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The Rodeo Newsletter, Chapter 4

I’m not sure how it’s April 2024 already, but here we are. Newsletters are tricky! Each month I intend to write one, but they are probably the single most difficult thing for me to stop what I’m doing and work on. There is so much to catch you up on though! Rodeo Labs has been non-stop on so many levels through the end of last year and into this year, and I’d love to bring everyone up to speed.

Open House! May 16th!

It is wild to think that we’ve been in our new Lakewood, Colorado headquarters for five months now, but we have, and it feels SO GOOD to be operating out of a bigger, better, more organized space. It wouldn’t be accurate to say that we’re 100% moved in, but we’re moved in enough that it feels like it is finally time to invite people to come by and hang out. Instead of making it all about Rodeo and the space, we’ve teamed up with director TC Johnstone and Sacred Space to host a screening of the film “In The Dirt”, which tells the ongoing story of members of the Navajo Nation who are building an incredible community on and around bikes.

The evening will feature food and drinks, a DJ, general hangout time, and a Q&A with the director of the film, TC.

You can get all the information and register here

Per usual, in this newsletter I’m going to break things down into topics, so feel free to skip around and only read things that are important to you.

High Level: How’s it going at the Rodeo Lab?

It has been five solid months since the last Newsletter, and that is a lot to summarize, but let’s do this. 

Going into the end of the year, I had a sense that it was going to get dark for a while, and I don’t mean that because the days were getting shorter. We and the rest of the industry were, in effect, entering a bit of a nuclear winter. I touched on this in the last newsletter, and anyone who was paying attention could have seen that the “‘euphoric” bike industry economic conditions of the COVID era would never last. For many bigger brands things had started to slow down even in late 2022, but I think being a smaller niched brand, and one with that had just launched a very competitive and innovative new platform with the TD4, we at least delayed or avoided many of the effects of the slowdown for most of 2023. Things hummed along feeling pretty normal for the year with the exception of the birthing pains and expenses of launching a new bike. But finally, late in the year there were enough factors in play that we really felt the combined slowdown once October arrived. Seasonally things always slow down at the end of the year because it’s cold and dark and people don’t ride as much, but that was layered onto an industry that had huge levels excess inventory, massive discounting, and a saturated customer base to create a super storm of epic proportions. If you were paying attention during Thanksgiving week you probably noticed the 30-40% off sales that almost every brand seemed to be throwing, or perhaps you noticed the buy one get one free sale from another large bike brand (which as of this week appears to be sadly closing doors). That one took my breath away!

By later fall we were also seeing much lower sales and a much quieter general environment here at Rodeo HQ, but I had been thinking about this coming situation for the better part of a year, and I had already decided that, unless absolutely forced to, we would not be having big markdowns or big sales in order to gut out the abysmally slow fourth quarter of the year. My logic was pretty simple: Rodeo worked hard to create an identity and a brand that both we and ourselves are proud of. We create unique, special bikes that people dream about owning for a long time, and we put a lot of effort into personalizing those bikes for each person that owns one. Rodeo isn’t / wasn’t a mass market brand, and I didn’t want to play by the discounting and liquidation rules that were being set by the rest of the industry. I wanted Rodeo to continue to be a special brand with differentiated bikes, ones that are not simply seen as commodities. 

Another reason that I didn’t want to have liquidation sales is that we more or less don’t have anything excess to liquidate. Rodeo didn’t over produce bikes in the COVID era, and we aren’t sitting on a warehouse full of bikes and frames that now need to be flushed as quickly as possible. For the record I would have certainly made more bikes if we could have during COVID, because so many people wanted a Rodeo during those years, but we simply weren’t able to. Our manufacturing scale is pretty small, and during the era that we might have over produced, we didn’t have enough weight to throw around in order to get our manufacturing partner to make more frames for us. We were at the bottom of the priority totem pole, and it was hard enough just getting our normal production runs out the door, nevermind doubling or tripling production runs. In December, while other brands were giving away bikes at half off, or buy one get one free, we were FINALLY, for the first time in our history, able to have all models of our bikes, in all sizes, in stock at healthy level. It felt great to finally be able to ship a frameset immediately, or build and ship a bike within a few days! It’s taken us 10 years to get to this point, and now that we’re here, I’m not putting the whole lot on sale. Instead we’re content to sit back and let people adopt our bikes when they want one, and at prices that allow us to continue to exist, grow, and innovate as a company.

