Yesterday I engaged in some less than positive textulation on the subject of mixtes, in which I stated that they should be chucked unceremoniously into a river. I would now like to publicly retract that statement. In fact, I believe there should be a ceremony along with the chucking, in which no less than a full orchestra winds up through the entirety of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. At the finale, six gigantic cannons would fire crushed mixtes far into the sky to eventually plunk down into the sea and hopefully settle into the Mariana trench where they can be no further nuisance.
If I may quote the late, great Sheldon Brown, hallowed be his name:
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.
So here we have two important take-away points. First, a mixte is a bike with three rear stays, and second, a girl’s bike with no third stay is not a mixte. This is a mixte:
This is not a mixte:
And this is not a woman:
Although I don’t approve of everything that Mark Cavendish does — I prefer to see Thor Hushovd or Petacchi win, and hope to someday see Tyler Farrar beat him — he is demonstrably not a woman. As heavily as professional cyclists are tested for drugs, I think that anyone without a “third leg” would certainly be noticed in the course of peeing into cups and so forth.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer my women without a third leg, and I prefer my bikes without a third stay. Now that I think about it, I might even be willing to experiment if I met the right person with some extra equipment, but mixtes? Never!
Be careful out there this weekend, my friends, and keep your third leg safe. If you’re going for a ride, send me an email. If you’re drinking a beer, text me!