American Custom Bicycles in Steel, Titanium and Ti/carbon mix

Bradford Smith

Biography

I don’t think of cycling as an interest of mine. It’s just there. Soccer is an interest. I can’t wake up and soccer, but I can wake up and ride. So much revolves around cycling that I don’t think twice about it. Instead of deciding which car to drive to work I wonder which route or trail I want to take, then pick the bike. I haven’t owned a car for ten years. I was an automotive mechanic riding my bicycle to work every day, trying to talk customers off a ledge because their car was too expensive to fix. I realized I was fixing the wrong things, because the customers were never really happy. I moved forward to bicycles.

What do you do at Seven?

I am a machinist: I have always loved working with my hands. I always tell people that Seven never says no to any customer requests, and with that I like being the guy on the other end that figures out how to build it. I enjoy building the wild Ti/carbon frames, tandems, fat bikes, racks, stems, handlebars and so on. They all make me think a bit more.

What brought you to Seven?

I was looking to expand my growth and knowledge with machining bicycles and luckily I got a call. Having the opportunity to join the Seven team was a huge honor. Given the history of Seven and the frame building history of New England, it’s great to feel a part of that.

When did you fall in love with bicycles?

I was young. My parents made me take over my older sister’s paper route since she was really bad at it. I don’t think I ever signed up for it. I was probably 9 or 10, and I was getting the hang of it, whether I wanted to or not. I had my cousin’s old hand-me-down bike that barely worked and wasn’t worth riding, but I knew I liked bikes. Chasing all my friends in the neighborhood on theirs, I got my parents to take me to the L.B.S. and fell in love with a blue BMX bike. Having MY own paper route, I was able to put it on layaway, and I think it took me a month to pay for it. What a sweet day it was, riding something that I worked so hard for. Fast forward 20 years—I’m still working just so I can buy parts for my bikes!

What’s been your best experience on a bike?

Every time I get on my bike I am just as excited as the last time I was on it. Whether it’s riding to work or racing across the country, it’s brought me to so many places that I still can’t believe. I’m excited to see where we will go next.