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Renovo Hardwood Bicycles

Paul Skilbeck

Thursday 29 September 2016

Interbike 2016: Renovo bikes to produce stock and custom models

Like many companies in the handmade custom bikes sector, Renovo is starting to sell both stock and custom models.

Interbike 2016: Renovo bikes to produce stock and custom models
All photos: Paul Skilbeck

Portland, Oregon, hardwood bicycle frame manufacturer, Renovo, attended Interbike for the first time as an exhibitor, having recently announced the production of stock sizes in its range of frames, and it's intention to start selling through retail outlets. The time involved in making custom frames has been limiting production, say company staff. "Our custom capacity is maxed out, in the past we have had anywhere between 80 and 120 frames in the queue. It's a great product and our priority is to get more bikes to more people, and to do that we need to focus on producing stock frames for a while. We will start again on custom orders as soon as we can," said company representative John Rasmussen.

renovo hardwood bike

This Renovo model includes an African hardwood called Purple Heart.

Pricing through dealers has yet to be determined. Current frame prices range from just under $3000 up to around $5000. Their higher-end full bikes equipped with nice wheels and, say, an Ultegra groupset sell in the range of $7200 - $7500.

The frames are made in two parts, using CNC milling to create hollow pieces. The two sides are then pegged and bonded. Woods used are mainly walnut, spruce and ash. 

renovo half frame

The hollowed-out half of a Renovo frame in production.

"We are hoping with a dealer network more people will try these bikes and feel the stiffness is comparable to carbon fiber, but the ride is smoother and quieter. Wood is a very absorbent material, of both vibration and sound. You really notice that riding on one of these bikes," explained Rasmussen.

renovo frame weight

At 3lbs 14oz (1.75kg) there are lighter-weight frames on the market, but this one is not heavy, and why do some people think lightest always has to be best? For many discerning cyclists it's not.