Castellano Fango 2003 Full Suspension

4.93/5 (14 Reviews)
MSRP : $995.00


Product Description

  • 1.25 inches of pivotless, progressive rear wheel travel
  • Only 4.4 pounds for frame with the rear shock. Same as the titanium version!
  • Heat-treated and custom extruded 6069 aluminum chainstay
  • Custom-butted and heat-treated 6061 aluminum front triangle
  • Castellano low maintenance and easily adjustable Critically Damped Elastomer rear shock
  • Reliable and plush two-stage travel
  • Now available in luscious Fango Blue

    The Fango's predecessor, from designer John Castellano, is the Ibis Ripley.

    http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Frameset/product_78555.shtml


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by iceaxe a Cross Country Rider from Ann Arbor, Mi, USA

    Date Reviewed: March 28, 2010

    Strengths:    Light weight, agile, excellent geometry, very innovative design.

    Weaknesses:    Could use a touch more tire clearance in the back.

    Bottom Line:   
    I have riding this bike for 5 years and it just never gets old. It's like riding a bike with a huge rear tire except you don't have the extra rolling resistance. The geometry is the perfect balance between a twitchy race bike and a capable descender. It climbs like nothing else powered by pedals, so leave your silly "goat on crack" or Scalded cat" analogies at home. The real testament to this bike is that while 1.25" of travel is enough blunt most XC trail rocks & roots, it isn't enough to blunt it's sprinting ability. Dual suspension bikes come and go, but I will never get rid of my Fango.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Pontiac Lake

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $995.00

    Purchased At:   John Castellano

    Similar Products Used:   Moots YBB

    Bike Setup:   Rock Shox reba team w/ pop loc, sram x9 triggers, xt front der., Sram XO rear der., shimano XTR disc brakes w/ xt levers, CK ISO hubs, Raceface Deus cranks.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by ulockjustice a Racer from Gainesville FL

    Date Reviewed: March 2, 2009

    Strengths:    great geometry. reliable. enough squish in the rear to take the edge off but still lay down the power when you need it. paint job still looks great 7 years later.

    Weaknesses:    having to explain to people that its ok to have an aluminum soft-tail, and no, im not worried that its going to break.

    Bottom Line:   
    been riding/racing this frame all over the place since '02 and its still rocking strong for any doubters of an aluminum soft tail. it probably has over 200 races on it at this point, from XC to short track to 12/24 hour solos and even a few DH races thrown in for good measure. Its also seen its share of epic rides from tsali to pisgah to angelfire, snowshoe, mt snow and too many others to name. hats off to castellano for a solid product which i would recommend to anyone looking for a good all round XC ride, and that i would buy again in a heartbeat if this one should happen to fail somewhere along the line.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   where ever i am

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $900.00

    Purchased At:   factory direct

    Similar Products Used:   trek 8900, litespeed toccoa, salsa ala carte

    Bike Setup:   full old school xtr. ringle rpm lite wheelset, fox float rlc

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Tod Merrill a Cross Country Rider from Louisville, ky.

    Date Reviewed: February 24, 2006

    Strengths:    I like the weight of the frame 4.5 lbs.and it's simple design. The shock is very easy to tune and is never stiff in cold weather.So smooooth!


    Weaknesses:    The only thing i've run across in the year that i've been riding it is the bottom bracket is a little higher then i'm used to. It does clear obstacles well though.

    Bottom Line:   
    I've ridden alum.,carbon,ti,and steel that is real. I was very interrested in this type of design over full susp. I wanted the best if I was going to ride a frame. I love how
    the bike feels, it's fast and very smooth.It climbs like a goat and I was totally blown away by it!
    Buy this frame if your thinking about a soft tail ride you won't be sorry!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   all of them

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $600.00

    Purchased At:   from a friend

    Similar Products Used:   I also own a breezer storm full XTR and a team marin that I replaced with the Fango.

