17 July, 2013

Rinko Headsets Roll In

Just received out first shipment of Grand Cru Rinko Headsets. Rinko is a form of touring cycling that's popular in Japan. It involves travelling on a train with your bike in order to reach a cycling destination. If the bike's wheels and fork are removed and all is placed in a lightweight nylon bag, the bag can go as regular luggage in the train's passenger compartment. I first wrote about rinko here. But quickly removing the wheels and fork is a simple way to pack a bike for car or plane travel as well. And a lot less expensive than couplers.

So the idea of a rinko headset is to facilitate removing the fork without tools. It has teeth that keep the important parts from spinning and a knurled top cap for easy removal. The top cap also has holes for a pin wrench in case you over-tighten it. So far as we know, this is the first sealed cartridge bearing rinko headset. The cartridges are held in place with spring clips. The body is steel to resist damage when disassembled. They are available in 1" threaded ISO and JIS sizes

Our rinko headset was developed in conjunction with M's-Bicyclette of Japan. It's primarily for the Japanese market, but we have some in stock here for other customers.
I wonder if this would work for Amtrack? Would they allow a bike in a rinko bag as regular luggage?



19 comments:

somervillain said...

These also look like faithful reproductions of old French headsets, and would look great on vintage restorations. Very nice!!!

Meghan K said...

I have a feeling if you don't say it is a bicycle you could get away with it on any mode of transit. Just like the folding bike as an equipment dolly like Russ Roca says

http://pathlesspedaled.com/2011/03/this-bike-is-not-a-bike/

Anonymous said...

I do not understand the advantage of this headset over a threadless system. For this system you still need an Allen wrench to take out the stem to remove the fork. Having a threadless setup requires an Allen key to disassemble as well, but once assembled the headset rarely loosens. These old toothed lock washer headsets have a tendency to loosen, especially if the locknut is hand tightened or tightened with a pair of Chanel locks.

It is an interesting product, but seems to solve a question that no one asked (or at least a question that is much better answered by a threadless headset.)

James said...

How does this work? I'd love to see more photos of what is actually going on here with this headset.

I don't understand how removing the fork without tools helps much unless you can remove the quill stem without tools as well.

Raiyn said...

With the teeth it reminds me of the Tioga Beartrap II BMX headset

VeloOrange said...

James, to remove a quill stem all you need is a multi-tool, which everyone should carry. Regular headsets require headset wrenches, which are big and heavy and no one carries. The teeth lock so that the headset can't go out of adjustment so long as the top nut is hand tightened.

Anonymous said...

or you can use a bike with a threadless headset, which takes about 1 minute to take apart. Ask me how I know.

Bicycle Repairium said...

After having serviced bikes 40+ years old with headsets like this still in perfect adjustment I'm very excited about this product; the toothed spacer combined with the knurled top nut make for a very easily (and tenaciously) adjusted headset. Not to mention, they're flipping gorgeous! I for one will certainly be keeping a few of these on hand in my shop.

Mark Holm said...

I think I'd be more impressed if the teeth were square or nearly square instead of triangular. Triangular looks like you are asking for the thing to fail if it gets a bit loose, or gets a hard torque applied. Torque translates to pushing those triangular teeth apart and pushing them apart causes the load to bear on thinner, weaker material.

Bob Torres said...

This will work great for a bike set up with the S&S couplings!

Mark Holm said...

Comment 2:
If the fork comes out then,
1. Either the front brake cable has to be disconnected, or the fork will dangle awkwardly from the handlebars by the cable.
2. The steerer tube is exposed and it really ought to be all greasy, yuck!
3. The bottom headset bearings are free to fall out. They should be greasy, too.
Sounds like a lot of loose and exposed greasy stuff.

VeloOrange said...

Mark, there is no significant load on the teeth; they are thousands of times stronger than required.

Rinko bikes should use canti or centerpull brakes so you just pop the straddle wire.

There is no reason to grease the steerer except to prevent corrosion if you never take it apart. Rustoleum paint is better.

As it says in the post, the bearing cartridges are held in with clips.

Sheesh! Is it the heat?

Mark Holm said...

Hey Chris,
Thanks for answering my questions. Sorry they were so elementary.I was, and still am to a degree, having trouble seeing how these parts function together. I do see now that the teeth in the headset are not subject to large loads.

Sam J said...

Doggone it. Wish list just got one item longer (and the wish list is the only other thing that doesn't use tools).

ColonelJLloyd said...

I was pretty unimpressed until I saw that these have sealed bearings. Nice.

To be such a blatant copy (albeit with sealed bearings) of a Stronglight P3, these really should be offered in 25x1. ;)

Dale said...

This looks like a very cool and effective solution! I can't imagine stresses that would affect the steel teeth and having the ability to adjust the headset tension without tools seems to make a lot of sense. This would be better than any traditional threaded or unthreaded headset as stuff will not fall out when disassembled.

Nanseikan said...

Nice product! I have a few copies of the Japanese magazine "Cyclo-tourist" and they always have a few shots of this "Rinko" touring. But until now I couldn't work out how dropping the forks out would be anything but a messy hassle. Goddamn my poor Japanese skills! But thanks VO! b

Jimmy Rossow said...

Post a video and end this madness!

Ryan Silva said...

I'm lusting over a bike with couplers but if this was a real alternative to couplers I'd be very interested. Still, I'd like to see a demo or more pics to see if it's really a workable alternative.