27. Santa Cruz Bicycles

Bicycle manufacturer and distributor

LOCATION: Santa Cruz, CA
BEST PERKS: Alternative work environment, Fitness, Swag
HIRING? YES! santacruzbicycles.com

Established in 1993 by two guys who loved to ride their bikes on dirt, Santa Cruz Bicycles has grown to represent the pinnacle of full-suspension mountain-bike performance. Starting with a single model, we now manufacture 17 widely varied mountain bikes, ranging from featherlight hardtail cross-country racers to ten-inch-travel, World Cup–winning downhill bikes. We are located in a quietly awesome hotbed of mountain biking disguised as a beach town: Santa Cruz, California.

We were founded by cyclists, first and foremost, and today are staffed by cyclists through and through. From the engineers designing the bikes to the sales and production guys guinea-pigging the prototypes, we are staffed by longtime cyclists who have opted into this life and who care deeply and personally about the quality of bike that we represent. That sounds almost like some kind of Stalinist brainwashing exhortation in praise of the proletariat worker. Sorry about that. Still, that’s who we are. We care about our bikes, and we bust our asses to make sure that they are awesome, every single one of us. There is no corporate dress code, and the general appearance of the facility and the workers could best be described as enthusiastically crusty, but almost everyone who works here rides. A lot.


Our employee bonus program is based on productivity and meeting our goals. In December 2010, at the request of our employees, we recognized our first Employee of the Month. The award consists of a singing Kung-Fu Panda perpetual trophy and $100.
We sponsor events like our annual trip to Downieville, California, so our employees (and family members and guests) can ride bikes and unwind, our summer BBQ, and the Winter Holiday Cheer Party on the last day of the year that we are open.

We provide bikes for our employees to ride in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, on trails that start about a mile from our office.

All employees have a flexible window from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to start work. We allow for time away from work to go for a bike ride during the day or to just go to the beach. As long as their work is being accomplished, we give our employees the flexibility to manage their time and have an excellent work-quality-outside-life balance.


We donate lots of frames and bicycles, time, and money: Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (northern Sierra–based nonprofit land stewardship), IMBA, Jordan and Kyra Foundation (cancer fundraiser), Sprockids (a group in Canada that gets kids on bikes), NorCal Mountain Bike League, Project Bike Trip (local nonprofit focused on developing bicycle-oriented high school curricula) Youth Resource Bank, Gault School (local elementary school)...

We give our employees a merchandise credit of a dollar a day for riding, walking, skating, or using public transportation to get to work. We have several employees who ride 30 miles to work and home on a daily basis. Ninety-five percent of our packing materials are recycled. We get real stingy with the heater and air-conditioning controls.

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