Riding Dry - 4RIZ FIXIE
2012 with a desire to make street cycling more enjoyable
and accessible to fixed gear riders. 4RIZ used their cycling
experiences and athletic ambitions as inspiration for the
design of a new series of bicycling apparel and accessories.
their stylish exterior with wooden accents, or the large glass windows revealing a
comfortable lounge area for guests. The riverside location gives it a relaxed vibe you
might not find in the center of a city. Sophisticated looking bikes hanging next to a
display of apparel and other gear is what gives it away. In reality, 4RIZ FIXIE studio is small,
but the space has been so impressively designed and furnished that it feels surprisingly
spacious and comfortable for such a compact working space. It’s perfect for two guys
building a fixed gear apparel and accessory brand.
It was Hao Chuang and Dean Tang's—the founders of
4RIZ—interest in biking that brought them together, but it
was their expertise in apparel and product design that led
them to create a hugely popular biking jacket, which in turn encouraged them to launch 4RIZ. This sense of entrepreneurship made them the perfect fit for Doing More. Here they share what got them into fixies, and their experience exploring and creating with Duopel.
Founder｜Hao Chuang (Left)
possibilities and challenge yourself with something you are not familiar with."
How long has 4RIZ studio been here?
We founded our brand three years ago and created this studio space only about a year and
a half ago. We were lucky to find this place because it already looked really nice when we
moved in. We probably saved a lot of money and effort. We’ve put a lot of work into
making it a space both for our work and products as well as a place for bikers to gather.
Could you introduce yourself?
Hao Chuang - I used to be a product engineer focusing on
diving equipment design, but biking was always my
hobby. I met Dean while biking. We shared a common
interest in developing apparel that could improve the
Dean Tang - I studied apparel design, but not because I
love apparel, but because I love to draw. I was looking for
a way to combine my hobbies with my skills when I met
Hao, which helped inspire the creation of this brand.
What does 4RIZ create?
H - We create products for fixed gear biking enthusiasts. Bicycles are at the core of what
we design. We connect all our products—outerwear and gear—to this. We also host
events, like Sprint Roller Racing which takes place in three cities each year.
Why fixed gear biking?
D - I used to ride a lot of mountain bikes With mountain biking, there are so many things
on the bike to think about, adjust or modify. When I started riding a fixed gear about three
years ago, I fell in love with the simple experience. Fixed gear bikes are built as basic as
possible—no gears, even no breaks sometimes. The result is a ride without thinking
about other things. You just enjoy it.
What is the 4RIZ design style?
H - We like cool, low-key street style. Black is a prominent color in our work, which helps
give it a certain street feel, but we add a lot of details to create things with more dimension.
Our slogan “The street is my velodrome” perfectly expresses our design style. Riding in a
velodrome is carefree. All you need to do is pedal and accelerate. We want our customers to
experience street riding in this way. This is our core concept.
Is biking the only thing you guys are into?
D - We spend most of our time riding but we also do other outdoor activities like surfing
and camping. Of course, we’re always asking how we could connect biking with the
other things we do.
Tell us about the jacket you created
for this project.
D - We created an advanced version of our popular first
jacket. We improved many aspects of the jacket—the
fabrics, fit, and breathability—and by using Duopel we
improved the waterproof and breathability. Our first
jacket had a few weaknesses in those areas that
Duopel helped to strengthen.
How was your experience with this project?
H - We’ve learned a lot from this project and look forward to more collaborations. We
hope Duopel can continue to work with us on developing new products.
What’s your impression of Duopel?
D - There are many membranes like Duopel available, but
Duopel’s can be applied to any textile, which means there is more opportunity for creativity. For example, we realized through this project that the material could even be used for shoes, we never thought about that before, so we are now planning to develop our own shoes, and will hopefully collaborate with Duopel.
What was the most challenging aspect of this project?
H - Starting from scratch. That’s the biggest challenge for us. Learning and trying new things we aren’t familiar with. Although it’s challenging, it’s also a good opportunity for us to learn, and create new things that our customers like.
Is it more important to be liked or be
H - I think being respected is a little too serious. Being
liked or even being needed is more important.
What gives you meaning in life?
D - Life is all about doing more. To create more
possibilities and challenge yourself with something you
are not familiar with. By doing that, you can bring
something new and different to the world.
3 things people should be doing more:
- Biking—traveling around exploring your vision.
- Challenging yourself to try new things.
- Getting rid of your preconceived ideas.