Regarding my first ride: one of the most enjoyable 50 mile rides I ever had!  During the ride 2 cyclists mentioned that I had an incredibly cool bike.  My Renovo is by far and away the most balanced bike I’ve ever owned; in fact, it was the first time I rode “no hands” since high school!  It responds smoothly to turns, absorbs bumps quite nicely and has an overall tight, controlled ride. I am beyond impressed!  Thanks again, Craig H. Woodbridge, NJ 


Ken and staff thank you very much for the beautify bike that was crafted for me. It was a long journey but well worth the wait.  I can not thank you enough.

LZ, Anchorage, Alaska


I want to say that I LOVE the Bad Ash Curly Hickory 29er.  It arrived on Friday and I took it to my local bike shop for professional assembly.  Needless to say, it attracted a lot of attention while at the bike shop--including from my banker who now probably thinks I'm making too much money...

EM, Boone, North Carolina


Ken and crew,

I wanted to send you this quick note to thank all of you for the stunningly beautiful and wonderful to ride R3 that was delivered last September.  From my very first ride of about 50 miles to my quick lunchtime ride of 23 miles last week, every moment has been an absolute pleasure.  The ride is superb and the SRAM Force components you helped to select for the bike seem to fit it just right.  My R3 is a fantastic bicycle and I no longer want to ride any other bike but a Renovo.  Unfortunately, I will have to wait a bit to order my Renovo mountain bike but the road ride is excellent for now!  Thanks again for building me a wonderful and functional work of art.

MB, Loveland, Ohio


Wanted to let you know my new frame arrived in one piece. I rode in two metric centuries last weekend and then a three day 300 mile ride this weekend that ended at the Michigan International Speedway. That final lap around the track was a hoot! I expected to get attention with this bike, but had no idea. It is a work of art. Kudos to you and your team.
-DH,  Whitmore Lake, Michigan


Renovo R4 vs. Cervelo R3 and steel Pinarello 

I've finally bought the remaining parts on a trip to London and was able to assemble the bike. Comparing with my Cervelo R3, the ride is incredibly smooth. Even compared to my old steel Pinarello, it's a more pleasent ride. I've built it mostly with Ultegra parts, and when compared to the Cervelo (full DA) it weights 1.4kg more, but on a training ride on a hill I couldn't notice any loss on climb performance. I'm REALLY happy with it. Thank you and the team again for the wonderful piece you've produced. 
Cheers, Luciano, 
Paribas, Brasil


My first season riding the Renovo and never an issue. The integration of the Di2 is flawless. Plenty of daily rides (over 3500 miles this summer) to compare with: Look 695, Ridley Noah, Willier Cento Uno and Blue AC1 SL... For long rides the Renovo is the most comfortable bike hands down. For frame integrity and power transfer the Look is its only equal. But I believe that's due to the Look's 65mm integrated bottom bracket. Nothing on the road is as beautiful. Absolute eye candy in every detail. Love it!!

Gregg Alspach, R4 10/27/12


Just got my bike from Macau this morning!  I rode it back to my home in Zhuhai.  As I was crossing the border everyone was eying the bike. It is gorgeous.  But it ride even better than it looks.  I had 11
bikes in my collection. This bike is by far the smooth and quiestest. Silky smooth even on bumper road. supreme handling.  Kudo to all of you at Renovo.  This is the first bike of its kind in China I
believe..  Even the custom agents are envy. Again Thank you for a job well done.  Worth the waiting! 

Eddie Wu, Zhuhai, China R4


Hi Ken & John,
Wanted to let you know that I just returned from a week of riding my new R4  in the high mountains of Colorado at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.  Crossed the Continental Divide four times, including a 14-mile dirt road climb to Cottonwood Pass, over 12,100 feet of elevation, not to mention plenty of hot descents up to 48 mph top speed.  Saturday, I rode up Trail Ridge Rd. in Rocky Mt. Nat'l Park & along the ridgeline at 12,000+ feet for several miles.  Also crossed Independence Pass & down into Aspen, plus Hossier Pass south of Breckenridge.
The bike performed like a champ in all respects and was the center of attention everywhere it went.  I was most pleased at how solid it feels going downhill at those high speeds.  Didn't know what to expect on that score, so that was a pleasant surprise.  You've got to be pretty confident of your machine to let it go when you're descending at 45+ mph.  The Di2 shifters are magic. . .I never want to be without them again!

