Renovo Coming to Sausalito


Portland’s Renovo, makers of exquisite hardwood bicycles, is opening a showroom in the San Francisco Bay Area. From Renovo:

Renovo Design of Portland is opening a showroom for their innovative hardwood and laminated bamboo bicycles in Sausalito, California July 2nd. These custom, lightweight, handmade, hollow-frame bicycles have received worldwide acclaim, raced at the Ironman World Championships, and recently earned the 4 ring logo from the carmaker Audi, for whom Renovo now produces a series of bicycles.

The sustainability, natural woods, finish and intricate joinery of Renovo frames are attractive, but any owner will tell you it’s the performance and ride qualities for which they’re coveted. Each frame is handmade in Renovo’s shop in Portland, where combinations of woods are used to individually tailor both the ride qualities and the appearance to suit the customer. Renovo’s lineup includes road, city, commuter, triathlon and mountain styles, with demo bikes of each in and our showrooms so riders can sample the Renovo experience on local riding paths and trails. Portland visitors are welcome to tour the production facility.

In a unique, but obvious collaboration, Renovo’s Sausalito bicycle showroom will also show select pieces of the sublime handcrafted furniture made by the Joinery. The Joinery has been the Northwest’s premier handmade custom furniture maker for thirty years, and they too have earned an international reputation for their designs and quality. They use many species including Oregon timber they harvest and mill, and many of their woods are FSC certified. The Joinery produces exquisite designs of their own as well as Asian, Arts and Crafts, Shaker, Mission, Modern and Contemporary. They welcome fully custom work.

Renovo Design was founded in 2007 in Portland Oregon. They are the first and only producer of hollow frame wooden bicycles in the world and have patents pending on their designs. Their high performance, computer designed bicycles are loved worldwide and have been featured in magazines and newspapers from the Oregonian to the Economist and Forbes, as well as a wide range of cycling publications.

Renovo Design
1401 Bridgeway, Suite D, Sausalito, CA
Grand Opening July 2-4, Hours: Saturday: 10-9, Sunday: 10-6, Monday: 10-3
Regular hours: Thursday: 12-6, Friday-Sunday: 10-6

For more information, please contact Ken Wheeler: 503-231-4888 or

Renovo Hardwood Bikes
The Joinery

19 Responses to “Renovo Coming to Sausalito”

  • kfg says:

    “They are the . . . only producer”

    Yeah, OK, guess I’ll buy that, given the possible restrictions on the meaning of “wood,” “bicycle” and taking “producer” to mean strictly for commercial sale.


    Pull the other one. And it doesn’t even have wooden rims and spokes.

  • Duane says:

    gorgeous machine. maybe too pretty to ride. ;) wish they made recumbent trikes.

  • kfg says:

    @Duane – Oddly enough the last bike I made was a hollow birch recumbent tadpole trike. I perfectly freely admit it was nowhere the piece of work the Renovos are. It was just a proof of concept hack to scratch an itch and a bit of a homage to Frank Costin; the last man to seriously produce (or perhaps that’s make) and campaign a wooden chassis formula race car.

    Went reasonably well, but he never did manage to get the chassis stiff enough to compete with the aluminium cars of the time. Make of that what you will.

  • Dave says:

    I honestly don’t understand the enthusiasm for wooden bikes beyond their novelty value. If you wouldn’t own a carbon fiber frame, you most definitely shouldn’t consider a wooden frame for all the same reasons. Wood is, after all, a composite material like CF and will fail catastrophically like CF if overloaded. However, CF is far stronger, more uniform in its properties, and CF frames can be engineered as monolithic structures without nearly as many joints as a wooden frame for even greater integrity.

    For musical instruments, it’s no contest: go with wood. For bicycles, cars, airplanes, etc I’ll take just about any other man-made material.

  • John Ferguson says:

    I’ve seen these bikes up close and I’d say catastrophic failure would be the least of my worries. Being made of hardwoods I’d imagine they would hold up better than almost anything you can imagine. I guess they could fail at a join, but if that did happen I imagine it would give you plenty of warning and the likeihood of catastrophe would be extremely low. They’re pricey, but I guess that’s a good reason to set up shop in Sausalito. I’d love to have one, but if the wife ever found out..

  • Doug ratliff says:

    Hello, I was able to ride the “Badash” 29er at last year’s S.F> Bike Expo. It was setup perfectly! The Sram xx drive train was great, however, I am a xt man and I asked about them making an xt dynasis setup. The owner said it was being developed that week! Great, now where to dig up the $6,000 plus for one? The ride on the Badash was sublime and when I jumped around on it the frame flex and feel was well, gorgeous! I will have one! I am glad to see them coming to the bay area! If you have any doubts about wood, I suggest you go and test one before speculating. Oh, and the owner said to me that he gives a 10 year warranty on the frames. : )

  • kfg says:

    @Dave – “If you wouldn’t own a carbon fiber frame, you most definitely shouldn’t consider a wooden frame”

    Had that argument with a “design” student over at Bike Design. He couldn’t seem to grasp the idea that his (engineered wood product) bike had just as much nasty epoxy in it as a refined fiber carbon bike; and rather more than a steel or aluminium one. High grade metals are also highly recyclable at a fraction of the energy cost of refining the ore originally.

