What if there were no bicycle categories?
What if nobody had told us that we needed a different bike for each day of the week and every different riding surface?
What if a bike was neither good nor bad at anything? What if, instead, it was merely a capable tool for testing yourself and proving your own mettle?
To Rodeo Labs these are not abstract questions. They are the inspiration by which we design and engineer our premiere bike: Traildonkey 3.0.
TD3 is a platform on which a rider can build a bike of supreme function and versatility. The spectrum of its abilities ranges from pavement to singletrack to gravel, and everything in between.
Notes on color
Now in its third major iteration, Traildonkey has upped its capabilities to match our ever growing ambitions. Since 2014, our eyes for rugged conditions have only gotten bigger and the punishment we’ve subjected the bike to has only gotten more severe. While we wanted to create a more capable bike, we did not however want to turn Traildonkey into an overbuilt, drop bar mountain bike. We wanted to stay true to the original principles of the bike which required that it feel at home in the intensity of a competitive road group ride, a 200 mile gravel race, a winding ribbon of singletrack, or a multi-day bikepacking trip.
TD3 is not only an exercise in increasing capabilities, it is also an exercise in restraint. The lines of the frameset have become more elegant and the execution of the details has become more focused.
The entire 3.0 rear triangle, from the seat tube back, has been completely redesigned. Over the years we’ve formed some strong opinions on what makes a great bike. We’ve woven those ideas into this frameset. High on our list of improvements for TD3 was increased tire clearance. Our newest Donkey has that in spades. On Rodeo 650b rims with a 24.5 mm ID a 2.25″ (57mm) tire will fit on TD3. On Rodeo 700c rims with a 24mm ID a 2.0″ (50mm) tire will fit on TD3.*
*Real-world tire size varies as a function of rim width and tire casing. A maximum responsible tire size is not only a matter of frameset clearance, it is also a function of conditions such as mud. Rider weight and strength are also factors in frame flex which should be considered when determining how much clearance any given rider needs.
In order to achieve greater tire clearances, extensive and careful shaping was required in the design of the rear triangle. Pronounced asymmetry between drive and non-drive side stays can be clearly seen in our design. We also took the opportunity to refine and simplify the dropout design, brake housing routing, flat mount brake mounts, and derailleur housing routing. When wireless eTap shifting is used on TD3, no residual housing protrusions are seen on the frame. This results in a beautiful, minimal aesthetic. Both 2x or 1x drivetrains work equally well on TD3 and when 1x drivetrains are used the front derailleur mount can be removed. Rack and fender mounting eyelets are once again standard on TD3 on both the frameset and fork and now feature larger clearances for fender / tire combinations.
TD3 features extensive mounting options for long-distance travel and bikepacking. On the rear triangle we include eyelets on the upper stays and just above the rear thru axle dropouts. On the main triangle, the frame features two bottle mounts on the main triangle as well as one mount beneath the lower down tube. The top tube includes two mounting points for top tube bags or a standard water bottle cage.
Traildonkey 3.0 and Spork 2.0 were developed in tandem to work together as a single system. Spork 2.0 matches TD3 tire clearance and adds additional versatility in the form of integrated dynamo hub, headlight, and USB stem cap integration. Spork 2.0 features mid-leg eyelets allowing expanded water and 12.5kg of gear carrying capability. Spork also features two axle eyelets on the end of each leg and an optional offset eyelet hardware kit (available February ’19), which allow for a massive range of rando racks, low rider racks, fenders, and combinations thereof.
TD3 doesn’t pay lip service to strength and durability. When we upped the technical capabilities of the bike we were careful to also increase strength in critically stressed areas. In both lab and real-world testing TD3 is leaps and bounds stronger than any previous Traildonkey frameset. So many modern bikes are engineered with a disproportionate emphasis on light weight. We believe that the arms race to shave grams has resulted in a reputation for carbon framesets as fragile, almost disposable. With TD3 we have created a frameset that will reliably serve its owner over the long term and we back it with a lifetime warranty*. Our engineering culture is to integrate an excess of strength into the frameset; to create a frameset that will stand the test of time on road, gravel, and trail.
