Motobecane Fantom 29er Hardtail

4.38/5 (58 Reviews)
MSRP : $1095.00

Product Description

  • Crankset: TruVativ 5D 22/32/44T
  • Chain: Z9000 super narrow 9 speed
  • Spokes: Double Butted Stainless steel
  • Rims: WTB FX28 Disc Black anodized Aluminum
  • Handlebar: Black Finish Aluminum 6061 T6

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Reviews 1 - 15 (58 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2016

Strengths:    WTB tubeless compatible right out of the box (just need valves, tape and sealant. For this price point, you get an above average shock, wheelset, everything SRAM (w/exception of the crank) and Avid brakes. It's $799!

Weaknesses:    "Heavy" triple crank w/a 19mm spindle and entry level external bottom bracket. 25.4 bar/stem combo and a comically proportioned stem with a not-so-funny gram count.

Bottom Line:   
This review covers the 2016 Motobecane Fantom X7. As most know, Motobecanes are sold as wholesale bikes, which means you have to know how to build a bike from the box, just like a bike shop. This was an advantage for me, as I had on hand the things that should be upgraded as well as all the necessary tools, etc... I built as a 2X10 w/ an LX crank and bottom bracket, 36x22 rings, the stock SRAM 11-36 cassette, a SRAM X7 "2X10" front derailleur/shifter combo, my saddle/seatpost and cockpit. The corresponding stock components went off to the parts bin instantly. I added my well used XT clipless pedals as well.

This is a completely trail capable bike and I meant to prove it as I took it to Fruita, CO for it's inaugural shakedown within days of it's build up. It handled everything with ease, proved to be flickable, with a great balance of climbing and descending ability. With a shorter stem (80mm for a 19" frame) and 740mm bars, no handling was off-limits. The WTB Nano OEM tires are tubeless compatible with WTB's kit, and I plan on doing this, but have not at the time of this review. The tires handle hardpack very well and roll quickly. However when things get into the loose territory, there is quite a bit of slip before the side knobs start to lock up. If you don't mind the small amount of slide, they work just fine. They do not shed mud at all though. Riding on some of Colorado's front range trails with high clay content, a little moisture leaves a lot of dirt in the closely packed, small block tread. Fortunately, rain dries very quickly here and only a few of the trails present this particular problem. The Nano's probably wouldn't do well in moist, lush areas full of roots and slick granite type rock trail surfaces. Hoops are WTB's i25, 32 hole front and rear. These sport a 25mm inner width and are compatible with any TCS or UST (they claim) tire. Any 29" tire can be used with a tube. Hubs are "Gravity" branded cone/cup sealed design and are par for any bike in the $1300-$1700 price point. The fact that the Fantom X7 is only $799, when you finally kill the hubs, you've got plenty left in your wallet to upgrade to lighter hubs and better/lighter spokes. The full SRAM drivetrain (sans crank of course) is pretty much fool-proof and needs only normal routine attention.

The Rock Shox "30 Gold TK" fork sports 100mm of travel, "SoloAir" and adjustments for lockout and rebound. There is no option for a bar mount lockout lever. While this particular "OEM" version of the 30 Gold is fit with a steel steerer tube, it maintains 30mm aluminum uppers to keep the weight down. Again, for an 800 clam bike, it's pretty stellar fork.

Stopping before heading over a cliff is handled with Avid's DB-3 hydro's with 180mm rotors. These brakes stop on a dime, modulate well and offer reach adjustment. Confusingly though, they still use DOT fluid, which I thought no one used anymore. Apparently I was wrong here, but it would have been nice to see non-corrosive, enviro-friendly mineral oil. At any rate, they do the job extremely well.

The only thing left to say anything about is the frame. A solid, "traditional" 29er double diamond frame leaves the traditionalist with an eye pleasing bike with neat TIG welds. The bike is available in silver or a matte red. The red (lava-red) is really very nice and gives it a slightly industrial look, which plays into it's utilitarian role on the trail.

