The Roadeo is
our answer to speedy carbon road bikes that cost the same or more, last
one-fifth as long or less, and aren't as safe, comfortable, versatile
the bike to get for speedy riding without racks and bags, except for
maybe a seat or bar bag. Basically, it's not a "light touring" bike, or
anything of the sort. It's a bike for swift solo rides and fast club
rides, where riding is the thing, as opposed to doing something on your
The Roadeo beats today's Modern Carbon fiber Road Bikes (MCRB) in every category but one: Weight. More about that below.
Price and Value
and fork, $2,200. Complete bikes vary according to the parts----and we can
put on anything you like. Most recent builds have been using Shimano 11 speed 105 or Ultegra mechanical parts. Complete builds with these kits run around $4,000 to $5,400 respectively.
cost from $1,300 to more than $10,000 but with the same-or-equivalent
parts on them (SRAM Force, for instance), they're around $5,000 to
$7,000. Many of those are European-branded but are actually made in
cheap-labor countries. And there is considerable profit built into
those prices----enough to pay a middleman or two between the actual
manufacturer and the end-user, the bike's buyer/rider.
people associate price with quality. It works at some level, because you
can't get anything made with the most expensive (and presumably best)
materials and the most expensive (and presumably more skilled) labor
without the price rocketing up.
But it doesn't
always work that way. If you have inexpensive materials or labor, or
some combination of materials and labor that combine to a low-overall
manufacturing cost, but you have a brand that is associated with
quality---because it used to be good, or because it has always cost a
lot, or because just recently some races have been won on it---there's
no law against running up the flagpole a high price that doesn't at all
reflect manufacturing costs or actual quality.
Most new bike
buyers have the money and spend more for a bike that is
Roadeo is made for us in Waterford, Wisconsin, by Waterford Precision
Bicycles. We buy Roadeos direct from them, sell them direct to you and
don't build in promotional profit to support advertising or
professional teams. You may someday see a paper brochure, but for now
our promotions are on the web and way cheaper.
bikes are priced so that we can pay our staff and bills and keep
the business going. But still----with higher manufacturing costs and
overhead, we're able to price a complete Roadeo at $4,200 (or so), several
hundred to several thousand dollars less than similarly equipped MCRBs.
bikes can be too twitchy. You want responsiveness, no doubt, but we
feel our designed-in road manners make Roadeos safer and more rideable.
On a group ride you need a responsive bike to avoid getting bumped and
to help you fill in small gaps or maneuver in close spaces. But you
don't want to be the overreacting rider who makes everyone nervous. The
Roadeo is great for that sort of demanding riding, but a Roadeo will
shrug off unexpected bumps and wind gusts better than most speedy
little bikes do. The longer-than-normal chainstays help. They don't
make the Roadeo slower to accelerate (big chainstay myth, that one) and
they are absolutely better on descents, in corners and in the
wind----because they keep the wheelbase reasonable.
light bike with light wheels and a short wheelbase is too skittish for
safe, intuitive descending. You can master it in time, but a little
extra length in the bike makes you better descender.
ridden this and similarly designed bikes on the straightest and
smoothest, twistiest and roughest roads in the local mountains. We
tested those bikes in speedy pacelines on flat roads and rolling roads
between here and distant towns. The Roadeo is the best bike we make for
fast road rides, club rides, even racing.
steel frame and fork is safer on your first ride and maintains its
safety much longer than carbon does. Failures are rare, grow to total
failure slowly, and are on the surface where you can see them. Failures
in carbon bikes often originate between the layers, where they're
undetectable until the tube snaps.
in response to trauma, steel bends and dents. It doesn't snap, as
carbon does. Steel is the safest frame material, no question about it.
Built up with Mark's choice of lightish clubby parts, his 55cm weighs (minus saddle and pedals) 18 pounds.
55cm Roadeo frame weighs just under four pounds. The lightest MCRB frames weigh
about two pounds. If you stop your analysis right there, as MCRB
marketers hope you do, there's quite a difference. Two whole pounds.
