Rinko is a little known Japanese term that refers to travelling on a train with your bike in order to reach a cycling destination. It may seem like a random expression but considering the extensive Japanese train system and their love for bicycle touring, it makes sense. Here’s a titanium rinko-rando from Wheeldan to demonstrate.
The elucidation behind rinko-touring is that if your bike can fit in a rinko-bukhuro — a lightweight, packable, nylon bike bag — you can take it with you in the passenger carriage. This doesn’t require the frame to be split with couplers, but needs other small modifications like cable breakers and chain hangers.
Basically you’ll need to remove the wheels, fork, stem and handlebars, pedals and any fenders to make the bike as small a package as possible. Naturally, you’ll pack as lightly as possible, in order to be able to carry your luggage. Perhaps just a large handlebar bag — which makes a randonneur the ideal rinko bike.
Daniel Pleikies has been handcrafting titanium frames in Berlin since 2011, and this randonneur is a superb example of his skill and training as both an architect and an engineer. His portfolio already includes numerous commuters, fat bikes, racers and tourers, many with European idiosyncrasies such as Pinion gearboxes.
This randonneur was contracted by a Paris-Brest-Paris finisher as a gift to himself for finishing his PhD. It’s a true classic design in the spirit of the constructeurs, yet with modern conveniences like TRP Hydro disc brakes, dynamo lighting and a full SRAM Force groupset.
Daniel finished the triple butted Reynolds frame at a weight of 1328 grams. He also custom made the low trail forks (725 grams), the front rack with integrated dynamo wiring (156 grams), the stem and decaleur (194 grams) and the front lowrider racks (234 grams for both).
The complete bike comes in at a reasonable 10.5kg — not a bad result for a full dresser randonneur. It’ll also come in handy when rebuilding it at a Japanese train station. Special thanks to Daniel for the photos.