Custom Bike Frames

Touring Frames



A modern take on the classic touring frame. The Wanderer is constructed in Reynolds 525 which is the perfect tubeset for touring bikes having the same published properties as the venerable 531. This tube is strong and resilient without the rigidity associated with the more racing oriented tubesets. All of Dave's 30 years of framebuilding experience (more than 12,000 frames) is condensed into this frame for the tourist who prefers 700c wheels. The frame is of fillet brazed construction with a sloping top tube. This decreases the standover height which is useful when heavily laden on rough roads or tracks. The adoption of an Ahead style steerer increases the range of handlebar positions possible because of the wide range of stem angles and lengths available. This also allows straight bars to be used if required.


The use of 1 1/4" down tube and 1 1/8" top tube increases the torsional stiffness of the frame which reduces twisting under load. The compact design allows a longer seat pin which provides some vertical flex which is important for comfort. Each frame is designed in consultation with the customer and any or all of the specification is open to discussion if required.


The frame has a full complement of braze on fittings included in the starting spec, including 3 sets of bottle bosses (for trips across the Sahara!), front and rear four point pannier frame fixing, cantilever brake pivots and cable hanger with adjuster, and all the usual brake and gear wire stops etc.


Finish is a single colour enamel of your choice from the colour chart





A 26" wheel version of the Wanderer. Many riders prefer the extra comfort of the larger section tyres that this sort of wheel allows. They are also stronger, being a smaller diameter with consequently shorter spokes and are therefore seen to be better suited to carrying heavy loads. Another big advantage is that tyres for this size wheel are generally available worldwide.


The Wayfarer is built from the same tubeset in the same style as the Wanderer. A wider fork crown is specified to allow the use of up to 2.1" tyres which also allows the use of a 1 1/8" steering column . At the rear, the chain and seatstays are cranked to allow similar tyres to be fitted. The frames are designed for use with dropped bars and cantilever brakes with the brake pivot position optimised for vee brake use should you want to use straight bars and ATB levers



Click image to enlarge

Reynolds Designer selected 525 tube

Fillet brazed construction

Each frame built to customer requirements

Finish any single colour enamel from the colour chart

Full set of touring braze on fittings. Three sets of bottle cage bosses, four point front and rear pannier bosses, brake cable stops or guides, gear cable guides and stop, gear lever bosses.




Wanderer & Reynolds forks  £1325

Wayfarer & Reynolds forks  £1325





I'm just back from a months hard riding in Armenia.  Tougher than the Pyrenees or the Alps.  Over 82,000 ft of climbing. Anyway, I was riding my faithful Wayfarer which you built 4 years or so ago.  What a comfortable ride.  Feels like it has suspension.  The roads were the worst I've ever encountered. Everyone admires the bike and I keep recommending where they should go if they want one.

Bruce Logan


"I bought a Wayfarer from you back in November and we've just returned from a tough tour of Morocco. The bike performed brilliantly.


It had done a tour of Scotland and the Lake District but this was it's first overseas venture. The handling loaded and unloaded was superb and it tackled the off-road stuff without a problem including a trip down some rocky 'stone steps' - not bad for a bike with  drop handlebars. It was so good I'm trying to persuade my wife to buy one."


Ross Crawford




Hosteller 700


The Hosteller in its various guises is a full blooded touring frame of conventional lugged construction. A complete custom package that can be designed to suit any style of touring from Sunday afternoon jaunts to "round the world" expedition stuff. Reynolds 525 is the basis for this top class touring frame. The range of diameters and gauges available allows Dave to select the appropriate tube for each area of the frame to ensure precise fitness for purpose. Typically this will include oversize top and down tubes, heavy gauge seat stays, bent chainstays and a wide cast fork crown to accommodate wide tyres This model is for use with 700c wheels and any tyre section may be accommodated up to 47mm. As with all the full custom frames the design is the result of a comprehensive consultation with the customer. Each frame will typically have cast fork crown, bottom bracket and lugs. A complete set of braze on fittings including brake pivots, front and rear pannier points and a pump peg.


Hosteller 26


The cycling world has a lot to thank the Mountain Bike for, the 26" wheel is a prime example. A touring frame designed to use these wheels has several advantages. The wheels are smaller diameter and therefore stronger, The tyres are available in a wide variety of sections from 25 mm right up to 2.5" and in many different tread patterns. Probably most important for the expedition tourer is the worldwide availability of the tyres and rims. With this in mind Dave re-designed the Hosteller to take ATB wheels. This has proved extremely popular, the added comfort of the wide tyres being a big attraction. The material spec of the Hosteller 26 is the same as the 700 with high quality cast components and all the necessary braze on fittings that a touring bike requires. Both of these models can also be built using "Fillet Brazing" so that the design is not constrained by the lugs. For example very small frames can be built with sloping top tubes to give the rider adequate stand over height on rough terrain. Odd angles can be accommodated for riders with specific physical needs.


The Hosteller 26 was reviewed in the February 1999 edition of Cycling Plus. Click here to link to the review.



Click image to enlarge

Reynolds designer selected 525 tube

Custom sizing and design

Full set of touring braze on fittings. Two or three sets of bottle cage bosses, four point front and rear pannier bosses, brake cable stops or guides, gear cable guides and stop, gear lever bosses, three point screw on mudguard fittings.

Finish any single colour enamel from the colour chart

Fillet brazing available as an option





Hosteller 700  525 & Reynolds forks  £1200

Hosteller 26  525, & Reynolds forks  £1200





"We are absolutely delighted with our new expedition bikes. Previous bikes we have owned have been unstable when heavily loaded, putting extra strain on arm muscles, steering against the load. The bikes you have built for us feel exactly the same loaded or unloaded - and the steering is completely relaxed.


Since we go to remote places we have always had the burden of a heavy tool kit - and another bonus is your construction - entirely with a small number of Allen keys. The tool kit is now 1/4 of the previous weight and so far has not been used.


We had expected hand built bikes to be an improvement, but these have really exceeded our expectations."


John and Susan Drysdale




Follow 2 Dave Yates Touring Frames round the world.....


"We are 4 months into a very long ride on our Dave Yates touring bikes. So far we have toured New Zealand for 3 months and now we are travelling up the USA. The bikes have received a great deal of attention on the road, particularly here in the USA. They have behaved faultlessly all the way. We will do about 7,000 miles here before returning to bike across Europe on them and then who knows. The link here goes to our travel blog that features your bikes in amazing places"


Esther Tacke & Warren Sanders  (May 2011)