If you’d like to learn more about the exuberance and stupidity of the current global bike industry dumpster fire, I highly encourage you to listen to the four part podcast series just released by the Escape Collective. This series thoughtfully walks through exactly what happened in 2020 through 2023 in the industry, and it examines the present mess that so many brands are in these days. Only these three episodes are out at the time of writing, but keep an eye out for the fourth on your favorite podcasting platform soon.

Deciding not to discount was not an easy decision to make way back in October. As I watched those other brands have big sales the week of Thanksgiving, I tried to keep my mind off of work and instead worked to stay mostly offline and engaged over the holiday. But when I came back to the office on the Monday after Black Friday, I was stunned to see that our sales for the week of Thanksgiving were somewhere around $174. Yes that’s right: In the busiest shopping week of the year, we made a staggering $174 of total income. At that moment I wondered to myself if the party was really over for us. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that sales have chugged along for us for the better part of a decade, and in a single week had more or less gone to zero. Those post-Thanksgiving days were dark days for me, and I’ll admit that I became a cynical, negative person for much of the remainder of 2023 starting on that Monday. There wasn’t much to be positive about, there wasn’t anything to be optimistic about. We were of course burning plenty of money on inventory and payroll and everything else, but we weren’t replacing that spending with sales.

It was tempting to lean into negativity. Rodeo used to be fun. Rodeo used to be vibrant. Rodeo used to be creative. I wanted out of this present business reality, and I wanted the good old days back. But the good old days seemed long gone, and the present situation was that of a brutal business environment that had no end in sight.

But here’s the funny thing: I had seen this moment coming way back in September, if not before. I had talked to my business partner Glenn about it. We’d discussed what to do, and I told him that I was going to not just baton down the hatches to weather it, I was going to leave the sails up and keep charging into the tempest. To me that meant that while the industry was a bit of a zombie apocalypse, Rodeo would turn inwards and work on itself instead of working on sales and factors that we couldn’t control. In my mind I worked out what it would cost in terms of finances and even borrowing to coast through the coming bad months. Even a best case scenario of the worst days of the industry lasting through Spring would be really costly if monthly expenses stayed the same. We’d have to borrow to get through it. Ouch. I deeply dislike borrowing money, and we’ve rarely ever done it. But once I made peace with that reality, I was free to turn focus my efforts on things that might actually create life for the company in the long run.

Having just moved, I had decided to use the slow months to invest our skills and human resources to help build the company up to a better place. Everyone who works at Rodeo was recruited into the effort of building out and outfitting our new HQ into a place where the company could run more efficiently and more professionally. We were generally building and shipping fewer bikes, but we sure got busy with saws and hammers and paint brushes to whip our new headquarters into a very cool place to work, and it felt good!

It’s all a bit funny to me: You’re never really going to be stress free when running a growing company. Had we been crazy busy selling bikes we would have been too busy to work on our remodel, and we would have been stressed out about that, but in order to have time to work on our remodel, we simply had to be less busy selling bikes. In my optimistic mind I felt like, if this all played out in the end it would be a coup, to schedule some self care into the middle of a calamity. Of course nobody knows what the outcome will be until the outcome arrives, but it seemed like a decent play to run at the time, and I’m very happy that everyone at Rodeo stayed productive and busy through the slowest months of the bike industry that I’ve ever seen.

