Beautiful Lugged Steel Mixte

Check this beauty out!


Lynn of Bike Lite – an expert at stumbling upon great old bikes – found this 1950’s lugged steel mixte on eBay and noticed that it looks a lot like Rivendell’s Betty Foy. Intriguing! Is a bike like this a show piece or a viable everyday travel option?

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12 thoughts on “Beautiful Lugged Steel Mixte

  1. That is a smashing bike. I’m not familiar with the manufacturer personally, but that doesn’t mean anything except that I still have a lot to learn. Besides, that almost makes it more appealing.

    I would think sizing to be slightly less important on a bike like this (verses, e.g., a diamond frame road bike intended for touring or racing). As far as reliability for everyday commuting is concerned, the biggest issue is the soundness of the frame. So long as it’s not flawed in any way structurally, then you’re in good shape. You should, however, plan on overhauling everything, top to bottom (or having your LBS mechanic do it).

    If money is an issue, consider this: the list price for Betty Foy is $2000 built up. (And who buys a bike like that with accessorizing either the bike or herself — or both?) If you were to get this bike for anywhere close to the $500 opening bid (though, who knows what it will go for ultimately; I suspect a good bit more), that leaves an awful lot of coin in your pocket, which you can then spend on tricking out the bike anyway you want.

    For me, the issue would come down to time and what sense I wanted to have of the bike. In other words, do I want something I can ride right out of the box? Or do I want something I can wrench on (or work together with my LBS on) for however long it takes, and then be able to tell people, “Yeah, that there is a 50-year-old something-or-other, and everything on it has my signature. I know every inch of that bike. Let me tell you the story of how we fell in love.” Because, if your Oma sparks conversation, how many folks do you think will gather round to take a gander at something like this?

  2. Erich says:

    I certainly love that mixte for what it is, though I don’t think using it as an everyday commuter would enter my mind. I’d just feel awful if the frame gave way after years of use, though being steel it can always be repaired. Aw heck, go for it. It’s gorgeous.

  3. Charlotte says:

    It is gorgeous, but it looks rather small.
    If I had a mixte like that I would ride it. It’s meant to be used and loved.

  4. dadabean says:

    I don’t think much of having bikes as showpieces unless they are in a museum where others can enjoy and learn from them. Otherwise, they were made to be used. Machines can waste away from not being used, too.

  5. dottie says:

    Great thoughts, everyone. Who couldn’t love this bike? Gorgeous! I’m tempted, but I don’t think 60 year old steel is the best choice for me for commuting and light touring. And you’re right, Charlotte, it does look a bit small. I’m very close to the Betty Foy, though!

    Yeah, I saw that one, Elizabeth. Love it! Too bad it’s like a gazillion dollars.

  6. Lynn says:

    Oh go on, buy ’em both, Dottie! And thanks, yes, I am an expert at stumbling. Period.
    For commuting in Chicago’s winters, I’d go with the Betty Foy. If I bought the JB Louvet (and I have promised my husband I won’t!), I would hang it on the wall next to my front door, with that beautiful head badge at eye level, and take it out for pleasure rides as often as possible to keep the dust off. Come to think of it, my husband is always commenting that we need something on that blank wall…

  7. E A says:

    Dottie, you’ve got me looking at the Betty Foy now with new eyes…. could be fun to ride that around town and for touring. Where do you want to tour?

  8. dottie says:

    E – I want to start small. I have two trips kinda-planned: a two-day ride from Alabama to Atlanta for the spring and a three-day tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the NC mountains for the fall.

  9. E A says:

    Dottie… those trips sound like fun. I wish I could find a companion for a trip idea I have from St Louis to Lexington over the span of a week. It would be my first “tour” of sorts and I’m reluctant to go it alone.

  10. 2whls3spds says:

    Beautiful Mixte.!

    I am long range planning for one when I hit the age I can no longer swing a leg over the standard diamond frame. Due to my height I will most likely have to have one custom built.

    FWIW the perfect number of bikes to own is N+1 ;-)


  11. Doohickie says:

    Is a bike like this a show piece or a viable everyday travel option?

    Yes. ;- )

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