Ira Ryan Cycles is a small frame-building workshop based in Portland, Oregon.
I started racing as a junior when I was 16 after seeing the Tour on television and soon the next year landed a job at a small bike shop in Iowa City where I learned the basics of bike mechanics. I was hooked. For the next twelve years I continued to wrench, tour, race and commute, constantly exploring disciplines, physical limitations and the incredible geography around me.
These experiences still pushes me today to build, ride and explore.
In 2000 I ended up in Portland and landed a job as a bike courier where I got a chance to ride everyday, learn the city and somehow, I still had energy to ride and race on the weekends. I helped start Portland’s only collectively run messenger service. I had a chance to ride and race in the Pacific Northwest and even raced from San Francisco to Portland in 4 days.
The ideals of self-reliance, craftsmanship and durability run through my philosophy with bicycles and frame building today.
In early 2005 I built my first frame and raced it in the inaugural Trans-Iowa gravel road race and won the 325-mile event in 25 hours. The feeling of gliding over the moonlit gravel roads of Iowa that I remember from my first days on a bicycle, cemented the idea of alchemy that is frame building to me.
This core passion has led to over a hundred bicycles leaving my shop being ridden, raced and toured on all over the world.
Over the last couple of years, I have had the chance to ride and build bicycles for the Rapha Continental team whose mission is to ride and document some of the greatest road rides in North America. In 2009 I had a chance to go to Europe and ride some of the greatest climbs in the French Alps and also in Italy where we saw the Giro and witness the heart of cycling passion and craft.
After all these years as a cyclist and frame builder, I find myself wanting to push my craft farther, learn more about bicycles and continue to put my heart and soul into each and every frame and fork I build. I want to continue to understand bicycles from the saddle and from the workbench.