM
dnfcx
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
7
10-28-12 09:52 PM
northernlights
General Cycling Discussion
8
09-14-12 08:37 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.