Tomo Bikes

Ride for your life

Interesting boring tool mount

April 17, 2017 by jon | Comments Off on Interesting boring tool mount

I was making some truss fork dropouts and having some issues with the way the boring tool was mounted. I’d 17932651_1171010623027851_6972924480737771520_n(1)been using shims to get the right height but it was never very satisfactory so finally got round to making a tool mount. I can’t tell you how much better it was to use. The tool was much more stable and so much quicker to use, all for 20 minutes of making the post mount, result. Time spent making tools is time saved in the future. Lesson learnt, again!

Fat bike test ride

April 1, 2017 by jon | Comments Off on Fat bike test ride

IMG_4522The weather was far from snowy but first test ride on my fatty completed. Great over dry sand and pretty darn good fun over anything else. It seems to need a different amount of body movement to turn it at speed but tramped along on the road and flat pretty well. Need to experiment with tyre pressures and some bigger terrain next. Bring it on!


Copper commuter

March 26, 2017 by jon | Comments Off on Copper commuter

IMG_4499Weather looks a lot better so time to break out the summer commuter. Changed the saddle to a flat carbon one and trying out some flat bars chopped down to drop bar width to sneak through the traffic. Will be best thing about Monday morning.


Yellow Snow Bike

March 19, 2017 by jon | Comments Off on Yellow Snow Bike

After having a go on a friends fat bike I was gagging to build one. I’d been collecting the bits for some time and finally got round to finishing it. Most seem to have pretty slack angles. The one I rode seemed like it did to so I decided to go for 70.5 degree head angle. It’s certainly doesn’t seem slow to turn. Can’t wait to get it off road.

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Alfine 11 Cyclocross bike

March 7, 2017 by jon | Comments Off on Alfine 11 Cyclocross bike

A friend of mine wanted a new road bike. After talking to him about how and where he was going to ride it we decided on a cross bike. Alfine 11 hub, Columbus Zona tubing, 853 forks, custom Brooks saddle, Chris King headset, Avid SL road discs and the rather cool Microshift STi levers. We put a split in the frame using the Paragon dropouts to run a belt drive eventually. He kindly let me do the frame design and choose the colour!

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Skinny tubed Fat Bike (winter bike 3)

December 26, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Skinny tubed Fat Bike (winter bike 3)

img_4197I’ve been using the Christmas break to progress my Fat Bike. I had been collecting the parts for a while but was convinced to build it by having a go on a friends. Really want to finish before it snows or maybe before the sun comes out and go to the beach. Mix of Columbus and Deda tubing with Ritchey dropouts. 4 inch tyres fit ok with some room to spare. Will have to wait and see if 4.8s will squeeze in.


Winter bike (2)

December 14, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Winter bike (2)

Winter on the way so time to mudguard up my commuter. Makes those wet ride so much more bearable. SKS long guards do the business.


Winter bike

December 14, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Winter bike

Something for the winter! A friend of mine sent me a link to one of these so it seemed to good an opportunity to miss. Bit research and Bob’s your snowman’s uncle – snow bike / ski bike. A few bits to make to complete it and fingers crossed for snow.

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Copper singlespeed frame

October 25, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Copper singlespeed frame

I wanted to try copper coating a frame so combined it with some tube bending on my latest singlespeed frame. I couldn’t decide whether to leave it shiny or let it age and oxidise. Even I thought it looked pretty cool shiny so have tried 2k lacquering it to see how that sticks and lasts.


Tomo Bikes at Viking Challenge

October 25, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Tomo Bikes at Viking Challenge

I had the fortune to have a go at the Viking Challenge this year Good excuse for my brother and I to take my cross bikes and 29er for a spin. Very nice day and interesting back to back of the bikes not to mention some stonking cake.

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Tomo big wheel scooter

September 25, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Tomo big wheel scooter

My son has a scooter which is great but could really do with some proper sized wheel and tyres that can deal with average pavement surfaces. So we knocked this up using some old BMX parts. I have to say it’s an absolute hoot to ride. Full bespoke version 2 is already in the planning.

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Ben’s Uni Tomo Bike

August 7, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Ben’s Uni Tomo Bike

The slightly long awaited birth of my eldest’s bike for Uni. Finished a while ago but never posted. We went away from the fixie idea having seen how lumpy Newcastle and the surrounding countryside is. Hopefully this will make the commute a little easier and enjoyable. Just about enough clearance for 2 inch tyres if desired.