David Wolf, New Orleans, R4. Previous bike Orbea carbon 


So last November a dear friend of mine said I should check out this company that makes wood bikes..........I always do what my friend says. Renovo Bikes is what I found. I gave Ken a call and said i want something kind of one-off for Street Swell. He was more than willing to accommodate. What I now have is the first bike I've ever had that will never be for sale...a Badash 29er.

John Cummins, Street Swell 


At long last attached are some pictures of the R1 “one off” that I purchased in January.  The frame is stunning needless to say – a true work of art with exemplary design and craftsmanship.  It built up very easily.  Highlights of the build are a Brooks honey Swallow with matching bar tape that looks fabulous with the sapele.  

I have taken it for two short rides of about 25 miles (including in the rain yesterday).  The ride truly is all that you riders rave about.  It is very planted (no pun intended) with terrific vibration absorption.  For ride quality, it competes with the best of carbon, steel and ti frames – and a Sachs, Moots, Serotta and Calfee are my context.  I found myself intentionally riding over road imperfections just for fun!  I am looking forward to many more much longer rides!   

I truly treasure the bike and have had great fun over the last few weeks explaining that I am building a wood bike.  My husband in particular is fascinated by it and I catch him just staring at in the basement. 

Thanks for the terrific service and best of luck building some of the world’s most beautiful bike!

Ride safe!

--Patricia Davidson


When I opened the box I was blown away with how beautiful my frame was. Waiting for delivery seemed like a lifetime, but was worth it when I pulled it out of the box. It was hard for me to imagine a nicer ride than the two Seven Cycles Titanium and Carbon bikes I have, but the wood structure really damps out the shocks while still recognizing the bumps, it really smooths out the impacts.

Anyway, Bravo Boys! A job well done and I love the frame.
Thanks again, Dan McDaniel

Dan builds a mean bike, lots of detail pics on our Facebook page 


"Ken, Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoy my new R-4. This bike is by far the best ride I have ever owned. I like my Trek and my Colnago but the ride quality of the Renovo beats these bikes hands down. I built the frame up three weeks ago and have just over 600 miiles on it so far. Thank you for making a quality product here in America. Portland Oregon should be very proud you and your company." - Steve Anderson, Mariposa, California


"Well done Ken and crew. I was much less fatigued from vibration at the end than any other long distance ride I've ever done. The ride on my R4 is nothing short of plush, yet the stiffness for climbing is there. My satisfaction with the bike grew with every mile on mostly chip sealed roads that normally I can't stand." DW, Seattle. Previous bike; Trek 6.9 Madone


Customer Joe Martz posted this ride review on our Facebook page, reproduced here for those who don't 'Facebook'.  

Joe Martz, Los Alamos, NM

Renovo R4 Review

I received my Renovo R4 build 3 weeks ago, and have had some time to ride her on the mountain roads of northern New Mexico. This bike is actually an engagement gift for my soon-to-be fiance, and we ride identically sized frames. This gives us the opportunity to switch bikes during our rides, which is a fantastic way to compare frames, equipment, etc. We've taken the Renovo out along with a few other bikes, and done some extensive back-to-back comparison. (the engagement gift is not a surprise to her; she's been eagerly awaiting delivery as have I).

In summary, the Renovo has been jaw-dropping impressive with its stunning ability to absorb bumps and provide a smooth ride while also remaining stiff and nearly flex-free when standing on the pedals. I've been riding a very long time on some very good frames. When young, my father purchased the first Reynolds double-butted 501 alumnium frame, a 1973 Raleigh International with a 2x5 Campagnolo Record groupo. I still have that bike (with the sales receipt for $376!). I rode some of the first carbon frames, and I've had lovely Colnago steel bikes, to this point, some of the best riding frames I've owned. Currently, my main ride is a Specialized Roubaix SL3 with full Shimano DI2 while my fiance rides a Trek Pilot 5.0. This was my first electrically shifted bike, and once you've ridden DI2, it can be really hard to go back to mechanical. I was so impressed with the DI2, I specced the Renovo for the same drivetrain.

