08 November 2013

A Transgendered Bicycle?

Mixte bicycles are often referred to as "unisex".  Although the top tube, which is horizontal on a diamond or "men's" frame, slopes downward (and is sometimes split into smaller twin parallel tubes), it doesn't tilt as far downward as the top tube of a traditional "women's" bike.  Also, the top tubes of  traditional women's bikes are often curved near the point where they meet the seat tube.  

Whatever the designations and nomenclature,  the truth is that, at least here in the US, female cyclists are much more likely than males to ride mixtes.  And one rarely, if ever, sees a male cyclist of any age on a traditional female bike.

Some comedian--I forget who--once joked about getting hand-me-downs, and his older siblings were all girls.  I wonder how many boys have gotten bikes their older sisters rode before them.  And, of course, some girls received bikes their older brothers rode.  Believe it or not, one girl I knew was gifted with her older brother's Columbia diamond-frame (a.k.a. "men's") after its top tube was removed to turn it into a "girl's" bike!

But I never heard of anyone turning a female bike into a male one--until I saw this:

From Bicycle Shaped Objects

 As a result of "surgery" performed on it, this vintage Schwinn cruiser no longer has a down tube.

I have to admit:  I love the style.  But I'm not so sure I'd want to ride it!