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  1. #1
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    Fantom29 4x4 comp vs Hal6 Expert

    Hi guys, longtime reader but first post here. Tons of great info on these forums but I have to ask a question so here goes... I've been looking at BD for a while but when I ordered my first bike a few years back, they were all sold out of the 29er I had set my sights on and amazon had a sale on the Diamondback Overdrive Sport for $500. I bought it and have been happy with it, but lately I've been thinking about upgrading to a fs. I ride a lot of rocky trails here in New England and I want something that can't handle the terrain a bit better, plus I want to start riding a bit more aggressive and hitting some drops, etc.

    I was looking at BD's Fantom29 4x4 here Save Up to 60% Off Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles but then I started thinking about going to a 27.5". One thing I don't like about my current bike is how heavy the wheels feel, and despite the ease of rolling over obstacles, I think I'd be willing to trade off some for less rolling weight.

    I saw the Hal6 pro the other day and am seriously torn now. Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, 2016 Motobecane HAL6 EXPERT Edition 27.5 / 650B Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Shimano Deore / XT 20 Speed Shimano SLX Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox Revelation 150mm Forks | Shima They are the same price and they both look to have similar specs with the major difference being the 27.5" vs 29". I really have a hard time following all of the Shimano Deore vs. XT vs. XTR vs. SLX differences, but from what I gather the Hal6 seems to have slightly better components (I think?). I do like the look of the Fantom29 better though, especially with the black bracket connecting the top of the rear shock to the rest of the linkage as opposed to that chrome/stainless one. The hal6 also is available for pre-order whereas the Fantom29 just states sold out.

    Anyone have any advice for me? Does the Hal6 seem better all around, enough to make it a no-brainer? Or, if I were to stick with the 29er, would simply swapping to a light wheel set take away some of my current gripes? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Whats up JrgLenni,

    I too have been searching for a new bike recently and just changed my order from a 6by6 pro to the hal6 pro. Over the last month I have spent some serious time educating myself on all aspects of new mountainikes and feel pretty up to speed at this point. Here's my opinion on your choices. It seems that most agree that for cross country riding 29" wheels are the best thing for going uphill fast. the 27.5" dominates more of the enduro style of riding; going downhill fast, hitting big jumps, and snappier handling, but still being able to climb reasonably well. Now personally, I think the hal6 is just a way better looking bike than the 4x4 or 6by6 with a more modern and aggressive look, and you could always paint the chrome bracket on the hal6. Hey, good Idea I may do that too! As far as wheel weight goes I have a feeling whichever of these bikes you decide on their wheels will feel so much lighter than your old $500 diamondback, especially since they both have tubeless wheels and tires included. Overall looking at the 2 bikes specs side by side I would say that the hal6 will go downhill faster and the 4by4 will win on the uphill. Components do look very similar with the Hal 6 having the advantage with a better front shock and crankset but the 4by4 winning out with a slightly better front derailler and better brakes. Man these bikes are a good deal! Good luck with your decision..
    Last edited by Cc in Hawaii; 04-21-2016 at 05:39 PM.

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    Do they come tubeless or are they just tubeless compatible? I was going to go tubeless anyway but it sounded like you need to set it up yourself. Good point on the bracket. That's really my only complaint about the looks of it, other than that it looks sharp. I think I will go with the hal 6, just need to sell my car now

  4. #4
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    hahahaha, yeah you gotta sell your car cuz bikes cost as much as a damn car these days! Not sure how the tires come on these but other posts have made it sound like theres a bit to do to set them up tubeless..


    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    Do they come tubeless or are they just tubeless compatible? I was going to go tubeless anyway but it sounded like you need to set it up yourself. Good point on the bracket. That's really my only complaint about the looks of it, other than that it looks sharp. I think I will go with the hal 6, just need to sell my car now

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    Well, setting aside wheel size for a minute, apples-to-apples the new HAL6 should be a better-performing bike (I say "should" because obviously I haven't ridden one, nor has anybody else.) The overall geometry is more modern, with a little more slack. The suspension linkage is the "knuckle box" design that has proven to be about as good as it gets for keeping the rear wheel planted without any driveline lash. And the overall level of componentry is mostly one step higher. All things considered, the HAL6 is a little better, technologically.

