(Photos: Renovo Bicycles)
Welcome to Industry Ticker, a new column where we’ll share news from the local bike industry.
Southeast Portland based hardwood bicycle makers Renovo are moving beyond custom frames with their new “Ready to Ride” line. Now you can get one of their bikes with just a few weeks wait.
Check out the press release and a few more pics below:
Renovo Offers Ready-To-Ride Bikes and Frames
Renovo adds off-the-shelf bikes and frames to their custom only business
PORTLAND, OREGON – February 3, 2015 – Renovo, designer and manufacturer of hollow hardwood bicycle frames, announces the introduction of Ready-to-Ride (RTR) bikes and frames, available in seven different models.
Renovo introduced the first modern fully engineered wood bike frame in 2008, not as a ‘let’s-see-if-we-can-do-this’ woodworking project, (no woodworkers were involved), but designed to improve bicycle ride quality with the unique properties of this natural material. Using CAD/CAM technology, Renovo succeeded in producing the first hollow, stiff, lightweight, and vibration damping frames competitive with other common frame materials and now ridden worldwide by some 600 customers.
From Renovo’s inception the business model was to make custom, hand-built frames sold in their showroom and online. On Renovo’s web site a customer could choose from a myriad of models, wood species and bike components, creating a truly, unique bike. However, the devil was in the details and the backlog soon pushed delivery times out to a year or more.
“In 2011, Renovo was commissioned by the carmaker Audi to produce three models of bikes using only three wood and component selections’ said Ken Wheeler, President of Renovo Design. “This was of course much easier and more efficient than the all-custom frames we were building at the time, not to mention the record 128 emails we received from one customer changing and defining every possible detail. So we surveyed our customers on the trade-off between custom with long wait times versus non-custom frames with fast delivery and the majority said they’d be happy with non-custom as long as we didn’t sacrifice craftsmanship or ride quality. With that, we committed to producing Ready-To-Ride and they’re finally a reality.”
Ready-To Ride Bikes
RTR frames offer the same craftsmanship and performance as Renovo custom bikes; they’re simply limited to one popular wood combination and the most popular models and sizes, all of which enable us to produce them efficiently and build inventory ahead of orders. Our new website allows the customer to specify groupsets, wheelsets, etc. from dropdown menus of our most ordered component sets making the ordering process relatively painless. Now a Renovo can be shipped within weeks after ordering!
Renovo Custom Frames
Since Renovo built its reputation as a custom bike builder, people are naturally asking – will Renovo continue to make custom frames? The answer is yes, we love making them, but we still need to reduce the custom backlog before we resume accepting custom orders.
Renovo engineers chose wood for its outstanding shock and vibration damping which delivers superior ride quality/stiffness while having the light weight, stiffness, fatigue life and durability to compete with or surpass man-made frame materials. Note: Renovo frames are designed for recreational durability versus an ultra-light pro-tour frame, so the weight of a Renovo frame is about the same as a custom steel frame.
Renovo offers seven of its most popular models in the RTR program:
o Firewood – Road disc endurance bike
o Pursuit – Most popular of our custom performance road bikes
o Astoria – Classic road frame with disc or rim brakes
o Elwood – Our most popular commuter, upright or drop bar
o Pandurban – Upright style urban bike of laminated bamboo
o John Day – Gravel, backroads
o Further – Touring, camping
See our past coverage of Renovo here.