    But the reason he does it is because he really thinks it can help “Save the Planet.”

    Have to give him props for actually building something that works though, rather than just rendering something with half the parts kinda left out because he’s going to build it as soon as “violating the laws of physics technology” advances far enough.

    “For musical instruments . . .”

    The later versions of carbon fiber instruments that have been made by real luthiers who have begun to understand the material has actually impressed me with their sound quality; and you won’t have to cry about your antique fiddle having a hissy fit and dying just because the humidity level changed a bit. Not that I’m getting rid of mine anytime soon, mind you.

    John – “I’d say catastrophic failure would be the least of my worries.”

    Indeed. The problem is that wood is compressible and the bearing races work against it.

    “made of hardwoods”

    Actually, per pound softwoods are stronger, but don’t go bringing up that nasty Young’s Modulus thingy again.

    “I’d imagine they would hold up better than almost anything you can imagine.”

    Perhaps, but I can imagine steel. I can even make frames out of it. It’s not only a natural material, but tons of the nickel alloy stuff falls right out of the sky.

    I told, every little star, just how sweet I think you are. . .

  • Duane says:

    @kfg: i sent an email to renovo expressing my fantasy, totally expecting them to tell me that it was just indeed a fantasy, but got this reply from ken “…..I’d love to do a bent and will after I clear some of the current projects.” now if it were a three-wheel bent and affordable after i would need to sell my clubsport (some strong emotional ties to it), it would be very tempting. portland is an easy two-hour or so drive as well.

  • kfg says:

    @Duane – “. . .my clubsport (some strong emotional ties to it)”

    A poor boy’s “Clubbed Sport” is what set me free in the world before I was quite a teenager and made me an “avid cyclist.” I understand.

  • Ian says:

    @Dave, maybe you forgot the de Havilland Mosquito, a 370-mph aircraft used in WWII… made of wood, covered with cloth? Wood is stronger than you apparently think.

  • kfg says:

    @Ian – It was also engineered as a monolithic structure. Go figure. Pilots had a reverence for this plane rivaled only by that for the DC-3/C-47. If there was a plane to get you there and get you back again it was the Mosquito. You basically had to blow it completely to bits to knock it out of the sky.

  • Tim says:

    And on another front we have the 1400.00 Schwinn Organic Flax Vestige Bikes coming at the end of this month.These frames are made from organic flax fiber and painted with water soluble paints.Check it out!

  • Dave says:

    Ian, my point is not that you can’t make a plane (e.g. Mosquito) or a car (e.g. Morgan) or a boat (e.g. Chris Craft), or a bike out of wood. History is obviously replete with examples. It’s just that with steel, titanium, aluminum, CF, fiberglass, and other modern engineered materials you can build a much higher performance and more durable plane, car, bike, or boat.

    I guess my question back to you would be to cite a modern war plane, car, bike or boat made out of wood for reasons other than nostalgia, novelty, or highly specialized requirements (e.g. non-metallic mine-sweeper ships).

  • Doug ratliff says:

    Dave, aesthetics apply and performance is on par with these Renovo bikes! I looked at the samples of “impacted” pieces of titanium CF, steel , and wood that Ken the owner had in his booth at the S.F. bike show. The wood came out far less damaged from the impact than the other materials.
    I think that Carbon fiber is my favorite, but I own bikes of all materials and the wood is valid! It also looks so beautiful! I again, stress going to Renovo and trying one out and marvel at the craftsmanship too! : )

  • kfg says:

    Mosquito, Morgan, Chris Craft.

    One of these things is not like the others. One of these things has a frame of tubular steel. A bicycle with a steel frame and a wooden cargo box is not a wooden bike.

  • stan says:

    isn’t that on the same block as A Bicycle Odyssey?

  • Alan says:

    I think you’re right, Stan.

  • Canuck says:

    The address is actually 1201 Bridgeway, Suite D.

  • Albert says:

    It didn’t *seem* to me that Renovo’s main point was their environmental friendliness (though it is mentioned). Rather, I was struck by the sheer beauty of their frames.

    I would agree that there are many other materials with great properties for bike frames. But wood is a reasonable choice (plenty of strength, and great toughness). I thought of their frames more as an expression of art and engineering rather than selecting the “very best” material from a strength perspective.

    And as this thing is meant to be ridden, I wonder if wood gives a better, more comfortable ride than even (gasp) steel (my favorite material given my price range!).

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