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Tioga / Marui Ltd. / Oriental Boeki - The Company

Tioga is the brand name used for marketing purposes as a part of the trading organization known as Oriental Boeki with offices located in the San Fernando Valley of California. Tioga to the best of our knowledge has no manufacturing facility, instead it relies on factories, many already involved in making bike parts, to manufacture on their behalf. In some instances they establish designs or specifications for goods they want made. In other instances they merely sell the goods the factory already makes but has the Tioga brand name imprinted on the goods or the packaging. An example of this is the Sugino rear wheel Tension Disc, which Tioga markets as their Disk Drive or Disk Drive Pro. With the factory contacts and contracts established, the specifications of the goods to made under the Tioga brand are announced to importer/distributors who then can buy the Tioga brand goods generally by letter of credit with Marui Ltd. an export company. Once the order arrives and the method of payment has been established, then the manufacturing factory will actually begin making the ordered goods which will ultimately be delivered to the importer/distributor. If none of the importer/distributors privileged to buy Tioga brand goods actually orders one of the announced products, in all likelihood you will never see it as a consumer.

The legend of Oriental Boeki goes further, to the best of our knowledge, one of the principals, or perhaps the only person with ownership interest in Oriental Boeki is "Rio" Marui. Rio is a Japanese businessman who is said to have to have made his first fortune through shoe outlets in Japan. He business interests expanded and he became involved in exporting from Japan bicycle parts through his business Marui Ltd. It is said that he once, (and may still have), sole export control of Shimano bicycle parts to at least the United States and could possibly have been worldwide. One of the other export relationships Marui Ltd./Oriental Boeki/Tioga enjoys is with a Japanese company called Mitsuboshi. Based in the Osaka area of Japan Mitsuboshi is a manufacturer largely of what we call "V pulley belts". You know, the type of pulley belt that operates the water pump on your automobile engine. A small part of Mitsuboshi capacity is used to manufacture bicycle tires. At least in the case of the United States, to the best of our knowledge, every bicycle tire made by Mitsuboshi that's imported to the United States seems to be exported through Marui Ltd. Mitsuboshi once sold tires in the US under their own name and using their own trade mark which was Three Stars in a Triangle, but the only time it's seen in the U.S. now is on Tioga brand tires.

Don't get us wrong, Mitsuboshi does great work and it would be our factory of choice for making tires with our own brand name, but they are so busy making Tioga and Specialized tires that, to our knowledge, additional manufacturing under new brand names is no longer considered.

That's right Specialized, Michael Sinyard the founder of what was then Specialized Bicycle Imports established a relationship with Marui Ltd., and thereby Mitsuboshi, many years ago to have their high end tires made for them by Mitsuboshi in Japan.

One of the people who once worked at Oriental Boeki, is a fellow named David Ajiki. He worked at developing new product ideas for goods under the Tioga brand name. David left to found, with another partner, the bike parts company known as Onza, which is now for sale.

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