Beautiful Bicycles: Linus Mixte

We get tons of questions from readers about whether affordable, stylish bikes exist. Some of them haven’t ridden bikes in years and are reluctant to plop down two weeks’ salary on something that may be a passing fancy. Others are simply unable to afford to spend that much money on something that is a secondary form of transportation. Some are just plain looking for a bargain. Though I am not among the crowd that believes that bikes like the Pashley and Oma are overpriced, I can certainly understand all of those impulses—after all, I was on a tight bike budget and scoured the globe to get the best deal on my Batavus.

Which brings me to Linus Bikes. The specs and price seemed too good to be true: how could a bike with a 3-speed Nexus internal hub retail at a mere $559? Could it possibly be a quality ride at that price? Well, my limited experience with the Linus Mixte I test rode at Adeline Adeline indicates that the answer is yes indeed.

I hopped on the Linus after my Pashley test run, and switching between the two bikes reminded me of switching between my two bikes at home. The Linus was nimble, sporty and fun. Dottie was supposed to take pictures of me riding, but she says I got away too fast. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

The Linus Mixte comes with painted fenders, and the steel/Cro-moly frame is partially lugged. The model I rode had three speeds and was very light, with leather handgrips and a basic rear rack. No lights, although that’s typical in a bike in this price range—and of the basic commuter components, to me this is the easiest thing to add to a bicycle.  Same goes for the generic saddle, which is serviceable—but this bike’s looks beg for a Brooks.

When Dottie asked me how the Linus compared to Le Peug, I said, “it was so quiet” (though this speaks more to my procrastination when it comes to routine bike maintenance than anything else). The two bikes weigh about the same, though I think the Linus has a slightly more aggressive riding position. Certainly any true bargain-hunter out there could probably scour craigslist for a vintage mixte and eventually come up with something cheaper than the Linus that is very similar—but with a vintage bike, there’s always the risk of unseen issues like rust, or difficulties finding replacement parts if something does go wrong (Portlandize had a great post on this over the summer). If you are not mechanically inclined and on a limited budget, the Linus Mixte is worth checking out.

I know a few of our readers ride Linus Bikes (they also make a Roadster and a Dutchie)—please share your experience in the comments.

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49 thoughts on “Beautiful Bicycles: Linus Mixte

  1. I know that Linus bikes are very popular in Boston MA and Portland ME, and the owners seem happy with them. Reasonably good quality, light, nimble, and affordable. If the partial lugging and lower-mid tier components are not a deal breaker, these are a good deal.

  2. Ryan says:

    You’re right, the riding position is a bit more aggressive. This is actually what really got me interested in this bike. It was also the prettiest bike in my bike shop in Austin. Riding it slow is very stately and comfortable and transitioning to speedy riding; especially in traffic, is seamless. It is built well. Just be nice too it and don’t throw it around. But who on this blog would do that?
    Great review!!!

  3. That bike *IS* beee-yoooo-tee-full…and the fact that it’s quiet?? PLUS! ;)

  4. Dottie says:

    Great ride review! I should have been faster with the shutter, but you were gone, baby, gone :)

  5. neighbourtease says:

    I really liked this mixte when I rode it. It was really fast and nimble and felt solid. It’s a great option for the price and they are everywhere in NYC, mostly with the logo blotted out or covered up somehow.

    • Trisha says:

      Interesting that people cover up the logo! Wonder why that is.

      • neighbourtease says:

        Theft, I think. But I can see it being for stylistic reasons, too. The logo is quite conspicuous. I have font issues with it, but I am That Way about These Things.

      • Sarah says:

        I like your post. Thank you.  My fist thought about the logo might be from  the Peanuts character by the same name.  He had the blue blanket with him at all times.  Or the great nobel prize winner in chemistry named Linus.  Who knows, maybe like clothing they just want to be a no name brand.  I think the name is cool.  I may get this bike just for the name! Perhaps that is why i got a Trek.  I think of Star Trek… oh no.

  6. Bob says:

    This is an impressive town bike for the bucks: steel frame, double wall rims, steel fenders, dual pivot brakes, optional Brooks saddle – very nice. If you have the right terrain, a 3 speed is ideal and can be much less expensive than an 8 speed hub. The gearing range is a tad high at 41-56-77 gear inches. I climb hills on my old 5-speed with a 43 inch low gear and it is a bit of work.

  7. dreamlet says:

    Just to be clear the frame is mostly hi tensile steel with just the down tube being chromoly steel. At this price point that’s no surprise. These bikes are all over Venice as their showroom is here on Abbot Kinney Blvd. I’ve test ridden the Mixte and the Dutchi and I was impressed overall with the bike considering the price. Around here though I see a lot of rusted out Linuses. The air here is so damp and being so close to the beach is hard on bikes left outside. I would advise that people store these bikes indoors overnight. They’re just not the super durable bike that a Pashley is but they also cost one third of the price! It’s a stylish and affordable bike and people seem to really like them. Just beware the durability issue and make sure that three speeds (or one speed) is enough for your terrain.

