21 October 2017

Another Mixte In The Mix

Today's post won't be about Max, or any other cat.

It'll be about a bike.  Specifically, it'll be news about one of my own bikes--as if I haven't given you enough lately.

This item, though, has nothing to do with any of the bikes on the side-bar of this blog.  It has to do with my commuter "beast" bike that almost never enters my apartment.

For three years, that bike was a '70's Schwinn LeTour.  It was one of those rare bikes made in a woman's version big enough to fit (more or less, anyway) someone my height.  

(Funny that when I lived a man, I was of average height.  Now, as a woman, I am taller than about 90 percent of my sisters!)

Well, that bike was stolen.  That is one of the reasons, of course, to have a "beater" bike:  Losing it doesn't hurt as much as having a nicer bike disappear.  You buy such bikes cheaply and spend as little as necessary to make it do whatever you need it to do.  And, if you lose that bike, you repeat the process.

Anyway, I went to a few sidewalk and yard sales and checked Craigslist, where I found this:

From the information I've gleaned, Fuji made this Allegro during its 1986 model year.  The frame is constructed from "Valite" tubing.  How or whether it differs from the carbon steel Fuji and other manufacturers used on their cheaper models, I don't know--or care.  I must say, though, that the bike does feel livelier than the LeTour.  That may be a function of its geometery, which seems a bit tighter.  If nothing else, the wheelbase is shorter.

And, interestingly, this bike has SunTour dropouts with the "ear" for mounting a derailleur.  They actually look like the SunTour dropouts on my Trek 412, except for an additional set of eyelets:  a handy feature, as I've mounted a rack and fenders on the bike.

Originally, the bike had 12 speeds shifted with steel SunTour derailleurs and stem shifters.  As you can see, I took those off and turned the bike into a single speed.  The derailleurs were still operable, but the chain, freewheel and cables were rusted.  So were the springs and all of the other brake hardware.   In any event, I gave the derailleurs, brakes and some other stuff--including the flat-ish bars and brake levers that came with the bike--to Recycle a Bicycle.  And I replaced the brakes with a pair of Raleigh-branded Dia Compe centerpulls I had lying around.

If you read this blog regularly, you won't be surprised to see that I installed Velo Orange Porteur handlebars and bar-end brake levers.  I don't like the hand position on most flat bars:  The grip area of the Porteurs allows me to keep my hands in a position something like that of the ramp and brake lever hood area on the handlebars of my road bikes.  The Porteurs also allow me to use a stem with a slightly longer extension, which improves handling.

So far, this bike is working well as my daily commuter.  And, yes, it's a twin-tube mixte, so I feel at least like I'm riding with some style.  And isn't that what really counts? ;-)


  1. Far too nice to live outside. Looks like you are trying to comply with the fifty pound rule with all those locks...

  2. Coline--Right on both counts. Unfortunately, I don't have the room to keep the Fuji inside.