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What makes a mixte frame? Further, what's the etymology of 'mixte'?

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Seems like this should be merged into the terminology index when an answer is accepted. –  meagar Nov 10 '10 at 18:34
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

A mixte is a step-through (low top tube or "ladies") frame with 3 sets of stays instead of the usual 2. The usual is that the middle set of stays run all the way to the head tube replacing the top tube, but there's some where the top tube is still a normal single tube. The traditional mixte has those axle-to-head stays straight, but I've seen designs where they're bent to give an even lower standover height. They still retain the usual chain stays and seat stays. This design keeps the frame strong and doesn't require a longer seat post.

I believe the word itself comes from french and means "mixed" as in "mix of women's and men's styles" or maybe even "unisex". Anybody around here speak french?

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"Mixte" is most often used to describe a group of persons (a "mixte" school, a "mixte" kids sports team, etc.) than an object that is for both men a women, but it is most likely used here with a "unisex" sense based on that. I'd give you the badge French-speaker-approved if I could. ;) Disclaimer: I'm a French-Canadian, it might be used differently in France where the term probably comes from. –  Vache Nov 7 '10 at 13:20
    
@Noel - Are you going to accept this answer? If so, and if there are no modifications or changes to the content, will add it to the terminology index, as @meager suggested. –  Neil Fein Nov 14 '10 at 18:22
    
Have used this answer for the terminology index entry on mixte. –  Neil Fein Jun 28 '11 at 16:45
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