Charlotte’s 853 Mini Tourer

This little touring bike is built around a robust 26 inch wheelset.  We chose 26 inch wheels as they are easy to find parts for anywhere in the world, they mean that luggage can be carried closer to the ground for added stability and are perfectly proportioned for a smaller frame size.  

For the tubing we went for a Reynolds 853 main triangle and fork with a 631 rear.  This makes for a super strong frame to avoid that dreaded ‘shimmy’ when fully loaded, yet gives a little bit more comfort for long days in the saddle.  

For the build kit we chose quality strong components that are easily serviceable, and easy to find spares for wherever Charlotte’s adventures take her.  The front wheel has a Shutter Precision dynamo hub, with internal cable routing for front and rear lights ready to go.

Like a lot of people of Charlotte’s height, 5’2”, she had always ridden bikes that were a little too big, so it was a pleasure to see her get on it for the first time, with her and the bike making for a perfect fit… even if it was just around the car park! 

This bike won the CTC Choice Award for touring bikes at Bespoked UK Handmade Bike show 2016


"Owning this bike fills me with such great excitement and enthusiasm when I think about
all the adventures we shall have together over our lifetime - the first big trip
is to be my honeymoon, cycling around northern Europe. 


It's wonderful to know that its possible to own a bike not only practical and fitted to my small frame, but beautifully crafted and aesthetically stunning. I can't wait for my annual adventures to begin,
once I've acquired all the equally beautiful accessories to match."
- Charlotte

This Bicycle Build: -

The Frameset: - 26 inch steel touring/expedition frame and forks, with 1 1/8 head tube.

Tubing: - Reynolds 853 main triangle and forks, with Reynolds 631 rear triangle.

Wheelset: - 26inch Sputnik rims with Shimano Deore rear and Shutter Precision front QR hubs

Groupset and Finishing Kit: - Stronglight triple chainset, Tecktro RL520 long pull brake levers, Ultegra 8 speed bar end shifters with Deore 8sp mech, Brooks B17s, M-part elite headset, Ritchey classic 27.2mm seatpost, Tubus Classic rear rack with matching low rider front rack (not pictured).

Paint: - Custom paint work in metalic red with pale blue details. Name etc. all in paint, no decals.  Forks, stem and bars painted to match.

Details: - Internal routing for dynamo lighting.  Solid silver details hand cut and brazed onto frame - inc. head badge & seat cluster.  Sculpted end caps for seat stay/seat tube junction.

Image Credit: Ben Broomfield

All Hartley Cycles custom frame builds and bespoke bicycles are handmade in London with great care and attention to detail by Frame builder Caren Hartley.