    • Trisha says:

      Thanks for the report! I haven’t seen any of these around here so had no idea how they age. Generally that is the distinction between bikes in this price range and the Pashleys and Omas of the world, as others have also pointed out.

  8. jerry says:

    Hi. Nice review but would have loved just a touch more detail, for example, what is the weight? You compare it to the Peugeot, but we don’t know the weight of that. I would be impressed if this was 27 – 28 pounds or so but my guess is that is in the mid-30s — not that weight is the end all, just would like the specifics.

    For people picking up used step throughs or mixtes to rebuild, sticking to the Japanese brands (Nishiki, Fuji, Bridgestone, Centurion, Univega)and the Schwinns will be easier to rebuild because the standardized parts are still available.

    Beware French bikes with their odd sized threading. There is an old saying about French bikes — “They will make you cry.” They are beautiful but can be tricky to work with.

    J.

    • Trisha says:

      Thanks for the pointers on buying vintage, Jerry. As for the specs on the Linus, the details are readily available on the Linus site so I focused more on my personal experience. But to answer your specific question, the weight is 32.6 pounds.

  9. Bob says:

    Chicago Schwinns are not necessarily standardized. My 1964 and 1972 Collegiates have odd sized stems and seat posts (and each is different from the other). The 1 pc. bottom brackets are Schwinn sized. You can install a modern 3 pc with a conversion kit or replace with modern 1 pc crank (like a Worksman). I’ve rebuilt five of these bikes and all have their original US steel cranks, chainrings and bottom brackets. Both bikes also have the odd S6 26″ x 1 – 3/8″ wheels.

  10. jerry says:

    Correct on the Chicago Schwinns. I was thinking of the more recent period in the 1980s when they were lugged chromolly frames — mostly built by I think Giant, Fuji and maybe Panasonic in Japan. The older steel pipe models make great cruisers and errand bikes for short distances but don’t compare to lugged mixtes or the more refined bikes being talked about on this site. (Unless of course you come across an old step through Paramount!)

  11. Milo. says:

    I like the look of the Linus and the price too. But I incline toward Velo Orange’s Mixte, d-butted and lugged 4130 cromoly throughout. This male is lookin’ at a tall mixte, maybe the 59cm size. I like especially that V.O’s head tube is so far above the seat tube, I plan on a really upright step-thru.

    Also I agree with Bob; with a 3-speed I’d go for 37-51-70, good around town but you can tour too!

    Milo.

  12. Bob says:

    While I love lugged cromo as much as the next person, I don’t think people should generally discount hiten steel as a frame material for city bikes. Traditional Dutch bikes are mostly hiten. I asked one mfr why and was told that galvanize for weather protection and the tubing resist dents better. My 5 year old cromo city MTB style bike (Chinese built) has a dented top tube – not sure how that happened.

    BTW, Chicago Schwinn frames from the 70s were uniquely Electro-Forged http://bit.ly/6F5sxP

  13. Liz says:

    Can you clarify what you mean by “more aggressive riding position”? Does that mean you can’t sit up as straight?
    thankyou!

    • Amy says:

      Yep – road bike geometry (and even more so track geometry) means your riding position is more aerodynamic (or aggressive) and generally less comfortable than a sitting up position. As long as you’re not riding mega mileage (say, more than 15-20 miles at a go) or into a serious headwind, it’s probably better for city bikes and commuting.

  14. Adam says:

    Definitely a good choice for getting around town – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyrellvoightkampff/tags/linusbikes/

  15. […] you hardcore retrogrouches can just step off.   I found a positive ride review of the Mixte on let’s go ride a bike […]

  16. Suzanne says:

    My concern with the Linus Mixte is one simple thing. The Medium only sized frame. I am 5’2″ can anyone enlighten me as to whether the one-size-fits all frame would work for someone with my smaller stature?

    • dreamlet says:

      I’m 5’3″ with very short legs and I had no problem with the step-through Linus bikes. The Mixte and the Dutchi in the Linus line should fit you fine. If you were to get the Roadster with the diamond frame you probably would not be able to clear the top tube, but either of the step-through frames should be great!

    • Trisha says:

      I’m 5’1 and had no problems. I think you’ll be OK — but it’s always a good idea to test a bike before buying.

      • ridon says:

        this is an old post, but i recently test rode the gaston, which has the same frame as their mixte with different handlebars. i’m 5’2″ and i felt really stretched out in order to reach the handlebars. the gaston is a lot more aggressive.

    • paranoidandroid says:

      Did you know that Linus is coming out with a small Dutchie 3 with 26″ wheels? I have pre-ordered one for myself!! Cant wait…

      • Trisha says:

        I didn’t know that! Very intriguing. We now have a bike shop in the area that carries Linus bikes, so maybe I’ll be able to check it out.

