Category: 6. Timber Innovation In Business
Most innovative use of timber to solve a business/commercial challenge.
Red Stag Timber Ltd, Renovo - www.redstagtimber.co.nz
New Zealand Pine is not something usually associated with mountain bikes – except as a forest venue for some of the country’s main trail networks. So when Red Stag Timber heard about Renovo, it started us thinking about how a wooden bike would be a great way to demonstrate that New Zealand Pine is a 21st century construction material that can match the performance of steel or carbon fibre in a demanding environment like mountain biking.
The project started a 18 months ago.
Fifty pieces of one metre long timber were selected from standard New Zealand building grade, SG8, and sent to Renovo in November 2010.
The plan was to construct three wooden mountain bike frames; a race bike, a training bike, and a test-to-destruction bike. The test-to-destruction bike was to make sure the performance of New Zealand Pine was up to Renovo’s standard as they hadn’t worked with the species before.
During the testing, the concept of a 100% New Zealand Bike had to conform to the realities of mountain biking. The frames take a bashing from general trail riding and especially when the rider crashes. New Zealand Pine has the stiffness and the strength to stand up to the rigors of mountain biking. However, it doesn’t have the surface hardness - which meant a fair number of dents during trials.
Renovo laminated a layer of Walnut (for elegant good looks) and Hickory (for surface hardness) onto the outside of the main triangle of the frame. They also built the rear triangle entirely out of Hickory. Taking the knocks. This clever and beautiful combination has resulted in one of the lightest frames Renovo have built - in spite of it being extra-large size.