Yesterday we took a deep dive into the shop of Tomii Cycles. Typically, builders use their own bikes to experiment and explore ideas, concepts, and construction techniques they’ll later use on their client’s bikes. This reasoning is why I always gravitate towards a builder’s own bike when I’m visiting a shop.
My first experience with Nao Tomii from Tomii Cycles was via his old brand, 3RRR, which focused on small components like chainrings, developed in part with industrial design office 44RN. While in Boston, he learned to build bikes under the instruction of Ian Sutton, from Icarus Frames. When he moved to Austin shortly after, I began seeing his bikes pop up all over town, each beautifully constructed and specced, with color palettes so unique to the cycling industry’s normal flashy vibrancy. Nao has an eye for design, proportions, and a willingness to strive for perfection. His work is wildly underappreciated in the saturated market of handmade frames.
The Tomii Cycles CANVAS “all-day” production road bikes are finding their way to new owners as we speak, with the latest being built up at Mellow Johnny’s by Jonathan. This build in particular checks all the boxes, while keeping to the CANVAS’ mantra of being a fast, long distance bike with the ability to pack a few items for the journey. This is a credit card tourer’s dream bike for a route like the Pacific Coast. See more at the Tomii Flickr!
Designed for road rides where you might want to carry a large saddle bag, requiring a rigid support rack, the Canvas is a road bike designed for all-day rides. The Canvas is a production model offered by Austin, Texas-based Tomii Cycles with a retail price of $2,000 for a frameset, including an Enve RD fork, one color paint (Cucumber Green or Battleship Gray) and color matching custom rear rack. Check out more frame details, ordering information at Tomii Cycles and look at more high res images at the Tomii Cycles Flickr.
While Summer’s a way out still, these Tomii Cycles watermelon caps are good year round. If you can get your hands on one. Made in Austin, Texas by Rothera Caps. They’re back in stock now, so head to Tomii to swoop!
Nao from Tomii Cycles always designs the best paint jobs and products, with the newest being these watermelon caps. Clean, simple and made in Austin, Texas by Rothera.
Scoop one up you can now pre-order these sold out caps at Tomii Cycles today!
Nao from Tomii Cycles has a knack for making ordinary objects extra-ordinary. Take these Velo Orange bells that he disassembles, then hand-hammers and creates a patina in the process. These retail for $30 from Tomii Cycles, or you can buy a VO Bell and do it yourself. Kudos to you, Nao!
These ultralight (3g for the pair) Tomii Cycles Magic Beans are a cable hanger pair for the minimalist’s cantilever brakes. Made in the USA and designed by Nao from Tomii and Aaron of 44RN, the Magic Beans are in stock now at Tomii Cycles.
Remember Fugo and his custom Tomii Cycles bike? Well, Fugo has grown up, as kids do and it was time for him to ditch his 20″ wheels for brand new 24″ wheelset. Remember, the design of Fugo’s bike allows him to upgrade to even a 26″ wheel. Nao, I love this photo and I think everyone here greatly appreciates your documentation of this unique project.
See more at the Tomii Flickr!
Weighing in at just 1 gram, this Tomii Cycles cable hanger is the minimalist’s dream straddle solution. No word on when it’ll be available for public consumption, or if he’ll be doing anodized colors, but you can sign me up! For now, keep on top of Tomii Cycles at their Instagram.
Brown and orange never looked so good. Nao from Tomii Cycles always takes pride in designing a client’s paint by touching pen to paper. Here’s his latest example: Tammy’s touring maching. You can see more at the Tomii Flickr or just give him a follow on Instagram.
These two had better get along, they’re going to be spending a lot of time together… Loving this photo!
Nao Tomii’s latest build process photos have me feeling all funny. I absolutely love the asymmetrical brake bridge and the sharp, pointed seat tube cluster. Keep on top of Tomii and his work at the Tomii Cycles Flickr.
The past few days, Nao from Tomii Cycles has been posting some beautiful photos from a traditional track build. From what I can tell from the Tomii Flickr, it’s being built with a 1″ steerer and Kalavinka track ends. The process is almost as alluring as the final product in this case. See more at the Tomii Flickr.
When you ride a 44cm cyclocross bike, there aren’t many options out there. In fact, a lot of riders will opt for a 26″ mountain frame, which limits tire selections for ‘cross. For Lori, she wanted a cyclocross frame that would fit a fat tire and most importantly, fit her, while keeping true to the 700c wheel.
Builder Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles wanted to take advantage of the extreme sloping top tube by making this cross bike look like a drop bar 29r mountain bike. Since a lot of people prefer their cross frames a bit smaller than their road frames, this one comes in a tad under 44cm. With 150mm Rotor cranks and Shimano Ultegra hydro disc brakes, Lori has absolute control over her bike. In fact, she’s already started riding trails on it here in Austin.
Personally, this is where custom frames triumph and when they look this good, who can argue with that? Check out this testimonial on Lori’s Instagram account.
Props to the mechanics at Mellow Johnny’s for building such a stellar rig for Lori and a huge high five goes to Nao at Tomii Cycles for building such a rad frame.
Photos by Chris Raia
It’s framebuilder’s week here at the Radavist. Each year, I immerse myself into the world of custom bicycles for the week leading up to NAHBS in an attempt to psyche myself up for the workload that awaits at NAHBS. Covering the world of custom bicycles and framebuilders stems from a love for the industry. An obsession for details, an eye for proportion and the story each bicycle tells without uttering a word.
While NAHBS is all about the exhibition, it’s most importantly a venue for the public to connect to the private world of the framebuilder. These artists spend their time behind lathes, torches and files for most of their days. NAHBS gives them a moment to share their hard work with you, their potential clients.
For builders like Nao Tomii at Tomii Cycles, his work is displayed to the public via his Flickr and other social media outlets. While Nao won’t be at NAHBS this year, it doesn’t mean his work is any less worthy of a spotlight. Case in point is his latest build: Annie’s road. Built with modern Campagnolo, made in the USA White Industries crank, made in the USA Camillo brakes and a mesmerizing paint job by Jordan Low, this piece of art is sure to bring Annie many miles of joy.
Custom frames like this are examples of an artist’s work, but most importantly, they’re vessels that bring clients miles of joy. Well, that and pretty photos for us to ogle. See more at the Tomii Flickr.
Personally, I can’t wait for NAHBS. It’s my favorite event of the year.
Nao at Tomii Cycles posted this photo on his Flickr the other day and it really struck me as both a unique photo and construction method. The juxtaposition of the cold, hard steel and the warm, rich hardwood, coupled with precision tools really speaks a lot about framebuilding. To top it off, the simple wood screw at the fork end shows a no-nonsense approach to the builder’s m.o.
I see a lot of framebuilder’s process photos, yet this one really did it for me.
Now it’s time to get over to Tomii cycles to shoot some photos, don’t you think?
Purple and teal go surprisingly well together, especially when there’s a slick fade happening like on the latest from Tomii Cycles in Austin. Annie’s Road is strikingly beautiful, but don’t say the word “girly”, because I know I’d take pleasure in riding it, as I’m sure you would too. Once again, JL Custom Paint knocked it out of the park.
Check out more at Tomii Cycles’ Flickr.