Brad Simms Joins SRAM & RockShox

Jan 25, 2022 at 7:56
by RockShox  


Brad Simms needs no introduction: known for his pure, raw power on BMX, Brad is now making his mark as a mountain bike athlete. Born in Waldorf, Maryland, Brad has been riding BMX professionally for over 15 years, crisscrossing the globe in search of unique lines and cultural experiences. He has connected with fans through hard-charging, authentic, and physics-defying content. Brad earned the sport’s most sought-after accolade last year – the 2020 NORA Cup BMX Reader's Choice Rider of The Year.

SRAM and RockShox are excited to welcome Brad into the family for 2022 and beyond. Brad recently visited our Development Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and sat down with us for a chat about his first mountain bike ride, bike technology, hitting Rampage lines, and what he hopes to achieve as he broadens his inimitable skillset onto bigger wheels.


The first person who took Brad Simms mountain biking was Brandon Semenuk:

Brad Simms: That was about three years ago. I was in the midst of working on my (X-Games) Real BMX part, and Christian Rigal was like, "I feel like we need a break from filming in the streets. You want to go ride mountain bikes with Brandon Semenuk and Logan Peat?" I had no idea who Brandon was at the time. I didn't know of many mountain bikers.

We showed up and they had seven mountain bikes just waiting for us to ride. He’s riding an e-bike and I see the Red Bull helmet. I'm like, "Okay. Right. Dude must be super legit." I saw these big jumps and I hopped on one of the bikes, and there was a little spine in the first jump. I hit it and got thrown into this crazy nosedive. I was like, "Whoa, hold on. If I was on my BMX I would've flipped over the bars." But the shock compressed and saved me. "Okay. That was interesting."

Then two seconds after that, we all went up to the top and we looked at a 40-foot-long table. I have a background in riding dirt jumps and racing, so I wasn't afraid. I just hadn't been riding that speed in a long time. I hit the first jump, cleared everything, and from that day I've been hooked. It's probably some of the most fun I've ever had on my bike.


On applying his BMX perspective to mountain biking. What's different and the adjustments he has to make:

Brad Simms: I've been riding bikes for 26 years. I grew up racing, riding dirt jumps on my BMX. For the first four or five years, I mostly rode dirt. I didn’t start riding street heavily until I was 17. A lot of it translates over, then there's some stuff where I've had to make huge adjustments, such as using my front brake. Braking is new for me, before hitting a turn, and not braking into a turn. I still find myself hitting brakes in a turn here and there.

Also, speed adjustment. When I ride street, I'm mostly filming within 15 to 20 feet. My filmer can just stand right there while I do a trick very close, like on a bench. But with mountain biking, you might have to try something two or three times, and then you have to hike a mile back up the mountain. So there's more fitness involved – that's for sure.

On riding a lot of things on his BMX that most other pro riders wouldn’t even realize are ridable:

Brad Simms: When I ride like street, I look for stuff that people either think is impossible or is just unusual. I look for stuff that not only moves the core bike community but also the general public.

Once I really start to fall into my style on the mountain bike, I’ll find the right spot on a trail. I'm also having to relearn some of my old tricks. I can do a lot of jumping tricks but haven’t been doing them lately as I was so street-focused. But now that I'm on a mountain bike, let's pull those tricks back out!




On the summer of 2021:

Brad Simms: It was cool and also a very humbling experience at the same time. When I first got on a mountain bike, I was like, "I should be able to do a lot of things." I thought I was going to just hop on and just manual down the street. That did not happen. I would say 85% of things came easily and others weren't so easy. I mean, manualing is 10 times harder on a mountain bike than on a BMX bike. I was like, "oh, this is a lot more bike to maneuver."

Before I signed with Canyon, I only knew a handful full of elite mountain bikers. When I went to the bike park, there were loads of kids calling me out. "Hey, you're Brad, you're Brad." I was like, "What? Mountain bikers know me?”

Then when I announced that I was riding for Canyon, there was well over a thousand comments, most of them from mountain bikers. So that was cool. It was interesting because I had no idea the response I would get.

On who he is excited to ride with:

Brad Simms: I would like to ride more with Brandon Semenuk. I feel like there's a side that people don't get to see of Brandon. Everything's very clean-cut, and it'd be cool to hang out with him and get to see some of the other side.

Christian Rigal and I have worked together, but it’s always great to see Christian and ride with him. I would like to hang out with some of the downhill riders as well. I met Vali Höll already. It would be cool to go to Austria, hang out, and ride some of her local stuff.