Overall, this bike is a steal at $800. Even in it's stock form, you just won't be able to walk into any shop and pick up this level of bike for this amount of cash. For an accomplished home wrench, it's a simple build, simple to work on and parts are available pretty much anywhere. True, you "give up" that "years free maintenance" or loyalty points or whatever your LBS offers. However, there are those of us out here for whom those things hold little value. The "home mechanic's" LBS holds the key to quick access to parts and accessories, and we value and support them in this way. I looked at new bikes prior to this purchase and nothing came close. The money I saved here is easily moved to a great mtb trip or some upgrades to match shop bikes that cost $2000 (both, in my case). Totally worth not having "Brand Name X" on the downtube, of course, I've never really cared what the name on any of my bikes read, and I've had a LOT of bikes. This ride is akin to a Chevy Chevelle with a 454 crammed in it's engine compartment. It doesn't look like a fast bike on the line, but then you don't know what happened after the light turned green.

Said and done, a solid ride that pretty much anyone would enjoy for all levels of XC riding. I stress XC as a hardtail is NOT the best choice for HUGE drops and insane downhill riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All the dirt ones?

Price Paid:    $799.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper, Diamond Back Axis, Access XCL 29

Bike Setup:   2X10 (X7): 36/22 (LX 175mm crank, FSA 36 chainring/Shimano 22 chainring)-11/36 (SRAM 1050 cassette). 19" frame, 80mm Specialized stem/740mm KORE 35mm rise bar w/Clark's clamp on grips. Fizik Aliante saddle/27.2 Easton E70 seatpost. Shimano XT clipless pedals. SRAM X7 FD/RD/2X10 shifters. Avid DB-3 brakes w/180mm Avid rotors.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dmplotnick a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 3, 2016

Strengths:    Burly, smooth shifting, fast

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
Just got the Fantom 29 Pro TCS, 15.5 inch, matte silver. this thing is a beast. first day out with it was the 5 boro bike tour...40 miles through some of the gnarliest conditions in the event's history. 40 degrees, pouring rain and 50+ winds on the verrazano bridge...i was flying past road bikes and hybrids the whole way. WTB Bronson tires ripped right through 12 inch deep puddles at high speed with ease and the grip is ridiculous on corners. shimano xt/xtr drivetrain is so smooth i sometimes wasn't sure it actually shifted and this thing takes off like a rocket in low gear. rockshox revelation fork with the remote lockout is more diesel than any amateur could possibly need on the streets of NYC, or any off-road trail for that matter. the sram guide rs brakes are almost too powerful...i nearly tossed myself off the bike yesterday. others have complained about the stem, handlebars and grips...they're more than sufficient for me and the handlebars are actually pretty sweet, ritchey comp. pedals and seat are functional...i knew what i was getting when i bought it. and it's much lighter than other aluminum frames i've ridden...made by kinesis (same factory that makes trek and specialized i believe). came fully wrapped, no local bike dude put the whole thing together in an hour for $75...i could have done it myself but probably would have taken it to be tuned anyway, so i spent the extra dough to have a pro do it right and save me 6 hours of hassle. i will say...THIS BIKE IS HUGE. i'm 5'6 140lbs and was considering the 17.5 inch frame...ultimately went with the 15.5 inch and it's still SOOO big. i could easily have gone with the 13.5 inch and been comfortable (140mm travel on the rockshox revelation adds height). BOTTOM LINE: anyone hating on motobecane is jealous that they paid twice the price for half the bike. the Fantom TCS Pro has a better spec than the "TREK Pro-caliber" and they're $2500+. it's not a carbon frame dual suspension racing bike...but it's the best recreational mountain bike you're gonna get for the money, hands down.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mark L

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2015

Strengths:    Great price.

Weaknesses:    Poor quality

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike at the beginning of last summer. At first, I thought it was a sick ride, but then my derailer hanger broke mid-ride. No big deal, I hiked out and ordered another one from Bikes Direct. I went for 3 more rides, and then that one broke, so I ordered another one. Three more rides on that hanger, and guess what? Right. The hanger broke again. I had never ever broke a hanger before until I owned a Fantom. And now I've broken 3. Don't buy this bike unless you like to take a break mid-ride to replace a hanger or hike out if you don't have one with you.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tam 29er a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2014

Strengths:    Great spec with full Shimano XT (almost) and XTR rear derailleur, climbs great, Reba is easy to dial in and feels substantial. Small Block 8 tires are good for XC and hybrid road to trail rides; combined with the big ring, this rig can get moving on pavement. Value is definitely there, part by part you are getting the frame for free and that Kinesis frame isn't bad either.

