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Bike Review: Renovo Wooden Road Bike

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Bike Overview: Renovo Wood Street Bike

After we consider bicycle frames nowadays, 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 comprised of 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 comprised of extra pure supplies like wooden and even bamboo.

Renovo has been onerous 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; quite, it was a bunch of cyclists with composite plane design, engineering and manufacturing backgrounds who determined to construct bike frames with wooden resulting from its distinctive engineering properties wherein they felt may present superior journey high quality and stiffness if performed
appropriately. And “appropriately” meant that they needed to depend on their computer-aided design and machining information to design hole frames engineered to ship the particular 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.

THE FRAME

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 means 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 elements.

If you look carefully on the body, you possibly can 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’s a tremendous quantity of engineering and craftsmanship that reminds us of a time when the deserves of high quality development have been extra vital than how rapidly the body may very well 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 cushty 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, targeted on the plain stage of artisanal craftsmanship of the woodworking.

THE PARTS

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. For the reason that body depends on disc brakes to manage 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 completely different tire choices, however for our wants the 28s have been excellent.

THE RIDE

Our first few check rides on the John Day consisted of  outings over our standard check loops, we instantly got here away stunned at how clean the journey high quality was. The body felt sufficiently stiff, nevertheless it was the sort of stiffness that left us questioning the way it may very well be so comfy and nonetheless so strong on the pedals. The wooden affords a novel really feel that’s not like another 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 gratifying journey even once we have been on damaged tarmac or unpaved roads. The lengthy wheelbase additionally helps to keep up rider confidence irrespective of the highway floor, even with our small 28mm tires.

The cornering will not be snappy, however because of 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 facility switch was excellent, and when mixed with the distinctive consolation, the bike had a sensation of being lighter than it actually is.

The geometry proved a bit relaxed for our check riders, and nearly all of them had the stem as little as it may 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 preferrred grime downhills.

THE VERDICT

Regardless of our early presumptions, a wooden bike is way 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 excellent and evident from the second you lay eyes on a Renovo. The distinctive journey high quality that the hole wooden tubing affords is one thing that must be felt to actually perceive. Disc brakes and Di2 deliver a contemporary contact to a cloth that has formed the world in so some ways. The mix of computer-controlled instruments and engineering minds implies that this historical materials is used to its fullest potential to ship a high quality journey that controls vibration switch not like another bicycle.

PUNCH LINES

Dissipated highway vibrations

Nonetheless as stiff as a board the place wanted

Made within the USA

STATS

Value: $6495 ($3495 body)

Weight: 20.87 kilos

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

www.renovobikes.com

The Gear

Helmet: Bell Gage

Jersey: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit

Bib: Bontrager Velocis Thermal

Sneakers: 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, not like most others, options an abundance of wooden sawdust on the ground. There isn’t a scarcity of handwork that goes into making every Renovo body.

https://www.frebike.com

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