London-based framebuilders ISEN handcraft bikes from steel or titanium, with full or part stainless options.

Bespoke Cycling's Bobby Whittaker took a pre-lockdown tour of their workshop and brings us this photo report, with words by ISEN themselves...

At Bespoke we're thrilled to be working with ISEN, they don't just produce gorgeously finished award-winning framesets, they have a real understanding of fit, and in particular sizing.

Read more about ISEN's ethos in our brand profile, and take an in-depth look at a couple of their stunning show bikes in our Build Gallery.

Details matter to ISEN...

Hand Formed ISEN Headbadge
Every ISEN leaves the workshop with our ultimate seal of approval, the ISEN solid brass headbadge, each one hand formed and brazed in place with silver for the smoothest finish

Custom Fitted ISEN Asymmetrical Seatstay Bridge
"ISEN's seatstay bridges are a true statement piece and will have everyone questioning who just passed them up the local col."

ISEN Universal Gear Cable Routing System
"Cabled groupset? No problem. Shimano Di2? Yeah Sure. SRAM eTap? Damn Right. Whatever your groupset our unique customisable removable routing bosses will make sure your bike wears it in the cleanest possible way."

We operate as a small, highly skilled team who are all involved in every aspect of the production of every frame. To maintain quality and make sure we have full control over the product we deliver, we do everything in house. Four separate people will be involved in building your bike, and every day they all eat lunch at the same table in Mitcham.

People come in all shapes and sizes, and so our bikes do too. We have a broad range of stock sizes, from a 47cm to a 61cm, so the size you choose can be exactly right, whichever end of the height spectrum you are!

What's more, the geometry of each of our sizes has been individually designed so that precise and confident handing is maintained across ALL sizes.

We don't design the easy way. Instead we tailor each element of the bike to work best for a specific size frame and rider. We don't design specific bikes for specific genders, as we believe this is at best unnecessary and at worst a disservice.

We don't just design in the UK, we build every frame here, from raw materials & tubing to finished bike

Once your tubes are cut and sit perfectly in the frame jig your bike is visible for the first time in its most raw form and it's time to weld. All ISEN frames are TIG welded, the most precise method of assembly and the method with which the tubes we use are designed to be strongest.

"After your frame has been removed from the jig, it goes through rigorous welding and alignment checks to ensure that every build meets our stringent standards. Bottle bosses, cable guides and headbadges are all attached to the frame with silver. This metal is used as solder to create the smoothest of transitions and allows us to create some of our signature features. Each of our asymmetric bridges is individually finished to fit your frame, providing both flair and function to the rear triangle with increased stiffness and strength. Your ISEN headbadge is hand formed before being brazed into place, this is the final piece of the puzzle before your bike begins it's transformation in our spray booth.

When building a high quality frame, process is Queen. We have spent years fine tuning the process with which we turn a pile of tubes into a finished frame. Industry leading fixtures, constant QC and alignment checks, periodic machine servicing and workflow monitoring all come together to let us build frames efficiently and to incredibly high tolerances. Your bike will enter the machine shop in a packing crate full of tubes, braze-ons and checklists. It leave on its way to paint a fully finished naked frame."

With each frameset individually handbuilt there are a plethora of options available on every build.

At Bespoke we work closely with ISEN and yourself to ensure that your new bike is perfectly fitted and exactly meets your individual requirements.

As well as a full range of build kit options, with your choice of groupset, wheels and contact points, there's a huge range of custom options available, including;

