Rodeo Labs Traildonkey 3.0 (Sea Otter Classic 2019)
We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Rodeo Labs Traildonkey 3.0 during the 2019 Sea Otter Classic. Complete with quick release hydraulic brake couplers, the “switch” version easily changes between a drop-bar all-road rig and a flat bar MTB. See more photos and details here…
Someone asked me yesterday, “So, were there any interesting mountain bikes at Sea Otter, or all gravel bikes!?” My answer was that there were a lot of shreddy full-suspension bikes, but not a lot of new hardtails or full-squish bikes that were particularly interesting from a bikepacking perspective (although there were a lot of great FS bikes, overall). With that said, here’s a bike that was designed to switch between the two. We’ve covered the Rodeo Labs Traildonkey 3.0 before, but we finally got a chance to give it a once over in person. I’m happy to report that it’s equally as impressive up close as it is on the interwebs.
Boulder, Colorado-based Rodeo Labs had the recently revamped Traildonkey on display with drop bars and 700C x 38mm tires/wheels. However, it also had a pair of Rodeo’s own 650b wide carbon wheels with 27.5 x 2.0″ WTB Ranger tires sitting on the ground in front of it. Even more interesting, the TD3 was equipped with TRP’s quick-release hydraulic cable couplers that allowed an easy twist disconnect that sealed in the hydro fluid and allowed a simple changeup to the MTB flat handlebars you see here. Really cool technology. It’s easy to imagine the benefits such a system has for bike boxing and travel. Once we find out more about these couplers and whether they’re a reliable solution, we’ll let you know.
We won’t get too much into specs on this bike within this post. You can find all the details on our last Dispatch about it. However, I’ll note that the carbon Spork is really nice in person. I’ve been particularly interested in this version of Rodeo’s gravel fork since it came out a few months ago. The new Spork matches the Traildonkey 3.0’s tire clearance spec—2.25″ (57mm) tires with 650B rims that have a ~25mm internal width (IW). And with 700c rims with a ~24mm IW, it can clear 2.0″ (50mm) tires.
The Traildonkey on display was outfitted with a prototype lace-up/bolt-on LiteSkin frame pack by Exile Designs, makers of the Rodeo Labs Hip pack we’re currently testing. Rodeo mentioned that they’re planning on offering these bags with the TD3 in the future.
For full specifications and details on the Traildonkey 3.0, check out our Dispatch post about it. Also, we hope to demo and test this bike, so stay tuned for more details. In addition, make sure to check out our full Gear Index of similar bikes.
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