Re: [CR] Are Mixtes historically non sex specific?

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea)

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:19:49 -0700
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
To: <>, George Allen <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Are Mixtes historically non sex specific?

I think the discussion was that a mixte is usually understood to be a frame on which the toptube is replaced by two smaller lateral tubes that run from the headtube to a point halfway or more down the seatube and attach to the sides of the seattube. Usually these smaller diameter laterals also extent further to the rear DO's and attach there as well.

Most Schwinn women's frames were not mixte in that they had a single curved tube about the same diameter as a conventional toptube, that ran from the headtube to about the same point on the seattube where mixte laterals would attach. Thus these Schwinn women's frames serve the same function as a mixte, but have a different construction. Some Italian women's frames had essentially the same construction as the Schwinns, while in France, Holland, Belgium, Britain, and to some extent Japan, one would usually see the mixte construction.

As to whether mixte frames were specifically women's frames, the story I have heard is that these were originally made for commuting/basic transportation in climates where both men and women would wear long winter coats and long raincoats, Holland, Belgium and northern France for instance. Thus they were used by both men and women. Having never lived in those countries, I can't say if that is an accurate account or not. But certainly in the US and in the upscale markets in which bikes have been promoted for recreation rather than basic transportation, the mixte has been disproportionately targeted at females. But that doesn't mean that was how they originally began.


Jerry Moos
Big Spring, Texas, USA

--- On Wed, 10/28/09, George Allen wrote:

> From: George Allen <>
> Subject: Re: [CR] Are Mixtes historically  non sex specific?
> To:
> Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 3:48 PM
> I never understood the true purpose
> of a mixte until my first trip to
> Europe. It was in Florence that I watched a very attractive
> lady wearing
> an impossibly tight skirt walk down the street, unlock a
> mixte and ride
> off. The skirt never would have survived had she mounted
> anything but a
> mixte. The image is burned into my brain as if it were
> yesterday. And
> just to keep it on-topic, the mixte was one of those
> ancient, lugged
> city bikes ubiquitous to the continent. I can't really
> think of another
> reason to build a bike that way but I'm interested if there
> are. BTW, I
> believe there is a certain nomenclature concerning these
> bikes. I think
> it was Jerry Moos who disabused me of the notion of a
> Paramount mixte.
> What is it Jerry, a split tube? I have three on-topic
> women's bikes: a
> 1974 Cinelli, a 1977? Jack Taylor and a 1970's Paramount
> and they are
> all built differently but I think the Taylor is the only
> one that is
> definitively a "mixte". I think this Holdsworth is one too
> but is built
> differently still, what with the reverse seat post clamp
> and the webbing
> where the twin tubes meet the seat tube. I'll try to post
> some pictures
> of the bikes in the next few days.
> George Allen
> Lexington, Ky
> Tom Sanders wrote:
> >Billy David remarked that "mixtes are unisex not female
> specific".  I really
> >perked up my ears at this.  I had not heard this
> said before.  I have
> >wondered for years why more mildly physically
> handicapped folks are not
> >riding these instead of recumbents.
> >
> >Is this idea of the non-sex nature of them historically
> true or is  it just
> >Billy's and my own opinion?   It sure
> could open up new choices for folks
> >who have trouble swing a leg up over the seat,
> etc.  Are any of our American
> >One Person Shops that I love so much building a high
> quality Mixte?  Could
> >there be a new market there?  I even like the
> looks of some I have seen.
> >Most seem kind of junky, but I have see a few that were
> really great!  A
> >couple of years ago a really exciting Paramount Mixte
> went through E-Bay for
> >less than $ retrospect, I really wish I had made
> a move on it, but my
> >ideas on them were just nascent at the time.
> >
> >I haven't owned one (and then it was my wife's) for 30
> years.  How do folks
> >find they ride and handle relative to a conventional
> bike?
> >
> >Tom Sanders
> >
> >Lansing, MI USA
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >
> > 
> >
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