Syncros Through the Years

A brief timeline of this iconic brand.

Syncros is one of the most iconic component manufactures in mountain biking. It has also changed hands more times than a hot potato. Scott Sports is the most recent set of hands to hold the Syncros name (Scott Sports purchased Syncros earlier this year).

Lars-Erik Johnson, US Bike Marketing guru for Scott Sports, gave us some of his Syncros memories, “I still remember my first Syncros purchase, a 400-millimeter seatpost to match my long legs to my 20-inch hardtail of the day. Syncros seemed to be one of the first to ‘get it’ when it came to fulfilling the needs and expectations of mountain bikers. In my mind, that original two-bolt rocker clamp is still one of the most elegant and enduring designs out there.”

Here’s the timeline of the acquisitions of the Syncros brand:

1986: The Syncros brand is founded by Peter Hamilton and Pippin Osborne in Vancouver, BC.

Late 1990s: GT Bicycles buys Syncros out of financial difficulties.

1998: Schwinn Bicycles’ parent company (Questor Partners) acquires GT.

2001: Questor Partners goes bankrupt, and Schwinn/GT Cycling Divisions were sold for $86 million to Pacific Cycle LLC, parent company of the Mongoose Bicycles. Changes within GT basically eliminated the parts and accessories business causing the Syncros brand to fall dormant.

2002: UK-based Super Cycles, owned by Mike Poyzer, picks up the Syncros name when its trademark registration lapsed.

2003: Pacific Cycle pressures Super Cycles with litigation to regain the brand, but the companies settled and served up a press release in January to announce the deal: “Super Cycles and Pacific Cycles have announced that their dispute over the Syncros registered trade mark has reached an amicable conclusion.

Super Cycles have agreed to transfer the mark to Pacific for an undisclosed sum. This paves the way for Pacific to continue their planned re-introduction of the brand in 2003 with no further complications.

Super Cycles will continue to develop their optimum products range with an alternative registered brand for launch in the spring.”

2003: Tom Ritchey buys Syncros from Pacific, and hired Marshall Cant, formerly of Rocky Mountain Bicycles, as Brand Manager to rebuild the name and product line.

2012: Scott Sports purchases Syncros.

Johnson also commented on what Scott Sports’ plans to do with the Syncros brand, “Acquiring Syncros not only gives SCOTT the opportunity to produce great quality components for aftermarket, it will also foster better integration between SCOTT bikes and the parts we put on them. While Syncros is historically a mountain brand, most recently with a freeride and all-mountain focus, it’s our intention to broaden that scope across XC mountain and road, categories prominent in our bike line. It’s a scenario that will produce a better built bike and generate more value for the consumer.”

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  • JohnnieWinona Ross

    They were an iconic mtBK company in the late 80s/early 90s. Syncros was one of my first product sponsors, pushing the envelope of the -then current tech, with ceramic bearings, etc…many products made it either briefly to the market, or didn’t at all, but Syncros was pushing. The titanium seat post i think is one of the most handsome ever, and lightest, but alittle flex -aye. Yeah, and great graphics back in the day. i still have my black Syncros ‘t’ and team jersey. Thanks Syncros.

  • jace mace

    I remember when Syncros was on 1st & Main in the red barn with the big sliding door, near the present day Olympic village. I bough a post from the now gone bike shop behind the old MacDonalds in West Van; and after a few months of riding, the cradle (aluminum) really deformed downward, so that the saddle rail couldn’t be gripped anymore. I went over to Syncros (as a teenager) and they opened the big door, and let me into their “assembly plant”. There were guys pushing steerer tubes and legs into their rigid forks. It was pretty cool. The guy looked at the cradle (these were the original crescent ones), and gave me a new one.

    In the early/mid-90’s, when Pip lived in Dundarave, he showed me one of their proto aluminum hard-tales with ti-dye anodizing. They were never put into production. (I almost bought one at the old bike swap at the outdoor show, when it was at the Plaza of Nations).

    I saw Pip a few years ago with the Syncros truck in Eagle Harbour/Fisherman’s Cove (used to see the truck all the time in the 90’s at Bean ATW at 15th & Marine): I was riding to race rocks where my cousin worked, on his Morphine, and there was the truck. I stopped and talked to Pip about biking and bikes a while: It was great.

    My uncle Earl from Whistler (way back, he’s now on Bowen Is…him and Rabbit are the grand-masters of Tapleys) told me that Syncros started (with bar ends) because people were getting sore wrists/hands from riding in the same position. But that’s just an urban legend, right? Also there was a Syncros cane/clamp.

    One more thing I forgot. When they moved to the Venables and Commercial area, I went there with a defective stem, and they gave me one (raw) out of a huge box full of stems. I’m not even sure if it was heat treated.

    I’ll finish and say, they made my favourite (alum. and ti) seat-posts (along with the IRD quadzilla). I loved the machining on the post, and it also helped in keeping the saddle height right. And there cattle-prod and head stems were also my fave

  • Blair

    Ya it all started with bar ends. I bought my first pair at The Great Bicycle Company in Lynn Valley in about 1988. Lynn Valley for those who don’t know is in North Vancouver just down the road from Fromme mountain. The handlebar on my Rocky Mountain Stratos wasn’t the right diameter so I had to buy a Syncros handlebar as well. Then later a Syncros stem, all my RM’s had Syncros stems in the early days. New bikes always got a Syncros post. I think the last one I had came on my Deep Cove Hummer in about 1997

  • Biggsie

    Just sold my single speed with Syncros cromoly tubular cranks. Those things were beautiful.

  • Paul E

    More stories please….
    Nostalgic to hear the stories people have of this company in the original days.
    I was a teenager in the early 90’s and had to outfit my RMB Equipe with all the Syncros i could save up for. Crank-o-matics, cattleprod, pro-post.
    Would like to see some re-makes of the original designs as they are timeless, functional and looked bad-ass.
    until then i’ll keep searching for vintage part-outs..

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