Mid South was the first outing for the Rodeo Labs Pro Gravel team and what a race it was. The course lived up to its reputation and the competition was fierce. Jonathan Baker had amazing ride to 3rd overall on his TD3. Recap by Jake Aisenbrey.Continue reading
This Journal entry was sent to us by Jason Riddle. We’ve invited our community to send in submissions for the Journal in an effort to keep telling stories and showing our collective excitement for cycling even during this Covid epidemic. If you would like to send in a journal entry please do get in touch through our contact form.
This morning I approached the tenth tee feeling slightly guilty. Last night I had told my buddy I was staying close to home today. I wanted to give my wife a day to chill. She had been entertaining our daughter, walking our dogs, going to the grocery stores and farmer’s markets, while I spent most of the weirdest week ever working at the shop. But this morning she said “It’s going to rain the next two days, you need to get out.”
What an awesome partner.
So out I get. To play bikes, not golf. Living on an abandoned golf course makes for a nice way to start a multi surface ride. Cart paths, maintenance roads and deer trails are welcome amenities these days (and the overgrown sand traps provide some nice jump lines).
My Flaanimal and I cover most of the back nine, ducking off the course to exit the neighborhood. Up an overpass and into our small town, we are headed for the gravel roads surrounding Bull Run Mountain.
Things are unusually quiet, even for a Sunday morning. The churches are empty, the cafe is closed, but the town cop is out. We roll by the small bike shop I’ve wrenched at for the last few years. Not yet open, I wonder how busy the boys will be today. I wonder if I was right to stop going in during business hours. I wonder how long we will stay open.
I hit a section of singletrack that eventually leads to gravel and immediately head for my favorite road, ready to get lost in a long rolling descent. It’s perfect, I push, screaming through the washboard so fast my bouncing eyeballs lose focus of the surface. I want to go harder, risk a bit more, but I suddenly remember what’s going on in our world…
So we dial it back and begin to make our way back home to my family and my dogs. Town is still sleepy but there are already people waiting for the shop to open. Again I begin to wonder.
Even the darkest of rooms have doors.
In these darkest of dark times, it is easy and obvious to see the sadness surrounding all of us. Every aspect of our lives has slid into a fearful state of uncertainty. Concerns that kept me up three weeks ago haven’t crossed my mind since I packed up my college dorm last Thursday, saying a premature goodbye to a place that really became home.
Yet, despite all that has transpired – and that will continue for many days to come, these last couple of weeks have brought me some truly incredible experiences. Just as the weight of uncertainty has crept in to crush my spirit, life has given me a taste of joy that shows why it is so important we as a worldwide community do all we can to come through this preserving as much of our collective spirit as possible.Continue reading
Let’s talk product status. Communication with our customers is a top level priority as we navigate present circumstances. Read on to see where we are at as of 3/20 on various projects:
1. We’re still working. This week the office has been either completely remote or visited one by one per necessary tasks like mechanical work and shipping. We haven’t been ordered to do this by law, we’re just being careful. We are only accepting visitors by appointment.
2. We are small so we are agile. Customer service is easy to manage remotely if need be. Builds are already done by a single person and he can take his operation mobile if need be.
Rodeo labs frameset production is done in Taiwan which has handled the current challenges arguably better than any other country so here’s an update on our main products.
1. Flaanimal 5.0: on schedule still for late April / early May as stated on the pre order page. Scaling from prototypes to production had some unique challenges but we stepped up our game to meet them. We had planned on CNC machined sleeved head tubes for instance but we changed to multi axis laser cutting for volume production. Have you ever seen a multi axis laser precision cut a steel tube? It’s awesome. #humblebrag
3. TD3.1 is about 2 – 3 weeks delayed from initial mid march estimates and this is due to forks, not bigger issues. Once forks are ready frames and forks go to paint together and then 3.1 is done.
3. Spork 3.0. We are getting more emails and questions about this lately from retail customers, bike shops, and builders. We had planned to do small batches of forks so that we could prioritize and ship forks and bikes quicker but had to pivot and produce in one large batch at scale for the sake of production partner efficiency. Scale saves production costs and we had to cooperate with our partner on that. Making bikes is a business but it’s also about relationships. Spork 3.0 was due mid month but we think it will be end of month / first week of April before we receive the first batch of retail forks. All things considered that isn’t far off!
Could any of this change? Yes. The world is so unpredictable right now. Outside factors could affect us. But even if that happens we will troubleshoot and push forward in any way that we responsibility can. We’re committed to our customer and we are excited about what we are contributing to the world of bikes. We’ve added our global Covid 19 information to our Policies page for easy access. We will keep that page updated as necessary.
Questions? Fire away!
What did it take to go from already busy dad / husband / bike company guy to someone who is prepared to bikepack across Morocco? Here how the last three months looked to me.Continue reading
I’m in the air right now. Denver to Dallas, Dallas to Madrid, Madrid to Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa.
Words by Stephen Fitzgerald
After months of prep and a whole lot of hush hush, I’m excited to finally spill the beans and offer a full breakdown on the Traildonkey 3.0 that I’ve built up to race next week at Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco. This bike is a lot of things to me. It has layers like an onion. So to simply put up the photos and list some gear would be to short sell the effort and consideration that it took to bring this build into existence.
61 Traildonkeys aren’t far out now. Tooling is done and frames are in production. If you’re lucky enough to be 6′ 4″ Drew you happen to work at Rodeo and you get advance access to our 61cm prototypes. It’s good to be Drew.
By Logan Jones-Wilkins
Ah, nothing like the chirping of alligators in the morning.
A chorus of those spooky songs called out from all directions as I rode down a desolate gravel road about 30 miles west of Palm Beach, Florida. I was searching for a suitable place to take care of my pre-race pee before the 5AM start of the Sugarcane 200.