At last year’s show, we only got photos from Ira Ryan’s booth, very little info. With three of us headed to Sacramento, we won’t make that mistake again. Ira’s (hand cut) lugged frames are always elegant, usually understated, but once in a while they’ll sport a paint job that incorporates his logo in a rather trick manner. Even when they’re monotone, the colors just seem to be something special.
BIKERUMOR: What have you been working on since NAHBS last year?
IRA: I don’t have models or production bikes. Every bike is unique and fully tailored to fit the rider. I have been busy since last years NAHBS and continue to refine the bicycles that I build. Being located in Portland Oregon, I tend to build bikes that span a wide range of uses and styles. The increase of road bikes for use all year long in all weather conditions has been great. I build a lot of lightweight road racing bicycles that fit fenders for wet weather riding. Cyclocross bikes are a big part of my building log and allow for a wide range of uses including the lightweight race bikes that handle better than most production bikes. The city/transportation/porteur bike has long been one of my favorites for style and function. This style of bike will continue to be a major part of bikes I build.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?
IRA: This type of bike is what i do best. It allows me to be a problem solver, creative thinker and ultimately a better builder. I love all the bikes I build and can’t really pick a favorite but here are a few shots of bikes that have left the shop this year.
BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?
IRA: For me, it is more about the people and the human experience that makes the show a special event. The bikes are great and there is no shortage of shiny bikes that people have toiled over for months but for me a bicycle is tool to experience the world with and I would never want to build a bike that sits on a mantle. The builders who inspire me are the people who “get it” and ride what they make and use their experience to push the craft forward.
BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what your bringing to NAHBS 2012?
IRA: I am working with a handful of companies in Portland, Oregon, on a collaboration to make a bicycle and trailer to be used by a local restaurant for daily trips to the farmer’s market. Those other companies are Trucker Bicycle Racks, Tanner Goods, Ned Ludd in Portland and Chris King components. More information can be found on our Facebook page. Its’ the Ned Ludd Market Bike.
BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?
IRA: Do you mean winning in terms of competition at the show or on a race course?
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Some builders are great machinists while others are more artistic with files and brass. We all have something to learn from other builders. I really try hard to not be competitive with other builders. To me, we all have the capacity to raise the bar for our industry and I think the world should be more about working together than working against each other. That being said, I love racing and have raced for decades. I would love to race with Richard Sachs or John Slawta from Landshark.