The Letter

Recently a potential customer reached out to me, and in not so many words demanded that I price match some of the deals that he was seeing from other brands, or he would take is business elsewhere. I’ve had plenty of these sorts of emails in my day, so in a lot of ways this was nothing new, but for some reason this particular request really struck a nerve with me, and I felt that it was necessary to stop everything and write a thorough explanation of what Rodeo’s value philosophy was and is as a brand. Once I had the email typed up for the customer, I realized that what I had to say probably needed to be said to our entire brand audience. So, in an impulsive moment I put the words into a series of panels and posted them to Instagram and Facebook for all to see. I expected a bit of backlash because that is usually what happens when you get backed into a corner and decide to take a stand on an issue, but in this case the response of support from our community knocked me off my feet. Sure, there were some people who did not agree with the position I took, or perhaps with the delivery, but 99.9% of people who took the time to comment or send a thumbs up were amazingly supportive, and I’m so grateful for the responses that they shared.

Full text here for easier reading. (click to expand)
Dear Customer

Thanks for reaching out and for being
interested in Rodeo Labs bikes!

I reviewed the thread you’ve been having about your bike search, and it looks like the team here has been giving you good answers and information to help guide the process of deciding if a Rodeo Labs bike is right for you.

As a policy, anyone is always welcome to reach out to me to discuss a build, or any Rodeo Labs question in general, and I’m glad you did.
High level: It appears that while considering a Rodeo bike you are also price shopping other gravel bikes in the category, which is a
perfectly reasonable thing to do, because gravel bikes in this day and age have become commodity items.

Each one of those companies that you’ve mentioned cross-shopping have massively over produced bikes in the late Covid era, and is more or less now dumping them onto the market because they have debt leveraged their inventory, are burning resources storing dead stock, and many are also probably in a bind with cashflow, generally speaking.

I’m sure there are unique circumstances
specific to each brand, but taken as an
average this is the state of the market from where I sit.

Add to that distressed primary market a completely saturated secondary market, where you can pick up someone’s Buyer’s Remorse gravel bike at a massive discount. What a time to be a bike buyer!

For the average consumer, taking advantage of these market conditions is a wise move, and in a way I would even encourage them to, because the value is there.

As it relates to Rodeo, we are not a
commodity brand, and we aren’t dumping our inventory to catch up with debt or excess production. In a way, the rest of the market almost forces our hand to follow suit with the bloodletting and discounting, but because I call the shots around here, and because we aren’t in distress, and I because play the long game with this company, we will not attempt to straight-up compete on price with the rest of the industry.

Rodeo is a very small bike company, with very fixed costs as it relates to what it takes to make a bike and what it takes to hire world class staff to build and support that bike.

Those costs are firm and never discounted, they are actually always increasing.

So, as much as Rodeo would love to sell bikes at lower prices and flexible prices that match the state of the very weak bike market, we
instead chose to resist discounting with the exception of the occasional special deal,
outgoing model, or also in the case of unique circumstances or customer relationships.

Other than that we simply sell our bikes for what it costs to make them, build them, and support them. On top of that sits the margin that allows us to not just keep the lights on, but also pay people fairly and invest in R&D towards future models and projects that
reflect the larger aspirations of the company:

Ride. Explore. Create.

For many prospective buyers this lack of pragmatic value matching means that we are not a good match. I understand that and
appreciate that. There are many other bike companies with circumstances that allow or force them to discount, and they need
ongoing business in order to remain viable in this challenging market. We’re happy to live and let live in that regard. 

Thankfully we have an amazing base of people who want a Rodeo Labs bike exactly because it’s a Rodeo Labs bike. They are
attracted to the design of the bike,
its features, the culture that surrounds it, the story behind it, and the other completely
intangible things that make a Rodeo a Rodeo.

Those people, those customers, are why we get to exist. We are exceptionally grateful for their support, and always will be.

We would LOVE to personalize and build for you a bike that matches with your goals, and are extremely excited about every bike we build and every customer relationship that we forge.

But before we do that, the decision of what you are looking for in a bike and a bike
company first rests with you.

Is a Rodeo Labs bike the right bike for you?

Only you know.

