Our 4.0 team kit order concluded in early February. We will archive this page here in case we re-release the kit later in the year.
Well. Here we go with year four. It’s January, way too soon to predict 2017 holds for us. For me, and maybe only me, working up Rodeo’s next kit design is a bit of a weighty thing. I fully admit that our team is mostly just a jolly crew of friends and strangers turning pedals in pursuit of woot. We aren’t very profound. That’s a good thing.
Still, if someone is going to chose to throw on a Rodeo kit before they head out on a ride I would hope that the kit represents something. I would hope that it represents what we are about and aspire to as a team, community, and brand. I would hope that a Rodeo kit is never just a collection of meaningless graphics shouting for attention and following the latest trends.
We’ve completed three years of bike riding, exploring, and lunch radding. I’m proud of that. I see a lot of really cool, really promising teams popping up all around us. I also see just as many teams quickly fading away. On one hand the turn-over is a sign of healthy experimentation in the sport, and on the other hand it’s a sign of just how hard it is to keep any sort of team together, cohesive. I would like to think that our fourth year will be a year where we come into our own as a community, a stable band of bike nerds, a little bit more confident in who we are, and totally ok with who we aren’t.
Our 1.0 kit was a creative explosion. A joke that looked pretty cool and got some laughs. I love that kit. Our 2.0 kit evolved that look but celebrated what makes us different in the form of five different animal icons. Our 3.0 kit continued that theme but shot out into left field in a quest for retro Forest Service style adventure.
Our 4.0 kit is about looking back on all of that and finding a constant theme. If we are changing every year, what hasn’t changed, who have we been the entire time, and what has shaped us?
The answer to that question came to me almost instantly. Rodeo, the team, the friends, the bikes, the gear, the culture, is entirely shaped by the elements. There is no possible way to go out on a bike ride that isn’t entirely defined by the conditions we ride in and terrain that we cover.
What bike do we ride? Shaped by the elements.
What clothes do we wear? Shaped by the elements.
What tires do we run? Shaped by the elements.
Hot or cold? Shaped by the elements.
Smiling or gritting or teeth? That is probably shaped in large parts by the elements as well.
The elements aren’t a new theme around here. We started talking (joking) about them right out of the gates in 2014:
In design I am not a huge fan of covering territory that we’ve already covered. My biggest fear would to to go back and play the old hits out of fear that there aren’t any fresh ideas out there to discover. At the same time you don’t abandon who you are each time you evolve, you always take a bit of who you were with you into the next thing.
4.0 then, is an evolution. At first glance it carries over quite a bit of the look of our original kit. I think that’s an important thing. But to hold the two kits side by side is to discover how different they are. All of our kits tell their story in the details. The story of 4.0 is toned down from 1.0. The key colors are still there but they are more muted, closer to what you might find in nature. Black is now grey. White is now tan.
Our trademark r o d e o letters are simpler and cleaner.
Almost all precipitation starts as snow way up high. In the winter it defines the landscape. In the summer it melts, it falls as rain. Rain carves landscapes, fills rivers, and gives life to our vegetation from prairie to forest to tundra to mountain top. Mountains, hills, and rocky formations are celebrated on 4.0. Sharp peaks and rolling hills are familiar to everyone, but the jagged sandstone outcroppings of Roxboro State Park in Colorado also feature prominently across this kit.
The elements provide a wealth of inspiration for the 4.0 kit. They are used as patterns and accents, hopefully with the right amount of restraint.
Visible up close, and subtle from afar.
The final inspiration I wanted to put into this kit was confidence. Even on our fourth year we are still very much a young team and company, but there is something about our fourth year that I feel more confident about. I’m not as worried about how big our team is now. I’m more interested in what has worked, not what hasn’t. Being ourselves has been a great deal of fun, let’s just celebrate that. I experimented with how to express confidence with 4.0. On certain pieces I tried to discover how far I could push the idea. On our main jerseys, always the first thing to be designed, “rodeo” is very prominent, but as the design iterated from one item to the next I felt the urge to say “rodeo” less and less. One one leg of the shorts it doesn’t say “rodeo”. On the side of the jerseys it never says rodeo. On the vest we only whisper our name. On the San Remo rodeo scales way down on the chest, and on the long sleeve jersey the word “rodeo” is nowhere to be found. I’d like to think that sometimes just seeing our colors is enough.
Talking about a design is self indulgent. Ultimately the real measure of it is the first glance. Either a design works or it doesn’t. When I glance at 4.0 I think “yeah, that’s us, that’s Rodeo”. Hopefully the rest of the Rodeo crew agrees as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this and humor me.
With out further words, here’s 4.0:
4.0 Aero Race Bibshorts.
4.0 Wind vest over Team and LS jerseys.
4.0 Team Bibshort
4.0 San Remo Speed Suit
In the past a number of people have asked if we’ll ever do a white kit. Until someone on the team wins a world championship the answer is “no”. That said, darker kits are hotter in the sun and lighter kits are cooler so I wanted to take a bit if time to explore the lighter end of the spectrum. So for 4.0 we have a bit of a bonus jersey: The Elements jersey. Everything is dialed back on this piece of kit. Everything is a bit quieter… minus the rear pocket. The rear pocket gets a stepped high-viz pink gradient across it for the sake of posterior visibility, and also because c’mon, pink.