I first pitched the idea of building bikes for a women's bikepacking team to Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira sitting at a small table in the Arbor Lodge, our favorite local cafe. The dynamic duo, both award-winning frame builders in their own right, had joined forces in 2013 to form Breadwinner Cycles and had since been super busy building gorgeous custom steel, tig-welded frames. Outside of their ability to build bikes, they're both incredibly strong off-road cyclists themselves, to put it mildly. I had full confidence in their ability to design and build us bikes that would be beautiful and bomber - a bike that could be ridden over a wide range of road and trail terrain, that would climb well and inspire confidence when descending, that would look beautiful and last a lifetime of bikepacking adventures. To my supreme excitement, they agreed to the project and got to work designing a new model.
We started working with the Breadwinner Cycle's JB Racer design. The classic 29" mountain bike worked well as a foundation, but we needed some special features: plenty of room for wide tire clearance and lots of additional braze-ons. Over the course of a couple months, we started to see the bikes come to life - a hand drawn image became a CAD file, then a pile of cut tubes transformed into a brazed frame. We worked with the talented Chris Igleheart to have our rigid segmented forks made, again with additional braze-ons for storage capability. Then the two pieces went to Eric Dungey's Colorworks studio for paint. Then, we anxiously awaited for their return.
Through a truly phenomenal measure of cooperation and a couple of late nights, six shiny new bikes were ready and waiting for the team as we arrived at Ira's shop. The only thing better than new bike is new bike day with five awesome friends and celebrating with the dudes that hand-built them for you. Even more special, Breadwinner Cycles chose to name the new model "Komorebi" after the team! We were truly humbled at the honor.
It's been about six months now that we've had our Komorebi bikes and they continue to impress us with their versatility, comfort, and playfulness. We've ridden them over miles of pavement, gravel, rocks, and loam. Up and over mountain passes and down flowy valley trails, alongside rumbling rivers and on wet Pacific ocean sands. We've watched sunrises and sunsets from the saddle and look forward to so many more days just the same.
Our most sincere gratitude to Ira and Tony - two of our earliest supporters and the nicest two guys that can build you an amazing bike. Learn more about Breadwinner Cycles (and order your own Komorebi!) at www.breadwinnercycles.com.