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Bike Review: Renovo Wooden Road Bike

Bike Review: Renovo Wooden Road Bike 2020-09-17Leave a comment

electrical bike Bike Overview: Renovo Wood Street Bike

Once we consider bicycle frames as of late, the one supplies that come to thoughts are carbon, aluminum, titanium and metal. How fast we overlook that the earliest of all bicycles have been created from wooden. Fortunately, there are a couple of builders on the market who’ve strayed from the fashionable pack and have sought to design frames which are created from extra pure supplies like wooden and even bamboo.

Renovo has been laborious at work evolving the unique breed of wooden bikes since 2007. The corporate wasn’t based by both a standard body builder or a woodworker; somewhat, it was a gaggle of cyclists with composite plane design, engineering and manufacturing backgrounds who determined to construct bike frames with wooden as a result of its distinctive engineering properties through which they felt might present superior trip high quality and stiffness if completed
accurately. And “accurately” meant that they needed to depend on their computer-aided design and machining data to design hole frames engineered to ship the precise wants {that a} performance-oriented bicycle owner would demand.

Named after a area of Oregon that’s criss-crossed with hundreds of miles of gravel roads, the John Day is considered one of 4 highway fashions discovered within the Renovo catalog, and it represents their endurance highway bike/gravel bike.


Like all different Renovo frames, the John Day begins with hand-picked and kiln-dried lumber that’s analyzed, matched and laminated to different sheets of lumber earlier than heading to the computer-controlled router. The result’s 40 exactly formed elements that get bonded collectively. This strategy of bonding sections permits Renovo to supply the qualities of wooden in a hole body. Renovo does use alloy sleeves for the within of the top tube, prime of the seat tube and backside bracket, permitting using industry-standard parts.

Whenever you look carefully on the body, you may see the exact cuts of the router mixed with the hand-shaped contours that amplify the pure wooden qualities. The place two elements of the body be a part of collectively, there may be a tremendous quantity of engineering and craftsmanship that reminds us of a time when the deserves of high quality development have been extra necessary than how shortly the body might be made. One other standout half is the internally routed cabling within the prime tube for the rear brake hose and entrance and rear Di2 wires.

The geometry is relaxed, with a tall head tube size of 17.7cm, an efficient prime tube size of 55.5cm and a longish 102.5cm wheelbase that may match tires as much as 40mm. For such an extended bike, the attain is a snug 36.4cm with a head tube angle of 72 levels.

At first sight, our eyes have been drawn to the 28mm tires, which appeared dwarfed by the void that permits for a lot bigger rubber. However inside a blink, we have been instantly, and rightly, centered on the apparent degree of artisanal craftsmanship of the woodworking.


Renovo affords 4 construct choices, in addition to frameset pricing, and our check bike was their highest-end providing with a Shimano Di2 Ultegra construct equipment. Because the body depends on disc brakes to regulate pace, our bike used post-mount hydraulic Shimano R785 shifters and calipers. The carbon Whiskey no.9 fork has a 15mm thru-axle, and the rear of the body makes use of a 12mm thru-axle. The rear dropouts are additionally made in-house and particularly engineered to seamlessly mate to the wooden tubing. That is matched to the tubeless-ready Velocity Aileron Professional wheelset with Schwalbe Professional One 28mm tubeless rubber. Renovo affords a couple of totally different tire choices, however for our wants the 28s have been good.


Our first few check rides on the John Day consisted of  outings over our regular check loops, we instantly got here away shocked at how easy the trip high quality was. The body felt sufficiently stiff, nevertheless it was the form of stiffness that left us questioning the way it might be so comfy and nonetheless so stable on the pedals. The wooden affords a novel really feel that’s in contrast to some other body materials and is sort of a hybrid of all of them.

The body’s stiffness matches that of an alloy or carbon body with the pure damping of metal or titanium. There may be additionally a really distinctive vibration-eliminating high quality that may solely be described as inside dissipation. There are a couple of hints of engineered compliance, just like the bow-shaped seatstays and 27.2 seatpost, however the wooden appears to have a pure high quality to almost remove highway vibration. This provided a really assured and pleasant trip even after we have been on damaged tarmac or unpaved roads. The lengthy wheelbase additionally helps to keep up rider confidence regardless of the highway floor, even with our small 28mm tires.

The cornering isn’t snappy, however due to the thru-axles and lateral stiffness of the body, the bike holds the chosen line for a really enjoyable and succesful descender. When the highway tilts up, we felt the load of the bike, however not as a lot as we anticipated. Because of its stiffness and high quality wheelset, the ability switch was excellent, and when mixed with the distinctive consolation, the bike had a sensation of being lighter than it really is.

The geometry proved a bit relaxed for our check riders, and virtually all of them had the stem as little as it might go. When it got here to pushing the unpaved limits of the bike, there have been no complaints, and the lengthy wheelbase made for excellent high-speed runs on lower than very best filth downhills.


Regardless of our early presumptions, a wooden bike is far more than a novel thought or wall decoration; these bikes have been meant to be ridden and to be sturdy. The extent of high quality, engineering, artistry and craftsmanship are very good and evident from the second you lay eyes on a Renovo. The distinctive trip high quality that the hole wooden tubing affords is one thing that must be felt to really perceive. Disc brakes and Di2 convey a contemporary contact to a fabric that has formed the world in so some ways. The mixture of computer-controlled instruments and engineering minds signifies that this historical materials is used to its fullest potential to ship a high quality trip that controls vibration switch in contrast to some other bicycle.


Dissipated highway vibrations

Nonetheless as stiff as a board the place wanted

Made within the USA


Value: $6495 ($3495 body)

Weight: 20.87 kilos

Sizes: 52cm, 55cm (examined), 58cm, 61cm


The Gear

Helmet: Bell Gage

Jersey: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit

Bib: Bontrager Velocis Thermal

Footwear: Bontrager Circuit

Socks: Volar Energetic Mt. Wilson

Glasses: Oakley Jawbreaker

Contained in the Renovo manufacturing facility

Renovo founder Ken Wheeler oversees a body manufacturing facility that, in contrast to most others, options an abundance of wooden sawdust on the ground. There is no such thing as a scarcity of handwork that goes into making every Renovo body.

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