Almost this time last year, we were detailing the updates for the Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 3.0. Well, they’ve gone and done it again with a new version of the Flaanimal – the 4.0. Like the Flaanimals before it, this isn’t a gravel specific bike, rather a do-it-all platform to ride to your heart’s content.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

One of the most noteworthy updates would have to be the weight. We often write about new frames that save 50, maybe 100g off the previous model. But the Flaanimal 4.0 drops a staggering 800g on average over the 3.0! Rodeo Labs says that the 3.0 came in overweight, so they wanted to get a bit of redemption and get it right.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Part of that weight reduction includes a revised rear triangle with new butting for added compliance and less weight. With that said, it’s still not a super light by any means with frame weights ranging from 2000-2500g.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Built from custom butted, heat treated chromoly steel, the frame includes an EC44 head tube with a new metal head badge and a 68mm BSA English threaded bottom bracket shell.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Like the previous version, the frame has sliding dropouts with a 142 x 12mm thru axle and the ability to run belt drives with a split chainstay. However, the Gates Carbon Drive hardware is now stainless steel, and there are new dropouts available for Rohloff, Alfine, and large mechanical flat mount brake caliper installs.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Cable routing has also been changed from external to internal through the downtube with swappable plugs for Di2, hydraulic brakes, mechanical shifting, 1x, 2x, fully capped. We’re told that most installations now run Di2 wires 100% internally, though certain bottom brackets in BSA shells may not leave enough room in the shell to get the wires through. In that case, the wire just pops out in front of the BB and routes along the chainstay.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Rodeo Labs Spork 1.2

Along with all of the changes to the frame, the Rodeo Spork is now the Spork 1.2. The new version offers full internal dynamo hub, headlight, and USB stem cap compatibility. When not in use, the ports for the wiring can be capped off. Also, the fork can be converted from a 15mm to a 12mm front thru axle and the thread pitch has been changed to 1.5mm so it’s compatible with 3rd party axles.

  • Fully internal dynamo hub and USB stem cap routing
  • Tire clearances for 700 x 45 and 650b x 47
  • Dual reinforced mid leg mounting options for racks and cages
  • 15mm and 12mm through axle compatibility
  • Rack and fender eyelets on the lower fork leg and crown
  • Flat mount brake and post mount brake compatibility
  • Internal brake routing
  • Full carbon steer tube and fork construction
  • 12.5kg load carrying capacity on eyelets

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

One thing that doesn’t change on the frame is the geometry, with Rodeo Labs aiming for a ride that offers plenty of pedal clearance over rocky terrain and a lack of toe overlap.

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Of course it wouldn’t be a Flaanimal without some interesting colors. The 4.0 is available in Bleaux Deaux, Chocolate Creamsicle, or Pine Cone. Available as a frameset, the Flaanimal 4.0 runs $1,350 and are available now. The Flaanimal 4.0 is also available as a complete build with specs tailored to the individual owner at no additional charge – though they have put together some sample build templates to give you an idea on price and possibilities.

Flaanimal 4.0 specs:

  • Reynolds 725 custom butted CroMoly Frame
  • Rodeo Spork 1.2 carbon fork / dynamo hub / USB stem cap compatible
  • Flat mount brake mounts front and rear
  • 12mm through axle rear (included) 15mm through axle front (included)
  • 27.2 seatpost (included)
  • Sliding dropouts for geared, flat mount brake, 12mm axle builds (included)
  • Internal down tube routing + configurable hardware (included)
  • 68mm BSA English threaded bottom bracket
  • Pump mounting peg
  • Tire clearances for 700 x 45 and 650b x 47
  • EC44 tapered headset spec. Headset available separately
  • Single speed through axle dropout available separately
  • Off the back large profile flat mount brake mount available separately
  • Alfine / Rohloff QR dropouts available separately
  • 12mm front fork axle conversion available separately
  • 160mm rear flat mount adapter available separately
  • 160mm post mount brake adapters available separately

Rodeo Adventure Labs Flaanimal 4.0 goes on a diet, adds a ton of new features

Rodeo 2.0 650b Carbon Wheels

If you do go the route of a complete build, Rodeo Labs has a new 2.0 650b rim that may be of interest. The carbon rim has a 24.5mm internal width and a hookless bead that is tubeless compatible – and only tubeless tire compatible. They point out that the rims are not compatible with non-tubeless tires. Though you can run tubeless tires with tubes. Make sense?

Complete wheelsets start at $1,350 but are eligible for a $300 family discount if you own a Rodeo frame. There’s also an option for custom decals to match your frame with prices starting at $30-50. These wheels should be available by late February.