One hundred percent more.
these seemingly significant weight differences lose significance if you
think it through. For instance, when you put parts on them to make a
rideable bike, the difference matters less because it's a smaller
percent. When you add a rider, the total percent difference reveals how
insignificant a little frame-weight difference really is.
With up to a 33.3333333333333mm tire, you can put fenders on your Roadeo---real, full-length, effective
fenders, the kind that don't fit on other road bikes. So you can ride
it on wet roads without spraying road grime on your face, your
backside, your bike and the rider behind you. Short fenders made for
tight-clearance road bikes don't work as well but those bikes don't
have the same clearance as the Roadeo. Good fenders won't fit.
fair weather you probably won't ride with fenders. Without fenders, you
can put a 35mm tire on your Roadeo. You can take advantage of that. On
rough roads, larger tires, ridden softer, are way more comfortable.
They're easier on your body and on the bike's frame and give longer life to your wheels. You'll
get better traction around corners and a softer ride over bumps.
cushioning property of air inspired Scottish veterinarian John (formerly Alfred) Dunlop
to develop the first pneumatic bicycle tire back in 1887. But then or now, when a tire
is inflated to 100psi+ there is no cushioning.
to a typical road bike that limits you to skinny tires that must be
ridden pumped up hard, and allows no fenders or short, less effective
ones, a Roadeo is just a lot more useful.
Brakes and design determine usefulness.
racing bikes use short-reach brakes. Combined with modern road forks,
those brakes limit you to 25mm tires, or maybe----if you're
lucky----28mm. The Roadeo uses the old "standard reach" brakes, made by
either Shimano or Tektro. There's no visual difference between standard
and short-reach brakes; most people can't tell the 1cm difference in
reach. But the extra centimeter under the caliper works wonders at
making a bike more useful.
Because of the Roadeo's standard-reach brakes and fork design you can
ride 28mm tires with fenders or 35s without; and that's what we did
with the Roadeo.
maintains its strength and integrity for decades. It always has, even
before the days of rust-inhibiting sprays. Steel's detractors talk
about rust, but that's just talk. Paint protects the steel on the
outside; Anti-rust sprays protect the inside. If you want to re-spray
inside your frame every few years, you can do it in two minutes. Sprays
are available in any hardware or auto-parts store. Although we--and the
manufacturers---are careful to call these sprays "rust-inhibitors," if
you give the tube a good coating it Will Not Rust. An ounce of
rust-proofing is worth the weight.
Comfort -- with your choice of stem styles
Roadeo lets you ride bars that are a bit higher than other road bikes.
You have two fork options---both steel. The standard fork is 1-inch
threadless and fits standard threadless headsets and clamp-on stems.
Since the steerer tube is steel you can safely stack up your stem
higher than is possible on a carbon steerer.
with a slightly up-sloping top tube and our own extended head tube lug,
the bars are high enough to let you use the drops way more often than
you probably do now. It's just more comfortable.
The other fork option is the traditional (no longer "standard"
after more than a hundred years) threaded steerer, which uses a
threaded headset and a quill stem. Quill stems are easy to raise and
lower so dialing in your position and comfort is even easier. It takes
about ten seconds at a casual pace. No kidding.
you like maximum adjustability and traditional looks, order a Roadeo
with a traditional threaded steerer and use a quill stem. If you'd like
to shave a few ounces and you prefer the contemporary looks of a
clamp-on stem, opt for a threadless Roadeo.
ever squawks about the looks of fine lugged steel. Even among the
finest of lugged steel frames, a Roadeo's a stunner. We use our own
lugs, never hard on the eyes. The slender tubes form a slender frame,
much skinnier than the frame on a MCRB. The overall effect is birdlike
and structural, like a skeleton or metal bridge. Even non-cyclists
appreciate the look of a fine, slender-tubed lugged steel bike.
you don't love the Roadeo at first sight it's not the right bike for
you, and that's fine. We aren't going to make enough to go around,
anyway, so we'd rather sell them to people who think they look good.
we say that the Roadeo is a better value than a Modern Carbon Road
Bike, we say it with confidence. We flat believe it. The frame costs
less and it's a better, safer, more beautiful, longer-lasting frame.
