As much as a steel frame and carbon fiber constructed bike may be appealing, there's something about wood that shines like nothing else. The unique beauty of wood grain adds a special touch to the Renovo Hardwood John Day bicycle, and its expert construction makes for versatile riding experience.
Hardwood adds certain performance qualities that can't be replicated using modern materials. These hardwoods provide exceptional handling and vibration control, whether birch, ash, walnut, spruce, or Bubinga.
In this review, we'll look at Renovo frames, how they're made, and where you can get them. Then, we'll break down the bike itself to see if it's really worth the price. Let's get started!
About Renovo by Pure Timber
Renovo Hardwood Bikes made some of the highest quality hardwood bike frames in the world. Unfortunately, the business went bankrupt. However, in 2019, all of its assets and intellectual property have since been purchased by Pure Timber, a wood bending company known for their chairs and sculpture work.
Renovo hardwood bikes are now available from Pure Timber. The company has applied its extensive wood bending expertise to improve certain components, including the seat post and head tube, longbow seat stays, and bottom bracket joinery.
Overall, what this means for you is that you can expect the Renovo Hardwood John Day bike to be of the highest quality and top-notch performance. It's a beautiful bike from a trustworthy company.
Pure Timber is owned and managed by Chris Mroz out of Gig Harbor, Washington. Mroz has extensive experience with wood and wood bending. He's worked on everything from simple chairs to architectural masterpieces. He's been featured in magazines and on television.
As far as bikes are concerned, he applies his skills to making Renovo bike frames with the same resilience and flexibility as carbon fiber. Mroz firmly believes that hardwood provides the smoothest and most comfortable ride you can get on a bike.
What We Like Best
One thing that is missing from most bikes is a natural quality and feel. The average bike is made of steel or carbon fiber tubes welded together with gears, rubber tires, and brakes. While this isn't necessarily bad, for a mechanical machine that often takes us mountain biking in nature, it can feel surprisingly out of place amongst the trees and fresh air.
The Renovo John Day Hardwood bike solves this problem with a frame constructed purely of the hardest wood. It's as durable as any other bike while harnessing the natural qualities of the wood. Its joints are fastened and glued in place for a seamless look. It also has wide posts for improved stiffness compared to other wood bikes.
A wooden frame provides increased flexibility on a bike. It can mitigate vibration for a smooth ride on almost any surface. It also has a superior suspension response due to the wood's curved parts that act like leaf springs.
Pure Timber uses densified, pre-compressed bent wood for all of its bike frames. You can get their bike frames in either whiskey jack or blackwood. While both are strong, the blackwood is slightly stronger.
Overall, it's a beautiful bike produced using master craftsmanship. The Renovo John Day Hardwood bike uses the wood's natural qualities so that it doesn't need to add suspension to its frames, keeping it light and maneuverable. It has excellent performance and offers a smooth ride for general use all over the city in rural areas.
What We Don't Like
We'll admit, the Renovo John Day Hardwood bike is not the easiest to get. You have to special order it from Pure Timber and then wait 90 days for arrival. On top of that, the frames on their own are quite expensive, becoming even more so with the full setup.
Since Pure Timber is not a dedicated bike company, you're no longer able to get this bike from bicycle professionals. Instead, the company's focus is on the craftsmanship of the wood. While this may not necessarily be a negative thing, for biking expertise, repairs, and construction, you'll have to go elsewhere.
It's also crucial to realize you're paying a premium for this bike. Yes, natural hardwood has its advantages, but it is pricey. Currently, the Renovo Whiskey Jack frame requires a $750 deposit to hold your place in line, with a total price of $4500 for the standard frame or $5500 for the blackwood variation. Full builds cost upwards of $10,000.
That being said, if you have your heart set on one of these stunning bikes, it might be worth it. If you're a dedicated biking enthusiast who appreciates fine craftsmanship, there's no denying the Renovo John Day Hardwood bike is a beautiful creation.
The Renovo John Day Hardwood bike provides one of the smoothest and most versatile rides you can get. It's constructed of hardwood bent and fastened seamlessly with a beautiful finish that shows off the unique wood grain patterns.
For biking enthusiasts, a hardwood frame harnesses the wood's natural dampening qualities for improved suspension and performance. The Renovo John Day Hardwood bike is able to remain lightweight because it doesn't require extra suspension. It's compatible with most 700cc tires and is built by Chris Mroz, an expert wood bender.
Nevertheless, the Renovo John Day Hardwood bike doesn't come cheap. For craftsmanship of this quality, expect to pay a lot, even if it's just for the frame. Full setups can cost upwards to $10k, but you may be able to somewhat mitigate the cost by purchasing your own parts elsewhere and assembling the bike yourself.
The Renovo John Day Hardwood bike is for dedicated bike riders looking for the best of the best. It's a well-rounded bicycle designed to provide the smoothest ride possible. In many ways, it's a masterpiece of engineering.