Weaknesses:    Long wheel base doesn't feel as nimble in corners and switchbacks, stock stem is long at 110mm, cockpit while fine is a good candidate for upgrade.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 2014 Fantom Pro 29er (see the specs for component details). I ordered this from Bikes Direct, it took about 7-10 days to arrive, all components were as spec'd on the site. I am 5'10, with a 30" pant inseam, the Medium 17.5" as indicated on the site fit well. The bike was adequately packed, there was no damage, but it could have been better. I took the bike to a LBS to be assembled for $100. This bike was an upgrade from my old REI Novarra 26", and the drive train, brakes and big tires have all made a big difference. This thing climbs great and feels good at speed. The Reba fork (love the remote lockout) and XT brakes were spot on. The XTR rear derailleur is amazing, I was second guessing if it had shifted because on the flats as it was dead silent. Bike weighed in at just under 28 pounds, not feather light, but much lighter than my last ride. I rounded out the bike with Shimano XT Trail pedals with multi release cleats and Shimano MT43 shoes.

Overall I would definitely recommend the Moto and BD if you know what you want. BD could be an issue for some- I ordered a shock pump with the bike, it was delivered with a cracked gauge screen and they sent out a replacement ASAP. Bottom line, for the price you aren't going to come close to the spec from the LBS.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   China Camp

Duration Product Used:   2 Months

Price Paid:    $1299.00

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Bike Setup:   Since the specs change frequently on these bikes, here are the specs of the bike purchased in September 2014.
Frame MOTO29HX
ForkRockshox Reba 29" RL 100mm w/Pop Loc remote

CranksetFSA Afterburner 24/32/42T
Bottom BracketFSA MegaEXO
Front DerailleurShimano XT 10SPEED DynaSYS
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR SGS
Shifters Shimano XT DynaSYS 30
Cassette/Freewheel Shimano DynaSYS SLX
Tires: Kenda Small Block 8
Rims: WTB Speed Disc I-19
Brakes Shimano XT180mm rotors
Brake Levers Shimano XT

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

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2014

Strengths:    Light frame for what it is lighter than my Giant.
Brakes are very powerful almost too strong :)
Super smooth crank climes like a beast and gears work perfectly

Weaknesses:    Top tube is too high on my 19inch wish it was a little lower design but i wouldn't go to a smaller frame and this could be because of my unique body geometry. seat is worthless along with flat pedals. oh well. Wish it had the Reba.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Elite model
Buy this bike not the one from the other online place your thinking about. This is lighter then my girls 15inch Giant Hardtail. runs smooth everything works. didn't need to adjust anything out of the box. took it to the local bike shop and all they had to do was bleed the front brake and everything els was ready to go 15 bucks. BRAKES ARE STRONG, i couldn't ask for more. and they don't squeal. The Gravity Hubs and wheels are doing great smooth and fast. All these mismatched components work flawlessly together. Im in love with the FSA crank. smoother then my Madone road bike.
I am thinking about buying a lower version of this for my wife.
Total miles ridden 50. Dupont nc black mountain did great downhill and did great for what it was meant to do single track.
I will be back on if anything Breaks or goes wrong with the bike. and a one year past review. Will be a devoted Bikes Direct customer and motobecane. I have worked at a bike shop and this is the best value for entry level bikes up to 2.5k. Might get the FS frame in the future and switch the components from Bikes direct.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Fuji Outlander Pro, gaint hardrock, treck madone,

Bike Setup:   shorter stem

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jody T a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2014

Strengths:    TOUGH! This bike has taken a beating and keeps on going strong. As a bit of a novice, I have crashed this bike HARD several times without having to do anything but get back on and ride. The 29's put momentum on your side. Rock Shox are great. The hydro breaks have taken a hard work out to and have held up nicely. While others' chains & derailleurs were coming off or breaking, the MOTO held strong. Climbing is a breeze with the 10x3. Shifting is smooth and dependable.

Weaknesses:    Slightly heavier than the more expensive bikes (carbon fiber), but you get plenty of value for what you pay.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent buy. Thanks Bikes Direct!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chipanator

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2014

Strengths:    This bike is light, fast and tough as nails! I love it! The SRAM shifters are smooth and flawless in all 30 gears. The Avid Hydraulic brakes along with 180mm discs have plenty of stopping power and the 29" WTB tires and rims on Gravity hubs just want to roll over everything! All that and locking Rock Shox front suspension too!!! I am very happy with my purchase!

