Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0
Since its first iteration in 2015, Flaanimal has always been a bike that is fundamentally about versatility. The idea that the owner themself is allowed to interpret the frameset and turn it into their dream build is paramount. Whether ridden on road or dirt, the frameset strives to feel stable, efficient, quick, and at home wherever you take it. When considering where we wanted to take the platform next for 5.0, one objective stayed front and center: Flaanimal must stay true to its adaptable roots while at the same time offering each owner even more versatility and function. Meeting that objective was not at all simple and required some out of the box thinking. No detail of the 5.0 design was left unconsidered. Flaanimal 5.0 isn’t a “steel bike” or a genre bike. Its design is the natural result of setting tradition aside and endeavouring to build the best and most capable Flaanimal yet.
Our quest for increased Flaanimal function led us first on a search for more tire clearance. Not every Flaanimal owner needs more tire clearance, but every Flaanimal owner can potentially benefit from it over the ownership life of the bike. Tire clearance isn’t just about cramming huge tires into a frame though, tire clearance also relates to increased mud clearance when not running huge tires. An easy solution for increasing tire clearance would have been to shift the q-factor of the frameset to a MTB q-factor, allowing the chain stays to be spaced further apart thus creating more room for bigger tires. Going to an MTB q-factor also would have resulted in us deviating from Flaanimal’s road-oriented roots, which was something we were not willing to do. The solution for increased tire and mud clearance was to design a steel yoke for the drive side chainstay. Starting from scratch, we worked up an entirely new yoke design that solved our clearance needs and allowed Flaanimal 5.0 to retain its road q-factor. The yoke contributes to Flaanimal 5.0’s ability to run 700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.4” maximum tire sizes. Slider position is adjustable for tuning chainstay clearance per tire size. The max 1x chainring size on Flaanimal 5.0 is 46t. 2x cranksets as small as 24t/36t up to 34t/50t are also possible on the frameset.
Even with diligent CNC machining our chainstay yoke added weight to the Flaanimal frameset. Our next step in the design of the bike was to search for places to offset that weight without compromising strength or ride feel. The seat tube is the least stressed tube on the bike, and while doing some calculations we discovered that we could shave approximately ¼ pound off of the frameset by replacing the steel seat tube with a carbon seat tube. (Weight savings will vary per frame size / tube length ). Not only does our custom rolled unidirectional carbon seat tube “add lightness”, it also adds a distinctive technical note to the frameset’s visual style. We love it when our bikes stand out from the crowd.
Certain sections of a head tube are less stressed than others. More material is needed where the top tube and head tube are joined, for instance, while less material is required on other sections of the tube. With this thinking in mind, Flaanimal 4.0’s EC44 head tube was CNC machined to variable wall thicknesses to save weight. For Flaanimal 5.0, we took that thinking one step further. The leading surface of the head tube is laser cut and, similar to our 5.0 seat tube, we replaced the steel with a unidirectional carbon sleeve.. The net effect is not only lighter, but also brings the head tube and seat tubes into visual parity while retaining the full strength and durability of a typical solid head tube.
We first noted this sleeved head tube technique in the brilliant work of Rob English at English Cycles. Before we put this idea into production we reached out to Rob and asked if he would be ok with us drawing inspiration from his artistry. He was incredibly kind to oblige and offered a few tips on execution that we were grateful to receive.
Flaanimal 4.0 was built with Reynolds 725 tubing, but with the change to a weight saving carbon seat tube on 5.0, we removed one of the three main steel tubes from the frame that Reynolds requires as a minimum to carry the Reynolds badge. Instead of seeing this as a liability, we saw an opportunity to entirely re-evaluate the tubing spec of the frameset. We worked with a longstanding tubeset supplier in Japan that allowed us to custom draw size-specific tubesets for 5.0, and also heat treat it for equal or better strength to weight characteristics as compared to 4.0. With the addition of tire clearance on 5.0, we see the potential for riders to take on even more aggressive terrain so we increased wall thickness of key sections of tube to add strength in critically stressed areas. As with every bike and component we make, Flaanimal 5.0 is certified to ISO 4210 standards.Specs
|Frame Material||Custom drawn Japanese steel with size-specific butting profiles.
Unidirectional carbon seat tube and head tube.
|Country of manufacture||Taiwan|
|Design / Tooling||100% proprietary|
|Tire clearance 650b||Max width: 2.4″ | Min. recommended width: 40mm | Varies by tire / rim / conditions|
|Tire clearance 700c||Max width: 50mm / 2.0″ | Min. recommended width: 30mm | Varies by tire / rim / conditions|
|Frame weight||Estimated 2750g for size 54cm (final production weights pending)|
|Fork||Rodeo Spork 3.0 / Full carbon adventure fork|
|Fork weight||Average 600g|
|Cable routing||Mechanical, Di2, eTap. Convertible or cappable endcaps.|
|Dynamo routing||Internal fork. Front and rear light, USB stem cap, dynamo hub compatible.|
|Brake Standard||Flat Mount, 140mm front & rear|
|Bottom Bracket||T47 threaded, 85.5 mm width|
|Seat Post||27.2 mm|
|Dropper post||Internal, cable routing through BB shell.|
|Seat Clamp||35 mm (6066 aluminum clamp included)|
|Thru Axles||12 x 142mm rear. 12 x 100mm front. Front optionally convertible to 15 x 100mm.|
|Headset||44mm head tube, 1-1/8″ to 1.5″ tapered. EC44/40 lower, ZS44/28.6 upper.
Headset not included.
|Chainring compatibility||2x: maximum 50/34, minimum 36/24.
1x: maximum 46t
|Front derailleur mounting||31.8 mm band clamp (clamp not included)|
|Rear derailleur hanger||Aluminum, replaceable|
|Di2 battery position||N/A|
|Fender mounts||Frame and fork. Removable seat stay bridge. Max 65mm outer fender width at 700c.|
|Bottle mounts||3 inside main triangle. 1 on outside lower down tube. 2 on fork.|
|Rack mounts||Frame and fork. Optional offset eyelet kit available for fork.|
|Fork mounts||3 mid leg eyelets per fork blade. 2 eyelets on each blade near axle. Optional offset eyelet kit.|
|Fork crown bolt||Not included. 85mm length typically needed for lights / racks|
|Fork cargo capacity||27.6 lb / 12.5 kg total cargo weight, evenly distributed|
|Frameset rider weight limit||251 lb / 113 kg|
|Chainstay length range||Thru axle slider: 415 mm – 435 mm | QR / IGH slider: 420 mm – 440 mm|