Tunturi fitness equipment
On November 22, 1922, brothers Aarne and Eero Harkke registered a business, noting “the principal work of the business will comprise bicycle repairs and other small mechanical repairs” in Turku, Finland. The company also assembled bicycles from English “High Land” brand components, until in the late 1920s they started manufacturing these components and decided they wanted their bikes to have a Finnish name. High Land was translated, and the name Tunturi came into being. The Tunturi trademark was registered in 1925 and the bike name Tunturi made its public debut in the local newspaper in 1926.
1930s – 1940s
With the Tunturi business booming, manufacturing was transferred to proper factory facilities in 1934. Soon the operations were expanded to include the sales of bikes, as well. In addition to bicycles, the company’s range included a variety of products, such as goods wagons, small transport carts, and horse race buggies. During the war years from 1939 to 1944, the company also manufactured bikes for the disabled and pliers for fixing barbed wire fences.
Tunturi significantly strengthened its position as the leading bicycle manufacturer in Finland, and it became again necessary to move the manufacturing to a larger facility. The first motorcycles were made in 1951, but they were replaced on the production lines by mopeds in 1956: Tunturi quickly became market leader as the manufacturer of Finnish mopeds.
In the 1960s, Tunturi’s success was supported by mopeds. As the standard of living rose rapidly, more and more people switched from a bicycle to a motorised vehicle. Tunturi’s “Pappa” model was a reliable, fast and easy-to-service speedster suitable for riders of different ages. Its glamour has grown even recently thanks to clubs set up by aficionados. In the best year, 15,000 mopeds were made in Turku. In bicycles, a revolutionary bicycle model “Poni”, a multipurpose bike that could be adjusted for users of all sizes was introduced in the mid-60s.
In the mid-60s, Tunturi started to develop a product to complement peak season sales of bicycles and mopeds. After a long period of development and planning, the first Tunturi fitness cycle emerged, and production and sales began in 1969. Tunturi patented the simple and accurate effort measuring system, and Tunturi’s basic exercise cycle W1 became an instant classic in its field. In the 1970s, Tunturi became internationally recognized as a fitness equipment manufacturer.
The production of fitness equipment made Tunturi a strongly export-oriented international company. A new factory only for fitness equipment manufacturing was opened, and in 1985, the President of Finland granted an export award for Tunturi.
The production of mopeds was discontinued in the early 1990s, and Tunturi concentrated solely on fitness-oriented products, fitness equipment and bicycles. The name of the company was changed to Tunturi Oy Ltd in 1998.
All operations were concentrated to one facility, the newest bicycle and fitness equipment factory in the world. In 2003, Tunturi Oy Ltd becomes part of Accell Group N.V., a Dutch group active in the field of sporting goods.