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All Posts By

Stephen Fitzgerald

Greg’s 650b dropper Flaanimal 4.1

By | Gear | No Comments

How much of a bike’s design and build spec is hype and how much of it is function? Those sorts of questions get discussed endlessly on the internet almost by default every time a new product or specification is launched. “Gravel” is a hot word these days. Is it marketing or is it popular because people are having fun? Is 1x hype? Is 650b hype? Are dropper posts on drop bar bikes an incredibly desperate attempt to sell people new gizmos they don’t need?

It is very personally important to me as the founder of Rodeo that our bikes be grounded in function, not hype. But I’ll never be an impartial voice in the matter because by nature I want to sell bikes therefore I may be biased towards sales and profit. That said I sleep great at night knowing that every bike we sell is built exactly for each customer and that we only recommend how to build our bikes after we’ve had a great conversation with each customer about how they want to ride their bike and what they want it to do. You build a great bike not by telling a customer what they need, you do it by listening to the customer describe who they are, how they ride, and what their goals are for their bike.

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DK 2018 // A journal entry by Jack Potter

By | Adventures

Words by Jack Potter // Photos by various (thank you!)

How do you sum up something in words when the emotions associated are so much bigger?   

I have been dreaming and talking about doing Dirty Kanza for about three years.  I was fascinated with the idea of doing a ride that was so huge, so monumental, so crazy that it would completely scare me and keep me wondering if I could finish the task I had undertaken.  This all stemmed from an article written by Chris Carmichael that said something like “..don’t be afraid to fail, do something that scares you”.  I thought about the events I had been doing and it struck me that in each case I was confident I would finish the race.  My goals were either beating my previous time or finishing under a certain time.  There was no unknown about if I would actually finish because I had enough experience with mechanicals, flats, weather or mistakes with nutrition or preparation to know that if I stayed calm, fixed the problem, I could get to the end.  I wanted to challenge myself to try something that was out of my experience, something that I might fail at.  Enter my obsession with Dirty Kanza.  

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Flaanimal // Bleaux Deaux Classic build

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Every bike that leaves ends up being such a cool expression of it’s new owner. We don’t make the decisions for you. We ask you how you will ride the bike, we ask what your goals for the bike are, and we let your personalize as much as you’d like. This approach keeps us passionate about every bike that we build because each bike is built for a single person. Enjoy your new bike Joel!

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Video: Imogene Pass by Traildonkey

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By now Imogene probably doesn’t need much of an intro around these parts suffice to say that we love it. It is one of the more difficult climbs we’ve ever done but also one of the most beautiful.

We left the camera rolling for a bit on our most recent ascent so we could bring home some of the feeling of what it is like to be up there.

Leadville 100 Traildonkey

Leadville 100 / Take Two

By | Adventures, Races | No Comments

Writing the story of Rodeo is about writing a story of constant striving for new challenges and milestones. This year that striving took us back to the Leadville 100, this time with four Traildonkeys in the mix and ambitions to see how quickly we could complete the race aboard them. Taking a gravel bike to a mountain bike race is an arbitrary challenge on paper, but to us it is exactly the sort of challenge that we strive for on an existential level.

Photos by Brett Stakelin, Natalie Starr, Athlinks, and myself

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… Each build with equal passion

By | Gear | No Comments

You can buy a bike off the shelf, with a brand-complete gruppo and cockpit. Or you can get the bike you want that does what you want it to. That’s the bike we like building and before we suggest mixing and matching parts you can be sure we’ve tried it on our own bikes and ridden it for thousands of miles.

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An Evening with Rodeo @ Rouleur Brewing in Cali. April 14th

By | Quickies | No Comments

Reposted from gravelstoke.com

Join us at Rouleur Brewing Company on April 14th at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of beer, bikes and stories of adventure with Stephen Fitzgerald on the eve of this year’s BWR. Stephen, Denver resident and founder of Rodeo Adventure Labs, will join us for a conversation and Q&A session to discuss everything from Stephen’s career in racing to how he built a bike brand dedicated to the sport of adventure and gravel cycling. We’ll also have a few Rodeo Labs’ bikes on display. Hope you will join us!

Seating is limited, please RSVP via the link provided.

First build: Flaanimal 4.0 Chocolate Creamsicle Di2

By | Gear | One Comment

When Jason in Philadelphia asked him to simply build him a well rounded Flaanimal and left the details up to us we knew immediately where we’d end up. We’re huge fans of Shimano Di2 1x setups even though Shimano themselves don’t really promote it in any way. R785 Di2 shifters driving an XT Di2 rear derailleur are flawless. Every shift just clicks on demand. The new Flaanimal 4.0 internal routing kept the build looking super clean as well.

The Praxis Zayante hollow forged crankset and forged 1x chainring functions perfectly with Shimano drivetrains and is one of the stiffest cranks on the market. Our Rodeo 2.0 carbon wheels combined with Schwalbe G-One 35mm tubeless tires keep the rotational weight very low and make the bike feel snappy and quick in all conditions. Ritchey WCS controls are the workhorse of all of our builds providing extremely dependable performance and low weight.

Special shout out to SloHi Bike Co. in Denver who do almost all of our complete builds. Their attention to detail is always incredible. Noticed how they heat shrinked the rear brake and Di2 lines together before they enter the down tube to keep the build clean and to keep the Di2 wire extra protected. It’s all about the details!

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