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Folding/Rinko bike builds for touring

Old 07-03-20, 08:00 PM
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Happy Feet
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Folding/Rinko bike builds for touring

I hope this can be a resource thread in the future for others who are considering a folding bike for light touring. Others can feel free to show their compactable bikes and how they set them up for touring. In my case I'll document my 2013 Montague Navigator; what I like and what I'll change.

For a while I have wanted to build a rinko type bike for travelling and have considered a retrofit of a rigid 26" mtb but was pleasantly surprised to see a Montague Navigator come up on CL last week. With CL you never know what you'll encounter but upon meeting the seller (a nice older fellow) I felt pretty happy about the deal. He still had the original bill of sale with his name on it from 2013 and the bike looked very well maintained, clean and stored in his apt, so I gave him the asking price ($200) for a $1000 bike.





There are some things I like about the bike, some things I'm meh about, and some things I want to change in order to use it for light touring and intermodal travel.

Some specs:

700c 32h wheels
48/38/28 Suntour SR crankset
11-25 9 speed cassette
Sora and Altus derailers and RF shifters
Dual pivot caliper brakes but with mounts for disc conversion
Flat bar/platform pedals
Octagon (TM) steerer/stem system







I've taken it for a test ride and have created a shopping list. Off to the MEC tomorrow for some upgrades!

Last edited by Happy Feet; 07-03-20 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 08:51 PM
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Nice looking bike. I’ll be interested to hear what mods you do.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:39 PM
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Interesting find but what would be the intended use? From what I read, rinko bikes are designed for the rather unique needs of Japanese tourists who use trains & even so require more break-down/assembly than small-wheel folding bikes. Not sure but the saddle-handlebar distance looks a bit short.
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Old 07-04-20, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Interesting find but what would be the intended use? From what I read, rinko bikes are designed for the rather unique needs of Japanese tourists who use trains & even so require more break-down/assembly than small-wheel folding bikes. Not sure but the saddle-handlebar distance looks a bit short.
Mainly, I just want a folder for times when I might want to travel with a bike without the hassle of boxing it or as a carry along on car trips. For CC touring it may also help with taking into hotel rooms if I can fold it into the bag and carry it like luggage. I have a road tourer, an off road tourer and now I'll have a folding tourer. I guess we'll just have to call it whimsy

I was mulling over making a normal bike into a rinko style bike for a while as yet another garage build project but the parts from Rene Herse, while beautiful, are very dear. I also couldn't see paying thousands for a limited use bike like a Bike Friday or a new Montague but for $200 I'll add one to the stable.

Forgot to add that I also got the nylon travel bag with the bike. It comes with a shoulder strap so you can walk through the airport/train station with it.

In a flurry of CC activity I've ordered a new cassette, stem and bag parts from Carradice
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Old 07-04-20, 06:45 AM
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I suspect it will not meet the 62 inch criteria most airlines use for oversize fees, and then you would need a case.

But it is nice to have a folder for things like you cite, to carry into a motel room, put in the car, etc. I have folded my folding bike simply because it would be easier to carry it up a winding stairway than carrying a full size bike up the stairway at a motel.

I do not know what criteria Canadian rail uses for folding bikes, but Amtrak in USA allows a folding bike to be carried on as one of your two allotted carry on pieces of luggage. And the Amtrak size criteria for folding bikes is very generous, the size can be larger than normal carry on luggage size. I have not traveled on rail with my folder, but have considered it.

From the photo I could not see any fender or rack mounting points on the fork. But if you packed light weight or just used it for credit card touring, that would not be a problem.

I store my folding bike in my truck.

I got MKS EZY pedals for my folder, I can remove the pedals from the crank without tools. They are not cheap, but they made my folder much easier to pack into a smaller package. But if you do not pack it often, a pedal wrench makes more sense.

