Motobecane Fantom 29 FS 29er Full Suspension

4.65/5 (17 Reviews)

Product Description

  • Chain: KMC X10SL, Silver, 10 Speed
  • Brake Levers: Avid Elixir 9 Carbon hydraulic (carbon levers)
  • Tape/Grip: Ritchey WCS Hex foam
  • Saddle: WTB Rocket V saddle, CrMo-rails
  • Seat Post: Ritchey PRO Aluminum 31.6x350mm

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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by thunder a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2017

Strengths:    Climbs great, lightweight, wheels and tires are decent. Groupset sram x4 gets the job done. Great brakes.

Weaknesses:    The model level I bought had a horrible spring shock and front fork. Fork was ok for the price I guess but useless rear shock. Fork is ok on easy single track but not for anything serious at all. Bad/cheap quick connect skewers.

Bottom Line:   
This is for the 2017 Fantom DS X4.
This was not the top of the line so most of what I dont like has or will be replaced. I always wanted to test a 29er on a longer basis than just borrowing a friends. Got this this for $700 and haven't looked back. I just sold off my old 26 because this bike is so capable. I upgraded the rear to a fox ctd new takeoff for $40! The bike came alive right away after that. Soaks up bumps like my old heckler did. Similiar design to that one which I love. The geometry seems to fit me great. I got a medium and I'm 5-10 190lb. I honestly can't complain but if I could do it again I'd but the step up with the better setup from the start. It'll all get upgraded and for $900-1kI'll have a great capable bike though! Glad I took the chance.

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Favorite Trail:   White mesa nm

Price Paid:    $699.00

Purchased At:   Bikes direct

Similar Products Used:   Heckler 26"
Trek liquid 10

Bike Setup:   fox float ctd rear
Suntour xcm fork. (Manitou marvel comp on the way.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave Myers a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2016

Strengths:    This bike is balanced, strong and has excellent components. Bike took minimal assembly and mechanically worked perfectly right out of the box.

Weaknesses:    I am 5'6" with short arms so I found myself stretched out a little bit with the 42cm (small) frame. That was easily fixed with a shorter stem. I changed out the tires for better grip and went tubeless for the terrain I ride. I use different peddles and seat than stock. I would have changed them with any factory bike.

Bottom Line:   
I love my bike. It performs better than I had hoped for. I opted for the upgrade to scram to match my old bike so I didn't need to retrain my brain to shift correctly. I can navigate tight switchbacks and rocky trails with ease. My old bike was a 27 speed. I am pleasantly surprised what a difference there is with the extra 3 gears. I use all 30 gears every time I ride.

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Favorite Trail:   Hawes Trail System

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Bikesdirect

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Zac a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 24, 2014

Strengths:    Climbs really well and is a really comfortable ride. Cost for performance has to be the best option available. I can't see any reason to pay 2-4 K more for a bike that comes with the same components. That was not my opinion before I rode this bike. I am very impressed.

Weaknesses:    I did not like the grips the bike came with, traded for some lizard skins. I also, put a KS LEV dropper post on to replace the post it came with. The wheels and tires are ok. I am not planning on replacing them anytime soon. However, I am going to use a Stan's No Tubes kit to convert to tubeless.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. I have only had the bike for a week. However, I have been on 3 of my local rides. Cottonwood Canyon Quarry trail, Bob Sled, and Salt Lake Shore Line.
I am amazed how well this bike climbs. I am very impressed. To be honest I could not be happier with this bike purchase.
By the Way I am 6'4' and weigh 230 lbs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bob Sled/ Little Cottonwood Quarry

Duration Product Used:   1 Week

Price Paid:    $2299.00

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Similar Products Used:   StumpJumper,

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Moncho a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2013

Strengths:    The Rockshock full suspention are excellent specially the rear rct 3,Also the weight is impressive for a FS mine weights 38.05 without any upgrade.XO shifter and transm is in another level and also the avid elixir 9 is very responsive in deep drops and fast garden rocks,

Weaknesses:    Grips are very poor and the rims are very heavy

Bottom Line:   
This Fantom DS 29 FS is what cost efective is all about. Most of my friend bought expensive FS bike and i'm talking over $2,000 more and their components are short compared to mine. Also this bike is reliave to whatever you throw to it,Big drops,endurance race, all pretty tight single track.
Botttom line i trully recomended is you are for high quality component and don't care about branded products .

