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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Fantom Team DS 27.5 - Ride Review

    For those not following the thread in the 27.5 forum, here is my first ride impression.

    Took mine out for the weekly group ride and the initial impression was good. I haven't ridden in the past 2 weeks (work gettin in the way of fun) so I was feeling a little off fitness wise. This either made the bike feel heavy (weight using the bathroom scale trick was 34 all geared up with saddle bag and light/battery, still tubed) or I just sucked. Times on the segments were on par with past times for climbs so I think I just felt slow. Anyways, pedal bob was at a minimum in pedal mode and non existent when locked out. As expected there was a fair amount when it was open. Shock was run with 30% sag. The fork was a little softer than expected when locked out but I think I'm a little low on the air pressure since I used the full amount of travel and I was in no way on terrain that rough. It feels really different when compared to my Fantom Pro 29 HT and took a while to get a good feeling for it. The steering is slower and I can lean it a bit more in the turns and then just getting used to the rear moving up and down was a bit weird. I was in no way pushing on the downhill segments but I still set a couple PR's which goes to show it allows me to ride faster and with more confidence. It felt very stable and was easy to maneuver around. I didn't get much air, but the little time I did spend aloft felt very natural. Braking was fantastic. I have Elixir 7 Trails on my HT which are the predecessors to the Guide's, and they felt very similar. Great modulation with tons of power. Where the Guide's differ is in the ease of adjustment. It took me just a minute or two to get the levers right where I wanted them and then was able to adjust the dead space. The Trail's took time due to using an allen wrench and there is no way to adjust the pad contact point. I was a little surprised that the rotors were different sizes (180/160) but didn't notice any shortcomings on the trail. I did not feel the back end stiffen under braking or notice any brake jack.

    I left the bike mostly stock but did replace a few items. First was to put a XT Shadow+ on it. This bike should not have been spec'd with a non clutch rear D. I changed out the seat for a WTB Pure as that is what is on my other ride. Got a set of ODI grips, again to match my other bike. I have to remove my seat to get the bike in the back of my wagon so on went a quick release seat clamp. And finally, staying with the XT theme a set of XT pedals. I'll convert to tubless tonight with some Stan's valves and homebrew sealant.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2015

    27.5 Team First Ride, Tucson AZ

    I too received my Fantom 27.5 Team DS this past week. Work also kept me from getting out until today! I am upgrading from a Wayless (Santa Cruz licensed frame), 26" wheels and XT buildup.

    Setup was fine. Both derailleurs needed adjustments and I went through and tightened fasteners where I thought relevant. I am having a hard time setting up the front derailleur. I get chain rub on the bottom of the bracket when the chain is on the lower cog. The attachment to the frame allows only for vertical adjustment, which I can lower the bracket, but then I am no longer in the suggested 2-3mm gap from teeth to bracket. I may need to have someone more inclined to verify my concern.

    I also had to cut the seat stem shorter. Man, it had me sitting way high and I couldn't drop it further. Once I did that, it feels very natural, albeit by entire body feels pretty high relative to my previous bike. I also spend the time to put 3M shield on a good portion of the underside of the frame. Hoping to prevent a lot of the rock chips I get from the Tucson, AZ trails.

    So, today I hit a easy/fun trail called Fantasy Island. It offers a lot of variation in terrain and the river rock puts the shocks to test. The bike felt very "tight". I felt like I had good control and it went were I pointed it. Like Rob above, the steering did feel slower. I am sure the size and weight both play part in that equation. I too bottomed out my front shock, but all the Rock Shox I have used all seem to under require the pressure to weight suggestions. I will put a bit more in next time. They Pike felt AWESOME compared to what I am used to. I didn't get the rebound settled yet, but the bike inspired confidence.

    I did slide out once. My fault over grabbing my front brake in a sandy turn. The brakes are very precise and consistent with plenty of stopping authority. In pure instinct I thought "save the bike", and sacrificed by body to prevent scratches. Always hard to see something brand new get scuffed. In time. With the new tire size, I need to re-learn what pressure to use in them. I tried 44 lbs today, but I think it was too high for my liking. I was spinning out a bit in areas I didn't before.

    I really haven't had the time to dial in the front or rear shock, but I will update once I get another ride or two in...may be a while. But, for the sake of first ride, I am happy with the bike and I am excited to take it to some more challenging trails. I haven't weighed it yet, but it is hefty; however, no more than my current bike. I figure losing 5 lbs on my body is cheaper than losing 5 lbs on the bike

    I am 5'10", 155 buck, 31" inseam, purchased the 47" frame and it is ALMOST too large. I like it that way, however. I like the fit.

    Since the photo, I swapped the seat, added egg-beaters and shortened the post. Sorry for the mess. Too hot in the garage this time of year!

    Fantom Team DS 27.5 - Ride Review-20150608_215031-copy.jpg

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rcnute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Thanks for the posts. I'm debating between this or the Trance. They don't seem super different.


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I have a Moto but it's a 26er but I just assembled one for my buddy. The front derailers cage sucks its to short, but if you go to a 1x10 it's an awesome bike for the money. Going 1x10 was easy with the Fantom comp because it has a clutch derailer so just buy a narrow wide chain ring and a 40 or 42 rear cog, B screw and your good to go.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mass-hole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I'd like to see what you guys have to say after a few weeks. My wife needs a bike and I am thinking about upgrading from the Fantom Team DS(26"). I feel like the Fantom Team is a bit too upright and tends to feel a bit squirrelly on the high speed descents.
    2015 Intense Carbine 29
    2013 Motobecane Fantom Team DS

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