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Origin8 Mixte is here...

Old 05-21-11, 07:41 PM
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shopgirl
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Origin8 Mixte is here...

An initial review-
So the frame arrived yesterday. I haven't gotten a chance to photograph it yet. It looks pretty "meh"- I can see why it was cheap. The joint where the seat tube meets the top tubes is, unfortunately, kind of ugly-looking. Frankly, it looks carelessly done- the welding at just that one joint looks bulky and uneven to me. It's nothing that a non-bike person would notice, but of course, it's something that I think might bug me every time I looked at it. The paint and the rest of the welds look decent, but I haven't totally unpacked it to the point where I can get a really good look at everything.
The seat collar it came with is also snagged in a couple places, so I nearly cut my fingers when I first pulled it out of the box.
I knew this when I bought it, but the fact that they sleeved the downtube for a 31.8 clamp is also a major downer for me. I didn't think that through very well. It just looks weird! How hard would it be to shim a 31.8 derailleur for a 28.6 tube, if someone is building this using a modern drivetrain? Or is that a bad idea to shim a front derailleur? I would assume you could, but it's not a problem I'm faced before.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think I might have a little buyer's remorse going on. I'm seriously thinking about sending it back. The only real bummer is that I would probably still have to pay for shipping, so I'd be out $40 and I still wouldn't have a new bike to play with.
If I do keep it, I'd want to get it powdercoated, clean up the welds, and see if the sleeve can be sanded down or something, but that seems like too much money to throw at a brand-new frame that really shouldn't need any of that.
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Old 05-21-11, 08:44 PM
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Is it is ugly as the creme?



Please post pictures of the Origin8 frame close up. I was thinking of buying one myself maybe.
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Old 05-21-11, 09:52 PM
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If your going to be doing all that work to the frame off the bat I think you should of saved your pennies and found something you really want. Been there done that.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:16 PM
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Yeah, I was being impatient with this. I wanted to build a new bike, and this looked like a really good deal that would help me sidestep a lot of issues that can come up dealing with vintage frames. But alas, it was a little too good to be true.
I think I probably will send it back. I'll try and get a couple pictures of it tomorrow for everyone before I box it up, because I know a few people were interested. As far as I'm concerned, though, I would much rather pay to not have to deal with this bike.
As far as how ugly the welding is... stay tuned, and I will let the photos speak for themselves tomorrow.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:30 PM
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I see what you're talking about with the derailleur clamp sizing. Ew. Other than that, I'd probably be able to put up with it.

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Old 05-21-11, 11:59 PM
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Every time I see an Origin 8 frame in real life I think it looks like crap.
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Old 05-22-11, 12:21 AM
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A vintage project frame that you have to mess with some to get it right is better than the new stuff that looks sharp at first glance and is a "meh" frame up close and personal.

Shopgirl, if you are still hunting, I've still got this and a couple other mixte beasts in the garage. The Mercier here has character and it needs a good home. No handy pics of the other two. Not sure what size it is and I've removed the plastic brake levers. I'm in Sacramento.

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Old 05-22-11, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BlankCrows View Post
A vintage project frame that you have to mess with some to get it right is better than the new stuff that looks sharp at first glance and is a "meh" frame up close and personal.

Shopgirl, if you are still hunting, I've still got this and a couple other mixte beasts in the garage. The Mercier here has character and it needs a good home. No handy pics of the other two. Not sure what size it is and I've removed the plastic brake levers. I'm in Sacramento.

Love that color. That thing's pretty big.
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Old 05-22-11, 12:46 AM
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A BF member (snarkypup) in Seattle bought a Creme and was not happy with the level of workmanship...

http://rideblog.wordpress.com/2011/0...king-lemonade/

In many cases a vintage Mixte can be a much nicer bike if you have the time / skills to make them right.

Built this for my fiancee... it strikes a nice balance between speed and comfort and the only original parts are the frame, fork, fenders, crank, and brakes.

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Old 05-22-11, 01:06 AM
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Hi shopgirl. I sympathize. I really, really sympathize.

