Rodeo Labs Announces the Trail Donkey 4.0 at Philly Bike Expo — Gravelstoke

TD4 is all about function, function, function. Our guiding design principle for this bike was to pack it with thoughtful details that would make it better to own and ride in the real world. Our TD3 frame has always had a generous downtube profile, and we’ve always stared at it wondering if it would be possible to put all of that wasted volume to use. Now, with TD4, we once again took advantage of better manufacturing techniques to put more of the full volume of the frame to work for the rider: TD4 now features generous and easily accessible storage space in the entirety of its downtube. A simple hatch cover midway on the downtube can be quickly removed to allow access to potential storage space that had previously been under utilized. Now, instead of strapping a tool bag to your saddle, you can fit a tube, tire kit, multi tool, tire lever, a burrito, or many many other items inside the frame and out of sight. While you are in there notice the tidy hardware that secures your brake and derailleur housing to prevent rattling and admire the clean, well executed internal carbon layup.

All the seatpost diameters

TD4 is entirely about leaving key build decisions up to each owner. Wherever possible technical specifications of the frame were made as agnostic as possible in the service of this goal. A prime example of this is the ability of the frameset to run a fully integrated internal cockpit, or the ability to run 1x, 2x, mechanical, electronic, or even native single-speed drivetrains. But we didn’t stop there. We also designed the seatpost of the frame to allow 27.2, 30.8, or 31.6 diameter seatposts. Each frameset will ship with a 27.2 spec seatpost shim, but that can simply be removed or swapped if you would like to run 30.8 or 31.6. Why bother with this detail, you ask? Because it gives owners the ability to use components that may have originally been designed for MTB use, such as various dropper seatposts. It allows people the ability to build their bikes with parts they may already own instead of forcing them to build within a narrow set of standards.

No pressfit please

As with every frameset we’ve made for the last few years, TD4 is made with a threaded T47 bottom bracket shell. The T47 standard is now widely adopted across the industry and there is wide availability of bottom brackets and cranksets from essentially every brand that are compatible with the standard. T47 is also backwards compatible with a wide range of cranksets that have been on the market over the last decade, which further allows owners to build the bike that best suits them using the parts they chose.

TD4 Geometry

Geometry on TD4 carries most of its DNA from TD3 with key thinking intact. Of note, the frame now has a 1cm higher stack than TD3, which allows a slightly more relaxed riding position with the use of fewer headset spacers if desired. For those of you who like to get low: Don’t worry, you can still slam the stem on TD4 with great effect.

On previous generation Traildonkeys we’ve always used a fairly radically sloping top tube for dropper compatibility and low standover height, but on TD4 we’ve taken years of real world riding observations and have created a less sloped top tube with this generation. You are still able to easily get sufficiently low with a dropper post if you run one, but a less sloped top tube opens up more room in the main triangle for full size frame bags and adjustable water bottle cage position (via three eyelets per each of the three bottle mounts on the frame).

For riders on a 52cm or 54cm TD4, we have created a Spork 3.2 in 52mm offset to pair with those frames which allows us to refine geometry and handling on those two frame sizes.

All Terrain DNA

Starting with a clean sheet of paper allowed TD4 to have a more modern, cohesive bicycle design. The lines of TD3 have for years successfully set it apart from its peers and have also telegraphed its durable intent. With TD4 it was time to strike a new tone for the new platform: elegance and speed. TD4 tube profiles blend together fluidly, and the visual weight of the frame has decreased dramatically. Function doesn’t have to be brutal, it can be beautiful. When built minimally and purposefully, a complete TD4 takes on the appearance of a fast gravel racer, or even a road bike. But when built out for challenging terrain and bikepacking, TD4 shows its feature set well, and stays true to the all terrain DNA that has always been at the heart of a Traildonkey.

Learn more at Rodeo Labs

Photos courtesy of Rodeo Adventure Labs

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