Ryan Cady (third from left) with Eliel Employees and Factory Team Members
“Our roads along the nearby coast are the most heavily trafficked bicycle routes in the world,” says Ryan Cady, CEO & President of Eliel, cycling apparel company based in Vista. “And Vista is a gateway to some of the best backcountry riding in the world.”
Cady, who has lived in North County San Diego for over 20 years, has also built his business in the city of Vista because he believes Vista has so much to offer. “It’s an amazing place to live and work. I wanted to stay close to home and Vista is a great up-and-coming city that is a bit less expensive than many surrounding areas but is developing and is very supportive of the business community. There is a combination of creativity, coolness, and enthusiasm for cycling in North County in general that provides the perfect breeding ground for Eliel.”
Eliel is one of several sports manufacturing, active sports and wellness companies in Vista, which ranges from skateboarding, scuba diving equipment to surf wax, bicycles, and more. Its mission to develop and produce the highest quality California-inspired cycling gear is what makes it a perfect fit in the City of Vista.
“Brands like Eliel further define our cities quest for excellence,” said Kevin Ham, Director of Economic Development for the City of Vista. “We know Ryan and his team have been working hard over the years to make Eliel a premiere apparel brand and we feel his philosophy to be the best and deliver the best, lines up perfectly with our city’s mission.”
Eliel started in 2014 with the intention of bringing the highest quality custom cycling gear to market while also creating a brand that celebrates the positive and fun spirit of cycling. Cady explained, “I felt that the custom cycling clothing offerings at the time were not addressing the performance and style that I desired. I also love this region and our state that I grew up riding in. The landscape and culture of California have always inspired me, and I believed that this inspiration could be expressed in a new heritage cycling brand. The positivity, innovation, and FUN of California is reflected in the quality, performance, and style of all our gear.”
All Eliel pieces use laser cutting technology to ensure a perfect cut.
California’s inspiration also extends to the names in the collections offered by Eliel. Names such as Soledad, Lost Coast, and Diablo Classics are nods to great riding locations across the state. Eliel jackets are named after California climbs, and their weight and insulation align with the height and average temperatures of the mountains.
Another nod to inspiration is the name of the business, Eliel. Cady said, “Eliel is my middle name and was passed down from my Great Grandfather. It’s Hebrew meaning is “Best of the Best” which is our mantra and drives everything we do from our incredible product to our customer service and company culture.”
Cady (left) with Sales Manager, Jordan on the attack
“We make the best products because our team uses them every day just like our clients and we want the best products for ourselves too,” said Cady.
Cady, who started riding and racing in high school, continued riding throughout college on the cycling team at UCSD, a school he chose partly because of the location and riding opportunities. During college, Cady worked at a local bike shop that he and some teammates ended up purchasing. His passion to ride led to competitive cycling and he became a top regional road cyclist. Shortly after that, he sold the bike shop and pursued and earned a spot on a professional team. His next venture led him to become part of a cycling sock company that he helped grow over 10 years. Wanting to expand further into apparel, Cady and some longtime friends and colleagues created Eliel.
Eliel has had tremendous growth in its six years. Cady said, “We have a broad spectrum of customers, but the common thread is that they are all looking for high-quality gear that looks and performs beautifully. While we originally catered to the high-performance racing crowd due to my own racing background, we also quickly grew with the aspirational recreational cyclists looking for similar performance and comfort for challenging amateur events like the local Belgian Waffle Ride or the many Gran Fondo endurance events that are so popular currently.”
Like other cycling brands, Eliel sponsors teams and individuals at some events. They make sure that the riders who wear their brand also follow the brand’s core spirit of quality and fun. “Our Factory Team is a prime example of this. It is made up of quality ambassadors across the country that help us spread our message of premium FUN,” said Cady.
“We also support our community, teams, and clients by riding with them regularly,” added Cady who blogs the adventures he and fellow riders have online at The Eliel Journal. This engagement is important to Cady and his company and he believes that by being out in the community and meeting fellow riders he can learn more about what they want and need in quality gear and apparel. “As a newer company, we want our fellow riders to understand why we work so hard at making great products and how it can make you feel. If you look and feel great, it will make that 100-mile ride or that 10 mile ride more comfortable and super FUN.”
“Our National Rider House Tour events highlight our ability to engage with the different cycling communities around the country.” That interaction is paying off as the brand is sold nationally and internationally online at elielcycling.com.
With a staff of 60, Eliel is continuing to grow. They still maintain the original factory in Vista and two years ago added a warehouse and office space also in Vista. Sales have continued to grow each year and they hope to add a showroom in the New Year to give locals and visitors a peek at new products and to experience the vibrant Eliel culture.
Being in Vista highlights for Cady much of what his company is all about. “At Eliel, we live and breathe cycling because it has the power to change lives for the better and it’s FUN. Every season we create new ways to touch more lives and put more happy butts on bicycles. Cycling is a great activity to stay fit, be social and have fun and it’s even more fun when more people are doing it. Vista has been a great community to work, play, and bike. We are extremely thankful for this community and all our customers and for them allowing us to be part of their cycling and lives over these past 6 years.”
Economic Development contact for the City of Vista:
Economic Development Director