Bens3 Bens2

Bens7 And taking pride of place in the student digs kitchen.

2 out of 3 ain’t bad

August 7, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on 2 out of 3 ain’t bad

Inaugural bamboo bike ride was great fun and turned a few heads at the local cafe. Unfortunately we were one down due to late delivery of some wheels but the other two faired well. Interesting the amount of attention the unfinished ‘lugs’ got. It really did look like it was just tied up with string – cool!



How to get to N +1

August 7, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on How to get to N +1

New T-shirt design turned up. This is the simplified version of the truth! The real version would only fit on an XL:-)


Frame clearance

July 20, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Frame clearance

IMG_3666I’ve got something slightly different underway and wanted to make something pretty short at the rear with close clearance. Looks like I won’t be using a bigger tyre than that then!

Lefty prototype

July 4, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Lefty prototype

IMG_3015When I was at Spin London last year I showed Sjoerd from Vellowland a doodle of an idea for a fork I had. Always been fascinated by the Cannodale Lefty fork for it quirkiness. He liked it so having found a front wheel I eventually got round to knocking this up.

Now I need to finish it up and do the frame to match.

SRAM automatix v Sturmey Archer S2C

July 3, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on SRAM automatix v Sturmey Archer S2C

IMG_3538 Some time ago I bought a Sturmey Archer S2C hub. I’d read a bit of bad press but wanted to try the idea out as umpteen years of pulling away from traffic lights and gurning up hill on my single speed left me thinking it might be a good idea. Fortunately I picked it up nearly new built into a wheel for the price of the rim alone. Maybe that should have told me something.

It started off ok but did start making some strange noises and the gear change was just unreliable. It was good to be able to chose when to change gear , if indeed it would change, except it needs a little backpedal. When the big gear gets to much when going up a hill, you slow the pressure and try to hook the lower gear. If you backpedal too much you hit the rear brake or if it doesn’t change pretty quickly you come to a grinding halt, stuck in the big gear. So I thought i’d try an SRAM Automatix instead.

IMG_3635 I built a new one into a wheel and immediately found the (well documented) automatic gear change was at the wrong point. It started well, again, in the lower gear but you get to about 60 rpm and it changes up. Annoying on the flats but impossible to use on a hill with sticking below the gurning rate of 40 rpm. Who designs this stuff? Thankfully (thanks to Dave McCraw’ s website) there’s info on that there interweb of how to fix it. A few minutes to whip the hub apart and effect a change and things are much better. Test rode it to Brooklands Motorcycle Show today and enabled lower gear hill climbing but with big gear for the flats and down.

The lower gear for starting off is nice but need to remember it’s got a coaster break when hopping up curbs!

Brass singlespeed nuts

June 27, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Brass singlespeed nuts

It seems that most of the nuts on single speed wheels look ok when new but cut up, rust and look pretty dreadful after w while. As part of a steam punk bike build we were looking to add various amounts of brass components and knocked up these brass wheel nuts and bottle cage bolts. They look soooo much better than the standard steel ones!

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Bamboo bike

June 13, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Bamboo bike


I finally got round to finishing the build of my Bamboo framed bike. The weather was looking up so thought it was about time. Of course the forecast is now wazzing down all week. I decided to go 8 speed for ease and, as someone kindly put it, traffic light colour scheme. We’ve got a Bamboo ride out planned in July so must give it a try as soon as the weather clears.

Mixte Balance Bike

June 6, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Mixte Balance Bike

I had the great opportunity to build a balance bike for the grand daughter of a friend of mine. She chose the colour to match the new Tomo Bikes kit (or because it was a pretty colour!). Got some adjustable dropouts which with a bit of filing could make the angle needed for the chain and seat stays. What is a chain stay on a balance bike called? I wanted to go for a sort mixte look as it was for a young lady! Happy riding Amelia.

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Baby Tomo bike

May 5, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Baby Tomo bike


Parts for Jenny’s balance bike build have started arriving. Frame parts coming soon. Will be fun to make and start early introduction to bespoke bikes:-)

Steam punk bicycle

May 5, 2016 by jon | Comments Off on Steam punk bicycle

New project underway to build a steam punk themed bike. Lots of brass and detailed parts still to make. Nice skinny wishbone seats stays.

