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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    san francisco bay area, CA
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    27

    Silly question about mixtes

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    I'm thinking of getting a soma buena vista as an around-town bike. I already have a soma saga which seems to be working out fine, and the buena vista geometry looks very similar, so I think it would probably be fine too. (Would plan on using upright bars on the buena vista, though, among other things.) But I've never had a mixte before--does it feel much different from riding a regular diamond-frame bike? Like if someone could somehow lower you blindfolded onto a mixte and you rode it around, would you be able to tell it's not a diamond-frame bike?
    They look so different from diamond-frame bikes that i tend to think they'll feel different too, but maybe this isn't the case.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,251
    I never noticed a difference on mine, but I was only riding it around town on errands and commuting. Maybe if I rode it for 20+ miles I would have noticed a difference, but I kinda doubt it. Other than it being heavier and more sturdy than my diamond frame bike, I thought it rode the same.

    I *love* the Soma mixte- soooo pretty!!
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    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    73
    I had my Buena Vista built with mostly the same parts as on my steel cyclocross bike. These were parts that I liked and was very familiar with. The BV was noticeably stiffer and a lot faster than my Double Cross bike.

    Other than being faster, I don't notice anything different about the mixte.

    IMHO everything Soma makes is good.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    san francisco bay area, CA
    Posts
    27
    Thanks all for your feedback.

    BodhiTree, that's interesting, re: the BV feeling "faster" than the DC. I guess I would have assumed the opposite.

    Muirenn, I'm actually not compact at all. :-) (well, i guess my hands sort of are...) I'm 5'10". I have noticed that it seems like a lot of the posts by people on the forums puzzling over frame sizing seem to be contemplating smaller frames, which I guess makes sense since I think there are more short and average-height women out there than tall women. So I have the 58 in the saga. this is only the third bike I've spent much quality time riding, though, so my palate is probably still a bit unrefined (in terms of judging the handling, etc. Although I can say with certainty that the last bike I was riding was too small). The top tube seems on the long side, but we kept the fork full-length (pretty long!) and I have a short stem (can't remember the size off the top of my head--maybe 80mm?), plus drop bars with a very short drop & reach (FSA pro wing compact--I really like them), so all that helps.
    Last edited by _kim_; 03-26-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    the difference i notice is the mixte is easier to get on and off.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    san francisco bay area, CA
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    the difference i notice is the mixte is easier to get on and off.
    ha, yes, i'm looking forward to that :-) (not that i have a huge amount of difficulty as it is, just that i plan on using it for shorter distances)
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    the difference i notice is the mixte is easier to get on and off.
    Would you use a mixte frame for commuting? Somehow I have it in my mind that they are for shorter trips...just curious. If I like commuting this summer then NEXT spring will consider a dedicated commuter...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    364
    I think this depends on the overall geometry of the mixte frame. Mixtes are often shorter and meant to be ridden more upright than diamond frames. They have a "comfort"-bike type geometry.
    The Soma mixte is longer and "sportier" than most mixte frames I know. It feels like a regular road bike, quite stretched out. Especially if you cut the stem to a regular height and use flat or road bars.
    Using a swept back bar and leaving the stem as long as it is would feel more comfortable and "slower" I guess, but still the geometry is different from most old mixte frames.

    I'd say how the bike feels and handles depends on how long the top tube/wheel base is and the angles and length of fork and seat stay, not if this geometry is achieved by a mixte frame or a regular diamond frame.

    You could ask Soma if the geometries of the Saga and the Buena Vista are comparable?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    rural Bedfordshire, England
    Posts
    177
    I think there may be some generalisations here about "all" or "most" mixtes. Fact is, there are two very distinct geometry types out there - one being more leisurely and the other definitely more aggressive. Some of that is down to era of manufacturer. For instance, my 1970s Puch mixte is definitely quick (while still being comfortable) - suitable for long road rides - but doesn't feel quite "right" when set up with North Road bars (and a more upright position). Whereas today's Linus and Public iterations (as two examples that come readily to mind) are much more upright and 'about town' in character, as a result of their basic geometry, supplemented/enhanced by the components they're built up with.

    You may find reading this helpful.
    And the same blogger's write up of her Soma BV test ride here.
    Rebecca

    Riley - custom 2014 Enigma Etape
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    Lorelei - 1979 Puch Princess mixte
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    My old 1976 Bob Jackson mixte was designed to be a women's race bike. It's all in the geometry.
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