Kiss My Mixte Ass

“Well, no one wears hoop skirts anymore, so you don’t really see any mixtes around.”

It's a mixte, bitches!

It's a mixte, bitches!

Those were the words of wisdom delivered to me by a bike shop guy in answer to my question of whether they had any steel mixtes. Look, pal, you’re talking mixte crap to the wrong girl. What’s the deal with that attitude? Such disdain for a perceived woman’s bike. I am now determined to buy a mixte frame. Anyone else feeling the mixte love?

I was at the shop to test ride the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Very attractive bike, but I decided for sure that I don’t want a diamond frame, drop bar bike. I felt so scrunched up and bent over, it was ridiculous. I guess I could adjust to it, if I rode it exclusively for a month, but I don’t want to adjust to it. It’s not my style.


Rivendell Betty Foy

Rivendell Betty Foy

So, that’s one down. Now that I’m sure about the mixte, that leaves Rivendell Betty Foy (no cease, no desist!), Soma, vintage, custom by Tati Cycles in Chicago (have not even contacted him yet). What am I missing?

Soma Mixte

Soma Mixte


24 thoughts on “Kiss My Mixte Ass

  1. amen sister! it’s so hard to find those or any sort of beautiful step-through or mixte frames here nowadays. why don’t they make them anymore?

    not only that, these frames are not just for women, they are for people who are shorter, who carry heavy loads and need to hop on and off bikes quickly or people with joint and hip issues!

  2. 2whls3spds says:

    Don’t you just LOVE bike shops like that? Velo-Orange has them. And I believe Mike Flannigan at ANT might be willing to make one if you asked nicely…and paid for it. ;>)

    Eventually I will be in the market for a mixed as my advancing years make getting on and off of conventional bikes more difficult. My main grocery getter is a drop framed bike.


  3. Lynn says:

    Look at the beautiful vintage mixte this blogger just found:
    I fell in love with mixte frames after seeing meligrosa’s Motobecane “The Frenchie” ( Maybe there’s one waiting for you on craigslist.

  4. Lynn says:

    Yikes, they’re everywhere! This just in:
    Better get one quick!

  5. Tinker says:

    I ride a 1971 Raleigh Woman’s Sport model, and I am not now, nor have I ever been a woman.

    As Whitewashian says if you have short legs, or arthritic hips and lower back, there are no alternatives. And as both of those factors apply to me, I must buy a woman’s bike. I even located a folding cane that fit, so I can carry it on my bike (or motorcycle).

    A few years back my doctor sent me in for a full CAT scan, and lo! I was eaten up by arthritis, lower back, hips, shoulders, all of them shot. And since I am 6 feet tall and find that from the waist up I need a 27″ top bar, and from the waist down I have a 30″ inseam, so I need to find a bike with 28 inch standover. I can’t find ANY frames that fit.

    The Kona Ute is right at 28 inches SO, but 20″ top tube length, and $900 and the Kona Africa Bike 3.0 in an 18 inch Top tube length frame is about 20 inches SO. And that sounds about as good as I am going to get for a reasonable price ($500). A Beria Easy-board is perhaps a finer bike, but there are no local dealers. (The Kona’s are now sold by REI.)

    I’ll have to customise the frame with Nitto aluminum Tourist bars ($20) and a tall Technomic stem ($50) from Velo Orange and a brooks B190 ($Don’t Ask) saddle and some flat pedals that are up to the rest of the bike. Possibly paint the frame in some green color (olive drab?). And that’s practically an off the shelf bike.

  6. Nico says:

    Not really “words of wisdom” … :)
    I consider mixte frames to be unisex frames and I wouldn’t hesitate to ride one.

  7. msdottie says:

    Good point on the mixte being a unisex frame. The bike shop guy’s derision came from his perception that mixtes are women’s bikes, though (hoop skirt). I’ll add “perceived” to my original post.

    Tinker, you’re awesome for keeping on riding!! Too bad you have to make so many adjustments to any new bike you could find here, but Velo Orange, Brooks and Nitto sound like ingrediants for a beautiful bike.

    Lynn, I want that bike!! Too bad it’s from a catalog in a far off time.

  8. nice oldtimey pic.

    the first bike shop salesman to be a chauvinist!

  9. Trisha says:

    You know that I am. ;-) Like Lynn I’ve wanted to get one ever since seeing meligrosa’s! And obvs the bike shop chauvinist does not know what he’s talking about — the fact that it’s called a “mixte” implies it is for men and women. (A mixte ecole, for example, is a coed school.) Also, were women still wearing hoop skirts around the turn of the century, when women started riding bicycles? I’m thinking no…

  10. Charlotte says:

    Yes, “mixte” is French for “unisex” (look for French advertisements for CK One for proof).

    I have long had a love of mixtes, even though they’re very hard to find in my size (21″ or larger). Here are some of the inspiration photos and mixtes that I have seen in my travels:

  11. Trisha says:

    Charlotte, thanks for the confirmation (my French is a little rusty and my bicycle knowledge is recently acquired!). The mixtes you’ve posted on your site are lovely!

  12. Scott says:

    Steel mixtes are awesome!

  13. Kael says:

    ooh mixtes… i saw the masi soulville mixte the other day… sexy..

    great blog.!

  14. […] a bike to replace my stolen Jamis. I oggled bikes the I could not afford, such as ANTs and MAPs. I encountered annoying bike shop guys. I toured Chicago’s bike shops. At one point I thought I had […]

  15. mamu says:

    shorter males like me prefer mixtes too

  16. Ladies, your Mixtes are to die for! I can’t believe this, but I am kind of beginning to crave one as well! I know there is vintage and the custom-built options, as well as semi-custom like the Betty Foy and the new VO bike — but am I right in understanding that no modern manufacturers (other than the custom ones) actually produce these today?

  17. Melissa Miller says:

    good morning, did you ever check out the soma mixte? what did you think?

  18. Skysearcher says:

    You might think about an old Miss Mercian. I have one from 1979 that I love – picked it up 2nd hand for about $150. The frame is very light, and is a good match for my short legs =) I’m a bike commuter, so I have a basket on the back. The bike handles great, and I’d definitely recommend it to anybody who’s looking for a good mixte.

  19. Cathy says:

    I bought my Rivendell Glorius after I was hit by a car while riding my Rivendell Atlantis. I loved the Atlantis, but after that latest trauma to my spine I decided to go with the mixte. I love it, and my husband just bought a Rivendell Yves Gomez. Dottie, I love your site – way to go!

  20. Donna says:

    Electra was just showing a new mixte bike at Interbike. Knowing how much Electras generally cost, I’m thinking it’s not going to be outrageously expensive. My friend was at Interbike and took some photos:

    • dottie says:

      Thanks for sharing those pictures, Donna! Looks like a beautiful and well thought out bike. A great addition to the market, where there is definitely the demand for such a bike.

  21. Sarah says:

    By the way, if you switch from drop bars to “bullhorn” – I can’t think of the right word, but the kind of bars that track bikes have – then your position on a diamond frame bike becomes more upright. Then you adjust the stem length for maximum comfort, rather than making yourself accustomed to something uncomfortable. This kind of bar plus a short stem is why my road bike is so comfortable. I love the mixte though.

  22. beth says:

    Have you checked out viva bikes’ bellissimo mixte? it’s quite lovely.

  23. […] you, in terms of the inherent unisex nature of the mixte, so I may have to change my mixte view.…-my-mixte-ass/, though no advocate for soma, truth be told I do have a smoothie as my road bike, I like them as […]

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