02 October, 2006

Interbike Report

I just got back from Interbike and though you might be interested in a bit of news.

I had a long meeting with Akira Yoshikawa, President of Nitto. We discussed racks and their design as well as some of the Nitto products we may import directly. Nitto is interested in making versions of their racks for our bikes and may even make new racks to our designs. This is very exciting as their production capacity and quality is very high.

Two Taiwanese firms are also interested in making products for us.

I also met with Toshiyuki Ogino, President of MKS , the pedal manufacturer. He will allow us to import pedals directly from Japan and, hopefully, bypass all the delay encountered in dealing with distributors. Among the pedals we're interested in is a top-of-the line track pedal called the Custom Neuvo that is being made with an extra-wide cage for big American feet. The quality looks to be as good as any pedal ever made. We may also bring in the MM-Cube, my favorite SPD type pedal which has been difficult to get for a couple of years. MKS alloy toe clips with leather covers pre-installed are another product we hope to stock. We'll also have the MKS mini clips which are fantastic for city bikes and hard to find.

I received the prototype fenders that Honjo is making for us. They are extra long and have the holes for the fork crown and stays pre-drilled to make mounting easier. I'll mount them on a bike later this week and post photos. If everything fits perfectly we'll give Honjo the go-ahead and have them ready to sell in about 10 weeks.

Richard Schwinn, President of Waterford Cycles, was at the show with a stunning polished Reynolds 953 frame. We spoke about the possibility of Waterford making our production frames. There is some doubt about whether they have the capacity to make the number of frames we want. Their cost is also higher than we would like, but the quality of Waterford's frames is impressive.


Adam Alpern said...

Which fender profile did you end up going with?

I'm always very excited to hear Nitto rack news. Can't wait to see what's cooking there.

Anonymous said...

Any pix of the 953? Was it lugged or tig'd?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The Honjos have the same profile as the 43mm fenders on my Ebisu. You can scroll down to see them.

The 953 frame was lugged. I was too busy yakking to remember to take a photo. It's so shiny that I thought it was chromed at first.


Alan said...

"Among the pedals we're interested in is a top-of-the line track pedal called the Custom Neuvo that is being made with an extra-wide cage for big American feet."

God bless you Chris. Now can someone point me in the direction of longer-than-normal leather toe clip straps? Thank you.

By the way, my order arrived today, I love the jersey and the book is incredible. Thanks much.

Neil M Berg said...

Toshi straps. Jitensha Studio. $42.

david_nj said...

Your local shoemaker, a pair of old toe strap buckles, 10 minutes, and a smile. $5.

Nei M Berg said...

I live in a town of 20,000 people. The last shoemaker has retired. Load up on toe straps while you can.

The Toshis are nice - long, laminated and stiff.

Maybe Chris can have some nice long honey-colored straps made?

Alan said...

Great idea on the shoemaker. Shoe makers or repair servcies are indeed increasingly hard to find. There is still a good one near the University of Minnesota, but here in suburbia, not a chance. I should indeed have a couple of pair made up.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Alan, We have longer toe straps now. I'm just putting up a post about them.

Neil M Berg said...


Please contact me at
neilmberg@yahoo.com with a name or general address of the U of M shoemaker.

Go Twins!

Chris Kulczycki said...

If you have straps made up be careful of the leather you use. I don't know if it should be vegetable tanned or chrome tanned and if it should be from a certain part of the hide, but it's worth finding out. I once looked for suitable leather and couldn't find it, but I didn't try very hard either. Perhaps a saddle maker or tack repair guy would have a better understanding of this than a shoemaker, and there are more of them out in the sticks Neil ;<)

Andy said...

I think you'd want vegetable-tanned leather; the end product is more stable and resistant to shrinking.

Vegetable tanning is more in line with the V.O. philosophy. It's a lovely, classic, natural and very labor intensive process. The best flight jackets are vegetable tanned.

Chrome tanning leaves the leather more flexible and soft.