Brass stem cap with fixing for copper tubing. Not for the weight conscious but looks cool.

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Rigid 29er

December 9, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on Rigid 29er

29er all finished and ready for it’s first proper ride. Columbus zona tubing. Carbon stem, post and bars. Rigid and 1*10 for now. Got that lovely new bike feel.

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Bamboobee bike frame

October 18, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on Bamboobee bike frame

Having had a night with a few like minded friends I got round to building my bamboo frame up today. The Bamboobee frame comes as a kit with the box making the jig. All worked out ok with the need for a few adjustments of some dodgy joints. I decided to use some black pigment to colour the hemp used in the kit. It did make it look extra messy! Just needs 48 hours to set but looking forward to getting it out of the jig. Can’t wait to see how it rides.

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29er Bikepacker rack

September 30, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on 29er Bikepacker rack

I wanted a small rack for carrying tent or sleeping bag on the front forks of my 29er. Knocked this up out of stainless to go on my new 29er bikepacker.


Sliding dropout 29er

September 30, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on Sliding dropout 29er

I wanted to create a 29er that could run biggish tyres, single speed or geared. This can easily take up to 2.5 tyres with as short a rear end as I could squeeze in to reduce overall length. The forks are modified Surlys to take a Salsa Anything cage and a front luggage rack. Just about ready to go to paint – just need to decide on the colour!

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Folding bike prototype

September 30, 2015 by jon

I finally finished my prototype folder. A fairly simple design, really to test the folding mechanism and the geometry. The first version requires the front wheel to be removed to fold it, mainly because it was easier to do it that way. The BB in the rear triangle means there’s no chain issues when folding. 20 inch wheels means it rolls a bit better than my Brommy. I need to put an extra spacer in the frame joint to raise the read a little and have changed the seatpost to one with less layback and suitable amount of seat adjustment. The cable routing seems to work ok with the folding action so far. The next version should enable the front wheel to say in when folding. On the first trip to London found this cool lit bridge with 406 which is coincidentally the tyre size on the bike.

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Prototype folding bike

June 15, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on Prototype folding bike

I love my Brompton but wanted something I could ride a little further and faster in comfort. I wanted slightly larger wheels and full size frame so came up with this. Nearly ready for a first test.

Tomo Folder 1

May 21, 2015
by jon
Comments Off on DIY Bamboo Frames

DIY Bamboo Frames

And now for something completely different. When browsing Kickstarter one day, we came across a really neat looking Bamboo frame idea. Self build Bamboo frames with the box it’s sent in becoming the frame jig. I always fancied building one and was fortunate enough to find another 3 willing victims. The kits look great – just need the other two of the four to turn up now! A weekend of epoxy, beer and pizza coming up me thinks.

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Tomo Coffee

May 13, 2015 by jon | Comments Off on Tomo Coffee

I stumbled over this on t’internet. Not one of my bikes (it’s built by Motorless City Bike Co in Detroit) but I love it and good coffee. Might have to book a trip to Detroit!tomo-bike-large-681x482

May 10, 2015
by jon
Comments Off on Velowland finishing sitting pretty on Tomo Bikes conrod bike

Velowland finishing sitting pretty on Tomo Bikes conrod bike


One of the most fabulous looking products at the Spin Show was the Velowland finishing metal and wood effects. For me the copper and brass coatings looked the business. They are great guys and we seemed to have very similar ideas. I have had a project in mind with a friend for some time and their work will be perfect for it.

I look forward to a very exciting collaboration with these guys.

By the time we got home the sun was going down but just had enough time to fit this brass seat to the conrod bike and let it shine in the fading light. It looks bloomin awesome! Thanks guys.Velowland1

May 10, 2015
by jon
Comments Off on Trakke-d down a bag

Trakke-d down a bag


I knew I was in trouble on the first day at the Spin show. Lots of lovely bag products around. Sire enough Lisy tracked down the lovely people at the Trakke bag stand and fleeced me for a very nice small courier bag. It did look fantastic so hopefully a brownie point gained for all the up coming shed time.

Thanks Trakke. Keep up the beautiful work.