I would have happily paid $200 CAD for that bike, even though I really have too many bikes right now.
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Old 07-04-20, 07:28 AM
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if you get a chance, would you mind taking some measurements to post?

i'd be interested in knowing the dimensions of the bike folded and unfolded.
how small a box can you pack that thing into?

and how about the ride?
how solid is the lock on the folding mechanism?
especially with a load and/or on rough terrain?
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Old 07-04-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I hope this can be a resource thread in the future for others who are considering a folding bike for light touring.
Good idea. Maybe post a pic (1) ready to ride, and (2) inside a rinko bag? And perhaps give indications on the time required to get from rinko to ready-to-ride and vice-versa?
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Old 07-04-20, 02:05 PM
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Just a general comment for those that are asking volume when packed, time to pack, etc., folding bikes like that can take only a few minutes to significantly reduce the size. But the saddle is still on the seatpost, seatpost still in the frame, handlebars still attached, etc. The other extreme is to pack it down in size as small as possible for airline travel in a small box or case. It takes me almost as long to put my folding bike in my S&S case as it would take me to pack my S&S bike. That involves removing racks, water bottle cages, fork, etc. To get my folder into my S&S case, I also have to remove both crank arms. But to make that first fold that significantly cuts down in size for carrying up a stairway or to carry onto mass transport, only a few minutes. So there is no easy single answer.

If anybody is curious, my folder is at this link, the second photo shows it after about three minutes of downsizing.
https://www.bikeforums.net/20336169-post735.html

But it takes over an hour to get it into the S&S case, then it looks like the photo at this link:
https://www.bikeforums.net/20368303-post6.html

So, it really is a question of how much disassembly you want to do and how small you need it to be, because there are lots of answers depending on your goals for how compact it really needs to be.

I store my folder in a fabric soft sided bag in my truck, that takes maybe 8 minutes, for that it looks like it does in the photo above where it is leaning against a motel room wall, but the pedals also removed, seatpost removed, and steerer tube extender removed from fork. All of this requires no tools.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:35 PM
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Re. Rack/fender attachment points.
There are bolt holes in the rear for a rack and fenders but none up front. Quite an oversight in design IMO. As is, I have some quick connect fenders that I use for a 700c bike that attach well with rubber straps but it would be nice to have an easy set up fr a front rack. Montague sells a strange rear rack that pivots with a quick disconnect clamp but I don't really see the need for it. A normal rack will do and not get in the way or effect the folding. I see this as a light tourer so I may even forgo the rack for a saddlebag system.


Re. Folding. Montague says it's 36"x28"x12" and weighs 27lb's. Sizing says 17", 19" and 21" and I suspect mine is a medium. It feels just like a similar sized normal 700c bike. Light touring on road or well groomed trail. The cockpit looks small in the initial pics because the seat was fully forward and the slight riser bars were angled back. The previous owner was smaller than me.

The frame mechanism looks like this. Basically a spring loaded quick release skewer that penetrates the frame.



Even if the quick release comes undone, the bike can't fold until you push down on the skewer so the end knob clears the lip of the clasp.
Front wheel comes off like a regular QR skewer and the caliper brake has a tension release so the tire clears the pads.



Folding doesn't take long once you know what you are doing. After a few times I imagine I'll get a routine down.
Currently the bike doesn't have folding pedals so they do stick out. I tried spinning them off and, just like the cassette lock nut I tried earlier, they came loose with only the slightest effort. Nice!



The front wheel goes in a sleeve inside the bag.



And then the bike sits on top. There is a shoulder carrying strap that runs through the bag to secure to the frame so you are lifting from the bike and not the bag. I've seen this on other rinko bags as a way not to tear the lightweight bags.



As is, the bike fit the bag with standard pedals attached and saddle and post in the bike. One could make it smaller by doing things like slamming the stem, removing the saddle seat post, and loosening the stem clamp to slide the handlebars in board more. You could also remove the rear wheel and slide it a bit more inboard to reduce length but it would add a bit more width. I have to play around with it more to see what's optimal. In the second pic below you can see how the saddle and handlebar end makes the top of the bag flare out. Adjusting them would reduce that part of the footprint noticeably.

