Chris King hires Jay Sycip, looks toward Cielo Cycles rebirth

Brett Jarolimek Benefit Fund event-9.jpg

Chris King’s marketing director Chris
Distefano (L) and Jay Sycip at an event
in Portland back in May.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland’s reputation as a hotbed for custom bike building has just taken another major leap forward with news breaking over the weekend that Chris King Precision Components has hired SyCip Designs co-founder and renowned framebuilder Jay Sycip (pronounced “see-sip”).

Sycip will work as a product manager for the company, but he’s also being hired to help Mr. Chris King revive Cielo Cycles, a framebuilding brand he created three decades ago.

The hire is a coup for Chris King and for Portland.

“What better time to move to Portland than at the start of the cyclocross season. I’m very excited to be here.”
— Jay Sycip

Sycip brings to town 17 years of experience at SyCip Designs, the Santa Rosa, California-based company founded by he and his brother Jeremy in 1992. SyCip Designs has a glowing reputation in the bike industry as a vibrant company whose bicycles combine an impeccable sense of style, craftsmanship, and whimsy.


Jay Sycip and Maria Thi Mai
(former policy director for
Commissioner Sam Adams)
at the 2007 NAHBS in San Jose, CA.

In a statement released by Chris King over the weekend, Sycip said, “It’s an incredible feeling to join this company and to bring my family to Portland. And what better time to move to Portland than at the start of the cyclocross season. I’m very excited to be here.”

According to Chris King’s marketing director Chris Distefano, this was a perfect opportunity for both parties. “It’s one those things,” he told me via phone Sunday afternoon, “where the timing just worked out. Jay wanted to move up here, and we were looking for someone just like him.”

Cielo Cycles at NAHBS-1.jpg

Chris King’s Cielo Cycles logo was
inspired by the hills surrounding his
hometown of Santa Barbara, CA.

Sycip has been interested in moving to Portland since at least March of 2007, when I reported rumors of it from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in San Jose. Sycip already has family and friends in Portland (his wife is from here) and the times I’ve seen him here and talked to him since, I could tell he loved the local vibe.

For all you SyCip fans out there, you can rest assured that SyCip Designs is still going strong under the able leadership of Jay’s brother Jeremy.

If you’re not familiar with SyCip’s style, I think you’ll see by the photos below that he’ll have no trouble fitting in in Portland…

Pretty cool grocery getter on display at NAHBS 2007.

Yes those are beer tap handles.
NAHBS Day 2 (second half)

A longtail cargo-bike with integrated Stokemonkey unit (an electric assist device made in Portland).


When I combine Sycip’s blend of style and function with the innovative engineering brilliance and business success of Mr. Chris King, I can only imagine what lies ahead.

Welcome to Portland Jay!

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Kris S
Kris S
14 years ago

Very cool! With his innovative/creative bike craftsmanship (and his love for bikes), Jay is certainly a great addition to Chris King and to Portland.

matt picio
14 years ago

This is fantastic news! Welcome, Jay, and I look forward to seeing more great things come from Chris King\’s company. Fabulous!

14 years ago

Wow what a Team, yes my SyCip would be nude without its CK headset 😉

I welcome Sycip to Oregon! great move!


14 years ago

My mtn bike is graced with both King and Sycip logos. Beautiful stuff, happy we\’re gaining Jay\’s experience & talent up here in PDX.

14 years ago

Sweet move on the part of Chris King and Jay Sycip. If the Java Boy wasn\’t made with Portland in mind, I\’d be surprised. I look forward to seeing what\’s gonna come out of this partnership.

Matty b.
14 years ago


Can\’t wait to see the new Cielo bikes!

Matty b

Red Hippie
Red Hippie
14 years ago

First King is getting into bottom brackets, and now whole production frames. How long until we have a fully portland-made regular production bike?

ben hengst
13 years ago

ohh looks like there site is up: