For those unfamiliar with me, my name is Drew. I recently came back full time to Rodeo after a couple year hiatus working elsewhere in the industry. When I originally worked at Rodeo in 2016 and 2017, I had enjoyed working here and contributing to the products and culture. But until recently I never noticed how important this brand and community actually are to me.
Craig Dalton of The Gravel Ride podcast invited Rodeo founder Stephen Fitzgerald to the show to talk about Rodeo’s origins and the evolution of the Traildonkey from 1.0 to 3.0. We’ve embedded it here after the break. If you don’t know where Rodeo came from this covers most of it.
Header photo by Greg Besaw.
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?
We’re getting quite a few inquiries about Flaanimal 4.0 so we thought we’d give an update. We actually were trying not to really announce 4.0 very loudly because we didn’t want to create a situation where the bikes would be considered late and everyone would flood our inboxes for updates. But you know… word leaks out.
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.
I’m not going to lie. It’s been a nail biter around the lab the last few weeks. Or if we’re really honest it’s been a nail biter since early January.
At the turn of the year we found ourselves waiting. The Lab was stocked with boxes of parts allocated to two new prototype framesets that were overdue. We nervously answered emails and tweets kindly requesting a status update on the project. We set up meetings with videographers anticipating the coming need to show what we’ve created. And still… we waited.
We’ve been shouting about it pretty hard lately, but just in case you missed it, we launched the Flaanimal 3.0.
Straight away we started reading and listening to peoples’ reactions and impressions about what we’ve created. Some people were all-in from the start, with the first order coming in no less that five minutes after we launched. Thank you!
Other people were more skeptical. What is so great about our bike? Why should anyone pay attention? Could anyone trust our claims that a single frameset can be suitable for road biking, gravel riding, cyclocross, city riding, or trail riding?
Skepticism is fair. No harm no foul. But as I read through the comments one comment struck me.
“Yeah you can build a mountain bike with it, but is it a GOOD mountain bike?”
We promised we’d do this on January 31st, so it is time to spill the beans on the production spec Flaanimal 3.0 adaptable frameset.
Let’s start with an overview and recap. The Flaanimal adventure bike project has always been a bit of a younger sibling project to the Traildonkey. Insomuch as we never intended to release a carbon adventure bike, and then we did, we also never intended to release a steel adventure bike, but now we are.