I sent mine back, and will hopefully get the money back soon. Don't settle for bad welds!
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Old 05-22-11, 07:50 AM
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Thanks for the sympathy, everyone. I will call the sales rep tomorrow. I'm one of the buyers for the store I work at, so I think that should give him some incentive to make me happy. I'll let everyone know how it works out.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by realestvin7 View Post
I see what you're talking about with the derailleur clamp sizing. Ew. Other than that, I'd probably be able to put up with it.

I still don't understand why someone would purposely put a deraillie on a bike. Bikes should have IGH's, 1/8" chain, and chain cases...

:-P
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Old 05-22-11, 08:14 AM
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From a perspective of a builder... the dropouts on this and the Origin8 were not specifically designed for the triple stays on a Mixte and this one is confused as it has a socket at the chain stay but does not have one for the seat stay and the middle stay is just tig welded into place.

The Peugeot has a less ornate stamped dropout made from relatively thick plate and was made specifically for a mixte frame... not quite as pretty but it is simple clean work done when mixte frames were not boutique items but just a very popular type of bicycle that is once again becoming popular.



With the great number of older mixte frames out there one could consider buying one of these and refitting it as needed... had a nearly identical Peugeot roll in and out of our bike co-op a short time ago, it was nearly mint and did not last very long at all.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:18 AM
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It seems like every other origin 8 product I've seen or used. Cheap

I can't say it's out of line for what I'd expect based on their other products.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:39 AM
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Damn - sorry that didn't shake out well.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post


From a perspective of a builder... the dropouts on this and the Origin8 were not specifically designed for the triple stays on a Mixte and this one is confused as it has a socket at the chain stay but does not have one for the seat stay and the middle stay is just tig welded into place.
Would it have been possible to have a special lug fabricated that would act as a go-between with the seat stay and the non-mixte dropout? It seems that it wouldn't take much to produce such a lug. The old Raleigh lugs were just stamped out and hammered together and welded (and then not really cleaned up -just faced so it was hard to see the seam) It might even be easier to have done this than trying to put those tig welds onto the cast dropouts which, like you said, looked confused and sloppy. This is hand-work either way -but one is more skilled handwork than the other and looks like it when the finished product is surveyed by the appreciative connoisseur.

I guess it comes down to money/costs and a general lack of interest in the mainstream buying public. Today's typical consumer just doesn't care about these things. Bicycle "fads" like the emergent mixte craze might be driven by such as the enthusiasts on on this forum and readers and writers of blogs like Lovely Bicycle and Rideblog, but most consumers can't tell the difference between a beautifully-done lugged frame and something slammed together like the interior plumbing behind the tile of your shower wall. For the most part it isn't worth it to most builders outside of Rivendell or a few high-end top-$ makers to give us what we want because the price-point most consumers are willing to pay just don't match the low-end builds that competitive frame and bike builders who populate the mid/low-end market are producing.

Today's buying public is used to junk/disposable products at bottom-line prices and are just not willing to spend a bit more for something artfully done. This creates a market for low-end garbage and makes the high-end quality product even more of a premium since the economy of scale is just not there any more at that level and the competition for the elite buyer doesn't give such pressure to keep prices lower.
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Old 05-22-11, 09:15 AM
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Amesja - Cost is very important... consider that the Soma Buena Vista mixte can be purchased complete for around $1100.00 with a 3 speed drive has a frame set that costs around $500.00 that is made from some nice Prestige double butted tubes.

My better half purchased one of these and loved it as it is a very nicely built frame but returned it because the wheelbase exceeded the maximum on her local transit system... the bicycle was purchased specifically to provide a lighter bicycle for a longer multi modal commute and because it could not be put on a bus rack was a fail.

I built up her Peugeot for when she is here so that she has a lightweight (and she loves Peugeots), her regular commuter is a very comfortable but heavy Breezer with an 8 speed IGH and probably hits the curb at 45 pounds while a bike like the Peugeot is a middleweight and rolls on much faster wheels.

