14 June, 2007

The First VO Mixte City Bike Frame

Here are two photos of our prototype mixte city bike frame which is going to Neil B. It was built by Ahren Rogers, nice fillet brazing. Note the generator mount, chainguard bosses, and rear brake location. The slightly odd cable guides are for the shifter cable for a SA 8-speed internal geared hub. I think we'll switch to non-wrapped seat stay caps on the mixte frames since they would then look like the mid-stays, a more consistent appearance.

Ahren will build up the frame over the next couple of days and Neil's wife will get a very nice present on Monday. Neil, we want lots of photos please.

BTW, our next frame is a semi-lugged mixte frame from Johnny's shop with rando geometry!


Chris Kulczycki said...

BTW, Neil picked the paint color. I like it.

Anonymous said...


JoelMatthews said...

Very nice! Neil, please keep the photos coming.

Lesli L said...


Will this bike be making cameo appearances in Portland? Perhaps the VO city mixte and rando mixte and Sara's black randonneuse will cross paths at some point in the next year (we're down in Eugene).

PS just purchased a wool cap by walz cycling cap with Ahrens emboirdered logo from River City Cycles in Portland. Perhaps your wife needs a cap to match her bike...

david_nj said...

It's a beauty. NB if desired it's really really easy to just use a bare cable on an internal hub for a more traditional look. The only difference from a derailleur cable setup is, the stop on the chainstay has to be a little more forward.

How does the seapost stay up? Are you using one of those internally expanding thangs?

neil berg said...

We're going to stop by later today and see if the paint color is right. If we do do a repaint maybe we can incorporate DJs idea.
If sweet Lorna signs off on the color we'll pick it up on Monday.
Yes, it is an expander thangy post.

Ahren said...


I haven't had any caps made yet. You may be mistaking me with Mike Ahrens whose company is "Ahrens". One reason I went with "Banjo Cycles", with Ahrens, Ahearnes, etc.

I am thinking of having a local hat maker do some stuff for me. we'll see what happens.


Lesli L said...


Guess I was delusional about the name--and Portland location. Indeed, I think I was thinking of a the fellow who makes the cycling flasks. The Walz cap I did purchase IS quite nice (plaid, wool, well constructed). Highly recommended for stylistic and promotional purposes.

F. said...

david_nj: Beware, bare cables and internal hubs do not always mix. My Kogswell Porteur has the Nexus-8 hub, and I've run it both with full housing, and with partial shift housing running to DT cable stops. Performance with partial housing is, sadly, entirely unacceptable, leading to frequent mis-shifting and gear-grinding.

ahren said...


I believe that F. is correct. the S/A 8-speed hub has a lever arm that the housing runs to. Then, like the shimano hubs, the cable wraps around the axle along a track. If the housing was not attached to the arm and the axle rotates in the frame, the cable will go out of adjustment and the hub will mis-shift.

It's possible that if a SRAM hub was used bare housing would be fine. I have a "Sachs" SRAM 3-spd hub that is set up with an old S/A axle nut and a 3x8 hub with one of those click box dealies. It's possible that I could run bare housing on the later of the two, but have not tried it.

Good news, Neil and his wife, Lorna (who is the owner of the bike), stopped by the shop this afternoon to inspect the frame and they like the color. Computers! They make things so much different than they realy are!


Annette said...



david_nj said...

Interesting, I've had no problems whatsoever using a bare cable setup for my Nexus-8 and I ride it in the foulest of weather. Seems to me it's definitely less sensitive than a regular derailleur setup because there's so much more cable pull, you're dealing with much more margin for error.

How could regular SIS/Ergo setups work with bare cables, but internal hubs setups fail to? ... dudn't quite make sense.

neil berg said...

The paint is much softer blue than the photo indicates. Very...Rene Herse! Yay.

Anonymous said...


So the paint is not what it looks like?

No one would ever question one's subjective paint color preferences here would they?


You could bring in a board from the side of your house and 1000W inspection lights, and Home Depot would still make you pick out from an infinite rainbow of colors per each vendor.

Ahren said...


Sorry, I was confused about what you were saying. For some reason I thought you were running bare cable directly to the hub, and not a short length of housing along the chainstay, which I am pretty sure is what you were talking about. Sure, that sounds like a fine way to go about it.

Must be the heat getting to me, and getting ready for a 1200 mile tour in a few days.


James said...

You forgot to tell us about the recent Rene Herse news.

smerkinb said...

Wonderful! I would buy this over a standard step-thru frame in a second! Beautiful bike.