When Larry was taking photos for the Tomi blog post, this bike looked like the perfect size for him. His trusty tape-measure confirmed it. Did he NEED another bike? No. But how many times these days does one have the chance to own a bike made by someone whose hand you can shake?
Sure, guys like Richard Sachs still make bikes pretty much all by themselves but Tomi even painted his in addition to doing all the fine pantographing of the lugs! Nowadays there are a few builders in the US who exhibit their work at the hand-built bike show but how much experience do these guys actually have? Some of them have been building bikes for just a few years.
Tomi worked at Cinelli for five years under the eye of their master builder, Luigi Valsassina, before coming back to Viterbo and making his own frames. He guesses he made about 2000 frames before turning off his torch, only about a dozen remain in the shop for sale.
With Antonio Mondonico now retired, this was an opportunity Larry couldn't refuse and recently took delivery of this later example of Serafino Tomi's work.
Columbus SLX tubes, Cinelli lugs and bottom bracket, Campagnolo dropouts, excellent-quality chrome (just about the only thing Tomi didn't do personally) this bike is brand-new. It's been waiting for an owner for at least 6-7 years and now it has one.
Detail photos here along with one of Serafino Tomi himself (at left) at the time of delivery. Tomi's son Giuseppe is in the center with yours truly on the right. Next project -- how to get this home!