Meet The Team
Introducing the motley crew responsible for keeping the wheels turning here at Stif! From helping you with your purchase decisions, to social media and web, to getting your shiny new gear out & on its way to you, we each have our specialities and character quirks.
One thing that we all have in common however, is that we all ride mountain bikes, so no matter which of us you speak to, you can be rest assured that we share your passion for our sport and we all practice what we preach!
Sammy ‘literally broken’ Smithson
The general manager, and easily the most adept among the staff at finding elaborate ways to hurt himself. Sammy is an efficient communicator, namely due to being exceedingly loud – complimentary in-store ear defenders can be issued to visitors on request. Considering his life-long experience of bikes, it’s possibly a bit ironic that he should be kept away from anything with wheels on it in the interest of his own health and safety. Keeps gamely coming back for more though! Sammy is the driving force when it comes to choosing which shiny things we should stock, and also the main man behind our lovely Morf bikes. Says ‘literally’ a lot.
In the shop
Al 'Sasquatch' Atkinson
Our big, hairy, Yeti-like sales manager. Think ‘Big foot and the Hendersons’ with mountain bikes and you’re about there. Al has a preference for aggressive, long travel 29ers and all things edible. He’s currently favouring the stunning new Megatower from Santa Cruz, which he uses to traverse his natural woodland sasquatch habitat.
Usually heads up the crew of our sales stand at the popular Ardrock mountain bike festivals, where he once got so drunk that he didn’t realise he’d set himself on fire.
Salad Man (Adam Nolan)
It’s difficult to know where to start when trying to sum up this softly-spoken Cumbrian in just a few lines. Rider of many miles at high speed, Adam will think nothing of 130km + days in his native Lake District on almost no food & water – we suspect he isn’t human! Self-effacing and humble yet has a seemingly endless supply of hilarious stories of past experiences that suggest he’s crammed more into his life thus far than Errol Flynn. Once ate the world’s hottest pizza in record time, resulting in anaphylactic shock and an ambulance trip, along with other unspeakably horrible side effects. If you’re after sound sales advice about a particular bike, you can rest assured that Salad Man will probably have ridden one to Saturn and back and can thus tell you all you need to know about it!
Rob ‘Dub’ Wilkinson
Rob is the longest-serving member of the sales team (despite still looking to be 7), and as such, his brain is crammed with useful product knowledge. It’s just not necessarily in any kind of order, so don’t be too alarmed if he starts telling you something halfway through some kind of obscure descriptive story – he’ll get to the beginning, in the end?! Chemistry graduate, Fish tank & rubber fetishist who knows more about tyre compounds than you ever want to hear about. Rob is infeasibly hard on tyres in fact, considering his relatively normal size and weight. Some say it’s because his legs don’t bend at the knee at all, like a cheap kid’s action figure.
Rob ‘Bobbert’ Nichol
Arty, wordy and old, compact Bobbert has been riding MTB’s since 1462, and working in the industry for many of those centuries. He looks after the shop front and drives store presentation. Obsessively clean and tidy, he spends a great deal of time running around after people, armed to the teeth with a savage array of cleaning products. Bobbert is something of a perfectionist and will ensure that you leave the store knowing all that you need to know about your chosen purchase, and a whole load of stuff that you don’t.
Likes back-country Scottish gnar, rock climbing and history. He’s worked as an artist in the past, but ran out of room to paint on his cave walls.
Tanya has recently joined our sales team and has a background in paint spraying. After overcoming chronic petrol addiction, she’s been riding mountain bikes for a while now, and even custom-painted some of her own in the past. Tanya is super friendly and helpful and is busily working her way through test-riding the entire Juliana demo bike fleet with a view to deciding which staff bike to get.
Laughs a lot, which we suspect may be partly due to excessive fumes ingested during her former career/petrol abuse.
Ben ‘make it rain’ Raynor
Unflappable workshop head-man and qualified wizard Ben, is capable of fixing almost anything that gets thrown at him, all the while maintaining the same, calmly unguessable visage. Once he’d graduated from Hogwarts, Ben found an ideal vocation for his wizard skills in the form of motorbike trials riding, where he could put his ability to levitate over things to good use. He’s since transferred these talents to mountain bikes, where he continues to defy the laws of physics and gravity.
Has more bikes than Centre Parks hire fleet.