What To Do Next

It isn’t enough to set your values as a brand and hope for the best. During the dark months of winter I didn’t only pine for the better days of yore, I thought a lot about what made Rodeo feel so magical in its earlier days. In a word: It was the community. In the early days of Rodeo we weren’t a bike brand at all, we were a community of riders who did not very much more than ride together. That is genuinely what felt so special about everything to me. When we did start selling bikes things remained personal because at that time it was only me and Drew working here, and we spoke with every customer one-on-one, in detail, and on a very personal level with each bike that we sold. It was hard to sell a bike without starting a relationship of sorts, and even though I didn’t meet many customers face to face, I had their names engraved into my memories through long phone calls and email chains. Looking back, I missed that sense of connection, and realized that we needed to get back to some of those early values moving forward. Inspiration on how to do that came at varying moments along the way, but here are three things that I’ve decided to implement this year:

  1. I decided to try to either host or attend more events in 2024, and to try to meet and connect with more of the community of owners who ride our bikes. The first event that checked this box in a big way was the Southern Migration Rally that we hosted in Florida in collaboration with Singletrack Samurai. You can read a writeup about it here. The event was such a phenomenal success, and the three days spent riding with new and old friends, across a wide spectrum of Rodeo and non-Rodeo bikes alike, really reinforced to me that people were at the center of all of this when we started, and that they very much still are and need to be. The second event that I attended was one that had been on my bucket list for a long time: The Rock Cobbler in Bakersfield, California. In addition to the stunning course, one of the best I’ve ever ridden, I was able to meet a number of Rodeo Riders, and seeing people out enjoying and riding our bikes firsthand was very rewarding for me. The sense of pride that I saw in each of those riders also really stuck with me; They were clued into Rodeo being a bike company with an independent identity, and for many of them that was a large part of the reason that they adopted our bikes. It hit me that this sense of community is something that I really want to stay connected to, and I came away from Rock Cobbler even more motivated in that regard. You can read a writeup of that experience here. The third event that I attended has been a mainstay on my calendar, and that event was The Mid South. The Mid South is one of the larger gravel events in the nation, so naturally you’re going to see a solid cross section of the gravel cycling community there. One of my favorite moments while attending was meeting the rider of a frame we had just shipped the week before, out on course with his brand new bike, and being able to say hello in person. A bonus of the event was that in the singlespeed category Rodeo riders placed 2nd, 4th, and 5th, a near repeat of last year’s results. We’re hungry for that top step! Still to come this year, I’m off to the Traka Adventure on May 1 for my first ever 350 mile distance race in Girona, Spain. The course stats are intimidating, with 32,000 feet of climbing on tap, and I’m glad I’ll be participating as a duo with longtime friend Nick Gilroy. Also coming is our lead engineer Cade, who is on a tear lately on his TD4, setting a top 20 time on the course. It will be fun to see him let loose in Spain. Also coming along is our sponsored rider Luke Hall, who has decided to lean into ultra distance riding this year after his second at Unbound XL last year. We’re all excited to be riding and racing in Europe, and high level I hope to introduce more people to the brand there, and once again meet and say hi to Rodeo owners that I meet along the way.
  2. Another way to engage more with our riders and community in 2024 has been to write personal thank you notes to everyone who buys a frame or bike from us in 2024. At first I was worried that this could get tedious, but immediately the emails started connecting with people, and I’ve had some really rewarding conversations with people who have chosen to adopt our bikes. It’s been really insightful to find out what it is that motivates people to chose a Rodeo Labs bike in this increasingly crowded market. What I’ve learned the most is that relationships and the power of word of mouth are some of the most common reasons that people take the leap with Rodeo. That’s an important lesson for me! I’ve also heard from many that they’ve been following Rodeo for years, reading the Journal, listening to the Rodeo Podcast, and following along on social media. A lot of people know our story and know what we are up to here. I was reminded that the effort it takes to put our story out is well justified, and that one of my main roles here at Rodeo is to keep telling that story.
  3. This may sound simple, but a third thing that I decided to lean into this year was the simple concept of customer service. I think during the COVID era we were so rushed along by the level of activity that we took less care with each person and rushed through some of the human steps in the process. I don’t think that our customer service became a total failure, but it really hit me as I thought about it that one thing that has always been a core part of Rodeo was the simple fact that we’re quick to pick up a phone, answer an email, or greet each person at HQ. We’re not annoyed by having to respond to customer service issues, we’re excited and motivated to help people as well as we can. So for 2024 I’ve been dialoging with the team here that our number one job is to meet each person who calls on us with the same or more energy that they are bringing to the interaction. We love doing bikes for a living, we love our jobs, and we need to double down on representing that love each person who choses to be a part of what Rodeo Labs is.
  4. The list of things “to do” to up our game is endless, but one that I have aspirations for is to tell better stories. I think we’ve been putting effort into that consistently along the way, but as tastes changed and people go to different places to see and hear new things, Rodeo has to be there too if it wants to be visible and relevant. People often wonder what happened to the Rodeo Podcast, and the simple answer is that we got so busy that it ceased to be a priority. In fairness, Nick our first host and his life got a lot more complicated over time, then Logan our second host took a full time media job at GCN and couldn’t actively contribute anymore. But soon we’ll be recording our first new episode in a while around our upcoming experience at the Traka Adventure, so look for that episode to drop in May. I’m also quite keen to put more effort into video and YouTube, because I find myself enjoying that medium so often, but I am also aware that creating quality videos is one of the most time-intensive ways to tell our story. With each athlete that we support and sponsor these days we explicitly ask them to contribute to the Journal, and results are sometimes hard to come by, but I will keep pushing for those stories to be told, and hopefully our athletes will stretch themselves to tell them. Stories have always driven Rodeo, and because of them we’ve been able to shape the brand around our experiences instead of relying on traditional media. I tend to be a curmudgeon about traditional cycling media, but who knows, maybe you’ll see more Rodeo bikes out for review in the coming months and years as well…