  • Extra Bosses for Luggage and Bidons, available in a multitude of positions to suit you.
  • T47 Bottom Bracket - oversized but still threaded; strong and creak-free, the best of both worlds.
  • Stealth Internal Brake Routing - for the cleanest, neatest look (and with an internal guidance tube running through the frame, so cable changes are a doddle).
  • Colour Matched Components - to tie your whole build together ISEN offer colour matched components including stems, integrated bars and seatposts.
  • Solid Silver Headbadge - one of ISEN's trademark features is their hand-finished head badge. For the ultimate statement piece they're now offering them in hand cut solid silver.
  • Stainless Upgrade Kit - whether you're planning on riding in harsh conditions or just want to give your frame some extra shiny bling, we'll use stainless frame components in the high wear areas: BB, head tube and all contact points - to make your bike truly bombproof.
  • Fully Stainless Steel Builds from - with all stainless tubes and components your frame will never suffer at the hands at the hands of a British winter and you'll save a couple of hundred grams too!
  • Carbon ISP (Integrated Seatpost) - As standard on all R3 bikes and now available on the All Season too. A carbon ISP will remove the need for a 3rd party seat post as it is incorporated into a full carbon seat tube. The ISP allows ISEN to fine tune the characteristics of the bike, right up to the saddle, allows for easy electronic shifting battery storage whilst being as light and as stiff as needed, with a look that is truly unique when paired with their asymmetrical lugs.

  • Carbon Seat Tube - If you like the sound of the Carbon ISP but are worried about it being too long to fit in a bike box to travel the world, ISEN offer a shorter version compatible with standard 27.2mm seatposts, to constrain the bike to traditional proportions.
  • Chromovelato Paint Finish - for a stunningly rich, deep and smooth finish. Instead of the textured silver base that adds the sparkle to your fades ISEN use a base with a mirror-like finish, reminiscent of the old chromovelato finishes of Bianchis of yore, combined with fadez.
  • Raw Stainless With #sikcandyfadez┬« Finish - Love your stainless tubing so much you don't want to cover it up? ISEN can do a completely translucent paint finish in any of our colour ways to really show off your metal.
  • Rolhoff Drivetrain - If you want your ISEN All Season to be ready to ride all day every day, virtually maintenance free, then look no further than the Rolhoff upgrade kit. With optimised cable routing for the smoothest shifting and Rolhoff specific dropouts and an eccentric BB your bike will be ready to take on the world.
  • Bolt thru rear axle standard - is your riding style too savage for a Quick Release rear end? Think that 135 is an unlucky number? If so, don't sweat it. You can swap out to a 142mm bolt-thru rear end on either the All Season or R3 disc framesets.
  • S&S Couplers - make your ISEN travel ready with the ability to break it two, with the ability to put it in a normal size suitcase and avoid oversized baggage and bike flight charges.

Award Winning #sikcandyfadez® Paint

Each frame is painted in house using the highest quality wet paint system. It's genuinely "award winning" - for the last two years ISEN have picked up prizes at the Bespoked UK Handmade Bike Show for their outstanding finishes.

Our award winning paint finish is the final stage in the creation of your ISEN. Carried out in our specialist paint booth we carefully lay down the smoothest signature #sikcandyfadez® and crisp ISEN logos.

"We only use the highest quality wet paint products and every detail of the paintwork is painstakingly applied as multiple layers of custom mixed colour and vinyl masks. Everything you see on the final frame is in paint; there are no stickers or decals. The paint is finished with a high gloss, super hard lacquer providing you with protection for years to come. After leaving the paint booth, every frame is quality checked and given a hand polish to make every surface shine at its brightest.

...and if stopping at the frame and fork just isn't enough, we are now offering paint matched components for the ultimate wow factor, visually pulling all the individual components together as a complete riding machine."

Like us here at Bespoke, ISEN are continuing to work through the current lockdown, whilst observing strict safety measures.

There's never been a more important time to support independent local businesses, and if you're considering a new frameset get in touch and we'll work closely together to ensure that your dream bike is perfectly fitted.

'Luckily' for us we all ride to work, have a large workshop, and don't really like each others company so are able to self-isolate at the moment whilst still working. If you were thinking of buying a new frameset, I think we can all agree this is a great time to jump on board! Even if you're not ready to throw money at a new bike, but just want to talk through options, geometries and such for future reference and to pass the time locked in your room, we are very happy to help! - ISEN

all photos by Bobby Whittaker