Designing Tomomi Nishikubo’s trials bike
Find out how we partnered with Japanese trials sensation Tomomi Nishikubo to create his prototype trials bike from start to finish.
We were stoked to welcome Tomomi Nishikubo to the Canyon CLLCTV recently. He’s a super talented trials rider who can be found performing tricks around the streets of his home country Japan and beyond. He’ll be vying for a spot in the Olympic Games in a few weeks’ time and we’re excited to see how he gets on with the addition of his sport to the Olympic schedule.
We’ve quizzed Tomomi about the design of his brand new prototype Canyon trials bike and to show you behind the scenes of design process.
How do you feel signing with Canyon? What are your thoughts on the brand and the bikes?
I am super stoked to be a Canyon rider. It really is my dream brand. The bikes always look elegant, they’re functional and innovative. I’m super happy to ride them!
You had some cool ideas to inspire the design process. What were they?
Myself and Canyon made the design together. At first we tried to put some Japanese graphics on the bike. So, I suggested some Japanese symbols like Cherry Blossom, Ninja or something like that. I also sent some images of my ideas to Canyon’s designer (Christian Hellmann) then a week later he came back with 6 or 7 designs.
How was the final design decided? What is the story behind the colour? And what is the story behind the final EN (circle) logo?
All the designs were super cool, but in particular this EN logo stood out. I was really surprised because we never spoke about EN in our first meeting, and I asked Christian how he knew the EN symbol. He said, ‘I just did some research and discovered it myself’. I was like ‘Wow, I respect you!’ - since the Japanese word EN has so many good meanings - such as friendship, relationships. So, I really loved the design concept and its meanings so much.
The reason why I chose this light blue colour is because my name is Tomomi which means ‘friends’ and ‘ocean’ in Japanese.
There are also some parts hand drawn by you on the frame, right?
Once we decided on the design Christian said, “Hey Tomomi, can you write this EN logo and your name in Japanese calligraphy?” And I said, ‘OK I’ll do my best’. To be honest, it took about 5 hours to write this EN circle and my name! I want to say “good job” to myself!
What’s your favourite part of the design?
Actually it is a small Ninja logo. I go by the name ‘Ninja Rider’, so there is a small Ninja that is hiding somewhere on this frame. Also, I like the Canyon logo written in Japanese, it’s very cool.
How does the bike ride?
This bike is amazing. When I rode it for the first time I was like, “Oh my God!” I feel like I am riding on the moon. It is 1.5kg lighter than my old bike and this makes all tricks easier, higher or longer. So, I am sure this is a revolution for trials bikes.