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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

First time poster in this forum. A little history about me, new to mountain biking, ordered a forge 5xx and returned it after riding it twice. Decent bike for the price but felt weird and didn't like the fork, so i thought by upgrading just the fork on that one to lets say a Dart3 would have brought up the price in the range of buying a new bike with other better components not just the fork so i returned it and got a refund for it.

Now i was set on buying a Cannondale f5 from the REI for around 749$ until i saw the Fantom Trail. I am not an expert on parts but by comparing it with the little knowledge i have, it seems to have very comparable parts for a cheaper price. (trying to save some money to buy my wife a bike as well)

I would like some help deciding if there's any reason to buy the F5 from a LBS(besides the free tune ups and relationship building) and not the Fantom Trail ( better parts? etc)

appreciate any help!

here are the links to the specs for both bikes:

f5
http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/09/cusa/model-9FS5.html

fantom trail
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_trail08.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ok forget the f5 because i'm pretty decided to order a Motobeane... now i'm wondering if i should go for the Fantom Trail HT or the 700 DS Full Suspension.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/700ds.htm

the 700ds has worse front suspension and wheels/tires i believe but has better Derailleurs. I have been reading a lot of information on these forums and most people suggest not to even think about a fs without dropping 1500$ on one.

My question is should i just stick to the trail HT or go for the 700ds
 

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700ds in its stock form is not much of a full suspension. Hardtail with a better fork and other components will bring you more joy. You will be able to ride all the same trails - just slower on downhill, and faster on climbs. If you can stretch you budget to Fanthom HT Comp with Tora fork, that will be as good as you will need for a long time. Otherwise Fantom trail has all that you need.

But you better know how to do all the basic work on a bike - which is a good thing to learn anyway, saves a lot of time and money.
 

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Dragos said:
thanks for the response... i'm leaning towards the HT ...

i was also looking at the 700ht that seems to have xt components but it has only a dart 2 and doesn't have presta valves - don't really know how much that matters
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/motobecane_700HT.htm
Did you consider a 29r hardtail? It may be just the way to go for a hard tail - as anybody in the 29r forum will tell you. :) (and I would agree)

Windsor Cliff29 seems like a good set in your price range. Dart3 29", Avid mechanical (better then Tekro).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom29_08.htm

What about that one... the only down side i see is the 80mm travel on the fork and no presta valves... but really i'm new at this... why would be a 29er be a better choice then the regular 26. Now you realy got me thinking damnit lol, i was pretty set on the trail HT now i have to start reading the 29er forum.

any insight on this is appreciated :)
 

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Dragos said:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom29_08.htm

What about that one... the only down side i see is the 80mm travel on the fork and no presta valves... but really i'm new at this... why would be a 29er be a better choice then the regular 26. Now you realy got me thinking damnit lol, i was pretty set on the trail HT now i have to start reading the 29er forum.

any insight on this is appreciated :)
That one is just fine as well. Better color. :)

80mm travel is fine on 29r - equivalent in performance to 100-120 on 26r, I would think.

29r has advantages and disadvantages - my personal conclusion is that advantages are amplified on a hardtail. Smooth ride, traction, rolling over obstacles. And disadvantages - geometry, especially for long travel suspension, slower steering, extra weight - are not as important.

If I did not already get my current Fly Ti, I would sure get its 29r version, too bad it was not an option before.

With no Presta it should be easier to setup tubeless.
 

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I have the Fantom Trail and have been very happy with it to say the least. I've been riding it for about 10 months now and since then have made some changes. Looking back, I think I would have gone with the Fantom comp due to the hyrdo brakes and better fork, but I've got the Trail and love it.

I changed the fork to a Fox F100RLC a few weeks ago from the Dart 3 and oh what a difference. The Dart gets the job done, but a nice fork really smooths things out. Besides that, everything else on the bike is awesome. The components are still doing fine and the original chain lasted a lot longer than most on here say.

It will come down to where you ride. What kind of trails are you riding? I do mainly XC (I'm in florida), but there are some fun technical aspects to the trails out here so the Fantom Trail has so far been the perfect bike for me.

Good luck picking a bike and if you've got questions, ask!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. I know what you mean Rusty. I would like to get the Comp too but its alitle above my price range and when i started to get into mountain bikes i started with a 200$ budget.

I said just to see if I like it and to see if I get into it I'll get something from the big box store but then i found this forum and i went up to 400$ saying i'll spend a litle more for a real entry lvl mountain bike and bought one but didn't like it much. It had dart 1 forks on it which I didn't like much. Then when I thought about upgrading the fork I said might as well buy a new bike that is lighter has a better fork and other better components so i sent it back.

Now here i am adding another 200$ to 600$ :) to get the fantom trail... i know Dart3 fork is not the best but i'm sure its better then the Dart1 and for just starting off i think i'll be ok with this bike, it is much better then anything i've seen in stores for this price.

