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.
Every once and a while I look back into my memory searching for the seed of it all. I can spend minutes sifting through troves of distant sequences of experience, trying to find the one – the trigger – that set me on the road less traveled that I am on today. Where oh where was my love of the bicycle born?
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.
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!
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.
The Lab is a restless place. A lot of ideas get tossed around. Good ideas get made, bad ideas get dust binned.
The Flaanimal is an idea that we have been brewing on for a while. It’s roots can be traced back to the Traildonkey, Belgium, and Texas (affectionately known as Tejas). Conversations swirled then turned into action. We made a Version 1 design, tested it, then moved on to Version 2 with refinements, added features, new tubing draws, and reduced weight. The choice of materials that we use for the project has always been a point of discussion. 853? 725? 525? Custom? For Flaanimal the go-to option was always steel, but we kept saying “what if”. What if we built it out of titanium? Steel is amazing, but Ti has some special properties that steel doesn’t have. It doesn’t corrode like steel, it’s stronger and lighter than most steel blends, and it has it’s own lively feel that is distinct from other materials.
Enter the Flaanimal Ti. Flaanimal Ti is a continuation of the Flaanimal project. It uses the same geometries and basic specifications of the Flaanimal but keeps the conversation going.
It is a funny and rare thing when everything converges. This year cyclocross season started a bit early with a season opener at Oskar Blues farm in Longmont. We’ve been a little bit quicker on our toes than last year so we already had our kits in-hand a few days before race day. On a lark I decided that I wanted to race the prototype Traildonkey as well. I’ve actually had this bike in storage since April because as a very early prototype it had a lot of imperfections in the design (which we’ve since revised and refined). I’ve been riding the Flaanimal prototype a lot lately and while I do love the bike and the feel of steel I wanted to go back and get re-antiquated with our first bike project, the one born at almost exactly the same time the team was in January 2014.
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