Saturday, October 16, 2010
Today we met with Nitto. Nitto is a company which I knew very little about despite stocking it since we opened. Its also by a long way my favourite component manufacturer. I love the look of their parts, the quality, weight, graphics, box's... everything they do is flawless. Anyway after spending the day with Nitto I no longer wonder about the mysteries of the company. They are based in East Tokyo and have a factory a distance out of Tokyo, six people in the office / warehouse and a further forty in the factory. We will be visiting a factory next week and I will be sure to get a video of some alloy bending in action. Yoshikawa San is Nitto's current president he is the third president from his family. Nitto was started by his great grand parents. His great grand father was a metal polisher and his great grand mother did the book keeping. He says they saw a niche in the market when Keirin racing arrived in Japan and the components they used didn't stand up to the stress of a fast sprint. Nitto don't really follow trends. Yes they've released things for the fixed gear market such as the T19 sets and the ADBX bars but this is at the request of other parties. So as it stands the bulk of the business is selling bars and stems which have changed very little in the last twenty years, some havent changed in much longer. And this is what they're good at, and this is what we love them for because quite simply no one else is doing this anymore.
We will be doing a line of bars in collaboration with Nitto as well as a couple of very limited runs of old stems. Lots more photos to follow, for now you can view a couple of pages from some of their vintage catalogues on our flickr.
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