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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my Motobecane Fantom 29PRO SL about a week ago. It took exactly a week from order day to my door. Arrived in good condition from UPS.
I was a little concerned with the assembly since I have never "built" a bike before. I have done plenty of bike maintenance and have all of the necessary tools so it wasn't too bad at all.
I had the bike ready to ride in about an hour and have since spent much more time fine tuning things. My bike came with the Elixir brakes and they are awesome! They came ready to go right out of the box. I continue to be impressed with the level of components you get with this bike for the money.
I still need to fine tune the fork a little I think but that is pretty common from what I have read.

I am headed out to a local trail later today to do a couple of laps and get some real testing done. The trail I am headed to is a short flat loop with some tight single track and lots of roots. Pinehurst trail is the name for those who live in South Florida.

I will try to write a little trail riding review later today and maybe put up a couple pics.

I am trying decide I what I can upgrade to make my 29 Pro SL so it looks a little more unique. I have a feeling I'll be seeing a lot more of these on the trail in the future if it rides half as good as it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ride Report

In response to the post above the weight on a bathroom scale is about 27.5 lbs with pedals installed. (Old school Ritchie Clipless which are not very light) No reflectors or even a bottle cage. Size Medium. I'm 6' even with about 34" inseam in bike shoes and it is a perfect fit.

Now to the ride report.
We did a very chilly 2 laps at Pinehurst Trail. Only about 7 miles. There were 4 of us and 2 of us were on 29 Pro SL's.
This trail is flat with tons of roots. All of the components on the bike worked great. The brakes are amazing to me coming from V-brakes. The gearing took a little getting used to and felt a lot different than my 24 speed 26er. It took a little bit to adjust to the long wheelbase in turns but it turns very fast when you get it dialed in.
The 29er feels very stable even at slow speeds.
I actually hit a couple small jumps and felt very confident.
There is one small sandy climb on the trail that I had no problems with. I just stayed seated and pedaled away.
The 29er feels noticeably "softer" than my ultra light Mid-90's Cannondale HT but it is still very stiff. I stayed seated quite a bit and regretted it at times with all the roots.
The Reba fork worked great and I think I just about used all the travel at some point on each lap. I may try to add a little air to the negative side to get better small bump performance.

After my initial ride I am very happy with my purchase and impressed with the whole process. The components are hard to beat for the price and the frame is quite impressive as well. I looked at a lot of FS bikes before buying and decided that the simplicity of the HT is the way to go for me. If I had more money to spend I would definitely consider the Titanium frame.

Definitely a fun bike. Good job Motobecane and Bikesdirect.
 

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I was a step away from buying the Fantom 29Pro in Matte Black, and realized the very first thing I was going to upgrade were the shocks. I ended up realizing for all the additional components that the SL had, I might as well saved up the money for it. I haven't regret it since!

I know you've noticed a difference coming from the V-brakes, but even from a standard disc brake coming from a 400HT, the hydraulic brakes are a dream. Glad you're enjoying your ride, as I've loved mine from Day One!
 

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thanks for posting this catalyst. i'm on the fence as to what to purchase as well and am really thinking the 29pro sl is the way to go, esp for the components. I think i'll pull the trigger and end this constant debate my current bike is literally 20 years old and is ready for a change!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I battled with what new bike to buy for a while. I decided to get the best bike for my conditions (SE Florida) in the $1000.00 price range. I came really close to buying a full suspension off Craigslist but decided to go for a new hardtail.
In that price range you would be hard pressed to find a better bike.

I rode about 10 miles today at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. It is about the most hills you will find in S Florida with lots of gradual sandy climbs. The Pro SL climbs great and was very steady on the downhill side and root sections. I went OTB on one root section which is not that easy to do on a 29er Hardtail. I was going a little too fast for conditions perhaps. :confused:

A couple updates on the bike:
1. The factory lube on the entire drive train is more like glue than lube. I rode one trail and had sand deep into lots of places. I ended up with some grinding in the bottom bracket area. Maybe sand? I have since cleaned and re-lube everything but there is still a little grinding. Today's ride was in lots of sugar sand so I will clean again and see what happens.
2. A few people mentioned that the grips from the factory are not good and I agree completely. I have struggled with sub-par grips most of my biking career and I am happy to say that has changed with the addition of ESI Chunky grips on my Moto.
These grips are amazing. I rode 10 miles today without gloves and felt great.
 