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aliester Martin a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2013

Strengths:    Climbs like a goat due to outstanding geometry. Handles well on the down. Outstanding value. Great styling. Well built. Light. (mine weighs in at 28.8 lbs with Rove Answer pedals) Top of the line components for a fraction.

Weaknesses:    You can't test the bike out before buying to see if it's right for you. I'm 6' with a 35" inseam and long arms. Bikesdirect sizing chart advises those 6' or under to order a medium, 6'1" feet they recommend a large to go with a large. I sent BD my measurements and they advised following the sizing chart. I might've been slightly better suited to the large, but I can't really complain much about the choice as I'm comfortable enough with the medium.
Cheaps out on sear and handlebars. However in the end this is a small quibble; far cheaper to upgrade those items than components. And a minor irritation: No quick release on the seat - who rides a mountain bike of this caliber without a quick release? I bought a Specialized at my LBS for $14.00. BD couldn't include one and charge me a few bucks more?

Bottom Line:   
This bike provides an unbelievably plush ride without losing an ounce of the excitement. My first time down a steep winding singletrack with friends, I absolutely smoked them, waiting at the bottom for a half minute or more before they appeared. Of course, it's not that the bike is faster than what they're riding, it's that my level of confidence soared with the Fantom DS. I felt much more in control at higher speeds than I've felt on any other bike. It suits my riding style and body type and I couldn't be happier. If you're thinking about it there are a few other bikes that match the Fantom's geometry. KHS has several and they are probably the closest in build.
Finally, I have to remark on those concerned with image, and some sort of embarrassment in riding a Motobecane rather than some "cool" brand. Are you kidding me? I can't imagine a situation where I'd care what some chap on the mountain thinks about my ride. I know what I've got between my legs, and what it can do, and that's all that's important.
I can't speak to the quality of all the bikes from BD, but the Fantom FS and DS are worthy of high praise.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   White Rim Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2299.00

Purchased At:

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alfredo

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2013

Strengths:    Responsive, roll very smood and full xtr.

Weaknesses:    I wish the wheels comes full black, not with the crome line.

Bottom Line:   
This is my second motobecane 29er and stil havel the first one hardtale. The new one is fs XTR and i love this ride. I went to my first race and it work great. Many of my friend was curios about the bike and the price. They can believe how good the fanthom is.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cactus1

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2013

Strengths:    The frame is strong with great looking welds .All Shimano drive train is very smooth and fast. Weight is very light for a Mountain Bike. Shifts perfectly smooth and fast. Gears are plenty and easy to find.
Elixir 3s with organic pads for smooth braking.
Climbs like I haven't experienced before, easy and fast.
Suspension is so vey smooth and forgiving, my back which usually aches after a Mountain bike ride felt no pain or strain from a bumpy trail
Steering is sharp and tight.
Rockshox Recon gold forks and Monarch rt3 rear shock both have numerous settings and perform great under all conditions. Have not yet found bottom of the shocks.
The paint looks like a Mercedes Pro paint job.
Seat is very comfortable and does well on long rides.

Weaknesses:    Tires just a little above average. Only room for one water bottle on my Large frame of 52cm.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is a head turner with those large 29r, great paint job, polished chrome FD, and all top of the line componets. The suspension is so smooth I'm thinking of getting something like a cross bike with FS, so much easier on the back and wrists.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by UgliRider

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2013

Strengths:    Durable components.1500 miles of off-road pounding over rocks and logs by a semi-skilled crasher did not do structural damage. Some worn spots on the low aluminum parts.Up hill was fun with the power provided by the gear system.