So, is it “working”?

As noted above, the year ended very dark around here, and I really wondered if or when things would ever improve. It was clear to me that the pace that we were on as a company wasn’t good, and wasn’t sustainable without changes. The hope was that turning the new page to 2024 would bring fresh energy into the bike world again. Almost like clockwork that hope was answered in the very first days of January. It was as if someone had flipped a switch. Orders started pouring in again, and the hustle and bustle at HQ jumped to meet the fresh demand. From where I sat this was all a huge relief, and an actual physical weight that I felt day to day lifted.

It isn’t as if we returned to the “good old days” of 2019 energy, when supply and demand were more synchronized, but things felt so much better and the economics improved. I didn’t quite do a celebratory jig. It was too soon to know if anything had really fundamentally changed in the bike industry for the better. Were we over the hump or was January just a statistical burp? Honestly, even in April it is really hard to answer that question. We’ve been churning along this year, but not at an even, predictable pace. Instead of smooth sailing we seem to lurch from periods of high activity to repeating periods of near-zero activity. This has happened over and over and over all year long. The new “normal” isn’t normal at all, it’s incredibly unpredictable and not entirely confidence inspiring. While I want to broadcast a blindly bullish sense of the future, and in some ways that is important to do as a business, I can’t quite do that. So far 2024 has been good enough to keep moving, but not great enough to undo any of the hits that we took going into the end of 2023. As I’ve looked around I’ve seen continued signs of industrywide stress from other brands, and more recently have been saddened to hear that Speedvagen has temporarily halted operations, and it appears that Kona may have done the same this week, if events online are to be believed. I’ve had some sit down conversations with different members of the crew here to try to get different points of view about how we all see the industry right now, and some ideas for the current malaise as it directly relates to Rodeo stand out:

