Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Renovo R1 wooden bike project, part 6: saddle bag

Trying to find a saddle bag for this bike has been pretty tricky. Modern saddle bags simply look silly and a Brooks leather saddle bag looks way too retro.

In the end I went for an Acorn Roll Bag. This American based company makes lovely bags and this one in no exception. It features waxed fabric, leather mounting straps and zippered pockets. It functions and looks great.

Sorry for the crappy pics. I hope to upload some better pics soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Renovo R1 wooden bike project, part 5: finished for now

The weather finally took a turn for the better today, so I got up early and shot some pictures of the finished bike (finished for now anyway).

I will be taking the bike out on its maiden voyage this afternoon, so I will be posting a review of the bike somewhere in the next couple of days.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Renovo R1 wooden bike project, part 4: allmost finished

I almost got the bike built up yesterday. Unfortunately Shimano was kind enough to include a pre-cut cabel set. And since they cut the front derailleur cable nice and short, I was unable to guide it trough the top tube. I won't be able to get a new cable until next week, so that sucks a bit, as I was hoping to ride the bike in club ride today.

Here is a (crappy phone) picture of the bike when it was almost finished. I hope you like it!

The frame and fork arrived early last week, but I was unable to take some pictures before now.

First of all the weight of the frame: 2,5 kg. Luckily the looks are more than enough to compensate for the high weight, as it looks amazing. Nick Wood from Renovo already told me the frame had turned out really nice and I had also seen in on pictures. However, in real life the frame looks so much better!

I hope to build the bike up today and take it for a spin tomorrow. For now, some close up pictures of the frame. Enjoy!

By the way, I will probably not be using the English Cycles fork that Rob built for me. For some reason it just doesn't look nice with the frame. Maybe it is the color or maybe I should have gone with a tapered design.

Renovo R1 wooden bike project, part 3: first test ride

I was not able resist to give the wheels a try whilst waiting for the frame to arrive, so I fitted my trusty Duell steel winter bike with cork brake pads, so I could use it with the DA Ghisallo wooden wheels. The first ride was at the Belgium Ardennes a couple of weeks ago. The temperature was 1 degree above zero (Celsius), so not really comfortable IMHO. That is why the ride did not last any longer than 15km. My first impression of the wheels:

SWEET! If you like stiff responsive wheels, then Ghisallo wooden rims are not what you are looking for. If you like ultra smooth and great looking wheels, then you need to get some Ghisallo rims! The dampening effect of the rims is really nice: you see a bad patch of tarmac, you hear a bad patch of tarmac, but... you don't feel a patch a bad patch of tarmac. In the first kilometers I rode some gravel roads, did some climbs and bad tarmac and the effect was noticeable everywhere. Don't expect something like a suspension rim, but more like the difference you would normally notice between a carbon and a steel frame.

Despite the dampening effect of the rim and the low spoke tension, I was unable to rub the rims against the brake pads. Braking performance was very poor to say the least at first. However, after only 5km braking performance increased dramatically. With the cork pads, the braking performance is now similar to that of most carbon wheels. I will be changing the pads to SwissStop yellow, so I am expecting a significant improvement there.