Weaknesses:    Had to adjust derailleurs too many times. Chain came apart twice.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent machine. Great floating ride on the down hills. Good tire grip.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SMFP a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2012

Strengths:    The frame is strong. The paint and welds look beautiful.
The drive train is amazing. Shifts flawlessly, even while filthy. Wide range of gears.
The SLX shifters are great once comfortable.
Great power and response on Elixir 3s with organic pads.
Climbs like a goat!
Can roll over anything so far and feels smooth.
Steering is better than expected.
The Rockshox Recon gold forks and Monarch rt3 rear shock both have sufficient settings and perform well under any conditions I have been in. Have not yet bottomed either out.

Weaknesses:    Tires are average. Easily replaced.
Saddle isn't comfortable and it doesn't have quick adjust. Already replaced saddle.
Minor pedal bob when hammering aggressively out of the saddle, mostly downhill when suspension is fully unlocked. Fixed by regulating pedaling and picking better gears.

Bottom Line:   
I have never mountain biked and I haven't ridden a bike in years. I am in pretty good shape and consider myself a quick learner. Ordered the 47cm and I stand 5'11" with 32" inseam with slightly longer than average reach. The frame fits me perfectly. I did have to cut a couple inches off the seat post. No big deal. I ordered the XT/SLX model.

Before riding, I took it to a LBS to have them check it out. There were a good few guys who took the bike for what it was, and quickly saw its quality. There were also a couple snobs simply because of the Motobecane name, which was expected. In fact, the individual who thoroughly went over my bike, was rude at first because it wasn't from their shop. I told him I planned on doing all the repairs and maintenance. After inspection, he was much more enthusiastic about the whole thing and tried to give me as much advice and tips as he could.
The first couple days I rode around town about 30 miles, finding any off road terrain to ride over and hills to get in shape. My first experience with hydraulic disc brakes and the power took some getting used to. Great power and responsiveness.
Finally, I took it out to one of the more difficult trails with a friend who has mountain biked for fun over most of his life. He is a bit smaller framed and compared it to a Cadillac after riding it. He had nothing but great things to say. He rides a 26" GT Pantera HT. We hit the trails a day after a decent rain, so there was some wet areas. Most of the grades were pretty steep, a couple requiring us to walk up. The bike flew downhill and handled everything I threw at it. I caught air a few times at high speeds. I took it slow in turns because of my inexperience and the mud. We did get into some areas that were more dry later on. The trip total 8 miles with nearly 2000 feet of steep uphill(15-20% grade).
I took it out again to a local intermediate trail. This time the trail was mostly gravel and mostly uphill to start. The tires lost traction a couple times on loose gravel when hammering out of the saddle, but nothing serious. The bike climbed the entire hill and kept momentum amazingly. Going back down the hill, I could go as fast as I felt comfortable.

Overall the bike handles very well. The steering is tight and responsive. The suspension functions and feels great. Nearly each time I ride, I felt like I pushed my abilities and the bike never held me back or made me feel like I would lose control. I'm worried the bike will give me too much confidence. I don't plan on upgrading anything until something breaks or needs replacing. I am extremely happy with my purchase and I would buy another Motobecane.

I will update in time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Morgan Territory Reserve

Duration Product Used:   3 weeks

Price Paid:    $1599.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   I've ridden a 26" GT Pantera, 26" Specialized Hardrock FS, and a Trek 4000.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fred buttrick

Date Reviewed: October 12, 2012

Strengths:    XO drivetrain, suspension front and rear is nicely balanced, with easy sag indicators, mine worked well right out of the box, firm, the way I like,rear shock lockout, propedal positions not always necessary on a climb. It's a Horst link design, and remains active under braking, very sweet. Tires were grippy, although I switched to Small Block 8s with wheel change, for less resistance, good for dry Park City trails.
15mm solid axle and tapered head tube make the bike super stable tracking corners and downhilling. Elixir brakes good, didn't come bled real well.

