Considering a Phantom?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Considering a Phantom?

    Looking to try a 29er again and like the low, slack and long front to center. The bike will be used as a trail bike so how efficient does it pedal? Website show's / supports the CCDB, how about something more budget oriented ie. Monarch, RP23... Does it require a specific tune? Suggestions where to buy an XL? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I LOVE mine. It really does everything well, even high-speed chunk. I know this seems counter-intuitive based on the travel, but I run mine with a 140 Pike. I have both a Monarch and an Avy-tune RP23. The cheap Monarch actually works quite well and has a lot of pedal support. The Avy shock is a tech-trail destroyer.

    I have an XL. With my GAS, I'll probably be looking to try something new here shortly. PM me if you want to discuss.

  3. #3
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    Absolutely awesome, climbs amazing, think you'd be very happy with one. Still loving mine nearly 1.5 years later, really can't wait till I can afford to head off island to someplace new to try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Looking to try a 29er again and like the low, slack and long front to center. The bike will be used as a trail bike so how efficient does it pedal? Website show's / supports the CCDB, how about something more budget oriented ie. Monarch, RP23... Does it require a specific tune? Suggestions where to buy an XL? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  4. #4
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    Wow - already considering selling the Phantom Blatant?

    keen - I have to agree with Blatant - the Phantom is a really great bike. The KS link pedals as well as any I have tried (and I have tried many). Stiff frame, great geometry, and a well designed suspension - what more do you need? It is also a really versatile frame with the modular dropouts. Not only can you change geometry and wheel spacing (142/150mm rear), you can also use the slightly longer 650b dropouts and fit plus size tires.

    I bought mine with the stock Monarch then later upgraded when I found a used CCDBi. I prefer the DBi and the extra adjustability that it brings. Someday I might send off the Monarch to Avy and see what that is all about. I started out with a 120mm Pike, then upgraded to a MRP Stage at 120mm, then later 140mm. The Stage at 140 + the slack setting on the Phantom has been my favorite setup so far.

  5. #5
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    You know, I just like to try new things. The Phantom is a tremendous bike and one of my all-time favorites.

  6. #6
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    My riding group is all 26-27.5, all DH riders, all are powerful athletes and I am the only one on 29".
    When they first got on the Phantom they all liked it and all said that it's absolutely not a niner...
    Fast and a lot of fun, climb very well (not as my HT) and can do everything.
    I use the monarch and I don't need something else.

  7. #7
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    To prevent further wasted time exchanging PMs, my XL Phantom frame is sold.

  8. #8
    There's always next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    To prevent further wasted time exchanging PMs, my XL Phantom frame is sold.
    I almost thought about posting something to this thread, but didn't want to derail it. I jumped at the chance to pick up Blatant's frame, and am hoping to have it built up by this weekend if the kids at home cooperate. It will be used in a very similar vein as the OP (for me, replacing an Epic that's been EVO'ed, so to speak) so I will share my findings when I have some time on it.

  9. #9
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    Congrats - you won't be disappointed, it's a Great bike!

  10. #10
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    Do it! Low, slack, stiff, and FUN!

    That said, to my knowledge, XLs are out of stock in the US and Canada until the Fall. Used might be your only option for the time being.
    Dirt Merchant Bicycles
    Providing unrivaled support and unbeatable pricing on all cycling goods to riders near and far.

  11. #11
    There's always next year.
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    So, Blatant's frame showed up today, and I spent the evening building it up. It was a surprisingly easy build--nearly everything from my Epic was able to be slid right over... Thought I'd need new housing, but even with the bigger Phantom frame, but was ok. Couldn't get my FD set up, so said 'screw it' and went back to 1x10. Need some tires that better fit the bike's personality, and shock set up, but like what I see so far.

    Considering a Phantom?-img_5024.jpg

    Only 1.5 mile ride after getting it built up with the light fading, but I can already tell that this frame is something special. Its quick and can accelerate like an XC bike, but will be a super confident descender. Will do some updating once I get some meaningful time in the dirt.

    Great job Banshee!