On riding at the old Rampage site last fall:

Brad Simms: Rampage was insane because I had hit some smaller drops, and I was like, "Okay, cool. I've hit some drops before." Then I got humbled. I hit the hip a few times at the old site, and then few guys were like, "Well, we're going to go up top and hit some other features." I'm like "What features?" They were like, "Up there."

Everything that could go wrong was running through my head. My foot could slip off. I could go too slow, case it, fall backward in the gully, or whatever. I could walk my bike back down the hill, go sit in the van and twiddle my thumbs, or if I brake perfectly, clear the gap, I ride away and have fun. So that's when I go for it.


On spots that he's gone to with BMX or countries that he's travelled to in the past that he's excited to go back to now that he's riding a mountain bike:

Brad Simms: I thought I was going to slow down with my traveling. But now that I found mountain biking, I feel like I have to go back and revisit at least half of the countries that I've been to. I’m really excited to go back to Madeira and would like to visit Italy. I would like to go ride around Central Asia and road trip through the Pamir Highway.

On whether he's eager to explore different disciplines in mountain biking:

Brad Simms: I'm down to explore. I'm not big on climbing, which I know people just want to take me on these 7,000-foot rides. But it’s also not always about jumping for me. Sometimes it's just some beautiful landscape you can ride on and cruise around, hit some turns, and mild tech.

On whether he wants to contribute something to MTB that’s a little different:

Brad Simms: It's a tall order, but yes. There are so many incredible mountain bike athletes currently. So for me, there's a lane. I already see stuff that's possible for me to do. Going into mountain biking with a different background, I can ride a trail a bit differently than most. So that's where I'm going with it.



Frame: Canyon Spectral CF 27.5
Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate
Rear Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: SRAM HS2

Follow @brad_simms on Instagram


Words by Brad Simms, Ross Measures and Sarah Rawley. Photos by James Stokoe.

Author Info:
RockShox avatar

Member since Jun 25, 2019
27 articles

  • 226 3
 So Brad has a BMX background then?
  • 18 0
 It seems that way...
  • 24 85
flag ridingbiking (Jan 25, 2022 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 Jokes I assume? He's probably one of the most influential/skilled street riders out there.
  • 17 4
 oh an Academedian eh?
  • 5 35
flag ridingbiking (Jan 25, 2022 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 @Bomadics: Wut?
  • 7 40
flag ridingbiking (Jan 25, 2022 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Bomadics: I feel what I said was pretty innocent. I assume that @freestyIAM was joking and if not, I answered their question. Not sure what you're after here.
  • 18 0
 Yes, he as a BMX background but with MTB foreground
  • 47 5
 @ridingbiking: Dude, this is not about you, please Pinkbike more and you will understand someday!
  • 34 8
 @Bomadics: legitimately confused now. feels like some weird insider pinkbiker things going on here.
  • 19 0
 @ridingbiking: Take any article on Pinkbike. 90% of the time the guy has a BMX background every time.
  • 17 1
 Pinkbike Academy: *heavy breathing*
  • 9 47
flag ridingbiking (Jan 25, 2022 at 12:40) (Below Threshold)
 @Jo-rides: gotcha. So people don’t like what I said because I don’t read enough pinkbike articles? Cool.
  • 42 0
 @ridingbiking: no one gets outta here alive!
  • 37 0
The joke

--> -->

your head
  • 6 0
 @ridingbiking: in pb academy season 2, they recycled the sound bite that one of the contestants had a BMX background so much it became this meme.
  • 9 33
flag ridingbiking (Jan 25, 2022 at 17:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Bomadics: my two cents out of this is pinkbike commenters culture sucks. Downvoting so much for those comments is really dumb imo. Good luck with all your online pinkbike life ✌
  • 3 4
 @TCarl11: thanks, really clarified things for me.
  • 5 3
 @ridingbiking: you're clearly new to this.
  • 35 0
  • 7 0
 @ridingbiking: yes, we're a community mostly made up of bridge trolls. But once you get to know us you'll realize we're the good kind of trolls with brightly colored rainbow hair, not all of us though. The rest..... they mostly come out at night.....mostly..
  • 2 0
 I wheelie, therefore I have a unicycling background…….no disrespect though….unicyclers are rad!
  • 7 0
 @jaytdubs: I pinkbike…..therefore I have a trolling background…..
  • 2 0
 @jaytdubs: Nobody's safe from the trolls. I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
  • 1 0
 @freestyIAM: This is news to moi
  • 1 0
 Nailed it.
  • 67 1
 This guy has a rad story and his BMX video parts are ridiculous
  • 26 0
 the part that ourbmx just did on him was awesome.
  • 4 0
 @adrennan: that was insane, thanks for posting that link
  • 1 0
 Wow that was really interesting! It's crazy to think that he couldn't find a sponsor!! :O So glad for him right now! Smile
  • 54 1
 Simms like a wise decision to me.
  • 46 0
 There are 2 types of riders:
-Those with a BMX background.
-And those who ride for Commençal.
  • 47 2
 Industry needs this. Dude is sick.
  • 14 1
 ya I'm loving the move toward more crossover riders. Tons of MTB riders muck around on BMX already... two wheels, one love.
  • 26 0
 "Brad Simms: I'm down to explore. I'm not big on climbing, which I know people just want to take me on these 7,000-foot rides."