Weaknesses:    XO triple 10 speed seems a design afterthought to the 2X10 version, still very smooth, but clumsy shifting due to larger cassette in the back, I guess. With stock wheels and weight, you will need the lowest gear early in the season!
My shipping weight was 30lb, not terrible if you look at the 26er weights on the recent MTB action $2k bike shootout, but I went with Stan's 29er Crest wheels, running tubeless for another $400. Tracking and climbing much better due to less rolling weight and lower tire pressures.
Narrow handlebars aren't for everyone, but Ritchey stem,post and bar are strong and lightweight, carbonize if you can, another cheap, lighter,upgrade on a great platform.I bought Hong Kong bars/seatpost on Ebay for cheap. Ergon grips or barends help too, if you do long climbs.

Bottom Line:   
After riding this setup for the summer, I'm sold on the BikesDirect product and customer service! Nothing touches the quality of this 29er F/S, and I haven't had any service issues since they sent my missing 15mm axle flange ASAP.
The frame is stout, so there is a weight penalty going up, but it is solid going down, flex was only in my light, aftermarket wheelset. I don't have issues with a 29er on tight Park City singletrack, and love the way those wheels roll over everything. If you're looking to get into a full sus 29er without taking out a 2nd mortgage, I recommend this bike, or a light hard tail. 29ers are faster(my Orbea hardtail over my Ibis Mojo 26, for example) and the technical shortcomings are overstated(mags don't want to lose 26er business afterall).

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by krutcho

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012

Strengths:    Weight, price, RS Gold/Monarch, nice frame/welds, awesome look.

Weaknesses:    seat/seat post is horrible, WTB tires are not the best although climbing was decent, maybe a back tire option. Crappy pedals, to be expected.

Bottom Line:   
I have taken this bike out on a few big rides, VERY satisfied with the ride and feel.
It's a beast!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cory

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2012

Strengths:    Value. XTR drive train.

Weaknesses:    Image - not a name brand.

Bottom Line:   
I bought the $2400 bike, full XTR drive train. The drive train alone makes it worth the price. I would have gone for the $1600 XT version, but it was sold out. No wonder b/c that is steal. And so is the full XTR version. This bikes rocks. The frame is solid, decent weight, the suspension system (front and rear) completely capable of anything you throw at it. Yes, the wheel set is middle of the road, but that is an easy upgrade (same for seat). All in all, this bike is second to none for the price. You will be hard pressed to find a bike in a shop with the same component set for less than $4 - $5k . . . if they even keep a big boy (or girl) bike like this in stock. If value matters, GO NOW. If you go the Moto route (you should), you'll get over the off-brand image as you smoke the dudes who paid the same but ended up with SRAM 7 and LX. This bike is no joke. This is my second Moto. I have never been loyal to brand, but these guys get it right and I plan to stick with them. Huge value, great product, great service. Moto over-delivers.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jason

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2012

Strengths:    Weight. Stance. Components. Grips. Width of bars (narrow).

Weaknesses:    Seat is ridiculously cheap. Brakes squeal a little but stop well (and I've only ridden the bike 22 miles, so maybe they ride in and stop squealing).

Bottom Line:   
I like this bike. It seems fine. The welds look beautiful. The shocks work well. I don't have the front dialed in yet--it's too soft right now. The back shock doesn't seem to porpoise at all. I was surprised I liked the tires. I especially liked the rear. It seemed a cheap knock-off tire (goofy words like "wilderness trail" written on it), but gripped well when climbing. I'm going to change the front tire, though. I'm not used to a 29er in the sandy(ish) switch backs, but feel the grip could be better. Also, minor ($9.50) issue, but I got a flat on my second outing, on a trail I've never had a flat, with no real thorns or anything, just dirt and rocks, not sure why (crappy tube?).