    Bike Setup:   XTR 9sp shifters and deralliers, avid ti V brakes with XTR levers, Race Face carbon cranks w/ speed play peddels,
    Chris King & mavic wheels.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Cycledelic a Cross Country Rider from Marin County, CA

    Date Reviewed: January 30, 2005

    Strengths:    just-right geometry, light, beautiful frame, working design

    Weaknesses:    only a caution: the elastomer shock has to be tweaked to the rider's weight for best performance. Done easily enough with a BB tool.

    Bottom Line:   
    After years on a hardtail, I thought I wanted a little more cush, so I started checking out FS rigs - all felt uncomfortable or unresponsive compared to my old, stolen ride.

    Gravy Wheels, my LBS, suggested I try out the Fango: it felt like a good hardtail, just with a mite of comfort worked into the rear. It looked really sharp with the jetplane chainstays, breezer dropouts and funky rubber elastomer. And, what's most important, the geometry felt better than any of the other dozen bikes I tested.

    Sold. But Castellano suggested an even smaller frame for me than the demo I tried... a 15" frame for a 5'8" rider? I was uncertain but trusting when I received the build.

    Once I took it out for a spin, I was blown away. Even on the Fisher HT I rolled for six years, I didn't have the same mind/machine connection I instantly earned with this bike.

    The Fango improved my climbing, downhill and technical ability from ride 1, and now with three months and 700 miles on the dirt, I can't be happier. This bike is FAST and like a laser through the tight and twisty.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $4000.00

    Purchased At:   Gravy Wheels

    Similar Products Used:   demo'ed various higher-end XC-specific models from Gary Fisher, Giant, Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz, Yeti and Cannondale.

    Bike Setup:   Castellano Fango, RockShox Reba Race fork, full XT disc gruppo, Mavic 321 tubless rims, Hutchinson Python tires, occasional bell and party streamers

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Larry a Cross Country Rider from Mill Valley , California , Marin

    Date Reviewed: January 27, 2005

    Strengths:    This bike has improved my climbing ability at least 25% . I used to work hard to keep up with the pack , now I can stay in front and have a conversation and get a break waiting for slower riders. The rear suspension is just enough to smooth out the bumps on the downhills if your not looking to get big air the travel is just right. I did not expect this bike to climb the way it does, I just figured it was the rider not the bike - this bike can help alot. If climbing stronger and going downhill a bit smoother and faster is a desire than this is a great bike for you.

    Weaknesses:    Not used to suspension , the increased downhill speed leads to the possiblity of front end was outs in gravel and sharp turns. Need to remember to slow down before turns and poss get beafier tires for a better bite.

    Bottom Line:   
    If your looking for a great all around bike that will improve your climbing consider this bike. If you love your hardtail and dont want to give it up because of wt,response,climbing, this is the perfect alternative.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Pine Mountain Loop

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $995.00

    Bike Setup:   xtr,sid team shock w/ lockout,cross max wheels,michelan tires, v-brakes , monkey lite bars.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Matt a Racer from Bay Area and Riverside, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: January 26, 2005

    Strengths:    Sturdy, Light, Blue.

    Weaknesses:    Because of the unique chainstay the clearance between the left crank and chainstay is quite small, thus limited your selection of cranks or gives you an excuse to take out the dremel. =^)

    Bottom Line:   
    With the above setup this bike weighs a little under 26.5, but feels like 22 lbs. It has 1.25" of travel but it feels like 2.5" In nutshell, it feels like more than that it is.

