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How To Buy A Bespoke Bike

January 2018Words by Mr Jim Merrett

953 Stainless Steel Disc Equipped Gravel Road Bike built for the Design Museum’s Cycle Revolution exhibition. Photograph by Mr Sebastien Klein, courtesy of Hartley Cycles

At MR PORTER, we understand the benefits of splashing out on a bespoke suit. After all, you get an end product that will last a lifetime – and one that is made to measure.

But a bike? While you’re unlikely to need one on your wedding day, a bicycle is also a high-value investment item that you’re going to get a lot of mileage out of. So why make do with what you can get on the Bike2Work scheme at a generic bike shop when you can have one hand built to your own size and specifications?

The growth of cycling has seen a rejuvenation in the small-scale manufacture of bicycles in cities such as London. A frame hand-built by a good local craftsperson will likely cost you upwards of £1,600 – and that’s before you add components such as wheels. But it can be worth it. With a bespoke bike, rather than having to sift through a rack of standardized models, the rider is the first consideration. “You start by putting the person in the right place and design everything else around that,” says framebuilder Ms Caren Hartley (hartleycycles.com).