Timber processing ain’t the sexiest of industries, but these bikes put a new face to the business.
Crafted from radiata pine, two of these beauties have been brought to life thanks to Rotorua’s Red Stag Timber, which contracted Renovo in the US to build them (after finding the bike manufacturer through a Google search, no less).
“We wanted to come up with an innovative way of doing something different with wood, a bit of fun,” says commercial manager Paul Laing.
Of the three built, two were sent back to New Zealand and one was destined for destruction from the start. In the testing process, the third was placed on a rig under intense pressure until it buckled to test its durability, and proving their projections right. The idea was to push the boundaries of possibility: building a high-performance machine from timber would give the industry ample reason to crow.
A local Rotorua cyclist competed in a few races on one of the bikes, and Laing and others have also given them a spin and found them to their liking.
So when will the rest of us be able to get our hands on one? Sadly, not any time soon. It was more of a publicity exercise, but having said that, “Never say never,” says Laing. While it’s unlikely Red Stag will be building more of these bikes, it might well supply timber to a manufacturer – ideally, a New Zealand company – keen to take on the task.
But wait! There’s more. Wood you like one?
Rob Pollock has spent his whole life working on cars, honing his priming and painting chops, and in particular, developing and refining the technique of faux woodgraining (a process originally used in the restoration of classic cars to replicate the wood finish found on dashboards and the like). But it was Pollock’s youngest son Aaron, a designer, who came up with the idea of applying the same method to bikes.
And thus, a beautiful partnership was born: a father-son custom bike business, with Pollock doing the woodgraining from his home garage in his spare time.
Each bicycle frame is painted by hand (though the exact process is a secret) and finished with a hard gloss, so no two are the same.
It’s a matter of sending in your frame, preferably raw, and for $1,500 you could be whizzing around on a sharp, good-as-new two-wheeler. See robswoodgrainbikes.com.