Even though Caren Hartley’s career as a jewellery designer has been momentarily shelved, her talent for turning raw metal into functional art has found expression through her frame building. Her latest creation, a ‘Mini-Tourer’, is ready for the road.
Caren’s customer, Charlotte, required a bike that she could take riding on long-distance adventures to foreign countries. It also had to fit her properly, and be easy to repair in those out-of-the-way places — so the geometry was based around a 26″ wheelbase.
With Charlotte’s height of 5’2″, the wheel size was a logical choice. It has the added advantage of a low centre of gravity when fully loaded, thanks to the panniers being closer to the ground — resulting in a more stable and comfortable ride.
Caren fillet brazed the frame from Reynolds 853 tubing for the main triangle and fork, with 631 tubes making up the rear triangle. Reliable components were selected, like a Shutter Precision dynamo hub with internally routed cables for the front and rear lights.
Charlotte’s ruby tourer is built for the long and winding road, but there’ll be plenty to look at — apart from the views. Caren added some mirror-polished details like the bike symbol on the top tube and her trademark solid silver head badge.
Photos by Ben Broomfield.