Japanese company Rin Project designs a line of casual bike gear for those that not only love to ride but want to look good both on and off the bike. The brand was started in 2000 by Hiroshi Yamada, then president of Chat Noir and once a fashion industry exec in France. After a car accident in 1995, Yamada decided to ditch the car and live a bike-centric life, designing apparel, gear, and accessories that made his new lifestyle possible.
Rin Project quickly became Japan’s leading “non-bike bike brand” for everyday riding. The gear is not designed for winning races, but simply for those that love to be on their bike in and around the city. The brand name Rin Project comes from Yamada’s desire that all of his products be recyclable or naturally breakdown, fertilizing the soil in the process—Rin means phosphorus in Japanese.
One of the more unique products in the collection is the Cask. Made with urban riders in mind, the Cask is modeled after the old school leather helmets once worn by Tour de France racers. You can’t exactly call it a helmet and the company acknowledges that fact—it simply offers a better alternative to wearing nothing at all when riding.
Strips of shock absorbing rigid urethane strips are wrapped in soft leather and fan out to create an external structure when placed on your head. The Cask folds up small, is lightweight, and easily stores in your bag. A reflector at the back adds some visibility for night riding.
The cotton Chino Cropped Pants leave your ankles free for both ventilation and to help keep your pants out of the chain. Ventilation holes behind the waist prevent sweat from accumulating and the saddle area is reinforced with a thick cotton patch for extra durability.
Sadly, Rin Project gear is only available in Japan so you will either have to make a special trip over or find an in-country source wiling to mail you stuff. Otherwise, for a little inspiration, you can view photos of the entire Rin Project collection here.