Motobecane Fantom 29 FS 29er Full Suspension

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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 17  
[Apr 26, 2017]
thunder
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

Heckler 26"
Trek liquid 10

[Mar 13, 2016]
Dave Myers
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

Cannondale

[Apr 24, 2014]
Zac
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

StumpJumper,

[Sep 14, 2013]
Moncho
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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,

Weakness:

Grips are very poor and the rims are very heavy

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 .

[Aug 28, 2013]
Aliester Martin
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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?

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.

[Aug 04, 2013]
Alfredo

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Responsive, roll very smood and full xtr.

Weakness:

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

[Jun 24, 2013]
cactus1

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

[Jan 17, 2013]
UgliRider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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

[Nov 12, 2012]
SMFP
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used:

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

[Oct 12, 2012]
Fred buttrick

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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).

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