    I have taken this bike on races, through dusty desert, muddy clay, stream crossings, slickrock, loose downhill, and rock gardens it remains comfortable and predictable. A superb climber and great XC bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim (moab,ut)

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $899.00

    Purchased At:   Cambria Bicycle Outfitter

    Similar Products Used:   GT STS-2 (Aluminum/Thermo Composite)

    Bike Setup:   Fox Float 100 RLC, SRAM X, 8spd cassette, Magura Disc Brakes, Easton Carbon handlebar, Synchros seatpost, Mavic Wheels, (dremel adjusted =) Race Face LP CrankSet, IRC Mythos Tires

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Bruce Jacobs a Cross Country Rider from Boonton, NJ, USA

    Date Reviewed: December 10, 2004

    Strengths:    Solid, hooks up on everything even with Python Lite tires. Makes me a better climber

    Weaknesses:    None for me. (I did have to try several stems and bars to get the right feel going from 6" of travel to 1.25" with a far different geometry)

    Bottom Line:   
    This bike has returned the joy in riding for me. To me, hills are the truth and this bike climbs without the feeling of dragging a rear end assembly over every log and rock. I have never been happier with anything, bike or not, that I have purchased. I will be 63 this month and feel like a kid on this bike. John Castellano and Dreamride have been great with advise.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Whatever I can ride

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $995.00

    Purchased At:   Dreamride

    Similar Products Used:   I have owed a Fisher Carbon HT, 1998 Ellsworth Truth, and a 2002 Id. I also ride a Dreamride Stud Muffin.

    Bike Setup:   XTR,XO,drivetrain, flat mag pedals (315 grams), Mavic XMax XL wheels running Python Lites as tubeless using Stan's, Chris King, Gravity Dropper post with Koobi Saddle, Zoke 105mm Marathon SL,120mm Easton Mag stem 10 degree minus with a 3/4" rise bar 8 degree sweep. Bike is 25.6#

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Maynard a Cross Country Rider from Sarasota,FL

    Date Reviewed: November 2, 2004

    Strengths:    Fast, light,climbs great, and no noisy suspension parts.

    Weaknesses:    Depending on your setup, can be as expensive as some quality, off-the-shelf, full-sus bikes.

    Bottom Line:   
    This is a awesome bike! I have been riding it for six-months and no ride is long enough. The trails I ride mainly have short climbs and lots of roots, and this bike handles it all. This bike is fast, fun, light enough to toss around, and you can stand up and hammer with no suspension feedback. This bike is faster and more nimble than some full-sus XC bikes, and more comfortable than a hardtail. But, if you want a bike that feels plush at high speeds through rock-gardens, look elsewhere. It also feels quite sturdy for small drops and light jumps, as I have done both on and off trails.
    One downside, this can be an expensive option. This bike cost as much as my wife's Giant NRS1.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $995.00

    Purchased At:   Spokesman Bicycle Shop

    Similar Products Used:   Never owned a softtail.
    Also have a Cannondale Jekyll.


    Bike Setup:   XT/Mavic wheels, Manitou Black fork, Race Face cranks/BB, SRAM shifters, r. derailleur, Avid mech. disc

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Crystal Lake IL USA

    Date Reviewed: April 1, 2004

    Strengths:    Great handling, well made,great value

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    I bought this frame because living in Illinois, I don`t need full suspension.My hardtail was killing my 45 year old back so I looked for a softy. I made one of the best purchases of my life. I love this bike. The way it handles is incredible, it looks great, and it`s hard to beat the value. What else do you want? This is a great Cross Country bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Earth

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $999.00

    Purchased At:   Wrench Science

    Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Homegrown, GF Joshua, Specialized Stumpjumper HT

    Bike Setup:   Thomson stem & post, Zoke Z2 Atom 80,Mavic Crossrides,Scram X-9, King Headset,Titec Hellbent bar,Truvativ Stylo Team Crankset,Sram 9.0 Break levers, Canecreek direct 5 breaks SDG Belair comp saddle and other stuff.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Kevin a Cross Country Rider from Missoula, Montana

    Date Reviewed: January 10, 2004

    Strengths:    Simple hassel free design. You don't need a doctors income have a quality soft tail. Good support from John and David.

    Weaknesses:    My wife is a widow in the summer because I ride it to much.

