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  1. #1
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    MB Fantom Ti Boost Review

    Just in case anyone was curious about these....this is the $3k 29er X01 Eagle model currently at bikes direct. Had an older Ti frame from them also. Ridden this on everything from speedy hardpack to rocky singletrack to Moab-style sandstone and slick rock.

    Build:
    SID RLC fork, X01 Eagle, M8000 brakes with Ice Tech rotors, WTB Frequency i19 rims (more on that later), re-branded Novatec boost hubs. Came with Ritchey WCS post, stem, and bars, changed to carbon post, Kore 35mm stem, and Spank Oozy 760mm bars. This thing is light - listed at just under 24 pounds but feels lighter. Set up tubeless.

    Frame:
    Typical ORA made Ti frame, which is to say very, very nice. Really beautifully made. Butted and shaped tubes, great finishing, good looking welds. 3 water bottle mount provisions! One on seat tube, one on top of down tube, one on bottom of down tube. This is nice, as I prefer to carry water and basic tools off-body. There are also rack provisions, which I suppose would make it good for bikepacking and such. There is plenty of external routing guides (3 or 4, can't remember) on the down tube and one for a FD on the seat tube. No dropper or other internal routing. Standard threaded BB like every bike on the planet should have. Longer, lower, slacker than the previous generation like nearly all bikes are going. Lots of room for chubby tires.

    Ride:
    The good:
    This bike accelerates like a horny rabbit, handles responsively and intuitively, descends with confidence, climbs well, and does so while maintaining that lovely, supple, chatter-dampening quality that those who have ridden a good Ti frame will know. Basically, it's a great all-rounder in pretty much every regard. It doesn't need to be wrestled into submission and responds well to finesse and small adjustments, but it's light enough to toss around if you need to. I'm faster on this bike than anything I've owned or ridden before, and it feels like it. You really sit 'in' this bike and the low BB allows you to rail with abandon. Although this bike is kitted out closer to an XC race bike, the geo and ride characteristics place it more in the trail/AM hard tail camp. Which brings us to...

    The weird:
    BD's build kit is odd. The rims are i19s, as is 19mm wide. They are light, stiff, and accelerate well....and are antiquated for any trail use outside of pure XC is concerned. Forget going any larger than a 2.2 tire and even then you're pushing the limits of sensibility. The SID is an excellent fork, especially now that it has the charger damper. But is a very focused piece...it lets you know it's all business and it is neither plush nor forgiving. Given the geo and personality, these are strange choices. You could easily push either past their design intentions and limitations. The bike is asking for...no, begging for...a 120mm+ fork and wider rims. It wants to be a trail bike, not a race bike despite how fast the dang thing is.

    The bad:
    The BB is LOW. I mean, really low. I'm having more pedal strikes then ever, and have to be much more cognizant of pedal position in the techy bits. In fact I had to go check the geo chart...308mm BB height. I don't think I've seen one lower. And that's with 29s....no way would I try 27.5+ with a 100mm fork. Again it leads me to believe this bike NEEDS a longer travel fork.

    Overall:
    A killer bike in general, even more so when you take $$ into account. Toss on a longer travel fork and wider rims, and you have a bike you can take anywhere that is light and does basically everything well. It just needs a slightly smarter build which plays to its strengths. But, I'd buy it again in a second.

  2. #2
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    Interesting about the BB height. I have been eyeing the frame only option and had a 120mm Pike in mind which, according to your assessment, sounds like a good move. Or, is it easy to move the SID to 120mm? Can that be done with an air shaft?

    Thanks for the review!

  3. #3
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    While the older SIDs were 120mm capable, this newest version is - according to SRAM - a refocused gram-counting reincarnation designed solely for XC use with a dedicated 80-100mm chassis. So no 120mm capability. But if you could find a buyer for the SID you should be able to get a good amount of scratch for it, just might take you a bit longer. I think a 120mm Pike would be perfect for this bike. That's right where my mind has gone with the fork. I wouldn't go longer than that though, as geo might start to get a bit wonky at that point.

  4. #4
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    I ordered the same bike. I'm 6"2 and 170 pounds. So I'm not huge. But I bent the rim on some flowy single track in Prescott. Got the flow 3s on 350 hubs. Fun, for about 3 weeks. I ate shit and broke the derailleur hanger. Can only get it thru bikes direct. Of course they dont have that hanger in stock. I searched extensivelly. Anyways, I bought a 2018 pivot 429 sl frame and threw all the parts on that. Honestly tho, I loved that bike. I had a lot of fun for the 2 months I rode it. Now ill just make it a dope single speed or something. Cuz I love me that 429sl. Shame everything relied upon a damn derailleur hanger.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arizzle View Post
    I ordered the same bike. I'm 6"2 and 170 pounds. So I'm not huge. But I bent the rim on some flowy single track in Prescott. Got the flow 3s on 350 hubs. Fun, for about 3 weeks. I ate shit and broke the derailleur hanger. Can only get it thru bikes direct. Of course they dont have that hanger in stock. I searched extensivelly. Anyways, I bought a 2018 pivot 429 sl frame and threw all the parts on that. Honestly tho, I loved that bike. I had a lot of fun for the 2 months I rode it. Now ill just make it a dope single speed or something. Cuz I love me that 429sl. Shame everything relied upon a damn derailleur hanger.

