Golden Gate BridgeFor bicycle enthusiasts looking for something to set themselves apart from the pack, Renovo Bikes may have just the offering. Renovo has been manufacturing bikes using wood, pioneering a new phase in bicycle design that mirrors something as seemingly bizarre as the barefoot revolution in footwear.

Aware of the environmental implications of using wood to make bikes, Renovo admits that they enter the market with a stronger belief in the performance qualities of wood in bike manufacturing. Their major claim is that wood can be used to make frames that are as strong as composite metal versions of the same weight. Further, their frames last as long as metal ones, having the added benefit of absorbing shock from bumps and humps along the road. The frames are also lightweight and comparable to carbon frames.

As well as making road and triathlon bikes, Renovo also sculpts a beautiful hybrid bike and a remarkable mountain bike frame. With the full set of frames and an appeal that transcends traditional designs, Renovo may have just struck the fine balance between function and fashion. Made in Portland and retailed in California, the brand certainly has a West Coast feel that could go far.

The bikes are available for free test rides on request from their showroom Sausalito, best reached by ferry from the Embarcadero. If you wanted to make a day of it (which, let’s face it, you absolutely should), we’d suggest searching on Yelp for somewhere to eat on the waterfront, then taking the bike for a spin in Marin. Depending on how far you want to go, there are plenty of scenic stretches on the Pacific seaboard.

Feel free to comment below if you want some specific guidelines.

Image source: Will Ross, Daily Cal

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