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I met a local steel-bike builder yesterday

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I met a local steel-bike builder yesterday

Old 02-05-14, 07:27 AM
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I met a local steel-bike builder yesterday

The fork dropouts on the Moto I'm building up had seemed not quite right. I have no good workbench or tools for fixing this sort of thing, so I did a quick web search for local builders who could align the fork. That's how I found Nao Tomii making steel bikes in a cozy but nicely equipped shop in Woburn, MA. See https://www.tomiicycles.com/.

I called him and made arrangements to take the fork by the shop, and managed to get there yesterday. He had one nearly complete frame hanging on a work stand, an array of nice wheels hanging from the ceiling, and an enviable array of tools hanging on the wall. After 20 minutes or so of him tweaking and oomphing and performing related actions the fork was perfect. Of course we conversed about bikes the whole time. Being an artist he appreciated the elegance of older bikes, especially European bikes. He commented on fork bends, how the Moto's fork was so nice, how he sees some bikes that look great but the fork looks like junk to his eyes. Of course he showed me the bending forms he had made for himself. He made me promise to show him the complete bike, and since my new bike commute route could take me half a block from his shop that should be easy. Neither of us had time for more visiting but as I was leaving he said I should come by again so we could take about bikes a lot more.

I call that a great exchange.
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Old 02-05-14, 07:36 AM
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He had some great works featured on various sites lately, jaw dropping bikes. He must have a great sense of beauty.
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Old 02-05-14, 07:42 AM
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Corrected link.

https://www.tomiicycles.com
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Old 02-05-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Thanks. I cut-n-pasted it from a browser address line which showed just www... and the paste went in as https://www... Dang computers, never do what I ask the first time.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:07 AM
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Impressive work, and well documented. I could get lost on his site.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:07 AM
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We have a guy like that in our little town of 3500. He builds frames and has a room full of campy parts.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:26 AM
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OldsCool Where is that? I'm originally from Negaunee near Marquette and visit frequently, would love to visit his frame shop if possible. I'm in the process of learning to tig weld frames right now.
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Old 02-05-14, 12:06 PM
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Wow, such beautiful bikes and very nicely photographed.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:02 PM
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Love his work.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by triathloner View Post
OldsCool Where is that? I'm originally from Negaunee near Marquette and visit frequently, would love to visit his frame shop if possible. I'm in the process of learning to tig weld frames right now.
I'm in Boyne City as is the shop. John is a great guy. He is also a Waterford Dealer. Google "bike fix boyne city".
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Old 02-05-14, 07:03 PM
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Will he be at the show come March in Charlotte ?
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Old 02-05-14, 08:36 PM
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One of my favorite up and coming builders.

I really like every one of the designs he's created, some are stunning.

Again, stroll through his Flickr. Fun stuff.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/3rrrproducts
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Old 02-06-14, 09:46 AM
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There must be dozens of small builders in MA, Mr. Tomii looks to have quite a nice style of putting his bikes together, I'm glad you pointed him out.

Another that spring to mind is Armando Quiros in Framingham, www.quiroscustomframes.com He was trained by Yamaguchi (3Rensho) and has an afinity for classic designs and bikes, especially track and pursuit types.

he's been a good buddy and trading partner for a few years now and has done some pretty fancy repairs and restos for me. Including steerer tube thread replacement, which is a very tricky it seems
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Old 02-06-14, 10:28 AM
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/3rrrpro...7630055907358/

so nice
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Old 02-06-14, 11:13 AM
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beautiful works. thanks for the story and the link!
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Old 02-06-14, 12:07 PM
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I am so blown away by his work that I commissioned him to build me a touring bike. Made a deposit and I'm in line for a build slot! It will be his first full touring bike build.
It sounds as though it will be a mid-summer build start.
I did name drop @jimmuller

Scott

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Old 02-06-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I'm in Boyne City as is the shop. John is a great guy. He is also a Waterford Dealer. Google "bike fix boyne city".
Boyne?, as in Boyne Mountain?, Ski country in MI (Other than Iron Mountain in the UP).... I skied there when I was in highschool.
Makes sense that a builder will set up his business there, as there's enough local skiers that must take to cycling in the summers and the roads around Boyne Mountain must be great...

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Old 02-06-14, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Boyne?, as in Boyne Mountai?, Ski country in MI (Other than Iron Mountain in the UP).... I skied there when I was in highschool.
Makes sense that a builder will set up his business there, as there's enough local skiers that must take to cycling in the summers and the roads around Boyne Mountain must be great...
Our local folk are cyclists. We have a number of shops in the area, two are in Boyne. Us roadies seem to be outnumbered by the MTB crowd. Great places to ride really helps.
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Old 02-06-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
I am so blown away by his work that I commissioned him to build me a touring bike. Made a deposit and I'm in line for a build slot! It will be his first full touring bike build.
It sounds as though it will be a mid-summer build start.
I did name drop @jimmuller

Scott
Congrats.

Excellent decision and pics eventually will be required.
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Old 02-06-14, 05:05 PM
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I did a quick check at his flicker photos. Impressive.

Jim, you're so lucky to be so close to a frame builder. I wish I could find someone local like that.

Any "Jersey Boys" on the C&V forum know of any professional or home frame builders in NJ?
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Old 02-06-14, 07:18 PM
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Congrats Flog - I'm almost there too...

I have lusted after one ever since seeing this bike on my commute to work a bunch of times this past year. The woman riding it has a similar commute (time and route) as I do so I saw her several times this summer / fall. The bike is absolutely stunning.



<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/3rrrproducts/8027413855/player/25d42dabaa" height="315" width="500" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

I can't get that link to work for the life of me. photobucket >>>> flickr

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Old 02-06-14, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
I am so blown away by his work that I commissioned him to build me a touring bike. Made a deposit and I'm in line for a build slot! It will be his first full touring bike build.
It sounds as though it will be a mid-summer build start.
I did name drop @jimmuller

Scott
I don't even know you and I'm excited about your future frame!

I love craftsmanship like this, I don't care if the builder has high profile name or not. This is all very respectable work. You guys make me feel at home talking about stuff like this.
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Old 02-07-14, 08:44 AM
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Nao Tomii seems supremely talented and communicates very well.

https://anotherbuilderslife.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tomii.cycles

https://www.flickr.com/photos/3rrrproducts/

The pictures of his cool family were enough for me to take a chance with him

Someday I can say I had the great Tomii build me his first touring bike

Happy 50th birthday to me hahaha

Scott
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Old 02-07-14, 10:21 AM
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His work is so cool. I found the miniature MTB (I'm assuming he built for his son) to be really cool. It can "grow" from a 20" wheeled bike to a 26" wheeled bike. So innovative!
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Old 02-08-14, 12:21 AM
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Thanks for posting your discovery, Jim. Wow, stunning craftsmanship and aesthetics! I have always played with the thought of a custom frame made to measure. Peacock Groove is currently on top of my list, but Tomii Cycles is getting serious consideration.
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