    Bottom Line:   
    Fun, fast and hassel free design. What more could you want?

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Western Montana

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   The Bike Doctor

    Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Heckler and a few hard tails. To quote another, "I touched a moots once".

    Bike Setup:   Race face, Thomson, Hugi, Formula Disc, Crank Bros, Mavic, Manitou Skareb SPV, Deore XT, ect. Fast and fun at 23 lbs.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Whittier, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: December 2, 2003

    Strengths:    Climbing ability,rear sticks to trail.Bike is excellent in smoothing out the little chatter bumps.

    Weaknesses:    Still looking

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm the type of person who will not bother to write a review unless I'm unhappy with something,the Fango has changed that.Long time hardtail rider,built this bike in april of 03 after test riding it at 24 hours of Temecula.It is the best climber I've ever ridden,hands down!!!!Not to compare the two but I have a 03 Blur vpp which is a very stable climber,but when I ride the Fango I climb in a 2 to 3 higher gear.I use this bike to race Xterra's(off road tri's)and for the first 6-7 hours of 24 hour race's.I'll ride the Blur for friendly group rides and for the night rides of 24 hour race's where comfort and downhill handling are more of an issue.If you hate being the last one up the hill buy this bike.I'f your more into 2 to 3 foot dropoff's look else where. Bottom line from a cross country rider,If I could keep only one bike(which the wife say's is a good idea) I'd say good bye to the Blur.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $600.00

    Purchased At:   G's Cyclery

    Similar Products Used:   Trek 9.8,Various other hardtails

    Bike Setup:   03 XTR Drivetrain,Mavic Crossmax XL,Bla,Bla,Bla

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by christopher morris a Cross Country Rider from bayonne, NJ 07002

    Date Reviewed: August 18, 2003

    Strengths:    great climber, defenitely better at it than i am. solid ride. relatively quiet. amazing acceleration. comfort, comfort, comfort... and a little more comfort.

    Weaknesses:    front end pushes wide thru turns if i get a little front heavy on the bike. rear shock can rebound a little too quickly.

    Bottom Line:   
    a great bike for all day riding and xc racing. defenitely feels as though it can be ridden a little more aggressively than it is built for.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $995.00

    Purchased At:   the sports people

    Similar Products Used:   never owned a softail before

    Bike Setup:   full '03 xtr with a fox float 100rlc. monkey lite sl bar. panaracer fire xc pro- 2.1f, 1.9r

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Aus10 a Cross Country Rider from Houston

    Date Reviewed: June 17, 2003

    Strengths:    rides like a rocket

    Weaknesses:    none that i could see

    Bottom Line:   
    I work at west end bikes on sundays and we just got one of these bikes in. If you are a xc rider and are looking for the perfect bike look no further. this bike has an incredible feel to it and i am convinced that it is going to be the next frame i am going to save up for. we sell specialized epic's and those bikes don't compare to the fango, sure they are nice but the fango works better!!

    Demo'd only, but if i had one i would be the happiest person on earth

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

    Price Paid:    $999.00

    Purchased At:   West End Bikes

    Similar Products Used:   plenty of other products used

    Bike Setup:   which one?

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Alan a Cross Country Rider from Georgia

    Date Reviewed: May 23, 2003

    Strengths:    It rides like a hardtail, but without the jarring and traction loss.

    Weaknesses:    Haven't found any.

    Bottom Line:   
    If you like a hardtail, but want a bit of suspension, get a Fango. It rides like my hardtails, only at the end of the day I don't have any lower back pain. I guess it is the perfect bike for "old school" riders. It climbs great as the rear tire doesn't skip out on roots or rocks, but without the weight penalty of a true full suspension. Descending is smooth as long you avoid the big rocks. Its a great single track bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Purchased At:   Bicycle Link

    Similar Products Used:   Ibis Mojo,Ti Serotta

    Bike Setup:   XTR with an older Judy

    Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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