    Here you go. This is the hanger. Build it back up and enjoy.
    https://derailleurhanger.com/product...ur-hanger-416/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Pride View Post
    Here you go. This is the hanger. Build it back up and enjoy.
    https://derailleurhanger.com/product...ur-hanger-416/
    Good find! I need this one for my fatbike. Pretty expensive though. 40 bucks for a dab of Aluminum! There are some chinese seller on ebay selling hangers for a couple of bucks, seems like a more reasonable price for this type of item. Too bad I couldn't find this model.

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    did the frames have rear rack mounts and 3 bottle mounts as shown in the photos? I am 5'9" w/ 30" inseam, and usually ride med. frames. do i really need the 15.5" size or could i use the 17" size? thx all!

  8. #8
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    also- can you run a 2x setup on these frames?

  9. #9
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    Yes on both counts - the frame has rear rack mounts and 3x water bottle mounts, and can be run as a 2x setup. At your height and inseam I would go with a 17".

  10. #10
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    Do you happen to have some actual photos of the bike you could post? The website pics are uninspiring.

  11. #11
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    been riding mine a little bit, so far so good. I was okay with the narrow, wimpy wheelset, as it will work well for my intended use of this bike: mountain passes, rough dirt roads, little pavement, and some "mellow" off-road touring. My one issue: I was hoping to swap out the 32t chainring for a 38t, but it appears the 32 may be as big as this frame/drivetrain will accommodate. I tried a 38, not even close. a 34t may work, but with the flexiness of the ti frame, i am not going to try it. It appears that my only option for getting taller gears out of this thing would be to set it up with a 2x drivetrain, which would make me probably the only schmuck who buys a bike w/ a 12 speed eagle drivetrain, and swaps it out for a 2x drivetrain. oh well. anyone done this or anything else to get some taller gears out of this thing?

  12. #12
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    Has anyone experimented to see what is the widest 29 tyre you can fit on the back? I know the website says 2.35 but having watched some of the clips on youtube I'm curious if you can get away with something wider.

  13. #13
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    I have a Maxxis Ikon in 29 x 2.35 in back on i29 rims (measures ~2.4") with plenty of room to spare (~10mm clearance). I also have a Maxxis Rekon in 29 x 2.6 that I plan to try out as well. I have a Rekon on the front on the same i29 rim and it measures ~2.5". I think you would be OK with anything up to ~2.5" measured width.

    The first thing that will rub will be the chainstays. Plenty of extra room at the seatstays and seat tube.

  14. #14
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    can I ask those who own this bike, how hard they're riding it? I'm 42 (gah-how did this happen) and not a hucker, but our trails are really rugged - most people ride full squish enduro bikes. If you have ridden it hard, has the bike handled it?

  15. #15
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    Thanks - I'd be interested to hear how you get on with the 2.6 rekon

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lloydgoodman View Post
    Thanks - I'd be interested to hear how you get on with the 2.6 rekon
    Haven't ridden the rear 29x2.6 Rekon yet, but I installed it today and here's how it fits in the frame on an i29 rim:

    5mm from knobs to chainstays (pictures make this look like less clearance than there actually is)
    8mm from center knob to chainstay bridge
    8mm from center knob to seatstay bridge
    8mm from knobs to seatstays

    This is enough clearance for me, but I never ride in sticky mud. YMMV

    MB Fantom Ti Boost Review-img_2090.jpg

    MB Fantom Ti Boost Review-img_2091.jpg

    MB Fantom Ti Boost Review-img_2093.jpg

    MB Fantom Ti Boost Review-img_2095.jpg

  17. #17
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    Has anybody run a 120 or 130mm fork on this? I ran the numbers on GeometryCalc and it seems to get reasonably slack even at 130.

  18. #18
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    To powderturns- it can take a beating. I rode it all over AZ, many rugged gnarly trails, and I put the hammer down and it can take it just fine. To date, the only thing I broke on it was a Derailleur hanger and the shitty wtb rims that came with it. I put flow mk3s and highroller 2s on it, and it felt so sweet. I bet a pike 120 would make this bike even more awesome. I never once had fear I was going to break the frame- it seems better built than one would expect. I like to ride hard and fast, and after I built it back up I really didn't care if I broke it. And it can handle more than I thought- its still whole.

  19. #19
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    I'll second the abuse tolerance. Since I made the initial post I've beat the thing pretty relentlessly. It needs new wheels - the rear Novatec hubs (rear in particular) drags its arse like an old tired dog and the rims can be flexy. I can make the front wheel give up some weird pinging noises if I rail it into a corner. I'm looking into some Spank Oozy/DT 350 hoops. But otherwise it's all good. For rougher terrain I'd also consider a larger volume and longer travel fork like a 120 Pike.

  20. #20
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    Just pulled the trigger on a set of DT 350s with Spank Oozy 350 hoops, and a 120mm Pike. I'll update this thread with my findings.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    Just pulled the trigger on a set of DT 350s with Spank Oozy 350 hoops, and a 120mm Pike. I'll update this thread with my findings.
    So...? How is it with the Pike?

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