If you want your bike to handle a large spectrum of conditions
it needs to accommodate a wide range of tires. Beyond that it
needs to leave plenty of room for the elements.
We milked every millimeter we could out of the rear triangle design while maintaining compatibility with standard road cranksets. We didn't want to Traildonkey to be a drop bar 29er with a mountain bike q-factor, we wanted a frame suited for trails but svelte enough for road use. Our resulting tire clearances are 52mm rear and 56mm front at 700c. If you want to stuff anything bigger in there, you might just want a mountain bike.
02. Adaptable Geometry
When thinking of geometry we started with cyclocross standards but we deviated in key areas. Traildonkey's top tube slopes generously which allows for a more nimble bike on the trails. Traildonkey was designed for use with a dropper post when trail riding. Dropper posts add a level of handling and tossability beyond anything that can be approached by a standard fixed post. Traildonkey's geometry reduces toe/tire interference on all frame sizes, which is helpful on technical trails. Our rear seat stays are slightly longer than average which contributes to very stable road manners, also accomplished through tweaked head and seat tube angles.
03. Convertible Dropouts
Sometimes new standards offer genuine innovation and sometimes they just mean you need to buy a bunch of new gear in order to keep up. Axle standards are no exception. When deciding which axle standard to use on this frame we ultimately decided to leave the decision to you. Thus, the rear dropouts on Traildonkey 2.0 easily convert between 135 QR and 142 through axle. The front fork is offered both as a QR or through axle option as well. With the 135 QR frame hardware the QR threaded nut is no longer needed, as the threaded receiving end is built into the frame. In a way that now makes your standard quick release wheels through axle as well and gives the skewer a tighter interface with the bike. Into single speed? We will eventually offer SS hardware for the frame as well so that you don't need to look at any untidy derailleur hangars.
04. Flat Mount Disc Brakes
Traildonkey 2.0 is built for the newest flat mount caliper standard. Users of standard post mount calipers have nothing to fear though, as the flat mount standard is backwards compatible with the post mount standard through the use of a simple and inexpensive adapter.
05. Rodeo Spork
In order to create a fully thought out bike we couldn't just create a new frame. We needed fork that was up to the task as well. Nobody made a fork with the features we wanted, so the Rodeo Spork was born and named after a beloved utensil of legendary utility. The Spork features a 15mm through axle OR a QR option. It features full carbon construction and steer tube. Extremely heavy duty rack and fender mounts can bear the loads of bikepacking, commuting, or whatever else you use it for. It is one of the first forks to market with flat mount brakes. Our internally routed brake housing decreases visual clutter and protects from snags. Even with these features the fork remains light and it weighs in at a nimble 480 grams.
06. Industrial Design
Creating an entirely new bike creates an opportunity to use your own voice as you design it. We wanted visual language of Traildonkey to be as unique as its features. The frame and fork use strong angles to emphasize rugged intent. Blunt edged front fork and main triangles state that this bike isn't about cheating wind, it's about dependably taking you places that you would never go a more conventional bike. We are proud of this frame. So much so that we are the first manufacturer that we know of to deboss our name directly into the carbon downtube. Traildonkey is not a normal bike, and creating a frame that blends in was never an option.
07. Additional Features
Donkeys are versatile animals so naturally we packed a number of other useful features into the frame. All cable routing on the bike is internal and all routing points can convert from cable, hydro, or Di2 endcaps. Not using routing? you can also cap all routing points that are not in use with clean hardware. The front derailleur mount is removable for 1x fans. The frame and fork both feature mounting points for racks AND fenders. As mentioned previously, this bike is also routed for a dropper post. Bottom Bracket is Press Fit, and when the T47BB standard is locked we will offer that as well.
In addition to putting thousands of miles on our test frames, Trialdonkey 2.0 has passed rigorous independent testing and certification for road and trail use.
Traildonkey 2.0 isn't a category bike. It isn't a gravel grinder, it isn't a cyclrocross bike, it isn't a road bike, it isn't a mountain bike. Traildonkey is whatever bike you want to build it into. We aren't saying that a Donkey is a thoroughbred. No do-it-all-bike can do any one thing better than a bike designed and refined for a single purpose, but that doesn't mean it can't be a lot of fun at a lot of things. In our experience the simple swap from knobby tires to slicks results in a highly capable road bike with excellent power transfer and confidence inspiring cornering abilities. It probably isn't a bike you'd take to a local crit, but that doesn't mean we won't try. We've ridden the bike on the road, we've mountain biked on it, we've taken it to Moab and rocked both Slickrock Trial and a hundred miles of White Rim on it. We've cyclocross raced it (and won), we've road raced it, and yes, we've gravel ground 200 miles of Kansas mud on it to a podium finish. It is our hope that by building a bike with adaptable features we inspire owners to attempt rides and routes that they would otherwise overlook or never chose to try. That is how the Rodeo team rides, and that is how Rodeo bikes ride.
The world of bikes is a world of hype. Every manufacturer strives to build up the image of their respective bikes and paint it in the most flattering light. Unfortunately this often leads to a dreaded industry crutch: Making our bikes out to be better than they really are. At Rodeo Adventure Labs we want to try our best to avoid hype as much as possible. So here are a few final thoughts on Traildonkey that will help bring it back down to earth. Traildonkey is not an revolution in bicycle design. At most it is a thoughtful evolution. Traildonkey is not the best bike for every scenario. You won't set a PR up Mount Ventoux with our bike. Our bike isn't specifically aero in any way. In designing our bike we decided which features were most important and which were not important at all. Some features are a trade off. For instance a sloping top tube makes our frame better for trail riding and dropper posts, but it makes it worse for shouldering in an actual cyclocross race. This may or may not slow you down. Traildonkey is very specifically designed for riding on mountain trails but it won't go everywhere or as comfortably as a mountain bike will go. Traildonkey doesn't make your current bike obsolete. Rodeo Adventure Labs is firmly committed to the fact that the best bike in the world for you may be the bike that you already have. Traildonkey is built first and foremost for the Rodeo style of riding: Curious, unconventional, tough, sometimes uncomfortable, but definitely fun. For us it isn't always about top speed, it's about the joy of the journey, spending time with friends, and discovering new things about yourself in the process. If you share those ideals then Traildonkey 2.0 MIGHT just be the bike for you.