Monday, January 15, 2018

What Wood Jesus Do?

Remember the Renovo Aerowood?


Wait, sorry, wrong picture.



You may recall that the bike was creaking on climbs, which is something that shouldn't happen, even beneath a rider as powerful as myself.  It sounded to my expert ear like the creaking was coming from the rear hub, so I changed wheels, which did wonders for the braking but took a devastating toll on the aesthetics:


(Thick, swoopy frame just can't pull off low-profile rims.)

Alas, the creaking continued.

At that point I figured the source of the offending sound could be pretty much anything, and with my time in even shorter supply than my patience we agreed that I'd send the bike back to Renovo who would get it all sorted out for me.  Lazy?  Sure.  However, I'm supposed to be evaluating the bike, and would the sort of person who buys a $10,000 wooden bicycle deign to figure out why his or her bike is creaking?  I think not.

Nevertheless, I'm so deeply and profoundly lazy that I never even got around to packing the bike so someone else could fix it for me, and instead it just sat there.

Then came the new year, and my resolution to ride only one bike...this one:


Cunningly I'd included in my resolution a test bike loophole, because obviously as a semi-professional bike blogger I've got to be able to evaluate bicycles, right?  Hey, without me it's just the sphincter-tightening reviews over at VeloNews or Bicycling or CyclingTips or whatever the Freds are reading these days, or else the douchechill-inducing himbo bro-fest over at the Radavist.  I consider it my mission to provide you with the sort of edifying and substantial fare that on a good day hits at least freshman English major levels of pretentiousness and word bloat masquerading as erudition.  

Anyway, as you can imagine, after riding the monstrosity above multiple times my thought began to drift to the test bike in the basement.  Drop bars...  electronic shifting...  crabon wheels...  It all sounded so dreamy!

Hey, I am a recovering Fred after all.

So on Friday evening I headed down to the basement and, determined to eliminate the creaking, went to work on the Renovo.  (I also threw in a couple loads of laundry because that's where the machines are.)  The wash cycle was just enough time to swap cassettes and brake pads and restore the wooden bike to its original crabon-wheeled state, and as the clothes tumble-dried I pulled the cranks, tightened the bottom bracket, and put on some of those quick fenders.  Then the next morning I went for a ride:


Not only was the bike now blissfully creak-free, but it was also an absolute joy to ride.  Is at least some of that joy attributable to the fact that for the last few week's I've been riding a 30-pound mountain bike almost exclusively?  Almost certainly.  In fact, while I'd always been a bit uncomfortable with the sheer lavishness of the Renovo, I was now positively reveling in it, so starved had I been of my Fredly vices.  So between the juxtaposition factor and the resolute silence I have to admit that I am currently in love with this bicycle.

Speaking of the fenders, not only do I think the bike looks much better with them than it does with bare wheels:


But they also work almost as well as proper full fenders thanks to that rear wheel cutout:


Amazing.

At this point you're no doubt thinking I'm a massive hypocrite, and of course you'd be right.  Isn't committing to bicycle austerity and then hopping on a sumptuous Fred sled when the mood strikes you no different than declaring veganism but saying it's fine to eat cheeseburgers just as long as you don't pay for them?  Of course it is, which is why I put the loophole in there in the first place.  

Hey, I'm not as stupid as I look--and I look pretty stupid:


(Photo by Grant Petersen)

Nevertheless, I maintain that my resolution is no less valuable for it.  In fact it may be even more valuable, since sticking to Ol' Piney means when I do hop on another bike I'm more able to appreciate it and discern its best features, thus making me a better bike reviewer.  Then again, a vegan sneaking a cheeseburger after two weeks of chia seeds will probably declare even a mediocre one the best burger they've ever had, so in that sense I suppose it's possible the resolution will make me a worse bike reviewer.  

All of this is very troubling to me for about fourteen seconds, after which I decide I don't give a fuck.  Plus, the Renovo is not at all suited to riding in dirt, so you can be sure I'll continue to spend much of my time on Ol' Piney.

Nevertheless, I will continue long-term testing of the Renovo for the benefit of cycledom in general and people interested in purchasing high-end wooden bicycles in particular, and I will also allow myself to revel in its decadence.

Someone's gotta do it.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Morning wood

Unknown said...

Good on ya' snob. I can't be mad at your test clause.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Piskian said...

Meht,30 pounds is nuffin.You need ankle and wrist weights and an artisanal lead waterbottle.I'm sure I saw one somewhere,for the masochistic Freds...

Navin Johnson said...

I don't need any more bikes...except this fat tire piney....or this exotic fred sled I have on 'loan'...no I don't need anything...except my brompton for multimodal adventures...or my citibike account....or my Frate for kid schlepping...or my old rusty ritte...or my decoupling travel bike...no I don't need nothing but the ghost of orange julius

Anonymous said...

Your lawyer needs to pay me $138,000 or I tell the world about the weekend in a Vegas hotel room with Renovo and ol' Piney. Not that it would matter to the Evangelicals, though. They really are into bike-on-bike action.

ken e. said...

got nothing but an apparent death wish by car...

Anonymous said...

To be photographed by Grant Petersen makes that one a keeper.

Pist Off said...

Bikes are supposed to be fun, right? As well as excellent transportation. That’s why I have a ridiculous himbo Endurbro bike. Cos it’s ridiculously fun. I have some sympathy for road Freds because of this. Also how I knew the Ol Foodie relationship couldn’t be exclusive for long. Have fun, both in the woods and on the wood.

