|2013 Raleigh Clubman Mixte. Credit: Raleigh USA|
Back in 2008, when this site was just getting underway, Raleigh USA decided to recapture Raleigh's glory days by producing some steel models. Every year since then, Raleigh has come out with a "new" steel model. In 2010, it was the Clubman, a name that harkens back to the all-steel era of Raleigh. (Peter Kohler has an article on the original Clubmans here.)
There are many vintage Raleigh Clubman mixtes still on the road, and in a quick internet search I found a few for sale. The old Clubman mixtes were quality bikes, as demontrated by the fact that they're still around after 50 or 60 years. Nevertheless, when Raleigh decided to reintroduce the Clubman, it did not offer it as a mixte. That oversight will be corrected in 2013.
We talk a lot about step-through bikes, but the term "mixte" has a more technical meaning. Here's how Sheldon Brown defined "mixte":
A style of lady's frame in which the "top tube" consists of a pair of small diameter tubes running more-or-less straight from the upper head lug, past the seat tube, and on to the rear fork ends. A mixte frame thus has 3 sets of rear stays, instead of the usual two. A variant on the mixte uses a single, full sized top tube running from the upper head tube to the seat tube, but retains the middle set of stays. A lady's type bike that lacks the middle pair of stays is not a mixte.
Mixte frames are stronger than conventional lady's frames, particularly in resisting the tendency of the seat tube to get pushed backward in the middle when ridden by a heavy rider.
The 2013 Clubman MEExt has some nice retro stylings, such as a lugged fork, matching painted fenders, and a Brooks Swift saddle. Given the retro-cool vibe I think Raleigh is going for, I'm a bit surprised that it comes with STI levers. I would have gone with something more retro (what's wrong with downtube shifters?), but I'm sure that places me in the minority. In any event, as I said before, you can still find vintage Clubman mixtes if that's what you're after.In French, "mixte" is pronounced "MEExt", but normal U.S. bicycle industry pronunciation is "MIX-ty".
Here are the full specs on the 2013 Clubman mixte:
Sizes: 50cm XS, 53cm SM, 55cm SM/MD, 57cm MD/LG , 59cm LG, 62cm XL
Frame: Reynolds 520 Butted Chromoly Tubing
Fork: 4130 Chromoly Lugged Road
Cranks: Shimano Tiagra FC-4650 2pc 50/34t
BB: Shimano Outboard Bearing
F.Derail: Shimano Tiagra FD-4600
R.Derail: Shimano Tiagra RD-4601
Shifter: Shimano Tiagra ST-4600 10spd STI, Shimano SP41 Shift housing
Br.Levers: Shimano Tiagra STI
Brakes: Tektro R539 Dual Pivot Long Reach w/Cartridge Pads
Gear: Shimano Tiagra CS-4600 10spd (12-30t)
Rims: Weinmann TR18 Double Wall
Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro 700x25c
Pedals: Steel Clips w/Leather Straps
Handlebar: Classic Aluminum Drop 26.0
Stem: Alloy 3D Forged Ahead 26.0
Seatpost: Alloy Micro Adjust 27.2x350mm
Seat: Brooks Swift w/Chromoly Rails
Headset: Ahead 1-1/8" w/Alloy Cup
Chain: Shimano Tiagra CN-4601
Hubset: (F) Shimano Tiagra HB-4600 QR 32h (R) Shimano Tiagra HB-4600 QR 32h Cassette
Spokes: 14g Stainless MAC w/Alloy Nipples
Grips: Gel Tape
Extras: Fenders, Rack and Fender Mounts, Water Bottle Mounts, Cateye Reflector Set, Clear Coat, Owner's Manual
Note: Specifications are Subject to Change