Breadwinner Cycles, a collaboration between well know builders Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan, debuted at last year’s NAHBS show with a solid if reasonable range of bikes. While they’re not giving up too much about what’s en route to Charlotte, we did get some teaser pics and a little update on their progress.

BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?

BREADWINNER: We use Columbus steel for all of our builds because of their expertise in metallurgy, consistent quality of finish and range of selection. We believe that Columbus tubes are the highest quality materials available. All our bikes will now come with our proprietary TITO dropouts, which feature durable stainless steel surfaces on wheel, derailleur and brake caliper interfaces to eliminate rust and add to the longevity of our frames. On our performance bikes, we have partnered with ENVE Composites to supply carbon forks. Their innovative design is the gold standard for carbon road forks and they compliment our frames well.

BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?

BREADWINNER: Since launching at NAHBS last year, we have been busy setting up our new workshop and working hard to build the best bikes we can. This first year has been filled with a few big challenges but we are proud to have hit our goals. We have delivered bicycles all over the world and continue to grow at a comfortable pace.


BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?

BREADWINNER: We have built a number of internal electronic shifting bikes this past year and they turned out great. It is hard to pick a favorite but the Lolo road bike is always a looker when it’s built up with Enve, Chris King and Shimano Di2. A few customers have chosen some custom paint options and it has been fun to see what they think a Breadwinner should look like. That said, the NAHBS builds that we just put together are about as killer as they get.

BIKERUMOR: Say a customer gives you free reign, where do you draw your inspiration for the best projects?

BREADWINNER: We both have decades of experience as mechanics and riders and we both have opinions on what works and what doesn’t so we work with each customer to build the bike to fit their personality and riding style. Every Breadwinner frame is custom designed for the rider’s fit and we pride ourselves on spec’ing the best components to fit the budget, the style of the rider and the aesthetic of the bike.


BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?

BREADWINNER: We’re not ready to give away the big surprise for the NAHBS, but are excited to have two completely new models to launch, plus some changes to our existing lineup, including two new stock colors. Expect our interpretation of the “new” gravel grinder category, based on Ira’s experience as a two-time Trans-Iowa race winner and our thousands of miles riding gravel roads, to be a stunner. And, we’re super stoked to add a long travel hardtail mountain bike that Tony has been dreaming about for several years.

We will also debut a gorgeous disc-brake version of our Lolo road bike at the show and for 2014 will be offering disc brakes as an option our our Holeshot cross bike as well.

Additionally, we’ve updated our JB Racer XC mountain bike to a 44mm headtube to accommodate a wider range of suspension forks.

BIKERUMOR: Scenario: NAHBS introduces a new category called Mashups, pairing two completely different builders to make one bike. Who’s the yin to your yang, and what kind of bike do you think you’d build?

BREADWINNER: It is hard to answer this question since the two of us work together already. Would it be like a double date or would we be frame-building swingers on our own? Both of us have always admired the craftsmanship of builders like Mark Nobilette, Mark Dinucci and Chris Bishop, but that kind of skill is often only practiced on one’s own. It would be amazing to see how some of the Italian or Japanese masters work to build hundreds of frames a year.



  1. The concept of Breadwinner baffles me. If you’re willing to plunk down that much dough for a steel frame — why not go all the way for a fully custom one?

  2. @onion
    Two reasons. (1) They are actually quite a bit cheaper than full custom–at full custom least from Ira or Tony. (2) They are available much faster than you could get full custom.

  3. onion-because these guys make great bikes. And I know Ira well enough to tell ya he’s a great dude who’s always loved/raced bikes. And as the article stated, he’s won trans Iowa. Which is impressive because Iowa gravel roads are the type that can make even the hardest cyclist cry.

    And hey, let’s admit it…there is a bit of class and style to these puppies that are far beyond many stock options. The likely hood of anyone one your local group ride or a gravel race being on one is slim. And your Breadwinner Cycles rig will have a timeless style to it as the years go on, your carbon fiber big 4 bike will be deemed obsolete next year solely because the color changed.

    One day I predict, and in the next 5 years or less, you won’t be able to get one quite so quickly either. Making the fact you even have one that much cooler. You’re not buying marketing with such a bike, you’re buying legacy.

  4. I don’t get why people have to spend so much for a steel frame. I’ve had a Soma Rush for years and I love it. Tange Prestige is good enough for me.

  5. At first I was going to say (directed towards onion) “We all know a bike we love riding is worth possibly thousands more than a bike we like riding and if these people can make bikes people love riding then I’m all for it!”… but then I actually looked at the prices and Holy Sh!t even if that’s true these bikes are still expensive. Over 7000 for a hardtail with alloy hoops?? Cant argue with their elegance though… But I think I’ll just keep riding my hardtail and ziptie a nice bottle of wine to it to make up for the classy points.

  6. That much for a disc equipped bike then they use electrical tape to affix the hose on the fork? You’d think they could afford to braze on a cable/hose guide.

  7. A little background for you non-Portlanders on the site. Putting “hand” (made, selected, harvested, marketed, etc.) in the description of your product makes any price justifiable here and gets you instant street cred and a feature in the local Portland ‘lifestyle’ magazine.

  8. @greg @bill @bakapabo….no its an Envy carbon molded clip on guide that comes with the fork…and looks like they custom painted it. Nice…

  9. Thanks @Ripnshread for filling these guys in. I can’t believe people are commenting on BikeRumor and can’t pick out an ENVE fork….

  10. Ira and Tony’s frames are actually very reasonably priced for what you are getting. Most of the frames themselves are $1800. Some are $1800 plus a $500 Enve carbon fork. The $7000 price tag is for a complete JB Racer with full XTR/Thomson/Chris King and a custom painted Rock Shox fork. If you don’t see the value in a custom geometry high grade steel frame, then you probably aren’t the demographic for one. In terms of the cost of raw materials and tools required to make things, U.S. made custom bikes have a rather low profit margin.

  11. There are several different levels of custom bikes — personally designed and handmade full custom, hand made from models with custom geometry, custom geometry but otherwise a production bike. Design and labor take time, and no bike manufacturer is going to get rich in the hand-building business. What Ira and Tony realized is that people wanted their full-custom bikes, but didn’t like the wait lists. So they came up with Breadwinner: elegant, 90% of the exclusivity and customization, in a couple of months instead of a couple of years. Limited design customization, full-custom geometry, pretty, timeless bikes. I have two of Ira’s custom bikes. IF Breadwinner had been around when I ordered, I would have loved one in two months.

  12. One more comment about pricing. I understand that part of the philosophy of Breadwinner is to charge just enough so that the hands that touch the bike–welders, painters, mechanics, parts manufacturers–can all make a living wage here in Portland. Ira and Tony arent laughing all the way to the bank. They are making a modest to decent living and trying really hard to help other people do the same. Is it worth a small premium to me to help some of my neighbors earn a living wage? Absolutely! And I hope they feel the same way if and when they need my services.

  13. In the paragraph above the pic, they say their bikes ARE custom, and $1800 for a custom steel frame is totally in the ballpark … assuming it’s a great frame. Compare to Waterford, Seven or Independent Fabrication, for instance.

  14. They are custom: custom geometry, with paint and other options (discs, dropouts,etc.). You’re choosing a model, and then you can configure it according to the options list, and it’s custom to fit you. @quickgeezer has pegged the real competition. I’d rather one of these than and IF or a Seven.

  15. $2350 for a custom sized Lolo with an Enve 1.0 fork? That sounds like a deal to me, one that is hardly overpriced.

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