  17. Lyanda says:

    A couple weeks ago I got one of the brand new Linus Mixte 8-speeds. I am loving it. There are a couple of nice upgrades to the 8-speed versus their mixte 3-speed, including all chromoly frame, Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires (your bike shop may switch them out to the cream Delta Cruisers if you like), slightly wider handlebars, and leather-covered saddle (rather than “leatherette,” though I still think the saddle is so-so, and am switching it for a Brooks B67). The mixte 8 handles great in my super-hilly Seattle neighborhood, where a 3-speed just isn’t enough–zippy and light, but stable. And the new sage-green color is dreamy, with a touch of blue in it, sort of a seafoam. I’m not quite 5’3″, and the frame fits me well.

  18. Baldwinart says:

    I loved my Linus dutchie 3 speed as it was easy to swing my legs over-especially when I have my baskets behind for going to the market. I though, was having issues on some of the more moderate hill in SF. I have recently upgraded to an amazing orange Public Bike in 7 speeds. I am traveling twice as fast but still upright and comfy with an easy to step thru frame. True heaven!
    Both bikes are a pleasure to look at, and surely, if I lived in Sweden I may want a Pashey (and do secretly yearn for one) but for Bay Area weather and the three to five rides a week I do, my Public is way past perfect! The orange color just upped the lust factor by 100% :-)

  19. Baldwinart says:

    I loved my Linus dutchie 3 speed as it was easy to swing my legs over-especially when I have my baskets behind for going to the market. I though, was having issues on some of the more moderate hill in SF. I have recently upgraded to an amazing orange Public Bike in 7 speeds. I am traveling twice as fast but still upright and comfy with an easy to step thru frame. True heaven!
    Both bikes are a pleasure to look at, and surely, if I lived in Sweden I may want a Pashey (and do secretly yearn for one) but for Bay Area weather and the three to five rides a week I do, my Public is way past perfect! The orange color just upped the lust factor by 100% :-)

  20. Riscasepipocas says:

    isto podia estar em portugues

  21. Riscasepipocas says:

    isto podia estar em portugues

  22. bashiir says:

    i am from malaysia how can buy linus bicycles from USA PLS HELP TO OWN THIS BICYCLE. TO

  23. bashiir says:

    i am from malaysia how can buy linus bicycles from USA PLS HELP TO OWN THIS BICYCLE. TO

  24. Andrew Potts says:

    The best bike frames are the ones that are used every day

  25. welshcyclist says:

    Beautiful bike, beautiful girl, simply fantastic.

  26. welshcyclist says:

    Beautiful bike, beautiful girl, simply fantastic.

  27. I bought my Linus Dutchi 3 at the Nashville Bicycle Lounge and I l-o-v-e it.  I had only ridden a road bike previously so it did take a bit to get used to a heavier bike.  I’ve had it almost a year now and have had no problems.  I also get compliments on my bike all the time.  

  28. I bought my Linus Dutchi 3 at the Nashville Bicycle Lounge and I l-o-v-e it.  I had only ridden a road bike previously so it did take a bit to get used to a heavier bike.  I’ve had it almost a year now and have had no problems.  I also get compliments on my bike all the time.  

  29. d nelson says:

    Those bikes look stylish alright. My daily cycle near San Francisco is generally happy and safe. A clip which
    joyously advocates cycling for woman of all ages on all types of bikes, mostly recorded in Amsterdam,
    “why cycle!” is here:

  30. d nelson says:

    Those bikes look stylish alright. My daily cycle near San Francisco is generally happy and safe. A clip which
    joyously advocates cycling for woman of all ages on all types of bikes, mostly recorded in Amsterdam,
    “why cycle!” is here:

  31. Sarah says:

    I like your post. Thank you.  My fist thought about the logo might be from  the Peanuts character by the same name.  He had the blue blanket with him at all times.  Or the great nobel prize winner in chemistry named Linus.  Who knows, maybe like clothing they just want to be a no name brand.  I think the name is cool.  I may get this bike just for the name! Perhaps that is why i got a Trek.  I think of Star Trek… oh no.

  32. Kari says:

    I just bought my Linus Mixte 3 speed 3 months ago (or so) and so far I agree with you, it’s the perfect commuter bike. I live in a pretty hilly city, and it’s great for those small hills. If someone lives in a city with hills bigger than Victoria, I would recommend the 8 speed for sure. The only thing I would (and will) change is the saddle. The one it comes with, I find, is pretty uncomfortable.

  33. Kari says:

    I just bought my Linus Mixte 3 speed 3 months ago (or so) and so far I agree with you, it’s the perfect commuter bike. I live in a pretty hilly city, and it’s great for those small hills. If someone lives in a city with hills bigger than Victoria, I would recommend the 8 speed for sure. The only thing I would (and will) change is the saddle. The one it comes with, I find, is pretty uncomfortable.

  34. Myra Hill says:

    I love vintage bikes. I went to Adeline Adeline and bought the Linus Mixte 3 in blue a couple of weeks ago. I love it. The only issue is carrying up the stair to my apartment on the 5th floor. But I got the hang of it. I wanted a Linus bike because the bikes look so stylish, simple and attractive.

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