I know i could justify adding yet another 200$ to get the comp because of better brakes/fork but then i could justify adding another 200$ to get even the 1000$ one i'm sure it has something even better :) and keep on going. So i'm going to just get the trail see if I'll enjoy mtb'ing as much as i want to and then i'll have no problem dropping 2k on a nicer bike.

Thanks for all your help
 

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Dragos said:
Now here i am adding another 200$ to 600$ :) to get the fantom trail... i know Dart3 fork is not the best but i'm sure its better then the Dart1 and for just starting off i think i'll be ok with this bike, it is much better then anything i've seen in stores for this price.
Actually at this level it would be already nice enough to keep riding for quite a while and worth fixing. The key is to get out of the range where they use cheap/ upward incompatible parts. Once you get to 9sp drivetrain, standard sized forks/stems etc., double walled rims, standard bottom bracket, it will be fine for a while, and worth learning how to work on it.

One of the advantages of 29r in this case is that later you can plop some road tires on it an keep for commuter/tow kid's trailer duties, while you fly around woods on your new Knolly Delirium.
 

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Curmy said:
Actually at this level it would be already nice enough to keep riding for quite a while and worth fixing. The key is to get out of the range where they use cheap/ upward incompatible parts. Once you get to 9sp drivetrain, standard sized forks/stems etc., double walled rims, standard bottom bracket, it will be fine for a while, and worth learning how to work on it.
This is kind of how I did it too. I bought the Fantom Trail expecting a decent bike to ride for awhile, then save up for another, but I've found that its a very solid platform to build on and just replace parts as they break (which hasn't really happened). I've learned so much about working on my own bike and just enjoying riding it. I love it and know you will too Dragos!

I call her 'Naner :D :

 

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Dragos said:
Just received the box like an hour ago :). Unfortunately i'm still at work. Going home for lunch and taking a look at it.

So excited

Cool. Now get a toolkit, if you do not yet own one. It will pay for itself in money and time with just a few saved trips to a shop.

And prepare to suffer from bouts of upgraditis and internetshoppitis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thats a nice tool set. Spent way to much money already on bike and other things so i think i'm going to wait on that a little bit. For now i have this and it seems to work just fine.

http://parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=11&item=MTB-3

Back to the bike. I went home on lunch and opened everything up. Everything looks good, box was in good shape.. but.. the quick release from the saddle is missing and one of the bolts and and the round things that go on the bolt is missing from the front disk break clipper:(

Freaking sux ... i'm going to try to get in touch with bikes direct and see whats up... i'm also going to try to go to a lbs by my house see if they have anything like this so i can actually ride this thing tonight
 

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Dragos said:
Back to the bike. I went home on lunch and opened everything up. Everything looks good, box was in good shape.. but.. the quick release from the saddle is missing and one of the bolts and and the round things that go on the bolt is missing from the front disk break clipper:(
Odd. I had them taped in inside a little baggy floating around the box. As far as I understand BD does not even open up boxes as they come from Taiwan, for cost savings. Have not heard much about people complaining of missing things.

Is not the seatpost clamp of a bolt-on variety, not a quick release?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
they have been taken with my phone in a hurry so kinda bad quality

https://img141.imageshack.us/i/breakboltmissing.jpg/

https://img141.imageshack.us/i/quickreleasesadlemissin.jpg/

no idea why the
tags don't work

hmmm looking at the pictures from the bikesdirect site, i guess the seat post clamp doesn't have a quick release to it ? i thought they all do, but i guess you have to always use a tool to move your sit up and down, thats weird (so i guess thats not missing, if thats the way it should be)
 

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Dragos said:
hmmm looking at the pictures from the bikesdirect site, i guess the seat post clamp doesn't have a quick release to it ? i thought they all do, but i guess you have to always use a tool to move your sit up and down, thats weird (so i guess thats not missing, if thats the way it should be)
I find bolt on clamps (and skewers) easier to set up and adjust. I do carry an allen key with me anyway. I never adjust seatpost height on my Fly during a ride.

On my current AM bike I have switched to a remote operated adjustable seatpost - attached with a bolt-on. Best upgrade I have made to it.
 

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yeah i got the bike 2 weeks ago and already have spent 600 for the bike and already 400 dollars of other stuff lol i do alot of commuting with it and take it to the trails on the weekends. so i bought my self some specialized fat boy slick tires, a camelpak, a U lock, lights, wireless computer, a shimano 26/36/48 crank set, and other smaller acc. gets addicting haha i shoudl stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Curmy said:
I find bolt on clamps (and skewers) easier to set up and adjust. I do carry an allen key with me anyway. I never adjust seatpost height on my Fly during a ride.

On my current AM bike I have switched to a remote operated adjustable seatpost - attached with a bolt-on. Best upgrade I have made to it.
what does that look like?
 
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