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  1. #1
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    Dilema: 09 Rockhopper comp 29er disc or 2010 Motobecane Fantom PRO 29er

    Howdy folks. I'm trying to decide between an 09 Specialized Rockhopper comp disc 29er, which I can buy locally for $700, or a 2010 Motobecane Fantom Pro 29er, $795 online including shipping. I'm 6'3 looking at a 21" frame size, and I don't mind spending the extra $ if I go with the moto.

    What I like about the Rockhopper comp:
    -The wheelbase distance = 1147mm vs. 1129mm on the motobecane
    -I can buy it locally already set up, although I don't mind the assembly of the motobecane. I enjoy that kind of stuff

    What I like about the Motobecane:
    -Rockshox Tora w/remote lockout (love the remote!) vs. Dart 3 on the rockhopper
    -Hydraulic Disc brakes vs. mechanical on the Rockhopper
    -all around better components than the rockhopper

    It's been while since I've ridden, about 10 or 12 years. So I'm virtually a newbie. My biggest concern is the frame Geometry. I like the idea of the extra 18 mm of wheelbase distance the rockhopper has to offer. If it weren't for this, I would buy the motobecane without a second thought. But I don't like feeling cramped up on a bike, which is also why I want a 29er. Hence my dilema.

    Thanks for any opinions in advance!

  2. #2
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    Based on your concern regarding fit, this is a no brainer - buy the one you can actually test ride.
    Enjoy the ride!

  3. #3
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    Get your measurements and email BD for a fitting suggestion. My 6'3 friend just bought a MFP and he seems to like it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by D1PHAM
    Get your measurements and email BD for a fitting suggestion. My 6'3 friend just bought a MFP and he seems to like it.
    I'm not sure how that would help me decide between the two. I'm sure they would recommend the 21" frame, and if they recommended the 23" for some odd reason, there's no way I would ride a bike that big

  5. #5
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    Maybe I'm missing something, but how would the shorter wheelbase make you feel more cramped on the bike? Wouldn't that be a function of the ETT length? If your comfortable with handling alot of your own maintenance, the Moto's are hard to beat. If you value the extras a LBS bike might offer (tune-ups etc.) than go for the Rockhopper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RU Chris
    Maybe I'm missing something, but how would the shorter wheelbase make you feel more cramped on the bike? Wouldn't that be a function of the ETT length?
    excellent point. so the ETT on the moto is 637.5mm. the rockhopper's is 650mm. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's about a half inch difference, right? That's not much at all. And now that you got me thinking, 18mm in wheelbase is only about 3/4 of an inch diff.
    hardly noticeable. hmm...

  7. #7
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    It is only a half of an inch, something that you may be able to compensate for with a different stem length. You seem to be up to speed on the spec differences, so it really comes down to what yo think will be a better bike for you. You said you can pick up the Moto locally already assembled, maybe you can give it a test ride? That might help you make the decision.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RU Chris
    It is only a half of an inch, something that you may be able to compensate for with a different stem length. You seem to be up to speed on the spec differences, so it really comes down to what yo think will be a better bike for you. You said you can pick up the Moto locally already assembled, maybe you can give it a test ride? That might help you make the decision.
    no i can pick up the specialized rockhopper comp locally. the moto, i'd have to order online. I've already test ridden the rockhopper, and i liked it. i tested another 29er too, i think it was a giant, and i liked that one too. didn't notice a whole lot of difference actually. i'm wondering if i'd notice much difference between the rockhopper and the moto.

  9. #9
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    If you are comfortable putting the bike together, the Motobecane is a no brainer. Way better components for the buck. You can always swap to a new frame down the road if labels matter to you or you want a different geometry or a full suspension, etc.. Support your LBS with parts, accessories and repairs, but it is really tough to beat the online deals.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgardnerma
    If you are comfortable putting the bike together, the Motobecane is a no brainer. Way better components for the buck. You can always swap to a new frame down the road if labels matter to you or you want a different geometry or a full suspension, etc.. Support your LBS with parts, accessories and repairs, but it is really tough to beat the online deals.
    yeah, i'm kinda leanin that way.

  11. #11
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    Buying a bike you havent ridden is a crap shoot , a half inch difference in top tube length can be a deal breaker to some people .

  12. #12
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    I bought the MB Fantom Pro 29er SL in February. I'm 6'3 and got the 21" and have no complaints! I've been riding for a little under 2 years now, and this is my 3rd bike. The first two never felt quite right, but the geometry of this bike seems to be perfect for me.

    I also lucked out in that I live in the same area as the BD warehouse and they have a LBS that assembled the bike for me and gave me lifetime maintenance for free as well

  13. #13
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    If it were me, I'd go with the Rockhopper.

