Readers’ Rides: Yann’s Self-Built Khelys Carapace Tourer


Readers’ Rides: Yann’s Self-Built Khelys Carapace Tourer

We love receiving Readers’ Rides submissions by framebuilders. There’s something about featuring the work of someone who built the bike that’s extra special. Today we have the latest bike to leave the Cycles Khelys shop, a Carapace touring bike built for a customer. Let’s see more below!



I’m Yann. I’ve been a bicycle designer for European brands for the past 10 years, but I decided to become a frame builder for many reasons. In the end, I was mainly focused on e-bike designs, adding more and more complexity to a bike… Coming from BMX racing, I like simple bikes that do what you want them to do. Framebuilding allows me to work closely with customers to make them exactly the bike they need, not more. Another benefit to building the bikes myself is that, now, I no longer need to take flights to see underpaid people manufacturing my designs.

I’m an extensive bike commuter. I travel by bike and I haven’t taken a flight for years. It’s okay; I live in Les Vosges, a French region close to the mountains where it’s so nice.

Khelys, what does that mean ? It means turtle in old greek. Like good and old steel bikes, a turtle has the almost same shape since the begining of its evolution and lives for ages. Also, life is not a race, it’s better to take time to do a thing right.

Now the bike :

My bikes are called “Carapace” which mean “shell” in French, because they are designed to be strong and taken everywhere you want to go. Fabrice’s Carapace is a trekking, commuting and chilling bike. As written above: a bike to be taken everywhere, anytime.

It’s designed to carry a strong rider with his bags, which means up to 150kg (330lb). That’s why the bike is made from Columbus Zona with some custom reinforcements such as the top seat tube area.

All my bike use the same laser cut dropouts, done locally, according to my design. They are protected with a stainless steel plate in the bolt area to avoid rust.

About the finish: we chose a sweet powder coat with some black detailing and silver parts to get a perfect balance between modern and a more classic style.

The front light (B&M IQ-XS) and the rear light (B&M Top Line small) are powered by the famous Son dynamo hub, all of which are produced in Germany. From France we can find stainless steel Berthoud fenders, saddle, good 700×45 Hutchinson Overide tires and Stronglight headset.

The crankset, including the bottom bracket and the chainring are made in Portugal by Miranda.

We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!