Friday, June 29, 2007

Framebuilder's Questionnaire: Ira Ryan Cycles

Iran Ryan, local Portland framebuilder chimes in with the Plus One Lap Cyclocross framebuilder questionnaire:

1. How'd you first get interested in bicycles in general?

When I started riding my bike 7 miles one way on gravel to school and loitering around the local bike shop.

2. At what point did you begin building bikes?

I started framebuilding in January of 2005.

3. What were some of the challenges you faced when you first started out building bikes for people?

When you start building, you are trying to sell your frames and work out the kinks in the your system at the same time. I sold my first 8 bikes to close friends for the cost of materials. Just running a small business is also hard for some small one person builders.

4. How is your approach to build a cyclocross bike different than say in building a mountain or road bike?

Traditionally, cross geometry is close to touring geometry but in the last decade, cyclocross bikes are looking and riding more like road bikes. I tend to build a lot of bikes that people use for cross but also use for long rides or commuting using smaller tubes better suited for all day comfort. For racing cyclocross bikes, they need to be light, stiffer and faster handling for races lasting no more than an hour.

5. Whats your favorite bike that you own or have owned? What made it special?

I love my road bike. Being in the saddle for 6 hours. Climbing 8,000 feet and gliding down a mountain at 45mph feels awsome. My porteur bike (cupcake) is the bike i ride most often since it has a rack on the front and a upright position. Cupcake gets the most looks. I love it.

6. Do you race cyclocross?

I usually race a couple cross races a season but the races are usually a little short for me.

7. In your opinion, why are custom steel cyclocross bikes still so popular?

Something about the ride of steel off-road. You need something compliant but that still responds well to rider imput and steel seems to nail it in cross. Plus, it is totally classic for cross.

8. Whats your current wait time for a custom cyclocross frame?

My current waitlist time is 6 months.

9. Is there anything else you think readers would want to know about your approach to bikes, cycling and building frames?

I love to see beautiful bicycles but get sad when I see a beautiful bike hanging on the wall and not being ridden. I think bikes can change the world one rider at a time whether it is through commuting, racing or touring. Ride your bike, be happy and support your local framebuilder.

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