I am so in love with my new bicycle right now. I bought it from a lovely lady couple that create beautiful vintage hybrid bicycles with fine brand-name frames. Mine is a 70s Gitane (fancy pants French brand) mixte 10-speed with moustache handlebars--bright, beaten-up white with a dark brown leather seat.
Recently, I discovered what a mixte is via the internets, as I was too embarrased to ask the bike nerd ladies what it was.
The things I found out really blew my mind.
Apparently it is the kind of frame that dips down, rather than going straight across to form a triangle. I just thought triangles were for boys; non-triangles were for girls that wore dresses. While this is true, the mixte is also a style that was once in vogue for both genders; I had no idea that they stopped making this frame style in the 60s and 70s.
From Dave Moulton's Bike Blog:
The mixte frame, for whatever reason, it seems has caught on with the teen and twenty set of young men in America and they are buying up older ones on eBay. They seem to like this style of frame because, like the dance hall on the Queen Mary, it offers a lot of Ballroom.
(My bike, bottom left)
My Gitane has the vintage look of a classic clunker, with the lightweight maneuverability of a racing bike--probably due in part to the fact that there are no fenders. Oh how I love my white chariot that glides over pavement with the greatest of ease! And I almost feel as chic and graceful as these bicycle-loving ladies:
Almost. Need some fancy golden jazz shoes.