A Visit to Nitto

Our friends from Tokyo Fixed in London visited Nitto and took this neat video. In addition to their own products, Nitto makes Grand Bois handlebars and racks. Enjoy!

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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8 Responses to A Visit to Nitto

  1. Eric Shalit says:

    Nice video.Thanks for sharing. Their choice of music is odd.


  2. Mr. S. says:

    Mixed feelings. Glad that Nitto exists still? Yes. Do I buy the notion their steel has the qualities of mithril? No. Can I see their ‘steampunk’ manufacturing system makes economic sense? Yes, so long as ‘retrogrouches’ will pay the premium; though places like Velo Orange are sourcing similar for much less, from Taiwan.

    Yet I have Nitto Randonneur bars, and like them well enough. As for ‘steampunk’, I only ride Brooks saddles, and love all three I own: two B17Ns and one Titanium Swallow.

    Apropos of nothing, as I am writing this comment we just had another tremor in Tokyo: June 14, 2011, 22:08. It’s getting old.

    • If you want to make handlebars in small quantities, it doesn’t make sense to set up huge machinery. What I like about Nitto is that I can get the bends I want – with more reach, flatter ramps, and even a truly functional (rather than merely aesthetic) randonneur bend. Beyond that, the main advantage of the high quality of Nitto’s production vs. many lower-priced competitors is a more uniform wall thickness, which allows you to make lighter handlebars that still are safer. A Grand Bois handlebar weighs about 90 grams less than the handlebars from the competition. Nitto-made bars pass EN safety tests… which are not required for selling bicycle products in North America, but it’s nice to know.

    • doug in seattle says:

      Not mithril, no, but better looking and higher quality, yes.

    • Price is one thing, quality is another. I don’t mean exclusivity, esoterica, hand-polished by lil’ ol ladies. No, I mean that these guys know metallurgy, materials, and manufacturing, and have for a long time. The cheaper, mass-produced Asian stuff is often not there. Recently read the testing of VO cranks in Bicycle Quarterly: premature wear of “7000” series chainrings, corrosion infiltrating grain structure of crankarm from one season of use. I won’t even start the list of cheap Asian hub failures I have had and seen. That I can get the Nitto quality for the small price they ask is value.

      >>>Yes, so long as ‘retrogrouches’ will pay the premium; though places like Velo Orange are sourcing similar for much less, from Taiwan.

  3. Tim says:

    A great video, I always find manufacturing videos interesting. I like how the handlebar bending machine makes it look so easy! And I might just need to buy a new stem now that I’ve seen the guy assembling them by hand.

    • They only show how to bend a relatively simple handlebar shape. I wonder how they make the Grand Bois Randonneur bars, which require bending in two planes, rather than one. (The Nitto Randonneur bars are a simplified shape that is easier to bend, but not as comfortable.)

  4. J. Nachlin says:

    Speaking of complex handlebar shapes, what I’ve always wondered is how they put the bulge in the center of the bars.

    Lovely video, anyway. Makes their production facility look pretty small.

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