First 5.0 delivery / Production update

It’s Friday so it’s time for a Flaanimal 5.0 update. You’re looking at the first complete customer build bike which for us is a monumental milestone. Chris was the FIRST build order on Feb 15th and we’re so happy to get him his bike in that order. Thanks for hanging in Chris, we know you’ve been excited and you’ve been absurdly patient. Chris actually moved a lot of parts from his 3.0 Flaanimal to this 5.0 platform. It’s quite a bit more capable and a lot lighter as well!

GENERAL PRODUCTION UPDATE:

Not many frames have arrived yet. We’re in FedEx and shipping broker hell. We have tracking numbers but also tracking “exceptions” which means “WTF” in Fedex speak. We’re working on it with intensity + finesse (which means you can only nag so much then you have to just wait for people to do their jobs).

Final finishing on the frames has proven to be quite labor intensive. Twice this week we’ve said “make it more perfect” and knowingly caused delays. We hate to do it but there is no option. QC is QC.

20 frames will arrive when FedEx sorts their stuff out


70 frames will ship to us around the 7th.


More frames will ship to us around the 14th.


More frames will ship on the 21st. The rhythm is basically one air shipment per week.

ANY FRAMES NOT PRE-ORDERED prior to Tuesday the 28th will be shipped via ocean which has a 4 week transit time. We expect to see those frames mid to late September. Do we love that? No! But we’d rather deliver the facts now than apologize that things are late in September.

We are very aware that we are well past our estimated dates on Flaanimal 5.0. We’re really sorry about that and we know that some people feel really let down by that. The offer always stands: If you can’t or won’t wait for your bike we get it and can refund you. Rodeo is super solid financially and we don’t spend pre-order proceeds before we deliver the order to the customer.

Our big ask is this: if you are not canceling your order please don’t call or email asking for an update on your bike. Everyone here is 100% busy working on builds and logistics and we’ve spent quite a lot of time in the last few weeks answering phone calls and emails from people who understandably want an update. But we’re to the point where we are simply a small company and have finite hours in a day and we need to spend those hours on the production / fulfillment side more than the email / phone call side. We realize that we’re making a huge ask here. We’re asking people who made that first big deposit of trust when they ordered to almost write us a more or less blank check or trust. We realize that’s a big ask, but we’re asking anyway. If you ask around about Rodeo you will find that our customer service and follow through track record is absolutely excellent. We’re committed, we care a ton, and we’re going to get these bikes out to their owners.

Thank you!

-Stephen Fitzgerald / Founder

Video: Jay Petervary’s Arkansas High Route TD3

Jay Petervary gear breakdown

On his way back home to Idaho after his @arhighcountryrace bikepacking race Fastest Known Time (FKT) @jay_petervary stopped by The Lab and offered to do a VERY thorough part by part gear breakdown on his Traildonkey 3. Well over a decade of ultra distance racing and bikepacking experience go into Jay’s decisions on how to set up his bike and we had a great time nerding out on fine details and thinking about how we will tweak our own bikepacking setups now.

Almost no detail of this build has been spared in this video but somehow we may have edited out Jay’s tire selection. He used the Panaracer SS semi slick tire for this effort.

Owner’s Bikes, Owners Stories: Zach Adams

flaanimal_headbadge

Editor’s note: Zach sent us this post in an email and I enjoyed his story so much that I asked him if we could share it. He kindly agreed. What I like about this the most is that it is about someone discovering cycling from the outside. It isn’t about someone trying to add the new It-Bike to their collection, it’s about starting from zero and discovering it all fresh for himself. If you’ve got a Rodeo owner story that you would like to share please shoot us a note. We love hearing from our owners.

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Our Guide to: 1x vs 2x

I’m going to remain adamant about my belief that it is the bicycle’s core concept and not it’s small technicalities that make it great. But me, writing this just after celebrating dropping my single speed set-up in lieu of gears, also can concede that a bike with less limitations invites more fun. Any tool, and a bicycle especially, works best when you think less and less about it until the tool becomes an extension of yourself.

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Rotor 1×13 long term review

I’m gonna be honest, I keep bikes. 

I’m not a bike breaker. I don’t bunny hop curbs with the flair of a younger, wavy-haired data scientist. I’m not one to cross chain with the stubborn resilience of a corn-fed Doctor, hiding his midwestern roots behind the precision of german engineered toys. I pick my bikes for their simplicity OR for a future proof(ish) design that will allow me to smile for miles. Here’s my stable of bikes to prove it: 

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Our guide to: 700c vs 650b

In a world as growingly divisive as our own it’s easy to mistake any binary decision as exactly that. If you’re offered two boxes to choose from surely one must bring promise and fortune and the other misery and solemnity. So you’re here on this beautiful website and you’re thinking of buying a bike and you get that all familiar decision between two evils. Surely one box must bring enlightenment and joy. The other an awful ride and buyers remorse. 

But we’re here to reassure you that regardless of what wheel size you select, enlightenment and joy are still mere pedal strokes away. ±50c is not the barrier between you and the wind, wheelies, an escape, or that dang KOM you’re 6 seconds off and only, JUST only(!) would that other wheel size get you that trophy to prove the worth of all those hours lying about your weight on Zwift. We’re here to reassure you this – both wheel sizes are great. They both have their benefits and drawbacks. But you want the best, right? Then carry on.

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Flaanimal 5.0 // Production update

Let me start with my intro:

Hi Y’all. How’s everybody doing? That’s an absurd question of course. The world is crazy right now. But that is also a question we also get a lot from all of you:

“Hey guys! How’s it going at Rodeo? You hanging in there?”

I definitely appreciate people asking and checking in. For the record Rodeo is doing well. We’re here, or more accurately we’re not here, we’re mostly working remotely whenever possible but we are “here” in the abstract sense of the word. And yes, we are actually doing well. Not so much in the breaking sales records and taking over the bike industry sense of the phrase. Rather We’re doing well because we seem to be weathering the circumstances better than most, and it seems that the community of owners and customers that we’ve built in the last six years is in fact still ordering bikes and generally supporting what we do. For that, and on behalf of all of us at Rodeo, I say a very heartfelt Thank You! We are so grateful to still even now be able to do what we love to do for a living and we couldn’t do it without your trust and support.

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Audience Series: Floral Traildonkeys


It may not feel like it but spring is coming! With it leaves and flowers are about to return, and not a day late! In our call for audience inspiration @natalierstarr responded “floral print!”, but she wasn’t very specific about WHICH floral print. We’re glad she wasn’t! As soon as we started looking at floral patterns we knew that one pattern wasn’t enough. We needed ALL THE FLOWERS. So here they are. We roved the web for these patterns and whipped up some fantasy Donkeys that can hopefully help brighten any mood. Happy spring to y’all!

If you would like us to create a custom painted Traildonkey 3.1 or Flaanimal 5.0 for you please get in touch. We’re happy to oblige and collaborate.