Bill said...

Jump in a lake.

Anonymous said...

"I consider it my mission to provide you with the sort of edifying and substantial fare that on a good day hits at least freshman English major levels of pretentiousness and word bloat masquerading as erudition."

-Nice.


Gadabout Gaddis said...

Loose parts could be the source of the creaking; a simpler solution to taking everything apart, would be to simply submerge the bike long enough for all of the wood to swell up. My advice would be to avoid using the Gowanus Canal; when you retreive it, you'd find a two headed fish sitting on the saddle. Also avoid salt water, octopus on the saddle.

Chazu said...

"...word bloat masquerading as erudition"

Word bloat masquerading as erudition is my primary reason for visiting this here blogular location.

What happens if you don't give Grant Petersen photo credit? Does he break your kneecaps with a Sugino crank? He'd use a triple, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

January 11: "Ah, who am I kidding, if I stick to this resolution through March it'll be a miracle."

And then cometh the weekend...

Anonymous said...

I think the rules for this year could be summarized as "I'm only going to ride one bike all year except when I have a reason not to and if you don't like it you can bite me." I totally agree; it's important to have standards.

McFly said...

Those fenders are like The Dude's Rug, they really tie the room together.

Anonymous said...

Despite the loopholes, I think you'll be lacing up the running shoes by St. Patrick's Day.

dancesonpedals said...

Hey, without me it's just the sphincter-tightening reviews over at VeloNews or Bicycling or CyclingTips or whatever the Freds are reading these days

I hear it's all the rage in proctology circles to have incontinent patients read VELONEWS reviews. Stops stool leakage on a dime.

NYCHighwheeler said...

Mercedes doing burnouts in Times Square, cop gets bumped out of the way, and driver gets away:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VufO2_vE3e0

And here are sole old but classic examples of cops assaulting cyclists in Times Square:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3-OUjYBVFg

Good Times! Ain't we lucky we got em!

wle said...

I think the squeaking quit because of the quickie fenders..

Anonymous said...

Well I’m gonna to go then. And I don’t need any of this. I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything except this. And that’s it and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need too. I don’t need one other thing, not one – I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.

Schisthead said...

Don't forget about the desk lamp.

That was a sweet desk lamp.

bad boy of the south said...

I see you're branching out.

Ren Hoek said...

Stimpy, this is the BEST cracker I've ever eaten in my LIFE!

Anonymous said...

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Anonymous said...

http://www.velonews.com/2018/01/news/trek-takes-a-high-tech-approach-to-save-cyclists-lives_454307


Or. The driver could look out of the windscreen...

N/A said...

I consider it my mission to provide you with the sort of edifying and substantial fare that on a good day hits at least freshman English major levels of pretentiousness and word bloat masquerading as erudition.

Haha, that sentence was absolutely delightful.



Wood fenders would be excellent on the Renovo. Really tie the whole thing together.

Fourhourerection said...

In my experience, creaking always comes from handlebars, headsets, bottom brackets, seat posts, my knees, spokes, hubs, chain rings, and cassettes. Hope this helps.

Fourhourerection said...

Also, whenever someone points out my hypocrisies, I remind them of my inability to give a fuck, as I had given them all to their mother, last night. And there was a LOT of creaking.

Anonymous said...

how about resolving to ride just one bike, at a time, all year.

Anonymous said...

You sound Renovated!

Anonymous said...

Show of hands... how many folks are considering a high-end, high-dollar purchase of a wooden bike and therefore find any of this useful? C’mon... raise ‘em high...

Mr. Doom said...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/wood-grain-Leopard-grain-camouflage-Comfort-Full-Carbon-Fiber-3K-Saddle-Seat-MTB-Road-Bike-Bicycle/32804586416.html Still searching for a Faux-wood carbon fork/cranks.

Skidmark said...

Right...all high end high dollar bikes should be thermoset hydrocarbon polymer plastic reinforced with carbon fiber.

janinedm said...

wle, I've used those fenders. Squeaking's not possible. They can rattle and that's about it.

Joe said...

So, the creaking was the Bottom Bracket?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Joe,

Looks that way.

--Wildcat Etc.

Olle Nilsson said...

Anon 7:37 - this blog's supposed to be useful?

McFly said...

If West Tennessee ever thaws out I'm making a run to Trashville to pick up this sky blue all purpose rambler. I can see me selecting it quite a bit.

dancesonpedals said...

I don't know what Jesus wood do, but I know that Jesus loves me

Luke Luddite said...

"...the douchechill-inducing himbo bro-fest over at the Radavist!
Wow, I had to look up all those terms in the urban dictionary, and boy, strung together, that sure is funny. What ever happened to Prolly?

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of self-deprecating humour that keeps me reading your work. I've actually kinda stopped caring about bicycles. I mostly just read your blog now because it's often just so well written.

g. said...

McFly, I want it just for the "can of lubricator" included.

McFly said...

I told him $450 for the Powder Blue Steed and the pedals and he said deal. I just might try to finagel(sp?) The Can Of Lubricator along with our current verbal broker.

JLRB said...

Insert clever mash-up of monogamy and mahogany

Dooth said...

We want a post! We want a post! We want a post!

ken e. said...

score!

Micah Hawkins said...

Is this a Ritz? God Damn...