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1stgen said:
thanks for posting this catalyst. i'm on the fence as to what to purchase as well and am really thinking the 29pro sl is the way to go, esp for the components. I think i'll pull the trigger and end this constant debate my current bike is literally 20 years old and is ready for a change!
I was in the exact same boat. Almost 20 year old RockHopper. Pulled the trigger on it last week. Ordered it on Monday last week...delivered on Wednesday. I have gone over it with a fine tooth comb....no issues. It will require some minor adjustments as any new bike will....The only downside is the cheezy decals that are under the clear coat....but I could care less about who's name is on the frame....
 

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I pulled the trigger a few days ago and just got the shipping notice from BD that mine is en route.

I've ridden road for the last several years and have recently picked up trail riding with a group of friends. One of my buddies has been gracious enough to let me tear up his Rockhopper whenever we go, but I've been looking for something I could call my own.

After doing a few months worth of research, I finally settled on the 29Pro. I already have a few upgrades on the way in the form of a new MonkeyLite carbon bar as well as a set of Oury grips.

UPS isn't indicating an expected date yet, but my work schedule is eating me alive so assembly and tuning will likely be spread over the course of a week, anyway.
 

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Got it a week and a half ago. Parroting what the OP said, assembly was more than I was expecting, but my tools and experience served me just fine.

After having a couple of days to tune the bike to my liking on the stand, it was off to a trail just up the street to give a few spins around a lakeshore environment. I tore off the Small Block Eight tires included and replaced them with a set of Nevegals because the ground around here is still soaked from the recent snows.

The frame rides great, the shock-appropriately inflated-gives great response and the drivetrain shifts very smoothly. I'm just waiting for North Carolina's weather to start behaving and warm up so I can take this out some more. A great, solid, fun ride for the price.

 

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Catalyst561: What frame size did you get? I am ready to order the Fantom 29 PRO SL from Bikesdirect and am debating between the 19" and 21". I am 6'1", 34" inseam. I've ridden plenty of 19" bikes and all seem a bit small and short even with the seat post all the way up. Thank you for your postings on review of the bike. I was previously considering the Specialized Comp 29er Stumpjumper, but am now sold on getting the Motobecane.
 

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i finally pulled the trigger today on the Fantom 29er SL after months of just making sure i was going to put it to good use. Can't wait to assemble and ride!
 

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when they say it comes 90% assembled - what all is entailed in putting it together? I'm assuming seatpost insertion, attaching the fork and stem, pedals and front wheel and then fine tuning the fork, shifters and brakes. Are the brakes and derailers already mounted and wired? if not, then I'm definitely going to need a LBS or buddy to help.
 

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1stgen said:
when they say it comes 90% assembled - what all is entailed in putting it together? I'm assuming seatpost insertion, attaching the fork and stem, pedals and front wheel and then fine tuning the fork, shifters and brakes. Are the brakes and derailers already mounted and wired? if not, then I'm definitely going to need a LBS or buddy to help.
Insert seat post; the seat is already attached to that.
Mount the handlebars: all the controls are already attached to that. 4 Allen bolts
Install front brake rotor; 6 torx bolts to front wheel hub.
Mount front wheel to fork

Everything else is already mounted and setup to go… Maybe a small adjustment here or there, But nothing major.
 

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Moto Rider said:
Insert seat post; the seat is already attached to that.
Mount the handlebars: all the controls are already attached to that. 4 Allen bolts
Install front brake rotor; 6 torx bolts to front wheel hub.
Mount front wheel to fork

Everything else is already mounted and setup to go… Maybe a small adjustment here or there, But nothing major.
when mine showed up the bars was still in a plastic and i had to install all the brakes levers, shifters, poploc, and grips. make sure to install poploc, shifter, brakes then the grip last. found out the hard way did the grips first..:D great bike the the money.

anyone replaced their post clamp and skewers? i wanted to replace them with red color skewers and clamp.
 
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