Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

stomach_bug
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Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby stomach_bug » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:57 pm

Hey everyone,

The fiancée's birthday is coming up in a few months and she needs a new bike - since I've started tinkering with my most recent project she's been bugging me to build one for her. She's a little crazy on vintage cycles, as am I, but is all about the looks of a bike to her. She'll pick a heavy bike she won't ride over something even slightly modern looking that she'll use all the time, basically. She uses her current, rusted reid steel frame for a 3km work commute and thats about it, I'd love for her to join me on some longer rides.

My aim is to find a balance between easy riding, light-ish (within reason for a steel frame) and sticking to the retro appeal. May even scrap old components and fit some modern ones on there providing they're shiny (maybe velo orange/sunxcd).

Anyway, my question is this: Can you guys throw out some reputable ladies step-through frame suggestions for me to start from? I know nothing about the ladies bike market or if a quality vintage ladies bike even existed.


Bonus points for pictures of a bike you have in your collection!

Cheers in advance,
Bug

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duncan16v
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby duncan16v » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:05 pm

Soma has a nice Mixte frame that might fit the bill: https://commutercycles.com.au/shop/soma ... fork-gold/

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10speedsemiracer
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Location: Melbourne, in the suburbs, near some hills

Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:47 pm

One of the late 80s japanese Mixte frames would probably be ideal, maybe with some cut-down mustache bars or wide-ish drops on a short stem. Have seen a few of these with Tange tubing and decent components, and built up a Shogun Mixte in green for someone a couple of years ago which had Tange #5 and I fitted a 3x7 Shimano Exage 400 groupset to with slightly cutdown mustache bars. Not as light as say an equivalent era Shogun Samurai it was very very rideable with guards and 28mm rubber. Malvern Star, Repco and Apollo all had Mixtes in the 80s and came in various flavours with stuff like Tange 900 on the Repcos, Dynalloy (Malvern Star) and I think Tange #5 on some Apollos and Shoguns, at least they're the ones I've seen.

Something like this, but maybe with different bars :

Image
Mmm, SunTour

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10speedsemiracer
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Location: Melbourne, in the suburbs, near some hills

Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:53 pm

Or an 80s Raleigh mixte if you can find one. Again, not super-lightweight tubes, but set up with the right bars/stem and wheels, can be made to ride very nicely.


Image
Mmm, SunTour

zebee
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby zebee » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:40 am

If it is about the looks I dunno a mixte will cut it. They have always looked ugly to me, neither fish nor fowl.

World is full of old women's bikes, heaps of them out there. Lots of Malvern Star lady's frames. Is it possible to fit a modern gear hub to one?

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baabaa
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby baabaa » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:50 am

Forget about fiddling around the old stuff as I doubt you will ever find the right size and fit, get one of these and I bet she will not only ride it but really enjoy doing so
https://www.tokyobike.com.au/tokyobike-bisou
Good frames and pretty well kitted out, best thing of all they ride really well and still feel solid yet fast. You can find some second hand and if you do maybe best to avoid going the 650c models as finding decent tyres which are not tri or racing 23mm is a bit tricky.
Oh and yes the soma mixte is a nice frame but could be costly to build up from a frameset.

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Thoglette
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby Thoglette » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:09 pm

stomach_bug wrote:Anyway, my question is this: Can you guys throw out some reputable ladies step-through frame suggestions for me to start from? I know nothing about the ladies bike market or if a quality vintage ladies bike even existed.

As others have said French (Peugeot, Gitane) or Japanese mixte frames are the go, noting that you're about a decade and a half late. And the french stuff may have french sized bits.

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, no-one bothered making "utility" bikes with lightweight steel. And step throughs were considered "utility".

There are some beautiful, well made old vintage lady's framed bikes (somewhere there's some resto threads in this part of the forums), both in 26" and 27" wheel sizes

On the other hand, and depending on your total budget, the Rivendell Clem-L is worth considering. Velouria (Lovely bicycle) has probably the best review there of

stomach_bug wrote:Bonus points for pictures of a bike you have in your collection!

Veloria's Clem-L
Image
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WyvernRH
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:44 am

zebee wrote:If it is about the looks I dunno a mixte will cut it. They have always looked ugly to me, neither fish nor fowl.
World is full of old women's bikes, heaps of them out there. Lots of Malvern Star lady's frames. Is it possible to fit a modern gear hub to one?


This must be one of those individual taste things. Personally , I prefer the look of a mixte and generally they are stiffer and lighter than a 'normal' ladies drop frame. They were very popular in the UK for touring back in the day and all the big brands like Claud Butler, British Eagle, Raleigh, Carlton etc made 531 DB versions of their top tourers
Image

Also as has been mentioned above the Oz brands sold the Japanese mixtes which were often well equipped and made of high quality tubing.

Richard

nemo57
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Re: Help picking a vintage ladies bike frame for the missus

Postby nemo57 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Puch made nice conventional ladies' bikes in the 80s, with many thoughtful touches in the way of fittings. Some had derailleurs, others 3 speed back-brake Sachs hub gears. Finding one in decent condition may be a challenge, though. They're not flyweight, by any means.
Like this one:
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PUCH-Promen ... SwT0pboF2~

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