Monday Blues: Toyo Frame Company Ltd.
Toyo is one of those Japanese makers that over the years have taken on an almost legendary cult status. A status they have earned due to a high level of craft and workmanship. The Dura-ace equipped Toyo shown here was pointed out to me when I stopped in at City Grounds a couple weekends ago.
Though perhaps not as old, or as well known as some other Japanese manufacturers, Toyo has been producing bicycles since 1973. Over the years since that time they have built frames for companies including GT, Rocky Mountain, Ritchey, Gary Fisher, and Rivendell. Steel (Cro-Mo) is their preferred material with which to build, but they have also used Aluminum, Titanium, and Stainless Steel. Toyo frames are handmade, and span it all, from road to track, cyclocross to mountain bike. (I must say I do find it interesting that for a company that has put an emphasis on quality above anything, their current crop of offerings including E-bikes and bikes for small children, seems to represent a shift toward quantity. Makes you hope it does not affect their reputation - that would be a shame.)
I regret not taking more photos to highlight the simple, elegant lines of the frame shown here. No fancy lugs, no shiny chrome, nothing trick, just a basic frame designed for a good ride.
If you visit the company website there is a video, highlighting some of the company history, philosophy and goals. If you look around more and find the "Recuitment" subsection, under "About Toyo" I wouldn't be too concerned where it says "We are currently seeking slaves" - I have to think that is just a translation issue, but who knows?