Owning a Renovo is like dating a supermodel; everyone wants to talk to you.
Handcrafted in the city of Portland, Oregon, the award-winning Renovo brand consists of high-performance bicycles bearing frames composed out of hardwood. Put simply, they stand as objet d’art and objects of desire.
If you’re lucky enough to own one of these bad boys (or sexy ladies), you are blessed with a ride with a smoothness that is unrivaled. This is because wood acts as a natural shock absorber. What the Renovo gives up in a couple of added ounces…it overwhelmingly makes it up in, surprisingly, strength and responsiveness.
A Renovo frame can easily exceed the stiffness of a carbon frame by 15%, but the stiffness of each frame can be modulated to suit the individual owner. The key word here is “customization”. Renovo collaborates with its clients to achieve the best design for the rider. Cyclists help come up with the wood combination and then one’s measurements are taken to determine the bike’s frame size. Riding style, weight and desired levels of stiffness (ranging from cushy to carbon+) all figure into the production of the custom bicycle. Each bike is truly one-of-a-kind.
Renovo frames are hollow (see picture below), the road frames weigh from 4 to 5.5 lbs, comparable in weight to a high-end steel frame. The walls of the frames are a little beefier to increase durability and guard from breaking or cracking.
These gorgeous bikes will set you back about $3,500 to $7,000. But the way I see it, it’s an investment not a luxury. Portland is a bicycle town. It’s time it became a hardwood bicycle town.
We recently met up with our friend, John Rasmussen, a technician and manufacturer at Renovo, and he gave us a tour of their shop.