I've always been a fan of Nitto Japan. Back when track bikes were still cool I always had a couple pairs of Nitto bars in rotation. There's just somthing about the feel of a steel bar that just doesn't compare to anything else. They feel solid, yet compliant. They don't transmit vibrations like aluminum, and won't snap and skewer you in a million places like carbon.
Earlier this year when we were meeting with Akira-san (the boss at Nitto) in Taipei, I asked if they could make a mountain bike version of their famous Grand Randonneur touring drops. You may recall we like these bars so much we named our 650b touring frame after them.
They have a classic French-style bend, with flared drops and slightly raised ramps. They work great for brevets and loaded touring, due to their multiple hand positions and conservative drop. I've ridden the alloy bars for years, but sometimes I get a little bit too rowdy and I wanted somthing that would hold up to "Manny Ride" scenarios.
So the wizards at Nitto did their thing, and came back with a couple samples made from the same tubing as their unflappable track bars. I'm in love. They feel amazing. The hood position is perfect, the drops are comfy, and they look a treat.
We're going to get a batch of these made up, but they're going to take a while to arrive. So if you're interested in a pair shoot us a line and we put your name on the list. That way if we know we're going to sell out we can get more in the queue so people don't have to wait 6 months if they miss the first run.