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650b single speed donkey

Spork 2.0 // The SS Donkey

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The fourth featured build for Spork 2.0 is an in house build.

When we moved into our new office in January 2018 I found an old prototype Traildonkey 2.0 frameset that hadn’t been seen any use in over two years. Putting a perfectly good albeit old frame out to pasture seemed like a huge waste to me so I thought that it would be fun to simply use it as a canvas on which to experiment with paint. I spent a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon sanding it back down to raw carbon, a process I found strangely therapeutic. When it came time to lay down some paint I hit a wall. I had no idea what I wanted the frame to look like or what I wanted to use it for.

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Spork 2.0 // Wild Card Bicycles

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When we were thinking of how to launch Spork 2.o we knew pretty quickly that we wanted to make this about more than just Rodeo bikes. We wanted to have other builders involved. We posted a simple message on Instagram asking builders who’ve used our forks in the past to get in touch if they wanted to work on a special project with us. It was important to me that everyone we collaborated on this project with had previously built with our Spork 1 as a way of keeping the project “in the family”. A number of builders responded, but in one case a test rider for a builder reached out to us instead of the builder. He said:

“My name is Lanier Nichols and I test ride frames for Jay Sandefur, creator/owner/builder/brain/etc. of Wildcard Custom Bicycles. Jay doesn’t do social media, which is why I am contacting you and not him.”

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Spork 2.0 // Pachyderm Cycles

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We don’t do product launches without first telling a story. Rodeo’s products are and will always be a result of our story. So if you came here to see Spork 2.0 I hope you don’t just scroll down to the photos. I hope you stay for the story.

Daniel Schauman is a frame builder hailing from Chicago, Illinois who as history would have it was the first ever builder to buy a Spork 1.0 from us and include it in a bike he build for himself. This was 2015 which to me seems like a million years ago but is in fact not that long ago at all.

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Greg’s 650b dropper Flaanimal 4.1

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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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… Each build with equal passion

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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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First build: Flaanimal 4.0 Chocolate Creamsicle Di2

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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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Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue

Flaanimal 3.0 custom build gallery

By | Gear, The Lab | No Comments

This 3.0 frameset started life the same way all Flaanimals do: With a full dip of anti-rust coating inside and out. Instead of painting this frame after the dip we set it aside for a special project and its day finally came. We added a layer of matte clear coat over the ED to protect the coating then applied the blue graphics with custom cut vinyl decals. We also took the time to match our 2.0 carbon wheels, putting the decals into the debossed graphics that are molded into the surface of the rim. The end result is an incredibly unique look and build, and if the new owner ever gets bored with his colors he can completely redo the graphics with very little effort. How’s that for flexibility?

Rodeo Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue gravel adventure bike

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Best adventure bike? Run what ya brung!

By | Adventures, Gear | No Comments

It is happening.

The adventue bike segment is getting bigger, exploding. The offerings are more vast with each passing week.

You know how they say that the universe isn’t just expanding, but that the rate of expansion is accelerating? Well, that’s “Adventure” bikes too.

When we build Traildonkey 1.0 in 2014 the pickings were slim, and in our opinion nobody had really nailed the sweet spot for a multi surface, multi terrain bike capable of properly ignoring traditional bike categories – which is why we decided to go for it ourselves. Now almost four years later the industry has caught up. Almost every major brand (with a few notable exceptions) has a super legit gravel adventure bike. And here’s the thing: They are pretty much all great bikes. I can’t think of a single company that has made something awful and my money says that the genre is going to keep getting more interesting, more capable, and more fun.

Centennial Cone Adventure Biking

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Flaanimal 3.0 // Rapha Brevet build

By | Gear, The Lab | No Comments

The kind folks at Rapha Boulder asked us if we’d like to display a Flaanimal 3.0 in their store with their Brevet collection.

Instead of sending a stock frame build over Rodeo designed and painted this one-off graphics scheme to compliment the Rapha aesthetic while at the same time trying to keep it “us” as well. We worked within the Rapha palette and hinted at shapes in play in their collections, but we also included distinctly Rodeo queues such as the trees from our 4.0 kits and 2.0 wheels as well as our Ride / Explore / Create iconography. The Flaanimal and Rodeo Spork logos also got unique treatments in the overall design.

It’s a really cool opportunity and an honor to be asked by a respected brand like Rapha to show what we do in their space. We had our own little Monster Garage, jammed on it almost non-stop for 3 days, and finished with zero time to spare.

We decided to keep the build functional, not stratospheric so our parts selection was intentional. Sram Rival 1 is a perfect gravel / brevet grouppo to work with, having a huge gear range and simplified shifting. Brooks C13 saddle and matching rubber bar tape provide ultra durable and compliant contact points. Clement Xplor MSO tubeless tires mounted on our proprietary 2.0 carbon wheels offer versatile, strong, and light rotational performance. Fizik Cryano controls match the aesthetic of the build. A Chris King i7 headset will provide endless performance up front and the Praxis Zayante hollow forged 1x crankset will due likewise in the propulsion department. This build is balanced, functional, dependable, and attainable and those are Rodeo qualities.

This build will be on display at Rapha’s Boulder Clubhouse in the coming weeks and can always be seen in our Flickr gallery. For purchase inquiries please shoot us an email. This Flaanimal is a size 58cm. For inquiries on custom paint and custom builds on any of our bikes always feel free to get in touch.

Rodeo Labs Flaanimal // Rapha Brevet Bags custom build