    ** Mechanical discs are just fine. I prefer them because hydros tough to fix on the trail.
    ** Fork lockout... unimportant to a non-racer. Makes no real difference.
    ** Wheelbase difference of 18mm is nothing. Feeling cramped on a bike has to do with virtual top-tube length, handbar height vs seat height, seat position and handlebar sweep.

    Fit of a bike is everything. If you tried the Specialized and it fit good, there is nothing to think about. I don't have an issue with Bikesdirect.com. I have wheels from them. But fit of the total bike is way more important than a lock out fork and hydro brakes.

  14. #14
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    As an 09 Rockhopper owner, I'll give you my experience. The bad; Adjusting the bb5's got old quick so I upgraded to bb7's (cheap upgrade and much better). The Dart 3 is working fine, but it feels like a rigid fork most of the time. The biggest disappointment is the 8 speed drive train and being limited to a 32 low gear in back. The cost of upgrading to 9 speed and a better fork is substantial, so keep that in mind.
    The good; the frame geo fits me very well (6'2" 224lbs), the wheels have stayed true, the stock seat is comfy, and the bike is not too heavy for the price point.
    Overall, its been a fun entry level 29er, but If I were in your shoes I'd be very tempted to try the Moto or Sette Razzo because of the better parts spec.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    If it were me, I'd go with the Rockhopper.

    ** Mechanical discs are just fine. I prefer them because hydros tough to fix on the trail.
    Funny, now that you mention it...the 09 rockhopper that I test drove had mechanical disk brakes on it, and it suprised me how little stopping power they had. 10 years ago my Tektro V-brakes had more stopping power than these did. I asked the mechanic about it and he gave me a spiel about the pads needing to be broken in. But I felt like he was BS-ing me based off of his tone and the fact that after sitting in a bike shop for a year, being test driven several times, the pads should probably have been broken in by now. I could be wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    ** Fork lockout... unimportant to a non-racer. Makes no real difference.
    no offense, but BULL. First of all when you're climbing uphill the lockout makes it so nice cause your front end is not bouncing up and down, so you can go a little faster. BIG difference when you're climbing. am i right or am i right? And second, adding the remote into the equation just makes it that much easier. you don't have to reach down and look away from the trail. you can just quickly switch it with out even slowing down your momentum before entering an uphill climb. why would you need to be racing to enjoy these benefits?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    ** Wheelbase difference of 18mm is nothing. Feeling cramped on a bike has to do with virtual top-tube length, handbar height vs seat height, seat position and handlebar sweep.
    Okay I agree with you there. But this is why i started this post. I'm trying to figure out if the difference in geometry between the two bikes will be okay enough for me to entertain purchasing the nicer equipped bike

  16. #16
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    thank you mikecito. very good info.

  17. #17
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    Versions of this same post come up time and again. If you haven't been on a bike in a while and are unsure of fit, buy the Rockhopper, or comb your local craigslist for a used 29er that you can take for a test ride.

    Fit is absolutely everything when it comes to riding more than a few miles from time to time. A half-inch of ETT is alot. For me, I like a 24" TT. I've tried 23.7" TT frames and felt cramped. I have a 24.2" TT frame and am struggling to dial it in. When you look at a ruler, it doesn't seem like alot, but it will certainly feel like alot when you start pedaling more and more miles.

    Like I said, if you're unsatisfied with the parts spec. on the Rockhopper, then look for something lightly used - maybe you can find a Rockhopper Expert (or whatever the next model up is).

    BD bikes have a great parts spec for the money, but its a crapshoot unless you REALLY know what geo. works best for you. Having been off a bike for the time that you have sure doesn't make it sound like you have your fit numbers dialed in.
    Enjoy the ride!

  18. #18
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    "no offense, but BULL. First of all when you're climbing uphill the lockout makes it so nice cause your front end is not bouncing up and down, so you can go a little faster. BIG difference when you're climbing. am i right or am i right? And second, adding the remote into the equation just makes it that much easier. you don't have to reach down and look away from the trail. you can just quickly switch it with out even slowing down your momentum before entering an uphill climb. why would you need to be racing to enjoy these benefits?"

    You stated that it's been a while since you have ridden... 10-12 years. Then take the advice of a guy the pedals everyday, fork lockouts are a waste. 1- they add un-needed weight to the bike. 2- it's a distraction / something else to think about. 3- There is no scientific evidence showing that locking your fork out helps on climbs. 4- Logic, your pedal force is on your frame and rear wheel, not your fork.

    If you were writing about rear suspension lockout, I 100% agree with you. But not for a fork, I 100% disagree.

    Sorry to hear about your disk brake experiance. BB7's with good brake housing are pretty nice.