*Traildonkey’s lifetime warranty covers the performance and durability of the frame and fork and warrants them against deficiencies in design, engineering, and construction to the original owner of the frameset as long as they own the bike. Our owners are family and we take care of them long term.
Rodeo was one of the first bike manufacturers to standardize all of our framesets around the threaded T47 bottom bracket standard. The removable bottom bracket cover on TD3 features a drain hole which allows water to escape the frame in wet conditions. The result is a quiet, low-maintenance bottom bracket experience for every owner.
The “naked” raw carbon + clear coat 58cm Traildonkey 3.0 without various hardware weighs in at 1350 gr. The average hardware weight on the frame is about 70gr. The average Spork weight is about 600 gr. Paint weights vary, but paint can add between 50gr and 150gr to the frame and fork. Each frame size 56cm, 54cm, 52cm weighs approx 50gr less than the size above it.
Traildonkey is constructed with Toray T800 carbon for high strength and high performance in real world use. Each frame is constructed entirely by hand in Taiwan by a manufacturing partner with over 30 years of high-end carbon manufacturing experience.
|Frame Material||Toray T800 carbon fiber|
|Country of manufacture||Taiwan|
|Design / Tooling||100% proprietary|
|Frameset rider weight limit||250lbs, 113kg|
|Frame weight||58cm 1350g raw, 56cm 1300gr raw, 54cm 1250gr raw, 52cm 1200gr raw. Hardware 70gr.|
|Routing options||Mechanical, Di2, eTap. Convertible or cappable endcaps.|
|Brake Standard||Flat Mount disc brakes. Post mount adapter compatible.|
|Bottom Bracket||T47 threaded 68mm bottom bracket shell|
|Seat Clamp||31.8mm (6066 aluminum clamp included)|
|Thru Axles||12mm x 142mm rear. 15mm x 100 front. Front convertible to 12mm with optional conversion kit.|
|Headset||1-1/8″ to 1.5″ tapered integrated cups (FSA Orbit IS included)|
|Fork||Rodeo Spork 2.0 / Carbon adventure fork|
|Fork offset / rake||45mm|
|Fork eyelets||2 mid leg eyelets per fork blade. 2 eyelets on each blade near axle. Optional offset eyelet kit.|
|Fork crown bolt||Not included. 85mm length typically needed for lights / racks|
|Fork max load||12.5kg total loaded fork weight (independent of rider weight)|
|Fork weight||Average 600g|
|Dynamo routing||Internal. Frame and fork. Front and rear light, USB stem cap, dynamo hub compatible.|
|Dropper post||Full internal routing for both internal actuation and external collar actuated posts.|
|Drivetrain||2x or 1x drivetrain compatible. Removable front derailleur mount.|
|Crankset||Max 50t / 34t 2x chainring. Max 53t 1x chainring. Micro compact 32 / 48 compatible.|
|Tire clearance 650b||Min recommended tire 40mm. Max recommended tire 57mm / 2.25″. Varies by tire / rim / conditions|
|Tire clearance 700c||Min recommended tire 25mm. Max recommended tire 50mm / 2.0″. Varies by tire / rim / conditions|
|Derailleur hanger||Aluminum, replaceable|
|Di2 battery position||Downtube, custom mount (supplied)|
|Fender / Mudguard mounts||Frame and fork. Max 65mm at 700c. Removable seat stay mounting bridge.|
|Bottle mounts||2 on inside main triangle. 1 on outside lower down tube. 1 on upper top tube. 2 on fork.|
|Rack mounts||Frame and fork|
There were no geometry changes between Traildonkey 2.0 and Traildonkey 3.0. Our geometry is shaped by real world riding, across multiple disciplines and conditions. Traildonkey has proven itself repeatedly in the wild and in competition. Traildonkey is designed to be neutral in handling, stable at speed, and nimble on the trail.