I did the build on the Renovo myself, and in addition to the full DI2 drivetrain, I added full Ritchey WCS carbon forks, seatpost, and bars, and choose Mavic Kysrium ES Speciales for the rims. A note on the drivetrain. Lots of steep hills here in New Mexico. I use compact cranks (50/34) and have lately been using extended range rear cassettes. SRAM makes a great 11-32 10-speed cassette, and it works fine with the DI2 rear derailleur. I had no problems getting this setup with the Renovo frame. This gives you a gearing range greater and lower than a triple, with the weight advantages of a standard double. 

The build went super-easy, not a single problem, as the Renovo guys are perfectionists regarding all the frame geometry issues. While not something you think about right away, it's non-trivial to get all the mounting points for derailleurs, seatposts, brakes, bottom brackets, and headsets correct on a wooden bike. Renovo does it to perfection, and the payoff is an easy build that takes standard components and fits perfectly the first time you mount them. Kudos and well done. My build, including pedals and cages, weighed in a bit over 19# when finished. Not bad at all.

I've posted pics of the build earlier here; the end result is stunning. Aesthetically, this is finest bike I've owned or built, and that's saying something. For my build woods, I choose Wenge, Red Paduck, and flamed Maple. We decided to try something different on the Maple, and I sent samples of a favorite guitar I owned, which Renovo was able to match in staining the inner flaming. The end result is jaw-dropping in person. And yes, it is quite a match to my guitar!

For a test-ride, I use a favorite loop on forest roads near my hometown of Los Alamos. The backgate route to Bandelier National Monument is a great, 25 mile ride that has a long, slight descent of 6 miles over an older road with plenty of snakes and cracks. This road is almost unridable on aluminum bikes, as you do about 30 mph while your teeth get shaken out from the regular imperfections. The best carbon bikes I've ridden on this road are the Roubaix and the Colnago CLX 2.0. Steel-framed bikes do well here, but still transmit a bit of high-freqency vibration. Once I began the descent on the Renovo, I was shocked. You still feel the bumps, but they are extremely damped. And there is almost no high-frequency vibration at all! The wood frame just soaks up this road, and gives a ride like some kind of magic, natural shock absorbers. Back-to-back riding on this with the Roubaix clearly shows that the Renovo has a smoother ride. 

Of course, the price you pay on this ride to Bandelier is a steep, 3000' climb back out of Ancho Canyon. Here, low gears and plenty of sweat are in order. I found the Renovo amazingly stiff on the climbs. Only the slightest bit of bottom bracket flex was noticeable. The SL3 and Colnagos are just a tad (barely) stiffer in this respect, and the Renovo was stiffer than most of my older carbon and steel frames. As a side note, I've mounted auxiliary DI2 climbing shifters for both the SL3 and Renovo; these are wonderful. You keep your hands on top of the bar, and a quick thumb-press provides a gear change. This ability to shift DI2 from alternate points is a great feature, and underutilized. Expect to see some innovation in shifting control as electrical shifting becomes more mainstream. 

Design of any bicycle frame requires a set of compromises among weight, stiffness, compliance, and shock absorption. Race and climbing frames put a premium on weight and stiffness. Touring frames favor ride quality. There is no perfect frame, geometry, or construction method which provides class-leading abilities across all these requirements; everything is a compromise. With that said, I honestly believe the Renovo wooden frames cover a wider spectrum of this diverse design space than any other frame I've ridden. Ride quality is clearly class-leading, just stunningly smooth and compliant. It soaks up the larger shocks, and dampens the high frequency vibration better than any other frame material I've ridden, even Italian steel. Yet, this frame is still surprisingly stiff, certainly rigid enough for anything I might need. The 19# build is plenty light, you pay less than a 2# penalty over the lightest, dedicated climbing frames. And of course, the aesthetics. I can't imagine a more unique or beautiful frame.

Overall, the Renovo is simply a stunning, class-altering bicycle. The wait can be long. As a small, boutique builder with a growing reputation, I'm afraid that wait is only going to get longer as others discover the magnificent capabilities of well-crafted wooden frames.


NP - Singapore

(After build) I love it!! It is such a joy to ride. The main thing is it is a great bike to ride. Great handling. Stiff, fast so much fun. The huge added bonus is that everyone just loves it. It is a such a work of art. It’s like driving a classic car. Just so much fun. I rode it 30 miles this morning before work. My favorite bike ever!!!!!

