Art of making handmade bicycles (custom tailored in NorCal)

Art of making handmade bicycles (custom tailored in NorCal)

Jeremy Sycip was in art school when he first started thinking about making his own bikes. “I was into riding so I rode my bike a lot. A bunch of friends were racing and I was like you know what I don’t race, I’m not competitive at all and I like working with my hands so I started calling around to different bike companies and I found a guy in Santa Cruz (Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster) and he kind of took me in.”

SyCip dropped out of art school and started building frames and finally opened his own shop, SyCip Bikes. In the nearly 23 years since he began crafting cycles, he estimates that he’s built a couple thousand bikes.

The process begins with an interview, asking clients what they are looking for in a bike and how they ride. Then, like a fitting for a custom suit, SyCip meticulously measures his clients and evaluates them on a sizing cycle. He enters the specs in a CAD program and creates a blueprint before he begins the cutting and welding: the stuff he loves.
His bikes range from racing cycles to more specialty rides. Hanging in his shop, there’s a full-frame bike with couplings so the frame breaks in half and fits in a standard suitcase to avoid oversize baggage fees while flying. At his home office, he’s finishing up a cargo bike for a woman, her groceries and dog. One of his personal favorites is his BBQ bike: fit with a cutting board, carving knife, bottle opener and a propane BBQ.

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Kirsten Dirksen

45 thoughts on “Art of making handmade bicycles (custom tailored in NorCal)

  1. Paul Sadoff ( Rock Lobster Cycles)taught this guy. He teaches the UBI framebuilding course every year in Ashland Oregon. He built a mountain bike for me and Ive had him repairing bikes for about 20 years. Hes been doing it for over 30 years. Great guy, an honest business man with a hard work ethic who stands behind his work. And his bikes have won a lot of races and ride super nice!

  2. Things I like about this, you don't speak like everything you say is a question, you don't say "go ahead" every 3 seconds. I hope you do really well.

  3. This is what I really want to do. I already have 20 years worth of experience working on bikes. I just want to build frames now. Thanks.

  4. i love your videos; content; editing style; everything is so informative and easy to watch. i am addicted

  5. No goggles when brazing? Crazy. You should wear grade 5 tinted lenses when fillet brazing like that.

  6. Nice video. Which one is better to make an aluminun frame? flux core or propane torch? What about regular metal frame ?

  7. Quite literally, my dream life…. I live not far from this shop and know a few folks that own Sycip frames. They are wonderfully crafted and now I know why.

  8. Love it ! Thanks Kristen ! Great audio. Tiny suggestion, unless the very shallow depth of field is what you are going for, you might consider bumping the ISO or reducing  shutter speed ( or both) so you can stop down and have more things in focus. A wider lens will also help as would editing out more out of focus stuff.  Love watching yer stuff ! Thanks again ! Rob in Rochester NY

  9. The custom aspect is great but a simplified standard version of those cargo bikes is probably the best way of growing the company. I would like a production version of the 3 wheeler work bike

  10. Very creative, original, and functional designs. I like seeing home garages being used much more than for only storing a car.

  11. Great inspiring video! Can't wait to get my garage built so I can start building my own frames as well. Something I've been wanting to do since I stopped racing them.

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