James Sandford Smith

Bike Technician

James's job title is Bike Technician at Clever Mike Bicycle Repair Shop

What I do

I perform a wide range of repairs on bicycles.

Man riding bike

Hear more about James' role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day in my
working life

A surprising fact about my job

I have to have very good people skills to do my job as dealing with customers, either face-to-face or on the phone, is something I have to do every day.

A little more about
my everyday role

What I love most about my job

I love getting to just do something with my hands. You do something and you see it to completion; it is very gratifying. I enjoy the problem-solving side of it too.

The best bits about working in a team

It is very helpful to have other people to doublecheck things you might not be sure of, but for the most part, we work independently and just get on with it.

What I am most proud of

I have built two frames myself; I have welded the tubes together. I’ve done that myself, not at work.
We had someone in to do work experience and I was in charge of him most of the time and it was really nice showing someone how it all works and what to do.

The next steps in my career journey

I am not really sure and I’m just enjoying where I’m at now. Coming into this profession, I was quite keen on the idea of starting my own bike shop, but I’ve changed my mind on that a bit. I would love to be able to make something of frame building, but I think it is quite a saturated market already and pretty niche.

My hobbies

I cycle a lot. I don’t have many friends who like to cycle as much as I do, so I’m often on my own, but it is very meditative. I live in London, so the bulk of my cycling is city cycling, visiting friends and stuff. On the weekends I will cycle out north of London or get a train out and then cycle in the countryside.

When I was younger, my spare time was spent playing computer games. I got a bike from my aunt when I was 15 and I fixed it up and converted it to a fixed gear and built the wheels for it, so that was a starting point. I have a terrible habit of acquiring bikes and never getting rid of them, so I still have it. It is a fixed gear, so you have to pedal constantly, which I find is a nice way of getting around in London.

The advice I'd give to
someone younger

If there is stuff you are interested in, there are so many resources now – you can learn more about it on YouTube or other online resources.

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