Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Soma Mixte Frame


This idea for doing a mixte crossed our conference table almost a year ago. Time sure flies.
And hopefully in 3 or 4 months, the first production will be here.

For most of you, we don't have to explain ourselves of why a mixte is desirable these days. For those who are going a "mix-what", here's the Sheldon Brown glossary entry:

"A style of lady's frame in which the "top tube" consists of a pair of small diameter tubes running more-or-less straight from the upper head lug, past the seat tube, and on to the rear fork ends. A mixte frame thus has 3 sets of rear stays, instead of the usual two. A variant on the mixte uses a single, full sized top tube running from the upper head tube to the seat tube, but retains the middle set of stays. A lady's type bike that lacks the middle pair of stays is not a mixte....
In French, "mixte" would be pronounced "MEExt", but normal U.S. bicycle industry pronunciation is 'MIX-ty'."


Though Sheldon and others may see the mixte as a ladies' bike, it was
actually designed to be uni-sex. 'Mixte' suggests 'mixed' use. And we have been seeing all types of folks tooling around on vintage mixtes rescued from garage sales or eBay. A mixte can make an excellent commuter and light tourer. You can load stuff on the top of your rear rack and not worry about how to get your leg over the load, because you can mount from the front of the seat.

Enter the Buena Vista:


While we wanted to replicate a thoroughly traditional mixte, we wanted to change two things.
1. Make this compatible with readily available modern components.
2. Give it a sport touring geometry instead of lazy comfort bike set up. If the owner puts drop bars on this, we want him to be able to crank on this.

A more genteel set up is still possible with the right bar and stem. This will be a frame and fork only and we imagine this will be a fun project build for many of you.

- Four sizes - X-Small, Small, Medium, Large
- The Small to Large will fit 700c tires with 57mm reach brakes
- The X-Small will fit 26" tires with 73mm reach (Rivendell Silver side pull/Dia-Compe Mod 750 center pull) brakes
- Both will fit 650b tires with appropriate swaps to brakes and wheel
- Eyelets for fenders and racks of course
- Compatible with road hubs or mountain hubs
- Primary decals will be on top of clearcoat and thus removable
- Tange Infinity double butted CrMo tubes


First batch will be 'Bacardi White'. Second run color is up in the air (maybe black or a dark color). Any opinions?

UPDATE 9-01-08: We have pushed back the release date of the mixte. Sorry to those who have been waiting patiently through the summer. We are looking at January 2009 release date now. The frame will be viewable at Interbike at the Bicycle Technologies Int'l (BTI) booth.
UPDATE 2-10-08: We hope to get a ship date this month. We apologize for the wait. We want these here more than you do honestly. Will let you know when we know for sure. Pictures of the prototype are up on our Flickr site.
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