As it is though, the bike feels light and I could easily carry this around for quite a distance in comfort.




Last edited by Happy Feet; 07-04-20 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 07-05-20, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I hope this can be a resource thread in the future for others who are considering a folding bike for light touring. Others can feel free to show their compactable bikes and how they set them up for touring.

Dahon Curl



Drops right into an 'airline legal' hardshell Samsonite Stryder Long Journey in the folded state with no further disassembly.

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Old 07-05-20, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for the detail photos of the folding latching mechanism, I was always curious how that worked on that bike.
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Old 07-05-20, 08:38 PM
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I've been humming and hawing about pedals for the last while, really since thinking about rinko.

On the one hand, folding or detachable pedals would be convenient but they are a little more costly and one more technology to fail. For the amount of times I'd actually pack down the bike I am tempted to just unscrew standard pedals with a wrench. I could do some drillium to a 15cm pedal wrench and have it weight very little I suppose. On the other hand I kinda like the idea of going all in on the folding aspect and don't want to scrimp on pedals.

Six of one, half dozen of the other. I kinda like the idea of platform/clipless pedals and will keep my eyes open for a folder variety. For now I am going to use the standard convertible pedals from my other touring bike.

It's the same sort of debate with handlebars. I sort a kinda want drops with either brifters or Gevenalle's for optimal speed and endurance while riding but am loath to redo a perfectly functional flat bar set up. As is, the shifting is good. Maybe I'll do it when/if I upgrade the drivetrain beyond the cassette (from 11-25 to 11-34). For now I wanted to add these grips but they are sold out everywhere I usually order from. https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod186576

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Old 07-05-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
From what I read, rinko bikes are designed for the rather unique needs of Japanese tourists who use trains
"rinko bikes"

Its very interesting to see how the word "rinko" has taken on a new meaning in English that isn't present in Japanese. Not that there's anything wrong with that though

In Japanese, "rinko" is an activity. One that can be done with any bike, thought a folding bike certainty makes it easier.

That Montague for $200 is a great find. I would have snapped it up too!

Great video in Japanese on "rinko" here (should be easy enough to grasp whats going on from the visuals).

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Old 07-05-20, 09:24 PM
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Domo arigato jonmanjiro san.

Great video with some good pointers like pedal position and derailer shifting. I will experiment with those next time I fold it

I suppose we should say rinko capable bike rather than just rinko bike.
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Old 07-06-20, 04:35 AM
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Happy, let's talk about something ese. At first I thought a Nova SS, but the grill doesn't look nova-y
Cutless Supreme?
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Old 07-06-20, 06:13 AM
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I think I had my folder for a couple years before i decided to get the MKS EZY pedals. My point is that there is no rush. And you can certainly leave a pedal wrench in the bag.

When I did buy my MKS pedals, that was before MKS made a pedal that was compatible with the Shimano SPD cleats, for that reason I went with a pedal I could attach toe clips instead.

But I prefer cleats, when I did a week long van supported trip with my folder, I brought some tiny little two sided SPD pedals that did not fold since the ridability of the bike was more important than the portability of the bike for that week.

There is no rush on any of this stuff, be patient and use the bike some and then you will have more time to think about what you really want on your wish list.
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Old 07-07-20, 11:51 AM
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Bike Friday makes touring bikes that fit into suitcases , company in Eugene Oregon..



I like mine.. Pocket Llama disc brakes Rohloff.. thud buster, trekking bars..




Rinko is a common topic in Bike Quarterly , Publisher goes to Japan a lot , also has the Rene Herse Brand..
the subscribers are all over that.. & Eroica , too ... https://www.bikequarterly.com/








.
...

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Old 07-16-20, 09:01 PM
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Had to wait a bit but now some more progress on the folder again. Still awaiting my Carradice order of a klickfix mount for the HB bag and saddle bag rack.




