city bikes rule

finished up stu’s porteur bike yesterday just in time to snap a couple photos before he came to pick it up. it is nice to be able to build a bike for someone who loves good style and lives within walking distance. it has been a long time coming and all the details fell into place nicely. the honey colored accents matched the gold detailing on the paint and the vanished wood rack bits came out looking beautiful while being tough enough to handle all that a portland winter (or spring or june) could dish out. i  love the pdw dapper dan grips and bamboo barend plugs that finish off the honey sweetness so well. thanks dan and erik.

while a lot of folks think that i build race bikes or fancy bikes that might sit in a garage until the sun comes out, most of the bicycles i build are ridden day in and day out with fenders and lights and thrown up against bike racks. as i ride across town to pick up silver or am out for a short ride, i often see bikes that make me excited to build more city bikes. old and tattered with buckets on a rear rack but loved and ridden everyday without regard for some tour de france style or speed. most of the bikes that turn my head aren’t even noticed by the people who ride them because they have such a daily connection to their trusty steed. on a rare occasion when i see an ira ryan leaned up against a bike rack or street post, it looks better to me than the day it left the shop because it has started to accumulate its own story and adventure. i like the dirt under its fenders because i know it has been around. add a front rack, some lights and fenders and it can take you anywhere.


9 Responses to “city bikes rule”

  1. Tim S Says:

    Just got back from some time in Italy, France and Spain and I still cannot believe the number of city bikes I saw. Truly, those folks do *not* see the bike as a toy or a piece of fitness equipment but rather a way of life. Good for you; keep building.

  2. Eric Says:

    What type of bars are those on the lugged black bike.


  3. iraryanbicycles Says:

    eric, those are just a no-name bar from asia with a little sweep forward and 45 degree hand placement that feels sporty yet casual at the same time. my favorite shape.

  4. ryan fay Says:

    Portland Design Works is awesome; I just added those bamboo/cork bar ends to my bike, a super old conversion. Glad to see you guys over there are supporting one another.

  5. David Says:

    I have a couple questions for those of you that have been using front racks for awhile…do you find that carrying 20 lbs. or so is easier (or better) on the front or rear of the bike? Furthermore, when you carry 20 lbs. or so on the front, do you get some instability at lower speeds (for instance, while turning)? I’ve noticed on a few city bikes a little spring from the fork to downtube…do these help much? Thanks.

    • iraryanbicycles Says:

      david, i tune the geometry on my porteur bikes to handle best with about 10 pounds up front on the rack. a bag of groceries or a bookbag with library books should feel smoooooth. i have found that most people don’t ride with more than that on their racks and if they do, i change the geometry to handle more weight better. the little spring on the dt is a good idea but brazing or screwing anything to the downtube where the stress is highest makes me a little nervous with a thinwall tubing.

  6. Michael Alan Bielat Says:

    Those are some real nice looking bikes.

  7. Graphic Design Portfolio Tips Blog Says:

    Portland Design Works Bamboo Cork Bar

    […] to me than the day it left the shop because it has started to accumulate its own […]

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