Weaknesses:    Weaknesses? What weaknesses?

Bottom Line:   
Over all I am absolutely, positively, beyond all my expectations, blown away by this bike. If someone would have told me how much of a difference this bike would make over the $100.00 bike I was on before my purchase, I would not have believed them. It's light and fast. It goes up any hill as easily as riding on flat ground. It stops without failure and I never miss a gear.

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

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2013

Strengths:    Inexpensive and race-able out of the box. Brilliant all-rounder. Frame handles decently well and is very reliable. Can't go wrong with XT parts mix. RS Reba is solid too.

Weaknesses:    Cheap heavy seat. A few quick upgrades needed to save some serious weight. Pretty much just cockpit parts and wheels though. And obviously you'll need pedals.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this when I cracked my cannondale race bike in the middle of a season. I race expert and am racing 1-2 times a week in the summer so I can't be without a bike. Apparently Cannondale have decided not to honour past lifetime warranties. So I was forced to upgrade on a budget and I've been really happy with the Moto. They're not much of a brand, but are made by Kinesis - which has been around forever making every other manufacturers bikes. The frame is about as good as it gets - solid, stiff and reliable. You can get lighter carbon, but at a massive premium for gram shaving and loss in rigidity for negligible performance gains. On a budget you're better off with the Moto and some upgraded race wheels for weekend use. This frame hits a great sweet spot - great value and very raceworthy. More than a year later I'm still racing it and really happy about it - and will keep it through the next season with just another round of parts upgrades. Upgraded the wheels with some nice race wheels, swapped the seat and bars for fit and am tweaking other stuff here and there, but totally satisfied. This has got to be the best value xt bike out there right now!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Buckwallow

Duration Product Used:   approximately 1 yr

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale (Crackenfail), Trek

Bike Setup:   XT, Ritchey cockpit, notubes wheels, 2.35 Schwalbe tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brad Norton a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2013

Strengths:    Hard-tail with lockout front fork allows rider to put all the power to the wheels on hard pack and pavement.
Almost diamond frame geometry makes for stiffer ride that works great for prairie, hard-pack trails, and urban commuting.

Weaknesses:    Frame geometry not as good for mountain and other technical rocky or muddy downhill rides.
Rider will need to replace/select different tires based on their trail riding conditions. (Same for any bike)

Bottom Line:   
I love the frame for handling Midwest trails and pothole filled streets. The geometry works for this type of ride as well as commute. The fat 29" wheels handle bad street conditions better. And, after riding it for over 2,000 miles this year, it's ding great!

Because all components are from other manufacturers, I am not rating the brakes, crank assembly or tires. The tires that came on the bike were OK, but not what I needed for the type of trails I ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Des Plaines River Trail

Duration Product Used:   2,000 miles

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Bike Setup:   SRAM X7 10 speed cassette, FSA Gravity crankset, SRAM Elixer 1 hydraulic brakes, Rockshox front fork, Schwalbe Big Apple 29" tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fantom29erElite

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2013

Strengths:    The Matt black it the bomb. The Elixer3 brakes are great. the silver recon fork does exactly what is supposed to. I'm 5 10 with a 33 inseam and no problem withe standover issues. Shoot this thing is even good as a commuter bike. I know first commute I made was 27 miles. It was fun.

Weaknesses:    Only one thus far. The stem, I needed one with more of a rise. Oh ya DON'T I REPEAT don't wear a face mask. Stupid cop pulled me over and said that I would shot because of it.

Bottom Line:   
LOVE IT... I want a full suspension now lol

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tony C

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2013

Strengths:    Nice ride, no complaints. Got the green color and it looks great, kind of a pearl essence teal color. Easy to assemble, but you still need to tru the wheel and make minor adjustments. Great price. oh and i really like the disk brakes.

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
I am 6'-0" & 200 lbs, got the 19" frame and am quite happy with the feel.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Diminutive Chick

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2013

Strengths:    I'm 5'1 tall. The 13" fits perfectly. This is the only reason I'm posting, to add this strength. Because that is a pretty huge plus when you're really short and you're looking for a 29er.