Think about cost per year. If a Roadeo costs less (roughly $4,200 for
the fancy version) and offers a reasonable expected service life two to
five times as long as that of a MCRB, it's easy to conclude that it's a
Graphical & Other Optionals
- Hot Red with cream accents.
- Hot Blue with cream accents
- Any color that goes well with cream accents will carry a slight upcharge - prices will be quoted based on color choice. That rules out white and cream, but not much else.
Any of these color options is available with a threaded or threadless fork.
Which way----threaded or threadless?
gives you more bar-height potential (which translates to comfort, for
most people) but weighs about 8 ounces more. It's probably the way to
go if you're a solo rider wanting a light road bike with maximum
comfort and classic styling. If you'll likely run your bars at or above saddle level, this is definitely the way to go from a functional and aesthetic perspective.
is the modern way, a little lighter, more in keeping with the look of
modern road bikes. It is theoretically possible to raise the bars
exceptionally high with a threadless fork (with a steel steerer tube),
but good taste limits the spacers between stem and headset to about
80mm--still much higher than a carbon steerer allows. If you run your bars below saddle level, then this option makes sense.
you get one fork and later wish you'd gotten the other, you can get
another fork. It'll cost you about $400, but that's right in line with
a name-brand carbon fork. Our fork is safer, longer-lasting and
better-looking (and then you have two good forks).
either kind of fork, threadless or threaded, you'll be much more
comfortable---and safer---on the steel Roadeo than on any carbon bike of
same size.That doesn't mean it'll never break. Any bike can, even a
steel one; and the Roadeo is a light steel one. But steel, by its
nature, is safer than any other frame material, and the steel in the
Roadeo is really good, strong steel. We won't sell you one if you weigh
250 pounds or more. The Roadeo is a light road bike for
It's not for everybody.
Rear hub: 130mm
Seat post: 27.2mm
Front derailleur: Clamp-on, 28.6mm
BB threading: British
Measure your PBH. Here's a link to how.
a "race fit" with more seat post showing, subtract 27cm from your pbh
and go with the closest size. If your PBH is 87, you'd subtract 27 and
get 60; you could go with a 59 or 61. If you want higher bars, go
bigger. If you want more post showing, go smaller. You'll have
crotch-room either way. You can go small and leave the steerer long, to
get the bars up.
To place a deposit:
in your order and plunk down $1,100 non-refundable. That'll give you a
place in line. We expect you'll have a frame or bike in two months,
but that's not a promise. Between now and then we'll work with you as
needed or as you like, to make sure you pick the right parts.
Grant and Dave are not so current on the racing stuff, but
Mark and Keven are (and they can talk about farmer parts, too). We'll
do everything we can to make sure it goes smoothly. That's a promise.
If you're interested in ordering a frameset or complete bike, just contact Mark and he can help you out.
You can always email me, Grant
my design, but the sample isn't my size. I can answer anything about
the frame, but if you want to talk about which ten-or-eleven speed
brifters and one-piece bottom brackets go with it, I'm not your guy.
Testimonial from an owner of TWO Roadeos:
Thanks for your help with my purchase of the Roadeo a few months back. I rode it for two weeks in Arizona at LH and NS's Desert Camp where I was a speaker.
This is my 21st year at their camps and while I've ridden my sage green Roadeo other years, I've never had the number of admiring comments about a bike as I did this year. There's something about the white with red panels that drew riders to the bike. Almost all of the riders (we had 35 the first week and 57 the second week) were on either carbon or ti but everyone was impressed by the lug work and paint job.
And they were surprised by the light weight of the bike--I think most riders who have come into the sport relatively recently think any steel bike is a heavyweight. I hefted my bike and then several carbon bikes and there was little if any difference in the perceived weight. Many carbon bikes aren't as light as most people think they are!
So I think that a lot of riders got a good look at an alternative to carbon. I certainly enjoyed riding it--great handling and comfort on the rough roads of SE Arizona.