Guys. Unbelievable. Really this is a thing of beauty. Thank you so much. I haven’t ridden it yet as still getting it made up but the workmanship, detail, love and care that has gone into that frame is amazing.. It has been in the bike shop for two days and I have three offers to buy it already (but wouldn’t sell it for anything) and so much buzz on the local cycling websites about it. Can’t wait to ride it and will then send you guys some pictures. What an amazing looking frame. Even people who don’t know bikes look at it and say wow. Thank you so much and  will keep in touch. I have sneaky feeling you may get a few more customers from Singapore soon!!!!


CV - South Africa

We eventually received my dad’s bike yesterday after the weather delays etc., and it is truly amazing! It’s so beautifully made my dad is hesitant to even ride it – he wants to hang it on the wall! It so great to see a company that still produces beautiful things to such an exacting standard – you wouldn’t believe the feedback that our local bike shop has gotten… Literally everybody that sees it is amazed and wants to know all the details, what it feels like, etc… Maybe South Africa’s your next big market? I’ll send you pictures of the completed bike soon. Thanks again and regards to everyone at Renovo!


MH, Part 2 

I want to add some additional comments. I love my Pandurance for it just glides. It's a great bike and such a pleasure to ride. The finish on it just reeks of high quality and it gives me confidence its good looks will last a long time.


Marc Gaudin - Portland

I've got a new sleeping partner... Hey Ken, that bike is so fricken awsome. I stared at a long time and wanted to sleep with it. It is gorgeous. Can't wait to ride.

Hey Ken, Just want you to know I got out yesterday on my new ride. Holy smokes, I felt so good on it. I totally like the responsiveness and firm but soft ride. I actually had tears going thinking I was one lucky guy, riding such a piece of art!! Feel awesome you have created a wonderful ride.

"I thought the bike was the most beautiful bike I've ever seen, and it rides nicer than my $7,000 carbon-fiber bike," Gaudin said, adding that he logged about 3,000 miles on the Renovo. Oregonian Newspaper article, November 24, 2010


BP - Palo Alto, CA

Well, I rode her to work today and the response was overwhelming. Even the most hardcore bike snobs with garages full of Serottas, Sevens and Moots were impressed by the finish and by the ride (yes, I let people ride her). You´ll probably get an order for an R4 from JH, he had been dying to see one in person and was delighted. The ride is wonderful... it´s like the bike isn´t even there, as one of my friends said. Thanks, I'm saving up a stash for Mary's. Um, BP admits to a garageful of a Jamis Coda, a Seven Axiom and a Serotta Concours Ti. 
JD - Maryland

Earlier in the week, I didn't want to ride, because my (new R4) bike is too beautiful to ride on the roads which had sand and salt left over from the massive snow we had in February… Today the roads were much clearer and I couldn't stand it any longer, so I took my first ride and I wasn't disappointed.  The ride was smooth as silk and quiet.  I was only going out for a short time, but I enjoyed it so much that I doubled the ride.  It was a beautiful day, and I had the feeling of a little kid who was supposed to be home for dinner, but wasn't, because he was having too much fun. Thanks for making my dream bike.  Great Job!! Previous bike a Trek Madone 5.9 Project One.


JD part 2

My Renovo R4 was so beautiful that I was reluctant to ride it. I had ridden it only one time before, and on that ride I found the bike to be smooth and quiet, but today I was going to find out if it could perform. I was tired, jet lagged and fatigued because I had a late flight home from the west coast, and I was dragging as I rode the R4 to the Sunday morning group ride. 

 When I stopped at a traffic light, a fellow rider pulled up in his car and he rolled down his window and asked about my new bike. I told him about it, and by the time I arrived, the word had spread about the stunning bike. Everyone was staring, commenting and inquiring about the R4 and this continued the whole ride.

It was the first really nice day for biking in Washington DC after the “Snowmageddon” winter of 2010, and the group was huge. It appeared that everyone was itching for a ride having been sequestered for the winter, and now, finally, warmer temperatures and clear roads.

I usually get strength from any group ride and that day was no exception. As the ride started I began to feel better and stronger.  Even though the R4 is a couple of pounds heavier than my carbon fiber, I easily climbed the first set of hills. The bikes response to the initial hills was reassuring, but the real test was quickly approaching. The Massachusetts Avenue Hill which is considered the benchmark by many, and where the ride really starts heating up, was now in my sights. I was eagerly awaiting to see how the R4 would respond.

