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1980's Townsend Mixte Mixed Era Bitsa - Project Mother


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Doing a thread for posterity rather than assuming anyone cares, but hey.

So we/I started with this Probike I'd built up over the years. Great bike, 700c, Sturmey Archer AW NIG, mysteriously good brakes, strong as an ox. Originally bought for £13 plus a bus fair from the back of the local free paper - pre FB marketplace.  I grafted on a chaincase from a pendleton, held on via BB mount with HT2 BB52, some deore cranks, a 38t e13 Gring and a 21t sprocket on the sturmey along with some conti tyres bought on sale finished the incremental mods. I hid a eBay 400mm seatpost in there so it fit me too and I hauled a shit load of stuff around whilst with it when me Mam wasn't looking. Throughout last summer it took two bags, a rack, 15+Kg of shopping & a *more than she bloody should be*Kg rider at least twice a week and it didn't flinch once.


A reasonable thing for moneys invested, and rode noice for something that only met first approval because of that shitty fake wicker basket attached to the thing.


Edited by CC12345678910
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Herein lies the problem: It may have hauled shopping around like a right ol' bus but it also weighed as much as one.

When I got her to go for a bod through the lanes the limitations of the 3spd showed through quickly - I persisted because of the simplicity of only having one twistshift and the fact you can't f**k up shifts on a hub gear - they're made for people as mechanically numb as she was (still kinda is).

As she grew in confidence her fitness/ability grew somewhat linearly and I impressed upon her that she was rapidly out growing the bike's capability to the point she was doing herself a dis-service.

"I can't do gears - I like what I've got" she cried, but I just ignored that stubborn nonsense and told her she was more or less going to have to lump it. (or put the brakes on her progression)

"Oh It has to be a step though" Mam said.

"Yeh but you've a step through now and the downtube is made of gas pipe but is still somehow flexy wexy - I watch you hit a bump and it pretzel's so bad I think you're gonna tank slapper yourself into 3rd degree gravel rash - f**k no!"

"Then what do you suggest?"

[many errmms later] "What about a Mixte? Would you ride a Mixte?"


Many discussions later, after a demonstrative image search or 3, I got a lukewarm OK and went shopping.

Insert a 1980 something townsend frame with fork combined with choice bits from the probike and a good rummage in my take off bins and something was cobbled together.


Originally set up with some really rather awful twist shifts, the probike mudguards and pedals it quickly went through a couple if iterations before I got the combo right. What you see here is iteration no.3. Should have been like this from day one really.


Introducing the world's first (and bloody only!) Sram X9/shimano TY15 hybrid rear mech - the spring side of the TY15 has had the post lopped off and drilled; so that is now the spoke side of the mech cage - remarkably it lines right up with the x9, and the mech bolt is hollow from factory so has been tapped M5 and fabricobbled to the hanger from another TY15/18. eBay jockey wheels finish it off. The only shit bit is there isn't that part of the cage between the jockeys to circumvent chain whip.

It's sketchy/grubby/works like a charm in equal parts and there's a dirty part o' me that luvvs it :D


At this point It's set up 8 speed shifter on a 7 speed 14-28 freewheel with the 14t locked out as the chain contacts the frame. It indexs out like a charm, you just set the cable to have two dead gears, 7 & 8, shift from 6 to 5, lock the H stop off and tension the cable like every other gear setup ever. Backing off the stop 3/8turn pretensions the cable and away you go.



Being a downtube shifted bike originally posed some headache when attempting bar shifters - there are no cable stops; one; and two, the cable run is bottom pull: Yes there are clamp on cable stop - I fitted two on the downtube if you look close, but the only bottom pull mech I had spare is goddawfull and the 1st time out she man handled the front shifter and mangled the b*****d clamp on - pulled the cable reet though. :angry: The back gears are fine as they are lighter to the touch but this took more than one binky-esk brew and biccy headscratching session for the solution to present itself.


The brake cable is meant to run down the centre there anyway so some boreing out with a stepdrill on a 90deg adapter later the brake adjuster provides a cable stop, and using the V-brake guide pipe/noodle was fluke. One top pull mech conversion complete.


Some surreptitious use of another brake adjuster fixed the bollocks'd thread in the X5 shifter (from someone not me winding the barrel to infinitum and shredding the placcy threads). I half tapped it with an m8 taper tap then rammed the adjuster home screwing it in with water pump pliers - not pretty but it works solid!





Edited by CC12345678910
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  • 2 months later...

So I've done many a revision since this was last updated; wheels and tyres, 8 speed 11 - 32 cassette, dual pivot extra deep drop brakes with cartridge pads, pedals, bars, stem, some homebrew lock on grips, Avid SD 1.9 levers & a modified Triban threaded to threadless steerer tube conversion spring to mind plus more.

This is the version we've settled on for the longest as it works, though we're still working through my stash of seats to find one, if any, that truly works for her ≥ two hours elapsed time, and I'm still chasing her hand going numb through trapped circulation. It'll no doubt not stay like this but that's for later in time.

Mam would appear to (keep) surpris(ing) herself at her capability [that I knew was there, it just needed unlocking - she has surprised me on the occasion or two I should add though]. I'm just going to add pics in no particular order from this point on.

A special thank you/ show of sincere appreciation to @gage-mann for donation of the tan wall 28mm Tofu tyres to the cause. Combined with the early 90's Exage hubs/Vuelta Airline v4 30mm deep rims I snaffled with a large dollop of good eBay fortune they look f**kin sick. Connor If you read this the bag & pedals are 'yours' too. When my "situation" gets right side up I owe you both alcohol and/or a round of ice cream.





Every time I click my Bryton into the mount on this thing I can't help but raise a rye smile of the ridiculousness of having a quarter turn on a bike that looks like this.










IMG_6827 (copy).JPG




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