I have SRAM X9s on two other bikes. Due to the unavailability (SOLD OUT) of SRAM components on the Fantom, I got XTR instead of XOs. I was surprised the XTRs gear shifter works regardless of the direction you click it (so you can use either your finger or thumb), so it's really no difference to me between the XTR and SRAM components (I don't have to relearn shifting when switching bikes). The XTRs seem to shift fine. I only thought about shifting once in 12 fairly hard core off road miles this weekend when it there was a delay shifting for some reason. No big deal, point is, shifting worked great.

I took this bike (as a first outing) through some pretty tough parts of Austin's Green Belt. Parts were fast and parts were super rocky, like a rock garden. I felt like my top speed on the fast parts was quite a bit faster than my 26inch Specialized Enduro. I climbed up a rocky part I was at first afraid to try but I just muscled up it like a goat--I think the 29 inch tires made a big difference on it--I don't think my Specialized would have made it. I think once I get used to this bike I will be better on it than I was on my Specialized 26 inch Enduro. I still have the Enduro, but I don't know when I'll ever ride it again.

I like the Motobecane. Considering that I actually assembled it in my driveway, it should come with a sticker that says (Assembled in U.S.A.).

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2012

Strengths:    Price for quality ratio is excellent. Rt3 monarch is great back shock. I just love the bike, will most likely buy the upgraded someday

Weaknesses:    Heavy wheels

Bottom Line:   
I bought the downgraded version of this bike, the one that goes for like 1400. It fit my budget as a poor college rider. I played around a lot with the front end steering to make it fit my style better. Overall though I love the feel and the quality for the price I paid. Monarch rear shock is great for climbing.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MTB1618 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2012

Strengths:    1. Ritchey Bars: These are narrower than most which I like because I ride on some tight trails. May not be for everyone though.
2. Suspension: once I got it dialed in, I could basically leave it alone and just ride; whether climbing or descending. Very forgiving ride – which for my style is important.
3. Narrow feel: while the Trek Rumblefish to me feels a bit heavy and tractor like, the Moto feels narrower and nimbler, allowing me to go much faster with more confidence. The HiFi Pro which I like a lot is a much closer comparison to the Moto FS 29er.
4. Tires: I had never heard of these WTB Prowler tires before and actually had bought replacement tires (Nevegals) just in case. To my surprise these tires grip well and are staying on.
5. Stiffness: the 15mm front axle makes this bike feel solid up front. The back end feels normal, nothing special to note.

Weaknesses:    The Reba RL 29 Fork blew out on me. BikesDirect customer service was excellent. In the end with no hassle, Rockshox was great and sent me an even nicer fork (SID 29) which demonstrated their customer centric values.

Bottom Line:   
If you asked me, if price weren’t in the equation, and the bikes were equally equipped would you still go with the Moto? I’d say it is a close call, especially because I do like what Specialized has done with their Epic Comp 29er series – that is a unique design and rides well. However, price matters to most people and I have no complaints whatsoever with the new Moto FS 29, actually I’m very impressed and that doesn’t happen often. IMHO it is a solid package and it’s definitely a keeper - at $1,999 with Sram XO components, at least for me a no brainer. So much so that since buying this first one, I've bought two more for my sons and all of them have performed well.

Last comment…when people ask me about getting a bike, 90% I send to one of our LBS because they need that technical support and we have some great local shops that I have close ties to. However, for the other 10% that enjoy learning about the technology that goes into these bikes, reading the latest MTB magazines, and have the mechanical aptitude, Bikes Direct is a good solution. I’ve had good support from them over the years (12 BD bikes purchased) and never an issue with their service. BTW, my LBS still provides me wonderful support and I buy my parts and accessories from them which is a win-win.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1999.00

Purchased At:   BikesDirect

Bike Setup:   I added an hydraulic dropper post, and changed out wheels for ZTR Crest 29ers with Maxxis Ignitor wheels, and a new Bontrager seat. Bike (small) weighs 27.4LBS

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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