The bottom bracket on Traildonkey is slightly higher than some other bikes in the gravel segment because we prioritize function across wheelsets. A bike with a low bottom bracket may perform well on 700c wheels, but will drop to become excessively low on 650b wheels. This would result in more pedal strikes or chainring dings when riding aggressively. Clearance matters off-road and TD3 prioritizes off-road performance.
The long wheelbase of the bike accomplishes two objectives. The first is to create a stable platform for fast riding on road and gravel. The second is to open up the clearance between the rider’s toe and front tire, virtually eliminating overlap for most riders on most tires. The bigger the tire a rider uses, the more the TD3 toe clearance will be appreciated, especially on 700c wheels. In technical trail riding, toe overlap on a lesser frame would greatly disrupt the flow of a ride and would make navigating tight switchbacks virtually impossible. With a name like “Traildonkey” you can bet that we keep trail performance top of mind with this frameset.
Traildonkey fits true to size. That means if you order a 56cm, the frame will fit like a 56cm typically does. The frame does have a generous slope to its top tube, which lowers stand over height and makes the bike much more fun on trails. It also makes the frame adapted for dropper posts when built as a trail bike. The top tube slope can make the frame appear smaller, but the effective top tube height, reach, and other key measurements remain true to what you’d expect for each size.
The head tube stack height on our framesets is lower than some other gravel-type bikes because we feel it is better to let the rider decide their preferred position. With a low stack, we allow the rider to get low if they like. For a more relaxed “endurance” fit one can easily raise the cockpit, if desired, through stem selection and headset spacer position.
We use the following general guidelines as a starting point for sizing on our framesets. These guidelines are accurate for about 95% of our customers. Your current bike or bikes are the best starting point for choosing your size, and we are happy to work with you to evaluate which of our frame sizes is your best choice. Factors that might cause a rider to fall outside these the general guidelines below include unique upper / lower body proportions, range of motion restrictions, injuries, specific position preferences, or other factors. If you are unsure of the accuracy of your current riding position for any reason, we highly recommend working with a knowledgable bike fitter before purchasing your new bike. Here in Denver, Colorado, we are big fans of Pedal Fit.
General fit guidelines
Traildonkey 3.0 geometry
|Frame size||52 cm||54 cm||56 cm||58 cm|
|Seat tube (C-T)||460||480||500||520|
|Top tube length (effective)||535||545||560||580|
|Chain stay length||435||435||435||435|
|Seat tube angle||73||73||73||72.5|
|Bottom bracket drop||65||65||65||65|
|Head tube length||120||145||160||175|
|Head tube angle||69.5||70||71||72|
|Stand over height, at center of top tube, 700x40mm tire||750||780||810||820|
|Dimensions listed in millimeters and degrees unless otherwise indicated.|
Cockpit Components – Standard Sizing
|Frame size||52 cm||54 cm||56 cm||58 cm|
|Handlebar width (c-c)||40 cm||42 cm||42 cm||44 cm|
|Stem length / angle||80 mm / ±7°||90 mm / ±7°||100 mm / ±7°||110 mm / ±7°|
|Crank length||170 mm||172.5 mm||172.5 mm||175 mm|
If you are unfamiliar with the Traildonkey story, you might be wondering where this bike came from. Is it proven? Is it tested? The answer; most definitely, yes. We seek to prove our bikes exhaustively, and first hand. Our bikes are born from passion and inspiration that we find when we are out riding and racing them. We seek to ride our bikes across all conditions and we seek to ride them even harder than most typical customers ever will. Our Journal contains the entire history of the Traildonkey project dating back to 2014.
Complete Bike Builds
Every complete Traildonkey is built to order. Component selection and sizing can and should be tailored to each rider in order to create a complete bike that fits your goals and riding style. Please see the Traildonkey 3.1 page for pricing on typical build configurations, and get in touch with us using the form below to start the conversation.
For information on custom paint, see this page.
We’re committed to helping everyone understand the details of Traildonkey before they order a frameset or build. If we’ve missed any details that are important to you please let us know here and we will work to get them answered quickly.