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Hartley Cycles

Caren Hartley

 

 

 

 

Designer - Caren Hartley

Hartley Cycles

Maker - Caren Hartley

Where - London

 

 

 

 

Hartley Cycles is the culmination of over 10 years of fine metalwork and a love affair with cycling. From a small workshop in South London, Caren Hartley creates beautiful bespoke steel and stainless steel bicycles uniquely tailored to each client.  As one of the UK’s few female frame builders, Caren is passionate about making bikes for both women and men that are equal in beauty and performance, and most importantly perfectly fitted to the rider..

 

 

 

 

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Email - info@hartleycycles.com

Phone - 07717362873

 

 

 

 

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What defines your style as a framebuilder?

I find this really difficult to pin point in words, but the detailing is really important to me, and the way the metal is finished. I always braze hand cut solid silver details onto each frame. I also really like clean lines and the angles where tubes intersect to be just so… I always try to give the functionality and aesthetic of each bike equal consideration.

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How did you get into frame building?

I first trained as a jeweller and silversmith, in fine metalwork. And then a more broad MA at the RCA… When I started working I quickly got frustrated with scale of jewellery and so moved into making objects, sculpture, installations, and finally large-scale public art pieces from cast iron and bronze. And somewhere along the way, whilst I busy trying to thrash out a career as an artist, I became a cyclist. The career jump into frame building came as a mixture of being dissatisfied with the fine art world and my gradual descent into the cycling community, and also the realisation that the steel bicycle was an object that perhaps I could be quite good at making.

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Do you remember your first bike?

Yes it was maroon coloured, a Raleigh I think, had solid rubber tyres and stabilisers!

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Who or what has inspired you along the way?

I find inspiration in lots of places, often objects I use a lot but it could be anything, maps, fashion designers etc.

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What can we expect to see from you at Bespoked 2016?

I’ve got a few nice builds coming up, a Pocket Rocket – which is a 650c Road bike, a polished XCR road bike with a full Italian carbon build kit. And hopefully if I find the time a prototype cargo/commuter!

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Where is your favourite place to ride?

Dartmoor in Devon where I grew up – it’s just soooo beautiful, but I never noticed as when I lived there as I drove everywhere!

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And finally…If you weren’t a framebuilder what would you be?

I don’t really know… I always like the idea of being surgeon… Science and playing with tools – the perfect combo!

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