Pulling up at U.S.E HQ it dawns on me, over the years we’ve known each other, I had never taken up Rory Hitchens’ offer of popping by anytime for a tour round (they’re only 5 miles down the road). Right, better turn round and pick up some cakes then hadn’t I? Pulling up at U.S.E HQ for the second time in half an hour, I am greeted by a flurry of bike business activity. “We’re moving into the unit opposite” a huge pile of Exposure Lights boxes said as it crossed the road on the small industrial estate that is so often the type of place you find an industry legend like U.S.E.
Am I going to be met with an air of confused derision at my longing to unearth a pile of anodised purple loveliness gathering dust in the loft?
Probably. This place has after all ridden (pardon the pun) the waves of varying bike trends over the years, from the early days when you could “make something new a whacky colour and people would buy it” through first the ti, then carbon explosions and onto the successes of the growing night riding/ racing market and cordless light set ups. U.S.E may well have a fair few of the old faves still in production, but they are also firmly ‘up there’ with products as innovative and lovely (in a CNC’d kind of a way) as the Olympic winning TT bars and the Exposure Lights LED light range.
As it turns out, I am met by an ever enthusiastic Rory wearing an even more enthusiastic flouro green and pink race jersey from back in the day. Good start I think to myself. He still gets it.
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