Industry events and expos can be a brutal overloading of the senses. So many products and bikes and handshakes and cold beverages, it can be difficult to decipher what is what. Amongst the widgets and doodads, the big travel future bikes, there are the diamonds in the rough. While shuffling from booth to booth and meeting to meeting a few bikes jumped out from the periphery.
Rodeo Labs Flaanimal
New to Sea Otter and relatively new on the block, Rodeo Labs hails from Denver, CO. Based on the idea of building versatile bikes to tackle a variety of terrain while having maximum fun, which is apparent with model names like Flaanimal and Trail Donkey. (See below). The Flaanimal is a steel all road, or hardtail light equipped with sliding dropouts giving riders the ability to set up as they desire.
The highlight in the Rodeo Labs line and maybe what they are most known for at this point is their Spork. Spork is their fork, a carbon fork with lots of mounts and such to haul pack and clear a whole bunch of stuff. If you were in attendance at NAHBS last month in Sacramento then you likely saw the Spork on a variety of builders bikes.
Rodeo Labs Trail Donkey 3.0
As mentioned above, we are also a big fan of Rodeo Labs Trail Donkey 3.0. A carbon hardtail of sorts, ready for just about everything you throw at it. A bit more tire clearance than the Flaanimal, the Trail Donkey looks like it would be a splendid backcountry bikepacker and singletrack slicer and wait! That’s not all! This Trail Donkey was equipped with Di2 and TRP hydraulic brakes with couplings for an easy bar switch from flat to drop bars in a couple of easy moments.
Keep an eye out for Rodeo Labs world domination in the near future.
Speedvagen has made a mountain bike, they have made one mountain bike but they have made one. Put to the test by Ivy Audrain during Saturday’s Women’s XC race the light blue classic looking hardtail with minimal branding flashed by leaving bystanders curious to exactly what they saw.
Speedvagen the expansion of Sascha White’s Vanilla brand has been based in racing since it’s birth. Originally just offering road and cyclocross racing bikes, it seems now that Speedvagen is ready to dip its toes into the world of mountain biking. If you like steel and things of a fancy nature then I suggest you start hoarding your change now.
Last but certainly not least is this lovely all-road, gravel build from Adam Sklar. The young frame builder from Bozeman, MT has created quite a name for himself over the last couple of years. Winning awards for his builds at NAHBS and quickly becoming a name on the tip of a lot of tounges when they start talking about custom frames, Sklar looks to be carrying the torch for the next generation of frame builders.
We caught this bike hanging behind the Echos Communications booth here at Sea Otter and it was said that Adam will be racing this bike against some of his fellow builders at this years Grinduro event in Quincy, CA.
We’ll keep an eye out for more head-turners tomorrow.