Otso Fenrir Proves Steel Bikes Are Not Dead - Is Gravel and Bikepacking Machine

Fenrir Steel Frame Bike 21 photos
Photo: Otso Cycles
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One of my first bikes was a Huffy BMX with pegs, gyro, and a flat-oval tubing made of, you guessed it, steel, stainless in my case; waking up and seeing it shine in the corner of my room always made me want to get up and go.
Today, it would seem as though I wasn’t the only person affected by beloved steel-framed bikes. One team that seems to show the same love of steel bikes is Otso Cycles, a bicycle team out of the U.S. with a love of anything with two wheels and pedals.

One of their newest bikes, the Fenrir, gave me that same feeling I used to have as a kid; I just wanted to get on it and go. I think it’s got something to do with that raw shine. As you’ve figured out by now, the Fenrir is a stainless-steel bike, but completed with custom butting. The welding looks nice and smooth too. With external cable routing and dropper post ready, the Fenrir is only starting to show its teeth.

Now, the bike is designed to be a gravel cruncher and bikepacking machine. That alone should tell you a bit about the frame dynamics and what to expect from secondary components. First off, like most other gravel bikes, the Fenrir, too, features no suspension anywhere on the bike. This means you’ll have to rely on the carbon fork to absorb socks and vibrations, and of course, tires, which are a set of 29-inch Maxxis Aspen with 2.4-inch diameter. If you want a fork with travel, that option is available too.

Fenrir Steel Frame Bike Welding and Mounts
Photo: Otso Cycles
As Otso says on their website, the Fenrir is built around versatility. One option you have when you look to spend at least $3,900 (€3,370 at current exchange rates) on this bike is that of choosing for it to be equipped with a flat bar cockpit or drop bar. This alone widens the bikes customer pool as I personally like my gravel bikes with a flat bar, just in case I need to go a bit off-road.

With the idea of versatility and optimization in mind, you can also expect to find several cargo options on the Fenrir, after all, it’s designed to breathe new life into your bikepacking trips. Mount after mount after mount…I could go on for a while like this.

The idea is that every single tube, except the chain stay, includes a mount of some sort, and yes, even the fork. By the time you’re done using every single one, you may end up looking like you’ve packed up your things and are moving to a new town. This allows you to create you’re very own personalized experience based around the needs of your journey.

Fenrir Steel Frame Bike Flat Bar
Photo: Otso Cycles
Heck, the ideas of optimization and versatility even go so far as to affect the drivetrain on the bike. While the stock flat bar bike features a 12-speed drivetrain and the drop bar option an 11-gear drivetrain, none of this is final as Otso offers drivetrains all the way up to eTap. TRP, Shimano, and SRAM can be chosen to tune your Fenrir to your liking and budget. You can even set this sucker to ride on a single-speed drivetrain.

If you do happen to like what you see and end up on the manufacturer’s website, you can always check out the configurator and see how much your custom Fenrir will run you. I couldn’t help myself from whipping up a version that I want and ended up creating a $5,385 (€4,653 at current exchange rates) monstrosity that I’ll probably end up dreaming about tonight.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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