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Nido 05-21-15 09:56 PM

Small frame step through, chromoly, internal gear hub...
I was having a city/commuter bike custom built but they ran into some problems are no longer able to give me the frame I like with the options I wanted. Not exactly a frame building question but does anyone know where/if I can find a bike with the following options:
Step-through frame, either Dutch style or Mixte
Chromoly steel with lugs
Small frame size, I'm 5'3"
3 gears minimum, internal hub
NON-twist gear shifter (the bike I was planning on getting had sturmey archer 3 speed classic trigger shifter which fit the style of the bike)
And I need to be able to attach a Burley standard trailer hitch to rear drop out between axle and nut (hauling 2 kids)

I would also prefer drum brakes but not imparative.
Some of the manufactures I have looked at are:
Linus Mixte3 & Dutchi3 (Hi Tensile steel frame with Chromoly down tube), Mixtie8 & Dutchi8 (full Chromoly) All have Shimano Nexus twist shifter I believe.
PUBLIC M7i (full Chromoly) also has a Shimano twist shifter
and Papillionaire Sommer & Mixte which also have Nexus Shimano twist shifter.

How good are these Nexus Shimano shifters? I was really wanting to stay away from the twist thing.
I'm VERY new to learning about bikes... how hard or costly would it be to change the type of shifter on an internal gear hub? Also is it possible to change rim brakes to hub brakes if I ever wanted to do so in the future? Would this present issues?

If the custom bike builder could give me all the items on my wants list but in Hi Tensile steel should I just go for it or is Chromoly really far superior? If I got it from them it would be a VERY expensive bike so I want to make sure I get the best quality possible.

Andrew R Stewart 05-22-15 07:35 AM

Your needs don't sound too hard to get, but will take some effort to source parts first and in the hands of the builder. I agree about the twist shifting. I much prefer trigger. One of the parts challenges I see is the want of drum brakes (that are effective). The first thought I had was to search for old SA hubs with drums. But some of them don't have much power and you're towing kids. Not knowing if you have hills where you live I don't know how vital stopping power is.

The rest just takes time and effort from the builder. Making the lugs will likely be needed as the small size and the step through/mixte compound the joints. Filleted joints greatly reduce the trouble. Trailer connection should be straight forward if Burley still offers a axle mounted hitch, assuming the rear axle has enough length to accommodate the hitch. If not then some creative shaping of the stays/drop out design might be needed for their standard connector to work.

There won't be much difference in cost between cro moly and hi tension steel by the time the labor and paint are figured in. However there will likely be some of both used any way. I assume weight isn't high on your list.

Yes, what you're asking for will be a very pricy frame. All the effort and skill that a show bike has but in a configuration that's far less common. You need to find a builder who is excited to stretch their range and has done all the needs before (but maybe not on the same frame). There will be a lot of communication and all the parts should be in the builder's hands before any tube is cut. Expect this to take a long time to complete.

Or just compromise and "suffer" with an off the shelf bike that lacks some aspect. Andy.

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