  • Proprietary Rodeo 2.0 650b Carbon wheelset design
  • Small batch hand built by Magnetic Wheel Co.
  • Hookless bead profile with reinforced impact surfaces for adventure bike use
  • Bead lock profile to prevent burps and leaks and makes mounting possible with only a floor pump on many models of tubeless tires.
  • 30mm deep mid depth rim
  • 400 gram rim weight
  • 24.5mm internal width
  • 30.5mm external width
  • Sapim Race spokes
  • Sapim brass nipples
  • 28h / 28h spoke count
  • 1450gr wheelset weight
  • Bitex / Rodeo 2.0 custom annodized and 2 side etched centerlock disc hubs.
  • Anti-scar, anti strip freehub body resists damage from powerful riders.
  • 6 pawl freehub body design ensures maximal engagement.
  • 15mm front through axle / 12mm rear through axle. (can be converted to 12mm front through axle)
  • Tubeless valves included
  • 24mm tubeless rim tape required but not included.
  • Tubeless sealant required when running in tubeless configuration.
  • Max suggested tubeless PSI is determined by manufacturer of tires. See tire sidewalls for indications.
  • XD Drivers bodies are available separately for use with SRAM / eThirteen XD Driver cassettes


  1. The Flaanimal 3 was a nearly seven pound frame!?! OMG! Somebody skrewed that one up.
    I test rode generations 1 and 2. Literally one of the worst riding bikes I’ve ever put a leg over. Flexy in all the wrong places, frame seemed misaligned, geometry felt disconnected front to rear.
    Maybe they’ve figured it out and Gen 4 is better?
    What exactely is an “anti-scar, anti-strip” freehub body? Is it made of steel? Marketing BS?
    The rims can’t use non tubeless tires but can use tubeless tires with tubes? Huh? What is wrong with their design and why are no other hookless rim manufacturers running into this problem?

    • Woot! You can almost write these types of hate-bot posts in your sleep these days. Every forum has one.

      First of all thanks for coming in swinging and bashing! LOVE your positivity. It’s anonymous internet commenters like you that make the cycling community so positive and fun to be around.

      Generations 1.0 and 2.0 of the Flaanimal were never sold to the public, only tested by the team for purposes of development and refinement. So if you rode them and hated them that’s fine.Too bad you weren’t on the team, maybe we could have incorporated some of your hate into 3.0 then 4.0! But for the record, we’ve never heard a single word of team feedback resembling anything close to what you’ve opined. We did get tons of constructive feedback and rolled that into future iterations as we went. So maybe you are just uniquely negative and spiteful or maybe our crew of volunteer beta testers were just lying to us for two years saying that they really liked the direction that we were going with the bike? It’s also crazy that 1.0 beta testers have also purchased 4.0 frames already. Seems counter intuitive that if someone had a horrible experience on 1.0 that they would ever come back to the brand…

      3.0 was heavy by mistake and we were SUPER transparent about that with supporters and customers. We laid out all the cards and told them exactly what happened. A very detailed account of it all is still posted to our Journal here because if we’re one thing we’re always transparent and honest about our story and where we came from. We have nothing to hide and we’re proud of our efforts. Since 3.0 was heavier than it should have been we had a big sale we sold them all at a huge discount and made a lot of people happy with a super adaptable, super versatile frameset that still built up to about a 24lb bike. That worked out to be a win / win and we rolled all of the profits from that right back into correcting it all and making 4.0 excellent, which we have. We still get unsolicited and positive feedback from our 3.0 owners regularly and we just posted the most recent 3.0 owner feedback email to our Facebook page (with permission). It’s the most recent post. Thoughtful and encouraging notes like Lois’ are the things we go back to and read when anonymous internet haters try to bum is out.

      Regarding an anti scar freehub body its a small steel strip that is pressed into the length of the aluminum freehub body. This allows the freehub body to be 98% aluminum and light but the hardened steel strip is more durable so that torque forces don’t deform and strip the aluminum. It works great. In all the wheels we’ve built and sold we haven’t had to replace any freehub bodies. If you check out either wheel page on our website there is a close up shot of the steel strip in the aluminum freehub body. Sometimes things make more sense with a photo.

      A hookless rim is by design made for tubeless tires. Tubeless tires have a bead that is designed not to stretch. The bead is often made of or reinforced with Kevlar or similar materials. Non tubeless tires have less strong beads that are much more prone to stretching and deforming. In order to safely run a hookless rim you need the tire to hug the rim bed and not have any risk of stretching or deforming over the lip of the rim. Since there is no hook bead on the rim this is especially important. So, our hookless rim is made only for tubeless tires. But if you hate the idea of tubeless tires you can always use a tubeless tire and stuff a tube into it on the hookless rim. Make sense? If needing to run a tubeless tire on a rim designed only for tubeless tires is upsetting to you then our 700c rim still has hooks and can be run with standard tires and tubes.

      If you have any more questions or criticisms I’m happy to shed more light on our design and thought processes.

      Have a great day,


  2. Rodeo Labs make rad bikes and wheels that shred the competition. I have both a Traildonkey 2.0 and a Flannimal 3.0 and they are excellent and I highly recommend you get one of their bikes immediately – they do not carry large supplies due to the size of their operation – which is an asset to the customer. They actually know me – go figure, how refreshing! 1st class products and 1st class customer experience!

    Nefty1 your comment really does not make a bit of sense – I question your experience of riding the early versions as you stated and how you came up with your opinion. As you say – Marketing BS?