Weaknesses:    Possibly the fact that it is not a steel frame. Although it's already a little heavier than I like, so a steel frame for me would have been worse for my purposes.

Bottom Line:   
The other posters have well delineated this bike's many strengths, but for petite women looking for a 29er, this is one of the few I found that worked for me. It's a great bike to ride, stable with a really comfortable feel. And VERY FUN! Plus you can find them for incredible sale prices.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Josh toth a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2013

Strengths:    Price, durability, and componets. I love this bike, i use it for xc type riding, hit some big gaps on it and the suspension takes it very well. I even use it for basic trials. Handles great!

Weaknesses:    Stem, i changed it for a shorter stem

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike and i highly recomend it! I am 5'8" and the 15" frame fits great.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 year

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris - Love the single track

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2013

Strengths:    Components, frame geometry

Weaknesses:    Pedals

Bottom Line:   
I'm reviewing the 2013 model and want to update the specs. Fork is upgraded to the Rockshox Reba RL with remote lockout (sweet!). The brakes are Avid ELIXIR 5 with 180mm Avid HS1 rotors (double sweet!). The shifters are Shimano XT DynaSYS with trigger shift, the front derailleur is Shimano XT while the rear is Shimano XTR and the cassette is Shimano DynaSYS SLX 11-36t 10Speed for a total of 30 gear combos (triple sweet!).

I can't say enough good things about this bike. You can get it at Bikes Direct for $1300, no shipping or sales tax. At this price point you will be challenged to find another bike with these components. But the frame is nothing to complain about either. I'm 6'4" so went with the 21" frame and find the geometry very comfortable. I won't go into how awesome I think the 29er hardtail design is, since you can read about that elsewhere. But Motobecane has a winning combo in this bike that blows away anything I have ever ridden previously.

The only thing I can fault on this bike are the pedals which are pretty basic and will be my first upgrade. Next will be the tires, only because I want to go tubeless and get some more knobby treads. But, come on, these are the easiest and cheapest part of a bike to upgrade so I'm not really complaining.

I hit mostly single tracks in southern New Mexico which are a mix of dirt, sand, rock and sometimes full out slick rock. This thing takes it all without breaking a sweat. I've bombed down rocky trails at speeds I would never have considered on other bikes and know the only limitation is my own confidence. I haven't come close to pushing this bike to it's limits yet. If you want a serious MTB, and think $1300 is just outside of your budget, find a way to make it work. You will not be disappointed!

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

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012

Strengths:    Components, geometry, "beefiness", oh, and price!

Weaknesses:    Front stem/suspension

Bottom Line:   
I upgraded a 2001 Gary Fisher Kaitai for this bike (Motobecane Fantom 29 Comp). I am 5'11" and the 17.5" frame fits great. I tried out the 15.5 inch frame which also felt really good, a bit more responsive, but I found a better riding position with the 17.5" frame. I am really happy with this purchase! Have taken it out on the trails several times and here are a few benefits.
29 inch wheels let you pass straight through small rocks and roots on climbs instead of hunting for an angle. This lets you keep your momentum.
The bigger wheels also make it harder to go over the handlebars, went through a couple of drops in which the bike corrected itself instead of throwing me over.
The components are great, smooth shifting.
Tektro Auriga brakes have been performing great, regardless some of their reviews.
Te rig is BIG, you feel you're hopping on a motorcycle, but once on top it feels really manageable.
The only issue I have is with the front fork, it has a Rock Shox xc 28 which I find a bit "flimsy". Haven't been able to really adjust the stem to have no play at all, but my LBS tells me its the fork and not the stem. Works fine, but I guess that will be the first upgrade.

It's a bit tougher to get the bike going compared to a 26", but once you get going it has a very nice flow. Frame seems stiff and responsive.

All in all a great bike. Great components, great price, seems to be built really sturdy (time will tell), looks.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   bikesdirect

Similar Products Used:   Hardrock comp 29, Motobecane Fantom 29 15.5" frame

Bike Setup:   Shimano SLX front and rear, Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes w/180mm rotors, Rockshox XC 28 fork, Deore Shifters, WTB Nano 29er 2.1" tires.

Reviews 1 - 15 (58 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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