  1. Gravel isn’t as new as it used to be, and there simply aren’t as many people looking for gravel bikes these days because so many people have gone out and adopted a bike already. So, whereas the early days were non-stop demand, and we had a bit of a blue ocean with not many sharks swimming around all to ourselves, now that same ocean is very crowded, and there are just fewer fish in the sea. Add to that the oversupply issues and hundreds of thousands of major brand bikes sitting in warehouses unsold, and it points to lean times ahead.
  2. Tastes are evolving a bit. I think people remain curious and adventurous, but a number of riders who are looking to grow and take on bigger adventures are looking for bigger bikes to do that on. It seems to me that the mainstream bikepacking community has really circled around the hardtail and even full suspension MTBs as the transport of choice in that genre, and Rodeo willfully decided to not launch a MTB until the point that we are able to manufacture it ourselves in Denver – AKA Project Denver.
  3. There are probably other factors at play here that I haven’t mentioned or I’m not aware of, and there are other ideas that we are talking about internally here at the company. Tastes in media are changing, social media isn’t much the feel good wonderland that it used to be. Many people that we build community and connected with on platforms like Instagram have logged off of that platform, so we’re asking ourselves what that common meeting place that we used to so effortlessly have will look like in the coming years. A common meeting place has always been very central to what Rodeo is.

One thing is for sure: The headwinds are there, but we are motivated! Just like moving the HQ during the dark months of the year was an intentional creative act in the face of challenging times, I’m looking at the current phase that we are in similarly: For Rodeo to be well, we have to be creative, vibrant, innovative, visible, human, and authentic. We can’t coast on what we’ve done for the last ten years, we have to keep looking forward intently to create the future that we want to exist. There are so many things that I’m excited to do with this company and this platform that we have, and I’m determined to navigate these shallow waters that we currently find ourselves in on our way to deeper oceans once again.

On that note, here are some rad happenings as of late:

Bike Gear Database Interview.

Bike Gear Database was very kind to invite me to an interview a couple of months back, and doing so was a great reason for me to pause and think about what we are doing here at The Lab. In this article you can pick up a lot of the themes that Rodeo is currently excited about and engaged in for 2024 and beyond. Check it out here.

Mid Atlantic Gravel Travel And Dirt podcast

The crew at the MAGT Podcast also very kindly had me on and we had a fun conversation about Rodeo Labs and what we’re up to. This podcast crew is fun and prolific, and their extensive library of interviews is worth checking out! Here’s a youtube embed of the episode that I did with them for convenience.

Project Denver

Project Denver is our hush hush secret lab project wherein we’re investigate ways to build better bicycles better here in Colorado. I can’t begin to relate how expansive and ambitious this project is at a high level, but to me it represents what I am most excited about for the future of Rodeo Labs as a bike company and a creative entity. As much as we were imaginative ten years ago with the first Traildonkey in a bike market that had not yet stumbled into the gravel / adventure gold rush, Project Denver represents a re-focusing of that curiosity into really deeply asking ourselves “what is next”. I said in the interviews above that Rodeo is a bit of a bike company that is funding an R&D lab these days, and Project Denver is that lab. The things we are working on are intentionally ambitious from a design and engineering point of view. We are trying to ask huge questions about what is possible in bike construction, and we’re having to invent processes from scratch in order to answer the questions that we ask. The focus of the effort is to channel the results first into a made in Colorado hardtail MTB frame, and ultimately we would like to build and offer a whole lineup of home grown bikes that truly compete on not just a performance level, but tell a much better story about point of origin, supply chain, and total product footprint.

Again, more than anything else we’ve ever done we’re being tight lipped about the results of this work, but internally the results are starting to show and it is the thing I’m most excited about in terms of Rodeo’s future.

Rodeo Labs TTPH 1 Pizza Holder

If you were around our social media on April 1st, you may have seen our latest and greatest product. If you weren’t, you missed a good laugh!

You can download the print files for this bad boy here

The Latest on the Rodeo Journal

We’ve had some excellent posts to the Rodeo Journal lately. Here are some selects to check out

Luke Hall – Renewal – This is a really beautiful post from Luke about his background as a human in and out of cycling. I love writing that transcends just being about bikes, and gets into human themes. Luke’s piece does that, and he’s got more on the way!