    That being said, some people like the more traditional geometry and 29" wheels, so rider preference could tip the scales. But if I had to choose between these two for general all-mountain riding, the HAL6 would be the no-brainer choice.

  6. #6
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    Hal is more trail/AM, and the Fantom is more XC. For general all around riding of rough stuff, I'd go with the Hal. It might be too much travel and too slack of a headtube angle for XC type of riding.

    The Hal is a much better deal, but if it won't work for your riding style and what you ride, the Fantom is nice.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Thanks guys! I was pretty much decided on the Hal6 though still a little hesitant, but that pretty much seals the deal. I do think my style of riding is more rough stuff than general XC and it sounds like the Hal6 is the clear win in that category.

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    I got impatient... and worried that they would sell out by the time I sold my car so I went ahead and place the order for it! I was on the fence whether to get a medium or large frame (I'm just a hair under 5'11" with a 32" standover height) but decided to go with the large singe there is only a 15mm difference in TT lengths and I wanted to err on the side of it being a hair too large than too cramped. My current bike is a large frame with a TT length of 622.3mm, so this in a large frame is a bit shorter and my current bike doesn't feel too long. I'll post some pics and feedback when I get in, but being this is my first FS and I haven't ridden anything other than a quick spin on my buddies demo scalpel several years back, my comparisons will be lacking.

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    I wanted to add a comment about the "chrome bracket" shock linkage discussion in this thread. I am assuming the linkage is aluminum and if so it can easily be anodized whatever color you would like. Your local machine shop should be able to get that done for you.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndatube67 View Post
    I wanted to add a comment about the "chrome bracket" shock linkage discussion in this thread. I am assuming the linkage is aluminum and if so it can easily be anodized whatever color you would like. Your local machine shop should be able to get that done for you.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    Wow interesting, how much would something like that cost? I was thinking making it the same blue as the lever on the rear shock. To add a little accent. The thing that makes it look goofy right now is that it's the only bright silver thing on the bike!

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    Look up anodizing to see how it's done, or consider powder coat. for powder coat, ask around local auto shops and remote control car shops. they might have contacts for people who can do small powder coat jobs for cheap.

    personally, I think the silver is fine. especially considering the giant white motobecane lettering. I'd assemble it, take it for a ride before doing anything to the linkage. Also, get an e-mail from BD about their warranty. Chemically anodizing or putting a aluminum suspension component into an oven may void the warranty.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Look up anodizing to see how it's done, or consider powder coat. for powder coat, ask around local auto shops and remote control car shops. they might have contacts for people who can do small powder coat jobs for cheap.

    personally, I think the silver is fine. especially considering the giant white motobecane lettering. I'd assemble it, take it for a ride before doing anything to the linkage. Also, get an e-mail from BD about their warranty. Chemically anodizing or putting a aluminum suspension component into an oven may void the warranty.
    Thanks for that advice watts, will def look into that. Also the only hal6 that has giant white lettering is the expert, most of us are getting the pro version. Mine for instance is the green which is all green with black lettering. The silver kind of matches a bit with the big white stickers on the front fork but I plan to remove those stickers as well cuz they just don't fit well with the rest of the bike, what would be wrong with just rattle canning the bracket flat black btw? Think it would flake off?

  13. #13
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    Just looked at pictures, and yea, the silver is off. I'd still wait till it comes in before I made any plans on changing it. Never know, they might come in black. Sometimes, the pictures on the pre-order bikes are slightly different than what comes in. I've even heard of component that come in different (usually the same or better) than what is originally listed.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Just looked at pictures, and yea, the silver is off. I'd still wait till it comes in before I made any plans on changing it. Never know, they might come in black. Sometimes, the pictures on the pre-order bikes are slightly different than what comes in. I've even heard of component that come in different (usually the same or better) than what is originally listed.
    So don't buy the can of paint just yet? Just kidding, good call though on waiting to see, also what do you think about the pedals? Vp-988s? Can't see them very well in the pic and couldn't find them online. You know anything?