One thing I wanted to do was to add a second seat post collar to stop the post from creeping down while riding. It stays put pretty well but I noticed a little creep as the miles went by and this is a pre-emptive fix I generally do to most of my bikes.



Then I swapped out the stock 11-25 cassette for a more tour oriented Shimano 11-34. This was just a plug and play switch as the Sora rear derailer is rated to handle a 34T. With the new cassette I added a new SRAM 9speed chain with a quick link. I bought a spare to add to my tool kit. The original chain did not have one. In all I added about 5 links to the original length.



Next I added a base layer of Masi foam bar tape. Oh, I also swapped out the flat bar for a trekking bar - that way the brakes and shifters still fit.



And then a top coat of Brooks brown leather bar tape. This to accent the Brooks B67 saddle.





I'm splurging a bit but I know I will keep this bike for a while. So I was disappointed when I saw this!







In all, the leather bar tape has been spliced three times and two of the splices are already splitting without a single ride. WTF? One would expect a cheap product for a cheap price but this stuff is expensive and ordered direct from Brooks. I've emailed customer service to see what they say and will give the benefit of the doubt while I wait for a reply.

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Old 07-17-20, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Mainly, I just want a folder for times when I might want to travel with a bike without the hassle of boxing it or as a carry along on car trips. For CC touring it may also help with taking into hotel rooms if I can fold it into the bag and carry it like luggage. I have a road tourer, an off road tourer and now I'll have a folding tourer. I guess we'll just have to call it whimsy
I have always been kind of fascinated by those, but when I looked in to them never really found them to fit ant real use case for me.

I don't really see any advantage for taking the bike into hotel rooms. I have wheeled non-folding bikes into countless hotel rooms and it has never been an issue, but if you prefer to have it in a bag I guess I can see that, especially taking a bike along on non-bike travel like taking a bike along on a business trip. A couple times the bike was super muddy and I asked if there was a place I could clean it up. I only one time remember being told a a hotel/motel that the bikes weren't allowed in the room, but they had a safe place to lock them up. One other time at a hostel they had the same policy, but since they would have known I arrived by bike, putting it in a bag probably would not have exempted it.

Taking the bike on a transit bus rather than on the rack which may be full or not present may require it being in a bag. These bikes may be an ideal solution for that.

I also have thought they would be nice for taking on board my sailboat back when I had one, but that depends on the specifics of the storage locker or berth you plan to store it in.

Flying with a bike has specific requirements that have changed recently and the reality of Covid 19 has reduced the likelihood of many of us flying any time soon, but back when I looked in to them I needed for a bike to fit in a 62" case to have any advantage for flying and these bikes didn't. OTOH, I never found that I could tolerate my small wheeled folder for much beyond around town errands. The good news was that a full size non folser fit nicely in the seat locker with the wheels removed (strangely enough the folder didn't easily fit when folded because it was too wide to go through the seat locker opening) The tall flexy masts just suck and it was impossible to get the ride position I want/need. Some small wheeled folders are undoubtedly better, but I have my doubts if I'd find them acceptable. Given their price tags and the other compromises involved I am unlikely to find out.
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Old 07-17-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have always been kind of fascinated by those, but when I looked in to them never really found them to fit ant real use case for me.
For most day to day riding I agree that such a bike has limited use. However, I have been interested in the rinko idea for a while as an intellectual concept and when I saw the 700c bike for a cheap price I decided to bite. Usually the entry point for a decent folder is high enough that I wouldn't commit either. My original plan was to one day build a randonneuse bike similar to those promoted by JH over at Rene Herse ie. quick release headset/cables, pedals and fender.

I have had issues bringing bikes into hotel rooms though. Sometimes they offer to store them in a safe room (usually the boiler room) but other times in a more common area open to other members of the public. That becomes a worry for me when thinking about how easy it is to strip stuff off it. Hostels in the Canadian Rockies like Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper are bad for this. You can lock them outside or store in the common area used by all guests but anything left on the bike is a target. Sadly, theft is an issue with lots of young transient travelers. Folded, I can see no issue bringing this into a room as the bag is clean and is basically, a piece of luggage.

