This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from Austin, Texas. Emilio’s Tomii Cycles Sunset Chaser gravel bike caught our eye on Instagram, so we reached out to Emilio to see if he’d be willing to share his thoughts about the bike. Read on below for more…
“Grab a bunch of bikes and ride them around with your friends. It’s the shit.””
-Tyler the Creator-
As with many folks, I turned to biking as an outlet and way to maintain my sanity during the pandemic time of lockdown and uncertainty. Biking long distances has always been my movement meditation and… well, it’s the shit!
However, pre-pandemic I worked as a bike-touring guide traveling the world ten months of the year, and in that role I always used a company bike. When the pandemic hit, I was left jobless and bike-less. Ending up back in South Central Texas, I decided it was time to finally scheme up a bike from a local frame builder that I could call my own. Scott Nakamoto, a good college friend, sent me links to the Tomii Cycles Fat Canvas Bike in 2019 and then I re-stumbled upon The Radavists’ “Tomii Cycles Showcase” in March of 2020 and I knew immediately that Nao’s bike designs and craftsmanship were ones I wanted to support. Plus he is in Austin, TX!
I cannot express the immense joy that the custom Fat Canvas style bike has brought to me. It has importantly allowed me to reconnect with the cycling community in South Texas. This bike does it all: I use my Tomii Cycles bike to explore the gravel scene in and around Austin/South Texas, throw my hand at crit laps on the Driveway Series and ride with the Eastside Movement Company and Breakfast Club bike groups.
Quick shoutout to Amy Hooper of Eastside Movement Company for helping me get my body back in order to use this bike to its fullest and sustain long days in the saddle again.
Funny enough, I was at the Driveway Series one day watching the pro race zip around when I heard someone saying, “Oh look at this steel-frame welding and the color fade is spot on.” I turned around to chat with the dude for a few minutes about bikes, bike racing, and the awesomeness of Nao. As we parted ways I asked him his name and he said, “Colin.” I rejoined my group of friends, who were looking rather dumbfounded.
“What’s up?” I asked, and they proceeded to inform me that “Colin” was none other than Colin Strickland, 2019 Dirty Kanza winner and general Austin badass. So I think it’s fair now to say that if this bike got the approval of Colin Strickland, then I think Nao and I most assuredly did something right with this build!
I ride with a smile every day thanks to Nao and Tomii Cycles. Catch me and this rig chasing sunsets across the SW and PNW this summer! If in the Austin or San Antonio area, drop a line in the comments section and let’s grab a coffee and ride!
Frame spec :
-Steel frame: Mix of Columbus Zona, Tange, and Zero Uno
-Down tube internal
-Canvas style rear rack
-Designed to fit 650×48-54mm or 700 tires
-Sram mullet set up with Force etap AXS and Eagle XX1
-White Industries Headset, BB and rear hub
-Enve Gravel Fork
-Patinated King Cage
-Paragon Thru Axle
-Sondelux Front Hub and Sinewave Beacon Light
– MSW Cricket Taillights
-Thompson Stem and Seat Post
-Brooks Cambium C17
-Whiskey No7 24F Handlebars
-Zipp Speed Service Course Bar Tape
-Rene Herse Juniper Ridge tires
-White Industries G25 gravel rims
We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!