Audi teams up with Renovo to build... hardwood bicycles?!

2011 Audi duoCity – Click above for high-res image gallery

Renovo is a Portland, Oregon-based bicycle company that builds custom high-end bike frames exclusively from hardwood. For 2011, Renovo has teamed with Audi to produce the duo, a limited-run bike that uses a wood monocoque frame. Audi says the bikes are designed to show its commitment to sustainability and forward thinking.

According to Audi, wood is about 75 percent lighter per cubic inch than aluminum, and is just as stiff and durable while offering a shock-absorbing ride. The woods used mirror those Audi uses to decorate the interiors of its cars, providing a tidy aesthetic connection between the two companies.

The duo comes in three models: the duoCity, duoSport and duoRoad. The City and Sport models use an internal-gear belt-driven hub for space efficiency and ease of maintenance, while the Road model has a more traditional SRAM Red derailleur set up.

The wood frames are individually hand-built, and are bedecked with some seriously high-end components. Translation: they're expensive. The City model is the cheapest, at $6,530, followed by the Sport at $7,350 and the Road at $7,460.

[Source: Audi]
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Audi brings progress and innovation to two wheels with launch of duo hardwood bicycles
• Audi teams up with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles to create the exclusive duo bicycle
• The duo features a monocoque hardwood frame and mirrors elements of Audi cars
• Available in three models to suit any cyclist – City, Sport and Road

Audi of America today announced that it has teamed up exclusively with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, the only all-hardwood bike manufacturer in the world, to create the duo – an Audi-inspired bicycle collection that embodies the best of both worlds: luxury and performance. An evolution of the ongoing Audi commitment to progressive ideas, the duo serves as both a work of art and a mode of transportation that blends beauty and craftsmanship with performance and technology.

The all-new duo bicycle from Audi features a monocoque frame made of hardwood. Wood offers the smoothest ride of any bike frame material thanks to its superior ability to absorb shock and vibration. Since the weight per cubic inch of wood is about one-fourth the weight of aluminum, the duo is lighter than most bicycle frames, while offering equal or superior stiffness, durability, and toughness. Unlike other mainstream frame materials, and reflecting the Audi commitment to sustainability, the duo is also recyclable and biodegradable. Audi is the first automaker to recognize the benefits of, and offer a bicycle made from, wood.

Audi is also the first automaker to offer a bicycle, not as a design exercise or a mere rebadging of a commonplace bicycle. Instead, Audi is launching the duo as an embodiment of its core principles of progressive innovation that also blends craftsmanship and styling with performance and technology.

The duo features innovative drive train components such as a belt drive, aluminum and carbon fiber components, disk brakes and LED lighting, as well as woods selected to match the look of Audi vehicle interiors. Hand-made one by one at Renovo's Portland, Ore., studio, the Audi duo is lightweight, strong, durable and smooth, and available in three models to suit different cycling styles and needs, including:

• duo City – A cafe/leisure bike, urban explorer and all-weather commuter; the most approachable bike for casual cyclists. Features include an upright position for short distances, comfort and traffic vigilance; wide puncture-resistant 32mm tires; LED lights; fenders; rack; The duo City drivetrain features the smooth, quiet and grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive coupled to the Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub gear, for effortless and maintenance-free shifting. Price: $6,530*
• duo Sport – A fitness, long-distance all-weather commuter, perfect for cyclists seeking long-distance comfort and safety. The Sport drivetrain features the smooth, quiet and grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive coupled to the Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub, for effortless and maintenance-free shifting. Other features include drop bars for long distances; minimum fenders; medium width and puncture-resistant 28mm tires for less rolling resistance. Price: $7,350*
• duo Road – A performance road bike, good for club and century rides. Features include narrow tires; no fenders; minimal accessories; and SRAM Red, compact 20-speed gear train. Price: $7,460*

*Prices are all-inclusive, including shipping & handling.

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