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    They look like BD's standard bear trap pedals. OK for shop floor demos and riding to the grocery store in your street shoes, but I'd hope you'd want something better. Pinned platforms with actual bike shoes (Five Ten Shoes for example) or some clipless pedals and SPD shoes.

    and don't ask for pedal recommendations. Too many posts about "which pedal should I use". I boils down to "you won't know until you try" and "everybody's different". Just grab something off amazon or go to your LBS and buy some.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Pinned platforms with actual bike shoes (Five Ten Shoes for example) or some clipless pedals and SPD shoes.

    and don't ask for pedal recommendations. Too many posts about "which pedal should I use"..
    SO which pedals do you recommend?


    I definitely dont want to go clipless. I think matching the green on the bike would be cool too.

  17. #17
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    Yea, you lost me at "matching green"

    Too many platforms at too many price ranges. all have plus and minus from the cheapest $20 ones off amazon (oddly enough, the rockbros platforms actually have cartridge bearings in them) to the $500 titanium ones on Jenson. Pinned platforms and a good set of shoes. Shoes are more important IMO.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  18. #18
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    Fantom29 4x4 comp vs Hal6 Expert-hal6-pro-grn-21.jpgYeah, matching the green!
    $500 pedals are outrageous! think Ill try the ebay ones. Nice tip!

  19. #19
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    Hal6 or fantom

    Quote Originally Posted by jrglenni View Post
    Hi guys, longtime reader but first post here. Tons of great info on these forums but I have to ask a question so here goes... I've been looking at BD for a while but when I ordered my first bike a few years back, they were all sold out of the 29er I had set my sights on and amazon had a sale on the Diamondback Overdrive Sport for $500. I bought it and have been happy with it, but lately I've been thinking about upgrading to a fs. I ride a lot of rocky trails here in New England and I want something that can't handle the terrain a bit better, plus I want to start riding a bit more aggressive and hitting some drops, etc.

    I was looking at BD's Fantom29 4x4 here Save Up to 60% Off Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles but then I started thinking about going to a 27.5". One thing I don't like about my current bike is how heavy the wheels feel, and despite the ease of rolling over obstacles, I think I'd be willing to trade off some for less rolling weight.

    I saw the Hal6 pro the other day and am seriously torn now. Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, 2016 Motobecane HAL6 EXPERT Edition 27.5 / 650B Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Shimano Deore / XT 20 Speed Shimano SLX Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox Revelation 150mm Forks | Shima They are the same price and they both look to have similar specs with the major difference being the 27.5" vs 29". I really have a hard time following all of the Shimano Deore vs. XT vs. XTR vs. SLX differences, but from what I gather the Hal6 seems to have slightly better components (I think?). I do like the look of the Fantom29 better though, especially with the black bracket connecting the top of the rear shock to the rest of the linkage as opposed to that chrome/stainless one. The hal6 also is available for pre-order whereas the Fantom29 just states sold out.

    Anyone have any advice for me? Does the Hal6 seem better all around, enough to make it a no-brainer? Or, if I were to stick with the 29er, would simply swapping to a light wheel set take away some of my current gripes? Thanks in advance!
    I am likely late to this show and you have made a decision, but for anyone that was like myself or the above post and trying to figure out anything at all about the HAL bikes, hope this helps. I had the FANTOM 6X6 Team bike with the Pike fork, great components and it was a really solid bike. The frame was on the larger side and you felt like you were on top of the bike, not in/with the bike. This made handling in technical terrain a little difficult for a beginner like myself. The other point was the position of the crank seemed high and to get to proper riding position, I needed to cut back the seat post a good bit. As for overall performance, downhill it was really solid, climbing was as good as the Giant Trance I had ridden as a loaner. Rocks, log-overs and streams were no issue for the Fantom. The technical switchbacks and tight cornering was where this bike combined with my inexperience took the hit.

    HAL6 XT11 I just received and have had my first ride, so this review comes after one ride. The first thing you notice on the bike is that the frame lines are very modern and bike feels light coming out of the box. As you un-package it, you find a great surprise that is not on the website, it comes with remote lock-out. I had never heard of the Revelation fork from Rock Shox, but what a treat! It is nice looking and so easy to setup. The performance of the shock was, in my first ride and beginner option, on par with the Pike. The bike comes with outstanding Race Face Crank, XT shadow shifters, 1 x 11. When complete, it is a thing of beauty and rides even better. I did some modifications, replacing the Ritchey stem and bars with Nukeproof DH wider bars, the grips with Salsa grips and WTB seat with lighter XC seat. I kept the wheels but removed the tube and went tubeless. Once done, on to riding. I rode a trail that was 6 miles but full of technical challenges, log overs, big roots climbing and descending, beach sand, leaves, tight cornering, all but rocks. This bike handled the trail and asked for more. To get a complete evaluation of the capability of the bike, I swapped bikes with a buddy and I rode this Giant, he took my HAL6 XT11. In the end, we both had personal gains and bests. The comment that he and I made was that we were able to do sections of the trail that we had never accomplished before. The HAL6 handles the rough stuff, tracking the trail with ease. The climbing ability is incredible, with a shorter chain stay than the Fantom. I have ridden Niner RDO, the Giant Trance, Anthem X, Treks, Cannondales and Pivot. Of these bikes, this HAL6, for the money, is as good as it gets. Well, Pivot by far the best, but much more money! Many will be tempted to look at the HAL6 PRO, and I certainly think it will be GREAT. I just wanted all to know, that going with the Expert, HAL5 or even what I have is NOT a step down. The fork really performs well, I never needed to go 2 X 11 as the HAL PRO comes, brakes performed really well, cannot go wrong with HALX. Fantom riders, XC open riding you are the champ, for any XC meets All Mountain, the HAL is by far my pick.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb4life17 View Post
    I am likely late to this show and you have made a decision, but for anyone that was like myself or the above post and trying to figure out anything at all about the HAL bikes, hope this helps. I had the FANTOM 6X6 Team bike with the Pike fork, great components and it was a really solid bike. The frame was on the larger side and you felt like you were on top of the bike, not in/with the bike. This made handling in technical terrain a little difficult for a beginner like myself. The other point was the position of the crank seemed high and to get to proper riding position, I needed to cut back the seat post a good bit. As for overall performance, downhill it was really solid, climbing was as good as the Giant Trance I had ridden as a loaner. Rocks, log-overs and streams were no issue for the Fantom. The technical switchbacks and tight cornering was where this bike combined with my inexperience took the hit.

    HAL6 XT11 I just received and have had my first ride, so this review comes after one ride. The first thing you notice on the bike is that the frame lines are very modern and bike feels light coming out of the box. As you un-package it, you find a great surprise that is not on the website, it comes with remote lock-out. I had never heard of the Revelation fork from Rock Shox, but what a treat! It is nice looking and so easy to setup. The performance of the shock was, in my first ride and beginner option, on par with the Pike. The bike comes with outstanding Race Face Crank, XT shadow shifters, 1 x 11. When complete, it is a thing of beauty and rides even better. I did some modifications, replacing the Ritchey stem and bars with Nukeproof DH wider bars, the grips with Salsa grips and WTB seat with lighter XC seat. I kept the wheels but removed the tube and went tubeless. Once done, on to riding. I rode a trail that was 6 miles but full of technical challenges, log overs, big roots climbing and descending, beach sand, leaves, tight cornering, all but rocks. This bike handled the trail and asked for more. To get a complete evaluation of the capability of the bike, I swapped bikes with a buddy and I rode this Giant, he took my HAL6 XT11. In the end, we both had personal gains and bests. The comment that he and I made was that we were able to do sections of the trail that we had never accomplished before. The HAL6 handles the rough stuff, tracking the trail with ease. The climbing ability is incredible, with a shorter chain stay than the Fantom. I have ridden Niner RDO, the Giant Trance, Anthem X, Treks, Cannondales and Pivot. Of these bikes, this HAL6, for the money, is as good as it gets. Well, Pivot by far the best, but much more money! Many will be tempted to look at the HAL6 PRO, and I certainly think it will be GREAT. I just wanted all to know, that going with the Expert, HAL5 or even what I have is NOT a step down. The fork really performs well, I never needed to go 2 X 11 as the HAL PRO comes, brakes performed really well, cannot go wrong with HALX. Fantom riders, XC open riding you are the champ, for any XC meets All Mountain, the HAL is by far my pick.
    No pressure but based entirely on your post I just pulled the trigger on this.

    Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, Motobecane HAL6 XT11 Edition 27.5 / 650B Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Shimano Deore XT M8000 2x11 Speed Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox Pike 160mm Forks | Shimano DynaS

    I was actually going back and forth for about a week on the fantom vs HAL6 this put me over the top for the HAL

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