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Mixte - Good companies and models question

Old 04-19-11, 12:43 PM
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Mixte - Good companies and models question

My girlfriend is considering getting a new (to her) bike and loves the look of the older mixte frames.

We have been trawling ebay and other sites and I thought it might be useful to get some advice on good solid makes and models in particular to look out for.

It seems that the listings with "mixte" in the title seem to attract a lot of attention so hoped we could snap up a bargain that might slip under the radar by looking for models instead (wishful thinking, maybe!)

Are there any good ones to look out for or avoid?

It would be nice a frame to get some quality lugwork if possible.

Any help welcome. Thanks.
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Old 04-19-11, 12:47 PM
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Check this thread out: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...+me+your+mixte
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Old 04-19-11, 01:31 PM
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A lot of mixtes get called "womens bike" so don't be afraid to look there too.
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Old 04-19-11, 02:34 PM
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Most mixte's are small and mid-level at best. Larger sizes and high end tubing are rare and will command a high price. I'd look for a Japanese made model unless you really like the 'je ne sais quoi' of a Peugeot. The French bikes usually came with heavy steel wheels and cottered cranks with French threading which can make up-grading more difficult and expensive.

I can't tell from the photo but this Miyata may be a 210 (good) or a lesser model (100 or 90, etc). If you find one that fits and that has a CrMo frame instead of hi-tensile steel you will have done well. They might exist but I don't think I've ever seen an older mixte frame that wasn't lugged.
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Old 04-19-11, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JReade
A lot of mixtes get called "womens bike" so don't be afraid to look there too.
+1 That's what mine was listed as, even though the seller was aware it was a mixte. He knew the general craig's list market wouldn't understand that.

Also, if you have a better idea what brand you want, try doing a craig's list search for that brand. The mixte I bought had been listed two weeks prior, never relisted, and would have fallen through the cracks if I hadn't searched "fuji"

Take your time and be careful. If she doesn't want a road bike be cautious that you aren't buying a road bike. A touring geometry road bike can be converted into a more upright, city handling style if the geometry is slack enough.

If you aren't already familiar with Velouria's blog, she has a lot of interesting posts about her experiences with mixte frame bicycles, particularly recommendations on purchasing vintage ones.
https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/search/label/mixte

If you're budget allows, there are a few new manufacturers of mixtes as well, but I don't think any of them are lugged.
Best of luck!
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Old 04-19-11, 04:55 PM
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What's your budget? Depending on where you live, buying a used mixte might not be as inexpensive as you think. Depending on components, the project could be a money pit. You may get lucky though. If trawling Craigslist, search for "ladies bikes" "women/woman bikes" "step through" and the brands you know have mixte models. As others have said, there aren't many high-end mixte bikes hanging around. The ones you do find are generally quite expensive. You'll have most luck with Japanese brands (Fuji, Miyata, Panasonic, Univega, Nishiki, etc). Something cromoly. Most mixtes are hi-ten steel though. Especially older European brands. If you have a decent budget, I'd say buy new and look into the Soma Buena Vista frameset.
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Old 05-10-11, 08:02 PM
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I just built up a new Soma Buena Vista mixte for my wife. It was equally impossible to find a vintage mixte in a 58cm frame as it was to find one that can take wide tires. We needed the former, and wanted the latter. So a new bike was in order. It cost us a total of about $1200, using a few smaller parts from my parts bin. I gave the bike to Velouria, aka Lovely_Bicycle, for a day to review:

Soma Buena Vista 650B test ride
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Old 05-11-11, 01:00 AM
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If your budget is modest, then I agree that Japanese mixtes from the 1980s are your best bet. But keep your eyes open for a Raleigh Super Course, too. And, if your budget is healthy, then look for an Austro Daimler Vent Noir or Vent Noir II. Very rare and, in my opinion, very beautiful.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:01 AM
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Unfortunately, mixtes tended to be low end. Look for a cromoly frame and alloy rims, that's about as good as you are going to do, unless you have a lot of time and patience.

I look for bikes every day, and rarely find deals on mixtes, perhaps three or four a year. And have never found a high end one.

+1 The Japanese made quite a few of them, and they were built with compatible parts.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:16 AM
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Trek also made a very nice 420 mixte in the mid 80's. My wife's metallic blue one built up very nicely from a bare frame purchased from a fellow C&V'er. Lugged steel, nice details. Takes 27" wheels, but she LOVES it.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:34 AM
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Doesn't Creme make a mixte?

Rivendell makes the Betty Foy. Investment cast lugs.

Wow, even Trek has a mixte now. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...lleville_wsd/#
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Old 05-11-11, 06:37 AM
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You mention looking for a 'bargain' so probably your best bet is one of the 80s Japanese bikes as mentioned above. While most makers' mixtes were entry level bikes, the distinction between an 'okay' one (hi-ten steel frame, stem shifters) and the better ones with cr-mo frame and DT shifters is not going to be very notable in a bike for basic 'round town riding. For racing or distance riding, yes, but that's not what you're talking about, is it? The one really important distinction is that the bike should have alloy wheels rather than steel, that makes a big difference in weight and in braking.

Miyata had a mixte version of the 210/215 model which was a pretty nice bike, esp the later ones, with a triple chainring and touring setup which would be helpful for use in a hilly town. Centurion, Fuji, Univega, Lotus, Shogun all had mixtes in the lineup. We've had a Miyata, two Shoguns, and two Centurions through the family line, all the stem shifter types, some cr-mo, some hi-ten. The most I paid for any of them was $100. Chicago CL lately has had some Raleighs and Peugeots for prices above $200, a nice looking Centurion for just $100, and a 70s Koga Miyata, a Euro/Japanese variant that I would have bought just to try it out, also $100.

