Renovo Revised...Coming Septemberish

About Renovo

With innovative engineering, state-of-the-art CAD-CAM technology and good ol’ craftsmanship, Renovo has produced serious, custom, hollow-frame hardwood bicycles since 2007. Hardwood is the most difficult frame material to work with, but it offers compelling advantages, so Renovo bikes have developed a worldwide reputation for their remarkable ride quality, beauty and durability.

The Challenge

Custom is the challenge. Much as we love making custom bikes, we’ve had backlogs of up to 100 bikes with no two alike. This has been nearly impossible to manage efficiently or forecast accurately, so with our absolute commitment to quality, only lead time has been elastic and it has often stretched to more than a year. Struggling to control this unruly beast has kept Advil profitable and we’ve finally realized we need to change in order to move forward.

The New Renovo

Our surveys told us that many people would be happy to trade ‘custom’ for ‘immediate delivery’, so in October we’ll introduce Ready-to-Ride (RTR) frames, available immediately from stock and made with popular pre-selected wood combinations.  A new website will enable customers to build a semi-custom bike, choosing from popular models, sizes, groupsets, wheelsets and accessories, all from drop down menus. Orders from inventory will be delivered as soon as components are assembled to the frame. We will of course be available online or by phone to assist with  questions.

RTR Bikes

The RTR frames are no different in quality; they have the same fine joinery and ride quality as our custom frames, but the pre-selected wood configurations allow us to manage production and materials efficiently by producing frames for stock. As importantly, the customer service load for RTR frames is much less than custom frames.

Custom Bikes

New custom orders will be temporarily suspended on October 15th as we bring the RTR frames online. We love building them and will resume taking orders at a later date.


Stephan Wijland climbing the Col du Galibeir on his Renovo R1

Who buys a wooden bicycle?

We've shipped many hundreds of frames and bikes worldwide and know our customers pretty well.  They collectively own nearly every high-end bicycle in carbon, steel and titanium. They’re avid, experienced cyclists whose cycling ranges from commuting, recreation and fitness to:

Ironman World Championships
Furnace Creek 508
Hoodoo 500
24 Hours In Old Pueblo
Col du Galibeir

Race Across America
Hotter ‘N Hell
California Triple Crown
and many other rides and events worldwide

Why do they buy an upstart, non-traditional frame like Renovo? Because no other frame offers Renovo's sublime combination of smooth, stiff and responsive.

Unequaled Smoothness: A Renovo frame lays a ribbon of smooth beneath your wheels unlike any other. That’s because only wood is a natural shock absorber, absorbing vibration within the material itself, which makes a Renovo the best chip seal bike on the planet. Oh, and stealth silent, same reason.

Stiffness: A Renovo frame can easily exceed the stiffness of a carbon frame by 15%, but that’s not our goal. Instead we customize the stiffness of each frame to suit the owner; a 260 pound rider gets a much stiffer frame than a 100 pound rider.

Climbing and descents: A Renovo has the rear triangle stiffness to lead the pace line up the hill and the front triangle stiffness to track a steep, twisting descent like it brought its own rails. Nothing descends like a Renovo. The unparalleled combination of stiff, smooth and responsive attacks a twisty, steep descent and takes fast and thrilling to a new level. There’s just nothing else like it.

Endurance: A Renovo R4 is the best endurance bike on the planet. But any Renovo road bike is much less tiring than frames of other materials over a century. The only other way to shorten a century is to take a shortcut.

Anthony Bramante touring breweries in Belgium and Holland on his Renovo R3

WeightOur frames are hollow; road frames are 4-5.5 lbs, about the same as a high-end steel frame. Since we make the frames in our own shop, we could easily make them as light as carbon, but then we too would have broken and cracked frames. Think of the slight extra weight of our thick-wall hardwood frames as durability.

A Renovo is a uniquely custom frame, designed by Renovo and you: You design the appearance by choosing the wood combination (we'll help), then we use your measurements to determine your frame size. We then build your frame, customizing the ride quality to your weight and riding style, with stiffness ranging from cushy to carbon+. Your Renovo will be a one-of-a-kind bike that rides better than any you’ve ever owned.

And Finally, Durability: 

From one of the original carbon frame producers..."As bicycle companies compete in the arms race to make even lighter, stiffer bikes, safety and durability are pushed to the limit. High modulus (66 Msi and greater) carbon fiber is being used to make stiff yet thin walled tubing. These tubes can be vulnerable to damage from a variety of real world sources. When slightly damaged from a pebble thrown up by a passing car, or an unfortunate event during a group ride or race, a thin walled tube can rapidly degrade to an unsafe condition. Calfee's very popular Carbon Repair business is evidence of this common failure."

Eric Olsen's dented frameEric's frame repaired

A Renovo is perhaps the most durable of frames. Our thick-wall hardwood frames are extremely damage resistant and the easiest, least expensive frames to repair as shown to the right or on the Badash page). They withstand rain, heat, cold, the tropics and the frozen North; we know because we have customers in all these places.

"Yesterday I was driving to ride at Chico Wildflower. Driving down a backroad at about 50MPH, my hitchmount rack broke dumping my bike to the pavement.  The end of the carbon bar was broken, the pedal and rear deraileur were scraped, the hanger was bent and the frame had 2 dings where it struck the hitch.  I am certain if the frame had been carbon it would have been unridable. Here's a pic of the damage." Eric Olsen 

Our customer testimonials are here.