Two London-based custom steel frame builders, Caren Hartley of Hartley Cycles and Matt McDonough of Talbot Frameworks, have teamed up to create handmade, limited run bikes under their new combined Isen Workshop shingle. Their first bike – the Isen All Season Road – is a well crafted & sparkly new disc brake road bike ready to take on everything from daily commutes to weekend adventures…
Isen Workshop All Season Road, steel road & gravel bike
Hartley & Talbot’s collaboration was formed to bring together their respective talents in intricate metal work & a modern take on classic frame building. The goal was to develop a line of expertly crafted handmade bikes at a pricepoint more within reach than something fully custom. With that said, Isen builds each bike to order, but with stock geometry across a wide sizing range (47-59cm).
Limited edition availability
The first product of their collaboration, the Isen All Season Road actually rolled out quietly earlier in 2017. But those bikes sold out fast. And so now Isen is opening up orders for the second batch limited to 30 framesets in 2018. Those framesets are selling now for £1500 for a limited time, with a 50% deposit at time of order and a roughly 10-12 week lead time. Pricing will then go up to £1750 sometime at the start of the year. Included with the custom mix of Reynolds, Columbus and Dedacciai steel frame is a painted to match full carbon Columbus Futura fork and a Chris King Inset headset.
Size-specific wheels – 700c & 650B or 650c & 26″
The Isen frames are all batch produced in London by hand by Hartley & Talbot, with a focus on versatility, from mud guards to a range of tire options. For the All Season Road, riders choose from one of two wheelsizes. The larger (53-59cm) bikes can fit up to 700c x 35mm or 650B x 40mm tires. The smaller (47-51cm) bikes use more size appropriate wheels to get the same ride feel and ability to run wide tires without geometry or toe overlap compromises. The small bikes can fit up to 650c x 35mm or 26″ x 1.6″ tires.
Beyond the striking hand-painted multi-color ‘Candy Fade’ paintjob, Caren hand crafts the Isen headbadge for that fully custom look. Then the bikes also feature a unique angular brake bridge that serves more as a fender mount for the disc-specific bikes.
Frameset tech details
In addition to size specific wheels, the All Season Road also gets a size specific fork. Here the larger bikes use a tapered carbon 1.25-1.125″ steerer with fender mounts. But the smaller bikes use a different carbon fork that drops the fender tabs, although still with space for a clip-on mud guard.
All bikes feature a 12mm front thru-axle paired with QR rear dropouts, and flat mount disc brakes at both ends. The bikes include two sets of water bottle bosses, and routing options for both mechanical & electronic drivetrains with Di2 wires, the rear brake & optional dynamo wiring routed internally. Out back there is also the ability to mount a rear rack. That can let riders expand their hauling capacity even beyond bikepacking bags.
Pre-order the adaptable steel All Season Road now to lock in the discounted pricing. Then build it up in the beginning of the new year for anything from a fast road machine to a mile munching gravel endurance bike.