Anyways... moving up from the Soma you are probably starting to look at custom options and we could build a mixte frame and fork but our cost would be around $1600.00 for what would be a filet brazed model with butted tubes.

At out co-op mixte frames are a hot commodity and none of them last very long... the number of high end vintage mixte frames is pretty small as not many were built with high end frames. My little sister has a Kuwahara mixte that was built on an Ishiwata frame set that is outstanding and this would have been a fairly pricey bike in it's day.
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Old 05-22-11, 09:48 AM
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I think for ~$200-$250 the Origin8 mixte is a darn good value. This is not the kind of frame you build into a looker. What are you expecting for that kind of money? You buy it for your shopping bike or commuter so it can be scratched up and locked outside for hours without worry. If you want more, spend the $500 on a Soma Buena Vista frameset.
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Old 05-22-11, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BlankCrows View Post
A vintage project frame that you have to mess with some to get it right is better than the new stuff that looks sharp at first glance and is a "meh" frame up close and personal.

Shopgirl, if you are still hunting, I've still got this and a couple other mixte beasts in the garage. The Mercier here has character and it needs a good home. No handy pics of the other two. Not sure what size it is and I've removed the plastic brake levers. I'm in Sacramento.
Hi BlankCrows,

I have the twin sister to that Mercier mixte, which I'm trying to get fixed up for my wife, and I'm in Fair Oaks just outside of Sac.

The previous owner had put the cranks on wrong so they weren't 180* but I got that fixed. Then I tried replacing the shifters with some NOS Silver Shifters, but I had to cobble together a bunch of washers and spacers to get them to stay on, and now I can't get one of them to stay in place. What did you use and how did you get it to work? I'm thinking of swapping them out for handlebar mounted shifters...
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Old 05-22-11, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mixtemaniac View Post
I think for ~$200-$250 the Origin8 mixte is a darn good value. This is not the kind of frame you build into a looker. What are you expecting for that kind of money? You buy it for your shopping bike or commuter so it can be scratched up and locked outside for hours without worry. If you want more, spend the $500 on a Soma Buena Vista frameset.
Or drop a grand on the Rivendell Betty Foy -which is a beautiful freaking frameset. Not everyone is poor and not everyone rich has bad tastes

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Old 05-22-11, 10:15 AM
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I've built up a couple of these frames (one for my niece and one for a friend) and the ride is pretty good. The first frame I bought had all sorts of tweaks that needed to be straightened. The fork blades were drastically out of alignment and the rear dropouts were as well. However, the second one I purchased was pretty straight and the welds looked better. I think they're built by Maxway and actually look like a pretty similar design to the Soma. The ones I bought had cable stops not shifter bosses. I like that they've gone to bosses. I did not pay retail for the frames, so the decision to take a chance on them was a little less risky.
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Old 05-22-11, 10:56 AM
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Daughter's mixtie (Pug upgrated to triple crank w/6-speed thumbies, and better wheels):



Old Mercier mixtie looking for a good home:

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Old 05-22-11, 11:37 AM
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I'd pounce on either one of the Merciers in this thread...gorgeous. Mrs. Cloud has a Pug PH18 and can't rave enough about it. If you hunt around for a little while, nice ones turn up in the 200. range. There's a great looking silver le tour on feebay now for maybe 300.? It's spotless. I've used plenty of origin8 stuff on my dark side bike because it's so light. I mean hyper light...but componants are one thing, whole bikes are another. I hope it works out that you find a bike you'll be happy with. If you don't smile when you look at it, then what's the point.

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Old 05-22-11, 12:24 PM
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Why is everyone unloading these nice Mercier mixtes? If they weren't French, I'd be down.
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Old 05-22-11, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by realestvin7 View Post
Why is everyone unloading these nice Mercier mixtes? If they weren't French, I'd be down.
Merciers are very nice bikes... the "problems" with French bikes are not that bad if you know what you are doing and since VO now offers French threaded bottom brackets this is less of an issue than it has been.
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