One for the road – wooden bike made from whisky casks
Update (Feb. 2020): New Atlas understands Renovo Hardwood Bicycles (not to be confused with Renovo Motors) is no longer in business.
Bikes with wooden frames are often thought of as being fine and classy … not unlike single malt Scotch whiskies. With that in mind, Portland, Oregon-based Renovo Hardwood Bicycles has partnered with Scottish distillery Glenmorangie to create the Glenmorangie Original – a limited-edition bike made from reclaimed whisky casks.
More specifically, each bike's hollow frame is made from approximately 15 American white oak whisky barrel staves – a small amount of darker sapele wood is also incorporated. According to Renovo, the production process is "designed to embrace the trapezoidal shape of each stave, as well as the curve of the barrel in the frame's down and top tubes."
Each cask is only used by the distillery twice, before being disassembled. The staves are then kiln-dried, cut to size, and their charred surfaces are smoothed away. It takes about 20 hours to hand-build each individually-numbered road bike, which weigh approximately 18 lb (8 kg).
If you're interested in getting one, be prepared to put down an initial deposit of US$1,000, toward a total price of $6,950. That's for the Launch Edition, which features a Shimano Ultegra groupset. There's also a higher-spec'd $11,450 Prestige Edition, which sports Shimano's Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting system.
Although this is the first whisky cask bicycle we've seen, it isn't the first to utilize wood from an interesting source. In 2015, Chris Connor unveiled a one-off bike made from Louisville Slugger baseball bats.
Source: Renovo Hardwood Bicycles