The peloton hit the hill like a pack of wild dogs, and I could feel the collective testosterone from a group of riders who had been caged up for the winter.  The strongest riders took off and I didn’t hesitate.  I powered the R4 and it responded as the stiff frame transferred my power directly to the rear wheel, and instead of struggling to stay with the B riders, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hanging onto the back of the A group.

My friends took notice and I realized that this was not just a novelty bike, but a performance machine. Everyone regrouped and I continued to ride ahead of, or with riders who I usually trail, and I positioned myself for the next test, the “neighborhood”, followed by the sprint.

The “neighborhood” has a shorter but steeper hill than Massachusetts Avenue, followed by a long gradual decline.  As the group climbs, it stretches out and subgroups form and then after the hill, each faction has their own sprint.  I stayed in the first half of the pack while climbing, and then emerged from the neighborhood with 6 other riders.  I sat in, feeling good and then I realized I still had some legs as we approached the finish.  I waited for the perfect moment, and then with all I had, hammered, and the R4 popped out for the win.  This was a first for me, and I was surprised and wondered if the other riders could hear the stealthy quiet R4 as I attacked. 

The R4 was stiff, responsive, quiet, fast, and so smooth that I extended my ride for an extra 20 miles.   I finished the 50 mile ride and I gathered with my friends in the parking lot and the buzz continued.  As they admired the style and beauty of the R4 they realized that this was not a just a wood bike, but a performance bike that deserves respect.


TT - Plano, Texas

A customer who also owns a carbon Pinarello Prince said of his new Renovo R2 (named Moontan) 'Absolutely stunning!!'. After 100 miles he said 'I love the ride' and after 800 miles, 'It's a great ride. Update 10/12/09: 4200 miles. 'Comparing his Pinarello to the Renovo, 'both bikes very smooth on chip seal, the Renovo is much quieter, the Pinarello is lighter--feels almost skittish', and finally, 'Thanks for producing a great frame.' 

11/4/09  'After a year and 8 centuries, Moontan has held up to the untold miles of chip seal with the frame still looking brand new, I still feel it's the best frame for reducing the vibrations and shocks that are part of the north Texas cycling experience.'

1/18/10  'I’ve totaled over 5500 miles on it, and am now on the 4th chain. Moontan is locally famous, it gathers attention at all the charity rides and occasionally when I ride to lunch.'

'Just finished La Vuelta, a 380 miles tour around Puerto Rico, and Moontan held up very well on the punishing roads there. Thanks again for making a beautiful work of art that I get to ride.'

08/15/10 TT's R2 still looks as new with 9880 miles on it, but he ordered a gorgeous new r4 which was delivered in time for us to display it in our booth before he rode the Hotter 'N Hell 100 in Wichita Falls TX.


JH - Maryland

As this customer was unpacking his Renovo R4, he stopped to call and gush over how beautiful it was… and then we didn’t hear from him for 2 weeks.  I finally emailed to ask what happened. His response… 'I finally overcame my trepidation at getting my delicious new bike all dirty from road spray… but I think I also had a bit of a psychological issue since I was afraid that the bike wouldn't ride as totally awesome as it looked. Within the first 100 yards, I realized that I was wrong to have delayed. The ride is excellent - smooth but responsive. Fun climbing, stable on the downhills and a joy to spend lots of time on. Ken, this bike is simply an amazing piece of engineering and art. I want to also emphasize that when I talk about the bike, I take great pains to point out that this isn't a novelty bike. I am fully convinced that wood is an excellent material for building bike frames.' Previous bike - Klein Pro Q XX


GF - Portland

A customer who commutes daily (including rain and snow) in Portland, said after replacing his Calfee custom carbon with an R2, 'The Renovo is much stiffer, smoother, much better looking; I love it.' We tested his Calfee for stiffness. Update 10/8/09: His bike has nearly 5000 miles.


MW - Portland

This owner of a Cervelo Soloist said of his Renovo R2, 'The Renovo is easily as stiff, much smoother and looks way better'. Tested his Soloist for stiffness.



A triathlete with the usual garage full of fancy bikes said he thought his Colnago C40 was stiff until he took his Renovo R2 up hills. Of his collection of carbon and aluminum Colnagos, Cervelos and 8 or so others, his Renovo is now his favorite ride for its combination of smooth ride and stiffness. After two years, he insists his Renovo is the best bike he’s ever ridden. We tested his Colnago Dream and Surly Steamroller for stiffness.