  3. I have a 3.0 and love the bike. Very comfortable for riding long distances, and can navigate single track natively, I can’t wait to try it with flat bars. I commute with it and am always ducking into single track along the way. Frame finish is on point. For the geo, the frame detail, completely current configuration (flat mount, 12×142, etc) at this price you can’t beat it.

  4. Umm.. completely missing details on wheel size? Even on their own site I can’t find wheel/tire info for the frame. Guessing it is the same or similar to the fork? 700 x 45 and 650b x 47 is listed on the site.

    • Those are good guidelines. The fork has a wider opening than the frame but a 45 @ 700 and 47 @ 650b are good general guidelines depending on rim width, tread pattern, etc. For reference the WTB Riddler and Byway both work great.

  5. I applaud Rodeo Adventure Labs for what they’re trying to do with the Flaanimal. I have not ridden one of their bikes yet, but I find their approach super refreshing. It seems to me that they’re trying to make a bike frame into a *platform* that allows the rider to do whatever they want with it with changes in the dropouts.

    Good for them.

    I’ve looked at the website a good deal and they were completely open about the v3 issues and went out of their way to treat everyone fairly. In fact, the vibe I get is that they want to treat people like we’re all riding buddies. That works for me.

    I guess it’s easy to attack anonymously. But, seriously, can’t we stand back and regard a small bike company that is trying to do genuinely innovative things with respect and encouragement?

    Rodeo isn’t criticizing anyone or forcing anyone to buy their products or writing angry manifestos about why they’re the greatest — in fact from what I’ve seen, their approach is “we’re all in this together” and they’re encouraging to others and open to all kinds of riding and riders.

    I can get behind that. I’m grateful we’ve got small outfits trying to make big ideas happen. More power to them all.

  6. Stephen rode a Flaanimal 3.0 to a win in its first cyclocross race. He would have won anyway but it certainly didn’t hold him back from showing how big a sandbagger he is anyway. Seems a solid all-purpose bike.

  7. Stephen just wanted to compliment you on consistently dealing with critics, haters, and cycling snobs with grace and good humor. The bikes are ok too.

  8. Just a slight correction: it’s the seatstay that has a split junction in it for belt-drive transmissions, not the chainstay. The photos bear this out and the split junction is chromed.

  9. OK, this frameset looks great. In the “not-normal spirit of the internet” I’d offer the following personal critiques:

    1. Not a fan of sliding dropouts. I’m big and reasonably strong, and they always — eventually — make noise. I will admit my experience in this area is n = 2, and it’s 10 years dated now.

    2. I don’t like the design concept of steepening the HTA on bigger frames.

    EVERYTHING else about this looks positively killer.

    • Having just pre-ordered a 48cm I spent lots of time looking over the geometry. I Believe they have not steepened the larger ones, but rather slacked the smaller ones in order to eliminate toe overlap.
      71-72 deg is pretty normal for a bike like this. Its the 69.5 that is uncommon. It will make a fun bike for off-road descents!

      • Correct. Smaller sizes get more slack exactly for toe overlap. This is something that you can definitely feel if you jump between a steeper head angle, but it is our belief you adapt to it quite quickly as you ride the bike and it eventually feels second nature. There was definitely a lot of soul searching on striking this balance. Is “quicker” handling more important or is toe overlap? We went with the latter. We know some people will reach a different conclusion but we sleep well at night knowing that there are a ton of other great bikes on the market that cater to different tastes and priorities. We do have a good number of people on smaller 3.0 frames and feedback has been positive. One of our favorite people to follow who rides a small frame is @texpatcolo on Instagram. She shreds her 48cm so hard!

        • LOL. You’re kind to say I “shred … so hard.” I love the ride quality and versatility of 3.0 so much that when I build up 4.0, 3.0 is going to be my commuter bike. <3 Baby Flaanimal.

    • Sliders can make noise and it’s super important to torque those suckers down, throw some loctite blue on the bolts, and maybe even lightly grease the interface if they still won’t shut up.

      We really wanted Flaanimal to never be that bike that you hang up in your garage and never ride again because you get a newer bike. We tried to make adaptability THE number one priority, even at the expense of weight. It is certainly lighter to use standard dropouts or even skip the belt drive option. But we love the idea that let’s say in 5 years you get a new bike and the Flaanimal gets demoted, but you can change the build up, so you change it from being a 1x geared gravel-ish bike to a belt driven single speed slick tire flat bar city bomber (with a dynamo headlight!). You can sort of do that with other bikes but we wanted the Flaanimal to always look like it was MEANT to be built whatever way that you want. No excess derailleur hangar, no unnecessary routing bits hanging off the frame. No clutter.

      If you convert a standard dropout bike to single speed later you’ll have that hangar there still, and you’ll need to use a chain tensioner, and forget about belt drive.You’ll probably have a bunch of leftover un-used routing points on the frame as well.

      For people who don’t care about this sort of thing then there are a bunch of other bikes that shave these features off and may even come in lighter. It just didn’t make sense for us to make yet another one of those.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.