I’ve been so busy scouring the internets for posts that I almost forgot to post about this myself! The site is for IRO Cycle, which we just launched last week.
First the back story….
IRO makes fixed gear bikes, which, if you lived in Williamsburg (like I do), the Lower East Side, or the Mission District in SF, you would already know have worked their way up the urban cycling chic food chain from exercise track bike geekiness to messenger bike craziness up to hipster status symbol. I’ve developed an eye for them while working on this site and can safely say that there are between 1 and 3 brakeless fixed gear bikes parked on every block of Bedford from S2nd up to N11th. Now. Even among this already elite crowd, there is a coolness pecking order. Lots of guys will buy old bikes and modify them. Some people will buy a trak bike, or whatever. BUT if you are really in the know, then you’ve already bought and Angus or a Mark V from Tony.
And that brings us to the other part of IRO…for being such a well-known company, it is really just a small family-owned and operated business. (Although, I guess it’s smallness sort of adds to its hipness.) Like a lot of guys into fixed gears at the time, Tony started putzing around with designing his own frames while living out on Staten Island a few years ago. Unlike all those other guys, however, he seemed to hit some magic numbers, and really make some waves in the community. Ask anyone today why they ride an IRO, and they will tell you “because of the geometry.” Other companies try to emulate the sizes and angles of Tony’s frames, a few with some success.
Enter Woods Witt Dealy & Sons, the creative agency I’ve been working with as an IA on their digital projects since last Fall. The design mission was to make Tony an awesome website that makes his company look bigger than it is, but one that really shows off the bikes and his custom build approach to making them. We wanted to do it up “dude” style and to really appeal to the lust for gadgetry and workmanship that the dudes in his demographic tend to feel. But Tony also wanted to grow his business. So from that perspective, the goal was to create a website that would help along the n00bs without insulting the novices. This meant a build process that educated as it entertained, but never talked down to its audiences.
The response so far has been overwhelming. Tony can’t build fast enough, and the orders starting to roll in are from a whole new demographic of guys (and girls – now that Tony’s selling the Heidi) who are just starting to get into fixed gear bikes, starting with freewheels on their single speeds. Everyone here is really proud. I’m so glad to have had a chance to work on this.
Update: As of 2010, this site is not longer available online. I wish I had more information about why.