  19. #19
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    2010 Access XCL 9r 9.7 for $849.99

    Rockhopper Comp 29er Disc is $830 for a 2010 model. For less than that (if you count the Team Performance membership points), you could have a Tora fork, Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic brakes, and SRAM X.7 components. If you live near a PerformanceBike.com retail store, then you'd get LBS support with an online price.

    2010 Access XCL 9r 9.7 on sale for $849.99

    2010 Access XCL 9r 9.7 - $849.99
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...7_20000_400308
    FRAME: 6061 Aluminum
    FORK: Rock Shox Tora SL 100mm travel
    BRAKES: Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc w/ 185mm front, 160mm rear
    CASSETTE: SRAM PG-950, 11/34T, 9-speed
    CHAIN: KMC HG73 1/2" 11/128" 106L
    BB: TruVativ Giga X Pipe XR
    CRANKSET: TruVativ FireX 3.3 aluminum, 22/32/44T
    F.DERAILLEUR: SRAM X.7, 34.9, top-pull
    R.DERAILLEUR: SRAM X.7, long cage
    SHIFTERS: SRAM X.7 Trigger
    LEVERS: Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc
    HEADSET: Cane Creek Semi-integrated
    STEM: Forged Alloy 4-bolt, 7 rise, EXT:15"=90mm,17"=100mm,19"=110mm, 21/23"=120mm, 31.8
    HANDLEBAR: MTB, butted aluminum, 710mm, 25mm rise
    GRIPS: Velo Oury
    PEDALS: Wellgo WPD-801, chromoly axle
    SADDLE: Velo
    SEATPOST: 7075 Aluminum, 31.6, 350L
    TIRES: Schwalbe Albert HS 29 x 2.1"
    RIMS: Mavic TN 719 Disc, 29", 32H
    HUBS: CNC alloy, disc, sealed, 32H

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    Based on your concern regarding fit, this is a no brainer - buy the one you can actually test ride.
    i agree with this guy here. things like bb height, chainstay length, head angle, seat tube angle...makes bike with 'similar' geo feel quite different. if your nervous, go with what you can ride and are comfy with. I will say the fantom looks nice but i have the rh comp 29er(2010) and its a good bike

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clones123
    Rockhopper Comp 29er Disc is $830 for a 2010 model. For less than that (if you count the Team Performance membership points), you could have a Tora fork, Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic brakes, and SRAM X.7 components. If you live near a PerformanceBike.com retail store, then you'd get LBS support with an online price.

    2010 Access XCL 9r 9.7 on sale for $849.99

    2010 Access XCL 9r 9.7 - $849.99
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...7_20000_400308
    Uh, I clicked on your link and it quoted me $999.99. That's unfortunate, cause I do have 4 performance bike store's in the portland area, about 45 min away from me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuwuforever
    Uh, I clicked on your link and it quoted me $999.99. That's unfortunate, cause I do have 4 performance bike store's in the portland area, about 45 min away from me.

    Hold out if you can and pay attention to Performance sales. They vary prices almost daily. I've definitely seen that bike cheaper than $999 in the past. PLus, as was stated before, if you buy a bike, you can sign up for the Team Performance thingy on the spot and instantly get 10% back in store credit.

    I agree that the Performance deal is probably your best bet. Very usable components and you can test ride them to make sure it fits. Plus you get lifetime adjustments on brakes and derailleurs.
    Enjoy the ride!

  23. #23
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    Have you seen this bike? http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/198...-29er-Bike.htm. Here's a thread about it: I did it...Ordered the Razzo.

    It's slightly more $$$ but I, personally, like the build better than the others you're considering. It's built more as a complete 29er package rather than throwing a bunch of nice parts at a frame. For instance, it has the new 36t rear cassette. It was specifically built as a 29er. I'd ride one

    The Rockhopper is obviously not thrown together but it's parts spec is lame and if you're capable of doing your own wrenching and won't need much help from a shop, I'd recommend getting the most for your money.

    The Motobecane: nothing bad to say but the Vuelta wheels and random no name small parts don't excite me...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFYFZX
    I've seen it, and yeah that's a sweet deal. I just don't have that much to spend unfortunately.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuwuforever
    Uh, I clicked on your link and it quoted me $999.99. That's unfortunate, cause I do have 4 performance bike store's in the portland area, about 45 min away from me.
    Wow - that was a short sale. Must have lasted less than 48-hours. I was in a PB store today and noted that the Tora fork on the 2009 model they had was a coil - not the air version. Man, you'd think they'd have a sale price on left-over 2009 bikes before they put the 2010 version on sale while the old bike was still $999. Perhaps someone at the retail level pointed out that oversight so they pulled the sale. In my brief experience with PB, they've definitely got some inventory management issues but I guess that can work to your advantage if you can wait long enough for them to notice and correct the problem with a suitable discount. They also will match any advertised price on the same item within 90 days of your purchase so you can catch sales after you buy too if you're paying attention.

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