Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bicycles in Vienna, Part IV: Mixte Galore

Continuing with the theme of the previous post, I am showing off some Mixtes that I've been encountering around the neighborhood. After seeing all the amazing make-over photos on Cyclofiend and Chic Cyclist, I now find myself looking at these bikes with a predatory attitude! -- imagining what they would be like with custom paint jobs, Brooks saddles, cork grips, etc. For example, I am seeing the one above in a dark, luscious forest-green, with the head tube painted off-white to set off the lugs...

In Vienna there is a fairly heavy presence of 1970s - early 1980s roadbikes, in comparison to, say, 3-speeds and cruisers from the same era. I am guessing that this is because of the steep hills. A large portion of the roadbikes have mixte frames.

The interesting thing is, that these are not conventional mixte frames, but a special breed that I have only seen in Europe so far and not in the US: Notice that the top tubes on all the bikes posted above are curved rather than straight.

Here is a more "conventional" mixte, with straight tubes, for comparison:

And here is a curved one again:

Most of the mixtes I see here are fitted with relaxed style handlebars, rather than drop handlebars. Almost all have fenders and rear racks. These are definitely used as commuters. The one on the first photo in this post even ha a skirtguard! Personally, I do not think that a skirtguard looks good on a mixte, but it is interesting to see it nonetheless.

The curved top tubes give these mixtes a super-feminine and graceful look that I find appealing, especially in combination with the yummy vintage pastel colours they come in.

For more photos of bicycles in Vienna, see:
Bicycles in Vienna: Part I
Bicycles in Vienna: Part II
Bicycles in Vienna: Part III
Vienna City Bikes
Viennese Cyclists
Critical Mass Chic

10 comments:

  1. WOW,I've missed lots of posts since my online time has been short lately! I'll catch up on it soon,and hope you've been doing well :)
    Steve

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  2. I would ride a mixte if I wasn't so dang tall. It seems that all the ones I find are built for midgets.

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  3. Last week, there was a nice '70s Raleigh mixte on Boston Craigslist with a size 24" frame! That would have definitely fit you, if you ride the Roadster. But yes, usually I see them in sizes 17"-19", with the occasional 20-21". I have been wondering myself why mixtes tend to come in such small sizes. At 5'7", most of them are too small for me as well.

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  4. Very true observation, I've noticed that myself. It's nice that the Mixte frames are mostly curved, especially the old ones. It's only lately that I also see some Mixte bikes with straight top tubes, e.g. from Fahrradmanufaktur.

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  5. Beautiful mixtes! Too bad more companies don't make them now, but there are so many lovely old ones to be had.

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  6. Boston also has many parked vintage Mixtes and other beautiful 30- or 40-year old road frames with racks, baskets and even fenders (occasionally) in pastel colours. I think Schwinn and Fuji are popular, also Raleigh, of course, and a few smaller English brands and some French ones, too.

    Boston Mixte chic needs its own series of posts!

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  7. I do not remember seeing many mixtes on the streets in Boston, but that is probably because I was not quite so interested in them at the time. Now that I check Boston Craigslist, it is certainly full of them: a nice Motobecane, Peugeot, Raleigh, or Univega can be picked up for a good price after a week or so of hunting.

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  8. It's true, diamond frames are more popular than Mixtes not just because there are more male cyclists but also since a decent percentage of female riders seems to own and use men's frames. But I do see Mixtes often, both parked and ridden and sometimes carried in and out of apartments. They look darn nice with the two thin bars going diagonally to the rear wheel.

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  9. It is true that Mixtes tend to come in pastel colors, which I find delicious!

    Triangle frames are just plain stronger, with less flex, so they last longer and eventually there will be more of them.

    All the more reason to pamper a mixte!

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  10. It's driving me Crazy! Lovely site. I am a bicycle restorer and just picked up the exact same Hercules Mixte that is in the first pic on this page. It has a five speed internal sachs coaster hub in perfect working condition and everything is original right down to the beautiful green and white seat and the white bar tape that ot rolled of the factory floor with. However, I cannot find anything anywhere about this bike. It was made in Austria and was definitely imported to the states. I got it from a thrift store as a lot- I bought three bikes for almost nothing.

    If anyone has any info on the year of this bike, I would be very grateful for your help.

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