Tony and Ira are two of Portland’s most prolific frame builders, each with his own rather distinct style and personality. With a gap-toothed big grin and rugged build, Tony is the IPA drinking, blue-collar machinist mountain biker. Ira, an accomplished endurance racer and roadie, is sleek and well spoken, with a thoughtful gaze. Both builders have shops which match their personalities. Tony’s machine shop is alive with the sound of cold war-era industrial routers, grinders and lathes that hum, buzz, and spin. Ira’s glorified garage down the road is the marketing department, customer service center, and assembly room. Polished, clean, and well lit, the space is filled with beautifully painted frames and fully assembled dream machines.
This is a story about obsessively dedicated, highly skilled builders who live to ride. It’s a story about the determination and perseverance required to carve out their spot among hand-built bike makers, to stand out in the crowd; a story about two men who are are passionate creators. Kitsbow is proud to present a video about the #obsessives behind Breadwinner Cycles.
This year SILCA is celebrating a century of bicycling innovation. This legendary company was the first to include pressure gauges on floorpumps, the first to produce a usable portable pump, and the first to produce a valve-controlled CO2 inflator; all necessities that we now take for granted. SILCA was run by the Sacchi family in Milan until it was sold in 2013 to the former technical director for Zipp Speed Weaponry, Joshua Poertner. SILCA is now based in Indianapolis and has carved out a niche for itself by manufacturing precision-engineered, heritage-grade pumps and tools that walk the line between utilitarian duty and aesthetic beauty. We recently caught up with Josh to talk about cycling, art, and everything in between.
With an opening in our Push to Start Summer Tour schedule, we opted to “take the long way around” for a detour de British Columbia on our way to Sun Valley, Idaho. On a whim we fled north from Seattle, first stopping in Bellingham to soak up as much lush Washington terrain as possible. We roughly sketched out what our next week might hold – entering the mecca via Vancouver, heading north to Pemberton, then working our way east and south to depart the country via Rossland. We let our trip unfold hour by hour, trying to make time to ride in all the spots we’ve read and seen so much about.
Knowing when and when not to wear shorts is a skill we only fully acquire sometime after adolescence – in fact, studies have shown that shorts-related decision-making abilities are directly linked to frontal lobe development. But since we mountain bikers are prone to being hit in the head, let’s not make any assumptions about shorts etiquette.