06 April 2018

FOR SALE -- Renovo Firewood test bike

Renovo Firewood 55cm virtual seat tube, Ultegra Di2 10spd electronic shifting,
Avid BB-7 mechanical disks, Velocity Aileron wide rims
[NOTE: I have accepted an offer for the bike and, assuming all goes to plan, it will be with its new owner the week of May 7.]

As some of you know, I got three Renovo wood-framed bicycles when the manufacturer of these beautiful machines came to Tokyo from Portland, Oregon in 2015.

I kept the largest framed one for my own use, and have enjoyed riding it on many long rides in the intervening three years, including 400 and 600 km brevets, and last year 1420 kms of the Tohoku Isabella Byrd "Unbeaten Tracks of Japan" series.

The other two Renovo bikes went to C Speed where my friend Hiroshi made them available for test rides and for sale. He sold one (the "Pursuit" road bike model) to a customer, and eventually returned the other, a longer chainstay, disk-brake long-ride 55cm (virtual seat tube) model, to me (called the "Firewood"). This frame is a bit large for 90%+ of Japanese male cyclists and 98% of Japanese women cyclists.

Well, the bike was ridden once over the past year by my son when he joined the Tokyo Cranks coffee ride when in town on vacation, but otherwise it has been hanging, indoors, on a rack.

Now that I have settled from my move, and am done with my February-March travel, it is time to see if anyone wants to buy it. You can find many photos and description of the components here (in Japanese -- 日本語) .

It is a thing of beauty and a joy to ride! It has wide (700x32), durable treaded Michelin "City" tires (with reflective stripes) that are great for commuting and rough roads. It has plenty of room for fenders, racks, lights, or can be kept as a pure road machine for rides under blue skies.  The main question is whether to ride it, or to hang it on the wall as a work of art. I say -- BOTH!

I actually would prefer somewhat lighter, more supple tires -- which will make it very fast. The wood frame has a very "lively" feel, combining the best features of steel/titanium and vibration damping better than carbon. The manufacturer offered a 10-year guarantee back in 2015, recently increased to "lifetime".

I would take JPY400,000 (no consumption tax); plus the cost of a Di-2 charger box (I only have one charger, for two bikes so will need to buy you a separate one unless you already have one) and replacement bar tape (the current tape is worn). And if you want me to change out the Michelin City tires for lighter, supple tires, I can get those -- or can offer 700x28 Schwalbe Durano, or used (but still rideable) lightweight Grand Bois 700x32 tires. Then again, the reflective tires are safe for city riding!

JPY400,000 is a less than I paid, and less than Hiroshi was asking (JPY450,000 plus tax). The list price of the most similar models in the current Renovo catalogue would be anywhere from $6,500~$10,000, plus wait time, plus shipping. (The current Renovo line does not include exactly this frame, but the lower-end John Day model with Ultegra Di-2 would cost $6495, and the high end Glenmorangie Dura Ace Di-2 would cost $10,000. Then again, the Glenmorangie is made from staves of a whiskey cask for a beautiful Scotch single malt ... so it may be worth a bit more).

For me, this was never a "for profit" venture -- just an idea to get myself one of the bikes at a deep discount, help Hiroshi with a potential new business, and tie up with a Portland venture that offers something uniquely beautiful to the world.

The bike is available by appointment for test ride in Takanawa, Minato-ku. Contact me via FB messenger or Skype (david.g.litt) if questions.

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