Willem ‘Wills’ Harrison-Wright
Returning to us like a bespectacled, gold chain wearing prodigal son, Wills re-joined us this year after some exploratory employment years, taking on roles including ladies personal shopper, brick-layer, style consultant for Gok Wan and bike mechanic. It’s this final role that he has now taken up back here at Stif. Likes photography, and was once accused of being a cyber-criminal. Wills has just completed his ‘ghetto’ 5010 build, as a fun, small-wheeled counterpart to his Hightower V2.
Another prodigal son returns to us, after some years working as a human canvas for trigger-happy tattoo artists. Flea is mainly dark blue as a result and when he isn’t colouring himself in, can often be found making holes in himself instead. Flea has picked up in the workshop, where he left off, rounding out our formidable team of spanner people. Likes reptiles, and other unusual pets, such as a sheep’s foetus in a jar of formaldehyde, named ‘Terrance’. Never one to tread a conventional path, Flea’s bikes follow suit – he’s had all sorts of weird and wonderful machines from his bmx background (explains a lot) to his single-speed full suss. He has recently moved house to the woods.
Tom ‘Turbo’ Dodsworth
We drafted Tom over from planet Endor to become our mail-order/warehouse manager (although we’ve since heard that the other Ewoks want him back), and have found him to be extremely capable. A challenger to Sasquatch Atkinson in the hairy stakes, Turbo loves mountain biking, despite the risk of his fur getting caught in the chain. He’s done his time as a seasonaire in Whistler and has genuine passion for the lovely things that we send out to you customers via his department.
Has exhausted the internet’s supply of cat memes. Recently succeeded in baking a cake that had 11,000 calories in it, which reduced us to shaking, sugar-crazed wrecks after we ate it all.
Austin ‘Aussy’ McNiff
Turbo’s right-hand man and bacon dealer. Aussy tackles the daily mail-order mountains here at Stif. He’s also done his time in Whistler (must be a mail-order thing) and loves to shred around on the moorland trails where he lives. Aussy is Nocturnal, and a member of a clandestine moon-worshiping cult.
Enjoys climbing. And Bacon.
Si ‘Mr broken things’ White
Dapper Si is our warranty/returns manager. In the unlikely event that you’ll need to return something to us, Si will get you sorted, whilst looking damn sharp all the while. His orderly mind comes in useful for retaining vast amounts of product knowledge (he’s also heading up our in-house product training these days) and cataloguing his truly colossal collection of sneakers.
Si loves extraordinarily repetitive dance music, so we’ve given him his own office where none of the rest of us can hear it.
‘Count’ Rob Harvey
Another multi-faceted man of many hats, Rob is a member of the web team these days, after having served as front line sales, chef, and sesame street extra in the past. He’s also a dab hand with a camera and is responsible for many of the pretty pictures adorning our online content.
Rob is an occasional challenger for Sammy’s coveted title of ‘most accident prone’, and is usually broken in some way, shape or form. He likes his new V10, but can’t ride it yet due to currently being broken.
Rob has recently discovered a fondness for ‘romani’ hairstyles after getting one as a bet last year. He also has a tattoo of a kitchen knife on his leg, which he once innocently displayed to some ladies he met in the woods whilst out on the bike one day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they became scared, and ran off.
Pete ‘Neat Pickles’ Nicholls
Master of the dark arts of the ‘pokey board’ (web designer), Pete is part of our in-house team of techies and can take much of the credit for our latest shiny website. Not content with this somewhat behind-the-scenes role, Pete also graces our digital pages as a model for much of the ride/casualwear that we sell – he’s much cheaper than a professional model, and slightly less of a diva.
Pete likes riding ‘little bikes’ at skate parks and jump trails, when he’s not squidging around on his Santa Cruz Bronson. Part-time scraper-up of Rob Harvey when he breaks himself.
Jim ‘Jimbles’ Bland
Our resident diminutive super star has recently returned to us after a season in New Zealand, and is now based in our workshop, whilst also continuing to be the main (baby) face of Stif TV. A handy rider, Jim’s style on a bike is reminiscent of a hyperactive gerbil. He has an old head on his shoulders, already accruing a wealth of industry experience as a product tester for the mtb industry. Jimbles loves tea, E-bikes, hates winter and is obsessed by the weather.
Main in-house rubber band target.