Renovo bamboo bikes
How humbling. It may be that carbon, the 21st century’s performance material of choice, still doesn’t beat one of the oldest building materials around – wood – for sheer performance. In what is something of an anti-Renaissance, Renovo Hardwood Bicyles is one of several retro-progressive bike builders turning to wood.
Not that it’s really setting precedents. The first bicycles were made almost completely of wood. Their builders were onto something because a well-built wooden bicycle rides better than its metal or composite cousins, say the connoisseurs. Renovo’s lightweight monocoque frame (one-piece and hollow) weighs between 1.5 and 2kg, absorbs vibration better than metal, and provides a far smoother ride.
According to Renovo, the fatigue life of wood rivals carbon and is substantially longer than aluminum or steel. And if the frame does get damaged, it can be easily repaired. Epoxy coatings protect against heat, cold and moisture. The frame’s stiffness can be tailored from carbon-stiff hickory to the supple smoothness of laminated bamboo, which according to the woodies provides the smoothest ride of all.