I have been interested in wooden and bamboo frames ever since I came across a Calfee Bamboo frame on eBay three years ago. At that time I thought it was painted to look like bamboo, until I found out it was made of actual bamboo. Unfortunately it was not my size, but it did got me thinking on riding a frame that is not made of steel, aluminium or carbon.
After doing some research on the web I found out that there are now several companies that make bike frames from wood or bamboo, such as Sanomagic, Boo Cycles and of course Calfee. IMHO the company that makes the best looking frames by far is Renovo Hardwood Bicycles located in Portland.
This year I decided to buy a Renovo frame to build up for promotional purposes. After sending a couple of e-mails back and forth with Nick Wood from Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, I decided to buy a Renovo R1 that was already halfway finished (i.e. the front triangle was already built). The frame features padauk wood in the main triangle with an accent stripe of curly maple and inner layers of birch wood in the rear stays. The frame was finished last week and is currently at the workshop of English Cycles, waiting for Rob English to fit it with his trademark fork and stem combo.
Here are a couple of pictures of the finished frame and of the frame during production. In part 2 I will tell you more on the wheels for this build. Wooden wheels of course!