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my first go at bike origami

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:41 pm
by Bendo

Bike origami = rinko. Rinko for those who don't know is a Japanese system of breaking down a bike so as to fit into a bike bag that is allowed on the Japanese rail system.

I've got a rando bike that was built to be rinko ready and I've been curious both as to how I can make it properly rinko-able, and also where the hell I would actually use this feature in Oz. In Japan you can get to lots of amazing places by train. In Victoria the few country trains left mostly have space to stash a full bike. Maybe I could take a rinko-ed bike on a bus...

Anyway here are a few pics and some notes (to self mostly) on what I did and what I still need to work out. Perhaps this will be of use to others.

Firstly, I am using the "Alps system" promoted by Jan Heine of Bike Quarterly fame. There are probably several other ways to do it, such as the Grand Bois "Ezy-rinko" method. The main feature of the Alps system is that it makes a smaller package by dropping the front fork out and removing the handlebars. It often uses a split rear mudguard: the rear half of the mudguard is removable at a point just behind the seat stay bridge.

I investigated the split mudguard option pretty thoroughly, but it's fussy (and potentially quite expensive) to construct, and for all that effort I decided it's just as easy to remove the whole rear mudguard. In place of standard M5 bolts I found that the tension bolts from old derailleur levers work very well and won't require tools to remove on the road.

Other things I had to do to get the bike more rinko-able were slot the internal stop of the rear brake lever so that cable could be removed; solder in a connector for the wiring to the rear light so that I could remove the front fork; that's about it!

So I purchased an Ostrich Road Bike Rinko bag. It came with two straps and a rear dropout bracket so the bike can stand on it's own without the back wheel. I also purchased separately some neoprene frame pads which go around the three main tubes. The bag is vaguely semi-circular. Inside the flat base is reinforcing and symbols showing which side to rest the back of the saddle and which side to rest the (protected) rear end. The bag itself has two half pockets inside the side walls of the bag for the wheels.


Here's a first draft procedure list:
1) Cinch front wheel to down tube with toe clip strap
2) Wrap main tubes with frame pads
3) Remove pedals
4) Release rear brake cable from lever
5) Release stem and remove handlebars
6) Cover saddle and
7) Undo headset, detach wiring and remove front wheel and fork complete
(8) Remove rear mudguard; reattach daruma bolts to mudguard stay and cinch mudguard to wheel with toe clip strap
9) Remove rear wheel
10) Fit drop-out/derailleur protector stand
11) Stand bike on end inside bag; cover chain (I used glad wrap which is not pretty, apparently there are chain covers you can buy as well
12) Place front wheel and fork on drive side of frame and rear wheel on non-drive side, freewheel facing outwards and cover to protect bag from grease; front of front wheel should be next to cranks
13) (here's where it gets tricky) Attach everything all at once so that nothing falls over, gets scratched or rubs! My Ostrich bag came with two nylon straps, but this method requires at least three AFAICS.
14) Cinch handlebars (assuming they are drop bars) on rear wheel side, stem pointing inwards, bars hooking around rear wheel on either side of the bottom bracket.

Theoretically it is all ready to get zipped up, however there is another strap provided that does the final securing and then exits the bag through a special hole. Somehow it becomes a shoulder strap for carrying the whole package but the instructions are in Japanese and the diagrams are not very clear. I'll have another go at that one later.

So... of you have any tips I'd be keen to hear them Have you used this method? Have I missed something? What is the special magic that happens at step 13?



Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:59 pm
by Bendo
I forgot to mention, I found it's probably a bad idea to have a big front rack like the Nitto Campee in the pics. A smaller front rack for handlebar bag only is less likely to impinge on the frame.

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:30 am
by Arbuckle23
Photos not showing for me?

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:48 am
by find_bruce
Only the third photo is showing for me - have you set your photos to public ?

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:44 am
by Thoglette
And where did you get your rinko bag from?

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:10 pm
by Bendo
Aaargh! Sorry guys. Bloody Google! I'll see if I can fix it.

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:19 pm
by Bendo
Try this link:
Can't work out how to make the photos public.

The bag came from Grand Bois in Kyoto. The text is hyperinked, or go here b

Re: my first go at bike origami

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:45 am
by Thoglette