European or English bikes like the ubiquitous Peugeot seem more likely to have steel wheels, but there are nice ones as well and they do have a certain style about them. I haven't actually worked on one myself yet so can't say whether their rep for finickiness is deserved. 80s Japanese bikes in my experience (and I am learning as I go), with Suntour and Shimano components, are very easy to work on, and if you are at all handy you could do basic stuff like change out old cables, adjust brakes, lubricate, change handlebars, etc.

Learning to do your own work takes some time and has some setup costs, but allows you to buy cheap bikes with confidence!
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Old 05-11-11, 07:19 AM
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Mixte bikes are a mixed bag. Not all of them are of relaxed comfort bike geometry and are more suitable for a twitchy drop-bar road bike instead. Not all of them are of high quality materials and construction. Not all of them have decent fender clearances or are suitable for wider tires. Many of the mixtes tend to be on the small side. And finally many used frames, in addition to all the issues above, tend to be a bit pricey because (probably) everyone is looking to build a mixte up from a used frameset.

Blah.
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Old 05-11-11, 07:41 AM
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as someone who deals a lot in smaller bicycles (i'm fun-sized), my experience with mixtes is as follows: acquire numerous mixtes, then sell the ones that are junk. if it's under 60 bucks, just buy it and contemplate whether it was worth it later.

as others have stated earlier, though they all look the same, each model runs with slightly different geometry/rake, greatly affecting how quickly your sig. other might bail out. i've got one nishiki, one miyata, one shogun, one centurion, and a bunch of junk raleigh ones. had a beacon, as well as a univega. most of them are pretty heavy, even if they are cromoly all around. haven't found a 531, nor do i think i will in the near future. european frames seem to have an initial price premium compared to japanese and taiwanese frames of equal caliber.

if you're really looking to get something that's quality, look for frames that have forged dropouts; pretty sure all the frames i own are stamped. secondly, look for frames with double eyelets in the back if you want to mount rack+fender. most of the frames i've seen only have one. downtube mounts are nice (saw it on one univega that got away), but those are rare, and probably aren't needed in your situation.

expect that you're going to need patience/drive. mixtes have been and are probably going to continue to be a "cult" frame style. younger bike people like to build mixtes for their sig. others who don't ride/for the "look at my vintage/rare bike frame" cred, and old people with disposable income will probably be able to out-price you.

you should list your location as well; there might be someone on the forum who's willing to help you out if they're nearby.
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Old 05-11-11, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
Trek also made a very nice 420 mixte in the mid 80's. My wife's metallic blue one built up very nicely from a bare frame purchased from a fellow C&V'er. Lugged steel, nice details. Takes 27" wheels, but she LOVES it.
From what I can figure those were only made in 1984 so they're tough to come by. I have an early 80's Motobecane mixte frame that's made of 2040 frame material - not too bad from a weight perspective. I didn't weight the Shogun 300 I just gave to a friend but it was probably around 24 or 25 lbs. The current Motobecane project bike that I have ($20) has alloy wheels but steel bars and seat post - so definitely not a high end machine as others have said. But, then, I'm not sure that most mixte owners buy them to be a higher end bike but, rather, more utilitarian.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:05 AM
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From another thread about "custom versus C&V" I think that a mixte would be one of the things that would be on the custom category since really good ones are hard to come by. I really like some of those swoopy mixte's like the one that was posted a few weeks back by Snarkypup that for sale in France. That sort of thing just isn't available in teh states and the used prices are up there where a custom frame would be so one might as well have it made to your spec's.

Either that or just buy one new from Rivendell or whatever. I know who I wouldn't buy one from
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Old 05-11-11, 08:22 AM
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mixtes rock - if you expect to find a big one you wont - but i find that their geometry allows for the 'outside of size range' rider to still enjoy - i'm 6'2" and my mixtes are on the small side but beggers cant be chosers when you shop @ the flea market
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Old 05-11-11, 08:29 AM
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Soma is making a mixte.

https://www.somafab.com/bvista.html

~kn
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Old 05-11-11, 10:46 AM
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The Origin8 mixte frameset is a good deal at ~$250 if your budget doesn't quite allow something like a Soma Buena Vista. It comes in various sizes from 42cm to 58cm.
https://www.origin-8.com/?page_id=91&...26+ACCESSORIES
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Old 05-11-11, 10:51 AM
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If you can find one, a Fuji S-12-S from about 1981 or so is about as good as it gets. Cromoly tubing, forged dropouts w/derailleur hanger, nice chroming and lugwork. I sold one about 8 months ago, I still wish I had it.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:56 AM
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here's a cool project if you're i socal. its actually been up for a week or two now. https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/bik/2374249815.html
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Old 05-11-11, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mixtemaniac
The Origin8 mixte frameset is a good deal at ~$250 if your budget doesn't quite allow something like a Soma Buena Vista. It comes in various sizes from 42cm to 58cm.
https://www.origin-8.com/?page_id=91&...26+ACCESSORIES
Too bad it is designed around 700c -I'm SO not into the 29-er fad. I wonder how that frame would behave on 590 wheels?
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Old 05-11-11, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothness
.....and old people with disposable income will probably be able to out-price you....
Yeah, we're crafty that way. Actually - I shouldn't tell you this, but...... we do it for sport. >Shhhhhhhh<
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Old 05-11-11, 11:53 AM
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On a serious note -I've handled a lot of mixtes. In general, the Centurions, Miyata's, and Univega's seem to be the best. The finish usually holds up better over the years, and the fit and finish is usually better than comparable Raleigh's and Peugeot's.

Those are the common makes I've found but there are others that pop up here and there.
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Old 05-11-11, 02:11 PM
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I was just admiring a Linus mixte in the LBS with some very basic lugwork up front and internal gearing. It's a really nice bike and they are making them cro mo now.
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