Mountain Mixte

Back in the days of UK MTB yore, there was the Muddy Fox Courier. Pretty representative of mountain bikes of it’s day, it had rack and mudguard mounts, big brake levers and bigger bars. At a bike shop I used to work in, a woman would come in every six months or so to get her Muddy Fox Courier mixte serviced. It was such a cool bike, and since then I’ve always thought mixtes so elegant.

So when Peter got in touch about an ATB, and mentioned the mobility issues he was has, having had his hip resurfaced after decades of fell running, I knew this was the time. We drew up this mountain mixte.

With the bonus arcing tube from the seat tube to the downtube, it’s not a classic mixte as such, but it has a bit more front to rear stiffness than it otherwise would, essential for keeping the bike feeling secure with the custom rear rack loaded up. The position is upright, the standover low, and the gearing mellow. With the disk brakes and through axles, it’s not some historical reenactment bike, but a strong modern all terrain bicycle.

Peter wanted a full dynamo light set, and we decided on some mini mudguards to keep the worst of the crud off, while nibbling down bridleways. I hammered them out of aluminium sheet. The rear is bolted directly to the rear rack, but has an extra set of stays in case Peter ever takes the rack off.

It gives me great pleasure to build bikes that make cycling more possible for people, or comfier, or more practical, no matter age or ability. I also love how this build harkens back to the early days of mountain biking. There’s some sense of continuity or lineage or something. It’s a bike for riding that’s for sure.

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