That's me at the beginning of every season.
  • 21 1
 will he be alowed back to the bmx scene now that everyone saw him rockin a helmet ?
  • 2 0
 I don't get why he gets so much hate for riding MTB. I am sure he could best the wheels of anyone who chirps him both on a BMX and MTB. The guy loves to shred.
  • 1 0
 Beat the wheels off*
  • 2 0
 @ww27: no hating here , its cool to see talented dudes mix it up
i just dont get why a 10ft drop to flat on concrete is "safe" to hit with your hair blowing
but a 3ft step down on trail requires a full face
  • 1 0
 @zemaniac: totally agree!
  • 20 0
 Christian Rigal: "wanna go race some karts with buds"?... Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen show up.
  • 18 0
 Lets get this dude hooked up with Voreis to make an edit.
  • 2 2
 you had to watch this on an adult channel. brad simms is more hardcore than johnny sins.
  • 16 1
 Brad is a most follow on IG. I know him from his BMX stuff but he is next level. Congrats on the SRAM backing! Well deserved.
  • 13 2
 He should do a business class for bike riders. Dude seems like one of a handful of riders that makes a really good living riding bikes these days.
  • 20 0
 I think it's been a long road. There is a good interview with him on the unclicked podcast. Also this
  • 23 1
 Don’t be fooled by the image you see now. He was struggling for awhile and got himself in a good spot by making smart moves.
  • 3 1
 If someone could teach me to ride as well as Brad Simms I wouldn't even care about making a living off it.
  • 12 1
 If by that you mean started MTBing instead of BMXing, yes. You have to fill a very specific niche to make anything close to serious money in BMX. Most riders simply aren't making "a living". Not in the present tense and definitely not in the future set yourself up sense.

BMX industry has been pretty wack for a little while, and it's only picking up again now but only for those elite riders who can return value at venues like the Olympics. Since the X Games damn near fell off a map, it was difficult for athletes to get enough eyes to get good offers from brands.

Then social media came along and we saw a lot of... Journeyman level riders make Dave Mirra dollars while some of the best athletes in the sport were still making peanuts. Simms was able to get a piece of that but only on his riding alone. As his personality doesn't fit a clickbait channel for younger people (the BMX audience).

I'm glad he's MTBing. BMX is great. I loved those years. But it really loses stream past 30, and like clockwork we see riders switch to MTB or roading in their 30s. I think it's sensible for athletes to follow suit. Values change. Riding becomes more about a larger experience than landing tricks in a foam pit all day.

That said, I'm not sure Brad is a business expert. Plenty of well paid BMXers in the past weren't. He is definitely more mature and it lead to the right decision to be made. He could have made that decision a few years earlier. He had said he was going to give BMX 'one last chance'. And that experience didn't even remotely work out simply due to pay.

But I also think he's anti-energy drink and stuff. So that limits things. Not sure what his stance is on Taco Bell after his commercial lol
  • 3 7
flag Bro-LanDog (Jan 25, 2022 at 15:44) (Below Threshold)
 Lol look at his seperation from S&M/fitbikeco. Man has no place teaching how business works
  • 4 1
 @Bro-LanDog: Precisely. Trying to squeeze a core bike brand like it's an energy drink company and then huffing and puffing all the way home when the offer is rejected.

