Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mixte Lust

With my Pashley Princess Sovereign arriving (hopefully) this week, I've been very excited! But I'm also fearing that she will not be the best choice for longer, hillier rides, such as my commute to work. The ride to work is nearly 20 km, which is not bad in itself, but the ride home would be mostly uphill. Doable, I'm sure (Katie Doncaster comes to mind), but I'm nonetheless looking for something lighter, zippier, and with a larger gear range for hills.

Enter Betty Foy...

Not only is she gorgeous, she's perfect for filling in the gap the Pashley would leave. For now, I'll spare the technical and aesthetic details (if and when I end up getting her I'll post a detailed review), but suffice it to say that she's an incredibly well built machine.

I could very well forget about the Pashley and just get Betty, but I love Pashley for her all-weather durability (hub gears, hub brakes, fully enclosed chaincase, etc.). I like that I won't have to worry about my pants getting caught in the chain or getting my leg scraped. I don't want to worry about derailleurs while riding in the snow. She'll be perfect for shopping excursions and just riding about the city (minus the big hills). Plus, the Pashley is also an incredibly beautiful bike. As you can probably tell, I'm a sucker for feminine details.

I'd like to see how things go with the Pashley first, then make a decision on whether to get Betty (although I think my mind is already made up... I can't imagine her not in my life!). Keven at Rivendell Bicycle Works has been extremely helpful in giving me ideas on how to customize Betty and I think I have the specs almost narrowed down. Basically, she'll be much like the above pictured bike (Brooks B17S saddle, cork grips, bar end shifters, Albatross bars) but with fenders and a rear rack. Stay tuned!


  1. How exciting! I love having a mixte around. I live in mountains, so finding flat land is nearly impossible. Didn't stop me from deciding to get the Pashley too! I rode an English 3 speed in these hills for a long time before deciding to get something lighter with more gears. It's worked out to be a great addition to the herd, and since my old 3 speed is out of order right now I think that the Pashley will fill that spot nicely. If you decide to get Betty, when do you think you'll get her?

  2. Goes to show it's not easy to find one bike that will suit all types of riding and terrain - nice to have options! Pretty, pretty options...

    Betty will likely be mine in the summer (maybe July around my bday). Ideally I'd save up a little longer and get her next year but then we'd miss out on sweet summer rides!

    I'll be interested to see how things go with you, having both a mixte and a Pashley, especially since we seem to share similar riding conditions. Is your 3 speed out of the picture completely or will it be coming back to life?

  3. I'm sure that my 3 speed will see roads again someday. There's an unfamiliar noise coming from the rear hub. I have't been able to figure it out, and the one other person in town who has worked on them would need to pull it apart to see if he can find anything. That's kind of something that I would like to try (I've wanted to pull a SA hub apart anyway), so I may just do that once I get some tools together. She also needs to have her crank set overhauled, but the cotters are going to need to be drilled out. She just needs a good deal of TLC right now.