Tomii Cycles 650B MTB

Tomii Cycles 650B MTB

A lugged steel frame is a thing of immeasurable beauty, but a frame that’s well-fillet brazed can be breathtaking. It’s almost a shame to cover it in paint, hiding the even seams, but a fresh coat can make the method appear like liquid. Massachusetts’ Nao Tomii is an expert in fusing two steel tubes together by fillet brazing, demonstrated by this 650B MTB.

Nao, traditionally trained and practicing as a sculptor, proudly used to title his frames in chronological order: the last Tomii seen on the pages of Cycle EXIF was Number 12. A couple of frames later makes this one Number 14 or 15, but it’s actually built for the same customer as Number 12, New Englishman Bobby Earle O’Brien. It’s a perfect match, albeit with even fatter tires.

Bobby’s new MTB shows off Nao’s buttery smooth brazing and eye for fine lines. A small section of webbing at the head and down tubes draw the eye along the fillets and down to the White Brothers LOOP forks and QtapeR axle. An ENVE wheelset, Rotor 3D cranks and a titanium seat post, stem and handlebar by fellow New England locals Firefly top the rock-solid build.

Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB
Tomii Cycles 650B MTB

  • Phil

    Truly superb craftsmanship, and a rather lovely bike, too

  • Sebastian

    Tomii’s work is so damned impressive.

  • Outstanding. Only quibble: I would change the brakes to a hydraulic setup.

  • Lewn

    Nice frame, looks like fun, immaculate welds and paint and I’m really digging the 5 point crank, why are most MTBs 4 bolt? I’ll never understand why. Also a gripshift with Rogues, interesting so the right side grip was cut down to fit?

    I’m not sure about the mech brakes, their days have most definitely passed, M596 are much better, also flat bar not seen that for a while, very modern retro build, real 90’s look going on, nothing wrong with that, although it might be better to go the whole hog and have V-brakes if you’re not going for hydraulic, but I suppose there aren’t many any forks with 15mm axles and V-brake compatible at the moment. Also must be a bit tough to find a non-tapered 15mm axle fork these days, well done, although it looks uber short travel, appears 60mm, most likely 80mm?

    On another note, 650B not really against, just confused as why the industry have gone this way. I’m sitting on the fence eatin’ popcorn waiting to see which way the wind blows mostly because my favorite tires aren’t in that size, not running out and buying a new bike, when I would have already laid down cash for a new ride, kinda opposite to what the industry were hoping, most likely.

    • Nothing wrong with using 650B on a hardtail but the real motive for 650B is on FS bikes, where 29″ wheels just don’t allow suspension designers optimal clearances for fitting everything in on frames made for people who are not giraffes.

      • Lewn

        650B will go one of four ways most likely:

        1. Prove to be a bit of a fad and generally die off.
        2. Become a niche for smaller XC riders and the main size for trail bikes.
        3. Become a simple choice, some people prefer them, some don’t XC/TR/AM/FR/DH regardless.
        4. Become the main wheel size for MTBs, 26ers generally die off.

        Time will tell the future of the wheel size, and that’s what I’m waiting for, although we can see sure that they absolutely work on this build.

  • Stefan Vapaa

    Nothing shouts “good job” like a repeat customer! Congratulation Nao, I’ll be knocking on your door someday.

  • Jason

    Great looking bike. Engineering question though – that gusset on the headtube/downtube junction looks like it is a stress fracture waiting to happen after repeated hard braking. Are there any other photos of this so I can see if it is a thin, fin-like piece that ends in a point on the downtube (not good)?

  • Troy

    The frame is gorgeous but I don’t understand the mechanical brakes. Who pays for Enve wheels and then puts BB7s on? I could maybe–maaaaybe–see it on a fatbike meant for extreme weather, but here? My guess is that it was done in order to have the very clean brake levers (paul components?). Too much compromise of performance IMHO but it’s not my bike. Very cool overall, have fun!