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Breaking Away

Custom Bikes from IRO

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Although you may have been blissfully unaware of it, May is bike month. And with the weather finally taking a sunny turn—and that sidewalk-sized strip still beckoning down 2nd Avenue—it might be time to get yourself some wheels.

But not just any wheels. Wheels as complex, bewitching and well-built as you.

Our suggestion: IRO Cycles, an online bike shop that lets you build your own two-wheeled beauty from scratch.

From IRO's sleek and fairly sexy website, choose from one of the available models (e.g., Off Road, Commuter or, our favorite, Urban Assault) and then sort through frames, handlebars, wheels and drive trains for parts that meet your exacting specifications. Customizing takes as few as 10 minutes online, and you can get out the door for as little as $600, plus shipping from the owner's solar-powered warehouse in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. (Personality: high. Carbon footprint: low.)

One important note: IRO's bikes are mostly fixed-gear, which means the pedals have to be moving any time the wheels are. As a result, the bikes are lighter and tougher than you're used to—and you can even bike backwards if you like.

Besides, you've never been one for coasting.

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