I also ordered the detachable traditional saddlebag rack from Carradice so I can remove my saddlebag without undoing the straps. they also have a SQR system and another quick release support but both require multiple bike side components in order to move between bikes. With this one, the bag mounts to the rack and the whole rack moves from bike to bike easily. As it is, I already had to order a second Kwikfix mount for my HB bag as the first is mounted to my endurance bike.

Oddly enough, I am going to use this bike in a couple of weeks as we are going for a mixed bicycle/ SUP trip to the Rockies. In our small mini van we need to cram 3 people, 3 inflatable paddleboards, camping gear and one tour bike so I am taking the folder.



Good news about the leather bar tape Brooks promptly returned my email about the issue and are sending a replacement set. They said splices are common but they have identified a couple of production lots that have had issues. So, if that happens I say Good job Brooks
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Old 07-17-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Flying with a bike has specific requirements that have changed recently and the reality of Covid 19 has reduced the likelihood of many of us flying any time soon, but back when I looked in to them I needed for a bike to fit in a 62" case to have any advantage for flying and these bikes didn't.
Have the "bikes fly as checked luggage" policies that were just instituted recently on American, Delta, and United survived this year? My initial guess is that the airlines haven't gotten around to revoking those (yet) so they can gouge bicyclists again -- they're just hemorrhaging too much money to look at the little stuff.
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Old 07-17-20, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Have the "bikes fly as checked luggage" policies that were just instituted recently on American, Delta, and United survived this year? My initial guess is that the airlines haven't gotten around to revoking those (yet) so they can gouge bicyclists again -- they're just hemorrhaging too much money to look at the little stuff.
I haven't looked since I am unlikely to fly any time soon. I doubt I will fly again until there is either an effective available covid 19 vaccine or it is truly under control. I'd be shocked if either happens in the next 12 months and won't be surprised if I am still not flying for much longer. Right now I am still avoiding even going out to buy groceries and have them delivered. The extent of my outings is walking the neighborhood or riding locally.
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Old 07-17-20, 10:12 AM
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Major bummer on the split leather tape. Will the new bars pack as well into the bag as the old bars?

Couple years ago I had a second floor motel room. While some people got their bikes up the stair way that had two 180 degree narrow turns, I decided to just fold my bike and carry it folded instead. And in the motel room a folded bike took a lot less room than a full size bike.

I should think about a seatpost collar like you used, on one of my bikes the seatpost is just a hair skinny and slips downward and a collar like that makes sense. I am often nervous I may snap the seatpost bolt because I have to tighten it so tight.
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Old 07-17-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I have had issues bringing bikes into hotel rooms though.
I typically don't ask, but do wheel them through the lobby when I have to and they never seem to bat an eye. I have been a little surprised that the nicer places tended to be more accommodating than the dumps. They were more likely to offer old towels to clean the bikes up or to say we could keep the bikes in the room if we wanted, but they would offer a safe place to lock them up if we wanted them out of the way. Not that I stay in real nice places that often.
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Old 07-17-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Major bummer on the split leather tape. Will the new bars pack as well into the bag as the old bars?

Couple years ago I had a second floor motel room. While some people got their bikes up the stair way that had two 180 degree narrow turns, I decided to just fold my bike and carry it folded instead. And in the motel room a folded bike took a lot less room than a full size bike.

I should think about a seatpost collar like you used, on one of my bikes the seatpost is just a hair skinny and slips downward and a collar like that makes sense. I am often nervous I may snap the seatpost bolt because I have to tighten it so tight.
The bars will have to be rotated downward at the stem but then should fill the same profile as the flatbars. For further reduction it looks like loosening and sliding them inboard could shave at least 6-8 inches off the width.

That, along with removing the pedals and seat post/saddle (and putting in more inside the frame area) will make for a more compact travel size.
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