April 08, 2009
Machines do not happen by themselves, and behind every great one is impressive talent. Morizumi designed his spoke cutter/threader based on extensive experience with spoke manufacturing at Asahi Spoke Company in Osaka. This tool combines that special insight with his own cleverness. It's certainly one of the most elegant and effective devices I have used.
He runs a one-man shop where every task is handled personally. [Mr Morizumi retired in 2013 and passed in 2018]
When younger, his hobby was motor racing, especially go-carts. Now, his passion is cycling. He built his own bike and rides on holidays. Today, many of his friends are also cyclists and he makes a variety of machine parts for them. His only product, per se, is the spoke cutter.
Morizumi's workshop is small but comfortable. Cleanliness, patience, and great measuring tools are key to the extraordinary tolerances found in his spoke machine.
He built the cutter the way many bicycle inventions happen: he needed custom spoke lengths himself. Even in the heart of the Japanese bicycle industry, specific spoke lengths are often impossible to find. Spoke manufacturing involves minimum size runs like 10,000 per. If you want 301mm, but only 32 pieces, you may be out of luck. Hand cutting and threading is really an extension of spoke manufacturing; as wheel building itself can be the last stage of a bicycle's manufacture, often performed at the point of purchase.
When Morizumi created this machine, his last thought was manufacturing them. He needed one himself. Gradually, envious friends convinced him to make them regularly. What a delight it has been for me to offer these to customers worldwide.
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