Logan Jones-Wilkins – A Heaven Fit For the Talking Heads – Logan remixed his Mid South experience into a fresh piece with a fresh voice. It goes way beyond the typical race recap.

Edyn Teitge – Into the Drift – Edyn is by far our youngest supported rider, and has been crushing endurance events all winter on his way to race the Tour Divide this year. Edyn’s passion motivates us quite a lot around here, and his endurance is staggering!

We work hard to post our own fresh stories on the Rodeo Journal, and have done so since the beginning of Rodeo Labs. You can find the whole collection here.

Community Stand Outs

It is VERY difficult to round up what our community has been up to in 2024, but here are some stand-outs that come to mind.

Dirty Dan did a DOUBLE EVEREST for Doctors Without Borders

Nick Gilroy placed 2nd in Singlespeed at Mid South on his Ti Flaanimal

Gravel Hall of fame inductee Selene Yeager took delivery of a beautiful TD4 via Paper Trail Bike Cafe

The New Rodeo 3.0X 700C wheelset

We very proudly launched our brand new, from-scratch, much improved Rodeo 3.0X 700c wheels recently. You can check out the product page to look over the specs and details, and if you’re hungry for the “why” and the backstory on our newest Rodeo Labs product, check out the fairly exhaustive writeup I just posted about them. I worked to provide as much granular detail as possible, and to also be as non-hyped as possible at the same time.

Apparel Sale

We’re clearing out all existing / remaining cycling clothing and clothing at the moment so that we can make room for what’s coming next in terms of updated profiles and styles for 2024. So EVERYTHING we make in terms of soft goods is 30% off right now, even stuff that is on sale. Just use code SPRINGRODEO. You may find a number of styles and items sold out because sales always cause a bit of an avalanche, but what we do have left is all designed and made from scratch around our ideas for what works in clothing, just like we do with our bikes.

New Socks!

We’ve got some fun new socks featuring the mythical Pegasus Donkasus, a Donkey that flies south for the winter in search of warmer climates. We made these for our Southern Migration Rally, and just posted the extras today. Supplies on these are definitely limited.

New Flaanimal Colors

We’ve updated our color offerings for Flaanimal 5 for 2024. We’ve modernized our go-to colors and we revived a couple of classics along the way as well.

Super Seven
Pine Cone
Concrete Orange
Blue Iceberg
Atlas Mountains

The Remodel

For those local to Colorado, we really hope you can join us for the film night / open house on May 16th, but if you can’t, here are some photos of our new Rodeo HQ that we’re settling into nicely. We put a lot of effort into this place over the last six months, and the improvements to atmosphere and workflow have been dramatic and enjoyable for the whole crew!

Shoutout to Brad Click, who not only recently joined us as a new painter and tech, but also created the art gracing our Service Course gallery.

K-Light Integrated TD4

We built a very special concept TD4 with K-Light recently. The build showcased our ability to create a fully integrated, dynamo powered, ultra endurance oriented TD4 that features generator lights front and rear, as well as built in USB charging for accessories and power banks.

Other Stand Out Builds

There have been so many incredible builds that have left The Lab in 2024 already, and it is difficult to round them all up. As a wrap up to this edition of the newsletter, it feels right to highlight the incredible work that the the crew here continue to create day in and day out.

Via Paper Trail Bike Cafe in Philadelphia

There is a lot of magic going on inside of this building, and outside in the world wide Rodeo Lab. This has been quite the long-winded update, and if you’ve made it this far, consider yourself an ultra endurance athlete. Your support means the world to everyone here at The Rodeo Lab. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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  1. I’m proud to not only ride a Rodeo, but to support such a company. When I was in the market for a gravel bike, who I bought it from was as important as the bottom line, and I was willing to pay a bit more for a company that reflected my values as a cyclist. I don’t regret that for one moment. My only regret, really, is that my son isn’t as into cycling as I am. Give him time, he still might come over to our side.

  2. This is a great newsletter and thank you for taking the time to share. So cool to see the community connections throughout the words and pictures!!! Ouray Week 2018 changed my world.

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