If theres one thing we like here on Fort Street its steel frames and big tires. This beautiful Rodeolabs Flaanimal 5.0 tickles our fancy in just the right way. In its current form the bike is optimized for janky singletrack shredding. With voluminous Panaracer Graveking SK tires mounted to 650b Formula red gravel wheels, grip and maneuverability are maximized-  Theits jank stands no chance against 2.1 inches of tubeless terror.

To hold the fork and cranks on we had to choose the iconic red Chris King inset 7 and T47i bottom bracket. And not just for the colour match – this bike is gonna see some seriously tough conditions and Dan did not want to be faffing with bearing every few months.

ENVE supplied the bar, stem and seat post. We are constantly impressed by their products and lately cant get enough of their G-series carbon gravel bar. we believe it offers one of the best combinations of weight, compliance and ergonomics. When the rides get long and the terrain gets tech we find the ENVE G series bar have an incredible range of useable hand positions that let you switch it up but remain in control at all times. This makes them a perfect match for the Flaanimal 5 a bike that like to go long and ride tech.  The matching ENVE seat post and stem are also solid performers working without complaint for many years to come, all while being nice and light and looking pretty darn sweet.

The theme of this build since day 1 has been versatility. Our main man Dan wanted to have his shreddy cake and eat the KM’s on the tarmac and fire-roads too. Because of this our build has a trick up its sleeve. In single-track mode the shifting is done by Shimano’s Di2 GRX levers paired to their mountain spec 11-47 tooth cassette and XT Di2 derailleur.

The trick is that when the sun comes a shining in the spring the bike is ready to be set up with a front derailleur, an extra chainring and a new cassette to give it the best possible rage with the tightest steps for mile munching in the hot dry weather. Couple the drivetrain swap with a some carbon 700c NOBL HR34 hoops and one of our favourite tires the 44mm Snoqualmie pass and this thing is ready to rip dry roads and gravel, whether loaded with bikepacking gear or just some snacks and water. Stay tuned for an update and some pics when the weather gets nicer.

Overall we love this bike for its carefully curated blend of form and function with parts that will keep performing for years and years to come.