I feel bad for Dugan being all hyped and positive about that situation to have it turn out that way. Not sure why he didn't just put out offers to brands he liked and take any that worked for him. I bet Raiford has a very healthy contract with Full Factory. to SUPPLEMENT his energy drink endorsement.
  • 5 1
S&M/Fit is a real mess. I’m far from an expert on it in full, but I would not be remotely surprised to see it fold as a company. It’s already definitely a shadow of its former self either way. Not a single member of that team is making a living, from my limited knowledge of things, so I don’t blame Brad one bit for not sticking around. Sadly, as lepigpen was saying, BMX is a young man’s game. There’s no money in it. The passion is real, but the money isn’t, unless you’re willing to become a vlogger/influencer type.
  • 9 1
 Great move by SRAM. Can't wait to see what the next few years have in store. It's going to be fun to see Brad Simms carve out a niche for himself as a mountain bike pro.
  • 7 0
 I do not have a BMX background, so had not heard of this guy “who needs no introduction”. Will check out some of his stuff though, as he sounds like a sick rider.
  • 2 0
 he made some recent appearances in the xgames real bmx event and that's how most people would have heard of him
  • 2 0
 He also won bmx rider of the year 2 years in a row(2020 and 2021 i think) which obviously also brings some attention to his name. I also assume that most mtbers follow the bmx world a little, so i would think that most mtbers, young guys especially.
  • 3 1
 @freerideneverdies: I don’t really class as young...
  • 8 0
 Somebody get him one of Taj's "Mountain Biking: Old People BMX" shirts, stat!
  • 7 0
 Brad is a legend - can't wait to see more mtb stuff from him
  • 4 0
 boy, bmx must be in a sad state if there was a need to go into the crappy paying mtb industry to make ends meet. I wish him the best.
  • 2 0
 I had no idea who Brandon was at the time. I didn't know of many mountain bikers...... I see the Red Bull helmet. I'm like, "Okay. Right. Dude must be super legit." - Brad. Yeah, I think that Brandon guy has a future in bikes. Big Grin

So pumped for Brad. Dude is a monsters on a BMX bike for sure!
  • 4 0
 No way he can ride that Pike. The Lyrik is 28.99% stiffer and the ZEB doubles that. He just can't ride such a flimsy fork!!11!!1!
  • 5 0
 YES!!! So rad to see him on an mtb
  • 4 0
 love seeing people make it and seeing them on the same hidden gem trails around colorado springs Smile keep it up dude
  • 3 0
 Nachos for the win! But not sure how much of a hidden gem that is. Gem, yes. Hidden? Not to all the people hiking up it.
  • 3 0
 And now I’m seeing some Chutes action!
  • 5 0
 Guys going to need strong parts
  • 2 0
 A new Episode on BBC: "Deep in the Vali with Brad" feat Johnny Simms. Stoked for Brad. One of the most Hardcore Shredders on a BMX ever. Nice that he is enjoying this MTB thing so much.
  • 1 0
 Whilst it does worry me in some ways seeing guys cross over more from BMX for it's future (Although Im a racer not a trick guy) I cant wait to see what he does. His BMX vid's/edits are pure power. On a full suss bike he'll be unreal.
  • 4 0
 You can’t spell Brad without rad. So stoked for Brad.
  • 2 0
 Not to Brad!
  • 3 0
 Yay Brad! Stoked for you! And yes, you have so many new places to travel to now!
  • 4 0
 He looks really happy about it.
  • 4 0
 So glad they didn't put him on a 29er
  • 3 0
 Beast mode on wheels; long time coming
  • 1 4
 He's been riding , mtb, three years. Not that long really.
  • 1 0
 Dope to see more street riders crossover to MTB. Been following him on IG for years. You could say Dylan Stark did the same thing
  • 2 0
 You know rampage is intense when a professional bmxer thinks he did the best feature and it was only halfway up
  • 1 0
 I don't have a bmx background, just mtb. Then again I can't to s*@t on my mtb, just a bit of bunnyhopping. Oh and occasionaly I time my pumping right!
  • 1 0
 This man is absolutely incredible and I can not wait to see him succeed in the mtb industry. His skills and style are amazing.
  • 2 0
 Cant wait to see this dude tear it up all over the world
  • 2 0
 we need a brage simms stomp off pooooofffff
  • 2 0
 Love watching this guy ride. Insane talent and good vibes
  • 1 0
 Story of my life hahah. Take a bmxer to the bike park and they'll make you look like a beginner within an hour.
  • 2 0
 Semenuk and B-Rad edit stat. Call it B-Raw.
  • 1 0

Pinkbike kinda Canyoning the news
  • 1 0
 Big Brad Simms fane here. He makes the world's best BMX riders look like scooter kids!
  • 1 0
 RAD! dude is raw power on 20's just wait till he gets used to big mountain riding
  • 2 0
 bmxer's for the win
  • 1 0
 hes so sick on the bike, bringing style to MTB!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 aye shout out brad simms bruh
  • 3 1
 Canyon...... puke
  • 1 0
 His name is mostly rad, enough said.
  • 1 0
 Don't know Brad, but it's just amazing how "white" the industry is.
  • 1 0
 What component brand is he riding for.. couldn't tell from the article
  • 2 0
 I am SRAM. SRAM I am. I do not like those other brands.
  • 1 0
 oh chute man! wrong way on that DH only brah'
  • 1 0
 Came for the "BMX background" comments. Not disappointed.
  • 1 0
 Yeah Brad! Congrats.
  • 1 1
 double blackburger please )
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