Posted by: dolan | July 21, 2008

A Dearth of Gearhub Mixtes

I’ve been researching a new bike for Renee — a city bike.  Her desired list of features is quite short.  It should be a step through or mixte (women’s) frame, it should be simple to shift, it shoudn’t be too expensive, and if at all possible, it should be a shade of blue.  Seems simple enough, right?

Well, as it turns out, the market is only starting to address this kind of bike.  The have the frame right, the cost right, and the color right, but the “simple to shift” hasn’t quite gotten there.  To me, that means an internal hub, which pretty much means some variety of Shimano Nexus.  There really are only a few bikes  that I’ve found which fit the bill completely, and I’ve been looking a little while.  Aside from building up one of the new Soma Mixtes (which apparently have more male-oriented geometry anways, and won’t come cheap), or waiting for the Masi mixte (which looks gorgeous, but where to find?), here’s the list:

1) Jamis Commuter 3.0 — $550.  A lot to like for the price, but can’t find any in stock. My first pick as of right now.  Swap the suspension seatpost for a nice sprung Brooks, add a rack and some lights, and you’re done.

2) Bianchi Milano — Alfine (so i’m willing to spend a little more), but just seems to be more style than function.  For example, the riding position seems way too aggressive, probably due to the lack of an adjustable quill stem.  Ahead has it’s purposes, but city bikes ain’t one of them.

3) Gary Fisher Simple City 8 – Saw one in a shop.  Gorgeous bike, but is it really worth $300 more than the Jamis (or that’s one hell of an expensive front rack) ?

4) Giant Trans Send EX – Hits all the checkboxes I want (Alfine, frame) and some I don’t (cheapo suspension forks, weight?)

5) Breezer Uptown 8 – Must give this more thought.  Definitely a true city bike and will probably outlast them all, plus a dynohub, but about twice the price of the Jamis.

So, there you have it.  Anyone else have suggestions of bikes I may have missed?  Seems to me the simplicity of a gearhub combined with the ease of riding of a step-through should be a no brainer.  Maybe the market will figure that out next year.  As of now, I’ll keep waiting for the Jamis to be in stock.



  1. These guys ( are coming out with a Mixte as I recall. You may want to give them a call and check. The owner is real cool, you can tell him I sent you.
    I think Eddy Merckx also makes one, but I am sure its not cheap.

  2. BTW its not just a girls frame 🙂

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