Go it alone: bike builder Ira Ryan leaves Breadwinner Cycles to relaunch solo brand

After a 10-year partnership with Breadwinner, Ryan returns to building fully custom steel bicycles frames for a select few

Ira Ryan Cycles
(Image credit: Ira Ryan Cycles)

After a 10-year partnership, bike builders Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira are splitting ways. 

Cornerstones in the Pacific Northwest custom bike building scene, Ryan and Pereira had been working their craft solo since the early aughts but decided to join forces and found Breadwinner Cycles in 2012.

Known for building beautiful bikes for daily use, Breadwinner soon gained a national fanbase and acclaim in earning show and magazine awards. Their catalogue grew to include race winning cyclocross bikes, endurance road bikes, mountain bikes —Pereira's first passion—, gravel grinders and bike adventuring machines for the roads less travelled.

The fabrication space also grew, adding (a now closed) café and wheel building shop with the purchase of Sugar Wheel Works. 

But just months after celebrating Breadwinner's 10th anniversary, Ryan has left the brand to return to his passion: building fully custom steel bicycles frames for a select number of riders each year. 

With a background as a bike messenger, cyclocross and road racer, Ryan considers himself a lifelong student of the bicycle. He got his start in frame building nearly 20 years ago and with the relaunch of his eponymous brand, he looks forward "to reconnecting with my passion for creating dream bikes.”

"For me, the bicycle has been a way of life...they unlock a sense of freedom that connects people to each other, the world around them and themselves in a profound way," Ryan states. 

"Building in the appropriate amount of utility while maintaining an elegant and sleek design is what I am known for...My goal since I started building steel frames in 2005 is to blend what I love about traditional bicycle design and frame construction with a modern, relevant twist. I continue to be drawn towards bikes with a timeless style, slender lines and a sense of utility. A frame sitting on the wall is not living its best life. Bikes are beautiful tools capable of taking us over mountains and around the world."

Ryan builds his fully custom frame sets from Columbus steel tubing and works with Oregon's ColorWorks on the custom paint. Based on every individual rider's unique fit, utility, lifestyle and needs, no two frames will ever be the same.

Ira Ryan Cycles is now open and accepting orders for fully custom bicycles of all disciplines. Ryan says he plans to limit the number of bicycles made each year to ensure each customer gets the attention deserved. He's also likely to show off a creation or two at the upcoming Made handmade bike show in August.

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