Wooden Bike Like Riding a Perfect Piece of Furniture
By Mark McClusky November 18, 2010 | 4:43 pm | Categories: Transportation << Previous | Next >>
View allAt first, it’s odd, hopping on a bike frame made entirely of wood. After all, I’m used to high-tech composite framed made of carbon-fiber nanotubes impregnated with exotic resins, molded to tolerances of a thousandth of an inch. How could bamboo and hardwoods compare?
Actually, quite well. Renovo sent me its R4, a beautiful work of art, all swoopy lines and stunning finish work. It’s a little bit like riding a perfect piece of furniture — you can really get a sense of the fact that a human being spent a massive amount of time making this thing.
It’s not the lightest bike on the market now, although at 18.8 pounds without pedals, it is lighter than many. But it might have gotten more looks and questions than anything I’ve ever ridden. Every time I was out on it, I had people asking me what the hell it was, and how it rode.
“Pretty well,” was my general answer. It’s not especially lively feeling — the wood dampens vibration nicely, but doesn’t have the taut feel that great carbon and steel frames have. You’re not going to want to race on it, but for a performance bike with comfort to spare, it would totally work.
I don’t know if it’s the bike for me, long term. But there is one nice thing. You get any bumps or scratches on it, and you can just sand it and refinish. The R4 frame will run you $2,950, without a fork.
More photos are available at the popsci web site….
-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso