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  1. #1
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    Moto Questions & Recommendation

    I have been out of MTB'ing for a dozen years or so, and my one and only bike is almost 20 years old (92/93 Diamond Back Ascent EX). Now, old and fat, I would like to pick it up again as a hobby and to ge get in better shape.

    I have researched locally and online. I would love to get into FS, but I think my price range and desire for decent components will put me on a HT 29er. At my LBSs, I have found a Specialized Carve Expert (2012) for 1650 and a Santa Cruz Hiball for 2100. Looking online, I can much better components for my money at BD. I would love to get away with a grand, but I have a soft max of 2k.

    I don't care what name is on the bike, I just want something that has a good quality build. I will admit that the Carve looks racy and the Hiball was sexy...but function first, right? As such, I am leaning heavily towards a bike from BD.

    Can someone shed a little info on the difference between the FLY, Motobecane, Gravity, Fantom, etc. lines? Are they different levels or just styles? Made for different types of riding?

    I will be mainly doing xc type riding on the east coast. Everything here is rocky and rooty, but I don't plan on launching off of 4ft+ drops or anything like that. I am 6 foot and weigh 250, so I need to know how being short-n-fat affects my options. Again, I'm not new to the sport, but it has been *quite a while* and things have changed considerably.

    I like the looks of the Fantom FS XO 30 (can't post links yet) bike, but it is at the top of what I would like to spend. Is there a HT equivalent with a similar frame, tapered headtube, 15mm thru, etc.? I like the looks of the $1500 x9 version, but am sort of bothered by the non tapered reba...seems weird to me.

    So, out of the whole BD line, what would you guys recommend? Also, how strong are their Ti frames? Would they stand up to a big guy bouncing through a rock garden or rooted hillside?

    Lots of questions, I know. TIA!

  2. #2
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    I ride the Ti Fantom on east coast trails similar to yours.
    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles
    Bike works well for XC type riding and where I ride there are plenty of rock gardens and roots. I find the bike very comfortable and the frame looks to be built very well. All of the welds look very nice. I'm 190lbs so can't say how it would feel at your weight, but the thru axle Reba should help. Non tapered HT didn't really matter to me.

    My only issue is on really tight trails with slow speed maneuvers the bike can feel big. I'm sure it's partially 29" wheel related, but I also think it's chain stay and maybe wheelbase related. I'm also guessing those same things are what makes the bike so comfortable on other types of riding so it's just a tradeoff. Also a reason to have more then one bike.

  3. #3
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    Let me start by saying I am no expert by any means.

    I was in the same boat as you when purchasing a bike. the bikes I liked at my LBS were ~$2000+ bikes with not so great components. With that I remembered BD when I bought my Specialized Roubaix and started to look into them now that I am more familiar on how to work on bikes.
    I ended up buying the 2012 Fantom FS Pro which saved me $200 + tax while having much better components (XTR), but with an older suspension design. If I were to buy a new bike again I would still purchase the same bike. I am 6'4" and 260ish and the bought handles my weight well.

  4. #4
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    I just got the 2013 Fantom 29er4BY Comp this week. In bike shoes I am 6' 2" and have a 34 5/8" inseam, 215 lbs. I got the large 52cm. I was worried that it would be to big, but with the seat all most all the way down it feels good. The bike weighs 32.8 pounds. The bike is built solid with good components. The only trouble I had putting it together is that I had to turn the bike upside down and pull (spread) the back wheel drop outs to get the back wheel to fully drop into the drop outs

    I test rode the Trek Rumblefish (19") and used that bike as a reference point for my motobecane buying decision.

    My previous bike was a 1998 K2 Proflex 3000. So far after a couple rides I really enjoy the extra suspension and the easy rolling big wheels on the Fantom

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info. Bladdo, I have a roughly 33" inseam and was thinking size large. From your experience (seat all the way down) it sounds like 19" may be too big. Your thoughts?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettevert View Post
    Thanks for all the info. Bladdo, I have a roughly 33" inseam and was thinking size large. From your experience (seat all the way down) it sounds like 19" may be too big. Your thoughts?
    You'll have to be more specific about which bike to determine size. Geometry is different on each bike so one 19" might be perfect for you and another may not. Also seat height and stand over is not the correct way to size a bike. You should size more by ETT.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettore View Post
    You'll have to be more specific about which bike to determine size. Geometry is different on each bike so one 19" might be perfect for you and another may not. Also seat height and stand over is not the correct way to size a bike. You should size more by ETT.
    I hit up the mtb'ing glossary, but ETT? Something top tube I'm guessing.

    Thank you for the heads up. I will nail down which bike first.

    Bladdo, did you find the bars too narrow like many think on the FLY models?

  8. #8
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    Here's a basic geometry chart.
    Geometry, an In Depth Explanation - Pinkbike
    ETT = effective top tube. On the link above they just call it toptube length. In the "old" days the top tubes were horizontal so you could measure them and fit a bike. Now with sloped tubes the actual measurement is now called ETT.

    Mine came with 620 bars which are far too narrow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettore

    Mine came with 620 bars which are far too narrow.
    That is what I had read on the Ti models. I wasn't sure if the ones on the FS bikes were the same. I've also read that the descriptions on BD can be off/old.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettevert View Post
    I hit up the mtb'ing glossary, but ETT? Something top tube I'm guessing.

    Thank you for the heads up. I will nail down which bike first.

    Bladdo, did you find the bars too narrow like many think on the FLY models?
    No not at all. They measure 675mm. Wider than my previous bike. I do not know if the medium and small bikes come with a narrower bars

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettevert View Post
    Thanks for all the info. Bladdo, I have a roughly 33" inseam and was thinking size large. From your experience (seat all the way down) it sounds like 19" may be too big. Your thoughts?
    The fantom Large, 52cm has a seat tube of 20.5", ETT of 615mm . The Fantom medium 47cm seat tube is 18.5" with a ETT of 595mm. You might want to consider the 47cm Fantom. You could cut the seat tube down on the 52cm but then the seat would most likely be below the handlebars.. Tuff call.

    Go ride a 19" Trek Rumblefish and see how it feels. If it feels too big, you might want to consider the 47cm

    By the way I rode a large Specialized Camber 29er and it felt just a little small to me

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