  12. #12
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    I think it will be very interesting to have an Epic owner (Epic is known as a XC race bike, correct?) transition to a Phantom. This will be a great example for people who may not think this bike is capable of climbing hills, or is too slow for XC race type riding (not that it was the design intent for the Phantom).

    My bike stands out amongst the crowd I ride w/ because it isn't a 120mm XC racer, but I really don't feel like I am giving up much to those bikes w/ regards to climbing or acceleration.

    Its kinda funny when my buddy and I pull up to the group ride w/ a Prime and Evil The Following, everyone looks cross-eyed at the coil bike (me on Prime) and 2.5" tires (buddy on Evil/Derby). They are even more amazed both of us are riding w/ the fast group.

  13. #13
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    Pahahahahaha You went from an Epic to this Man are you in for some surprises This will be a Night & Day difference type of bike to your Epic, you will find that while maybe not quite as light, it climbs as efficiently and even better on tech climbs, BUT on the way down there's no comparison at all, will outshine the Epic on everything. Have fun man

    Quote Originally Posted by padrefan1982 View Post
    So, Blatant's frame showed up today, and I spent the evening building it up. It was a surprisingly easy build--nearly everything from my Epic was able to be slid right over... Thought I'd need new housing, but even with the bigger Phantom frame, but was ok. Couldn't get my FD set up, so said 'screw it' and went back to 1x10. Need some tires that better fit the bike's personality, and shock set up, but like what I see so far.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Only 1.5 mile ride after getting it built up with the light fading, but I can already tell that this frame is something special. Its quick and can accelerate like an XC bike, but will be a super confident descender. Will do some updating once I get some meaningful time in the dirt.

    Great job Banshee!
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  14. #14
    There's always next year.
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    So, not to derail this thread much, but I now have a little over 20 miles on the bike. Absolutely love it. I do need to get a shorter stem on the bike-- the 70mm, while comfortable, is just a little long. I think 50mm would be perfect.

    I'd love to say that I broke every Strava PR, but didn't. But I did break every fun record for me on the ride yesterday. SUPER comfortable at speed, and is confidence inspiring everywhere. I do need to relearn my tactics on tight uphill switchbacks, but thats me, and not the bike. I'm loving the suspension set up. I running the shock wide open, and don't feel any hit to pedal 'ability.' Biggest improvement over the Epic was breaking traction. The Phantom's suspension felt glued to the ground through braking bumps, and that rear wheel kept constant contact with the ground (all in a good way).

    Great, great bike. Got some wider tires set up on the bike today (Spec Purg F/Ground Control R) and will put some more miles on this week hopefully. With summer on, and school out, I'll get some more miles on some bigger trails in the area.

    Considering a Phantom?-img_5029.jpg

  15. #15
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    Glad you're happy, man. Banshee did incredible work wringing that level of suspension depth out of 105mm travel. I guess the Avy shock didn't hurt anything.

  16. #16
    There's always next year.
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    Since there were at lease a few looking for comparison between the Epic and Phantom, I'll give it a go. As a heads up, if you're looking forward to a Spec. bash-fest, this won't be your post. Just move along. I really, really liked the Epic, but was time to move on for me.

    In some ways they are super easy to compare, but in other ways, they are miles apart from each other, and not super fair to compare/contrast, as I doubt many will be looking at buying an Epic OR a Phantom. While they both have some overlap, each bike's area of expertise is found on opposite ends of a number line, so to speak.

    With all that said:

    Strictly XC race weapon: Epic wins hands down. If you're looking to go as fast as you can for 90 or so minutes, its a great tool for that.

    If you're doing endurance racing, etc, the gap closes significantly. I did a 50 mile race a week or so back on the Phantom, and it totally bailed me out a couple of times when I got lazy/tired on technical areas. The uglier the course gets, the better. If I ever get another chance to race the BCBR again ($$$$$$ and more $$$$) it will be on the Phantom. No reservations about it. You could race a Phantom, but it seems like that wasn't a primary design factor for the frame, and that's ok. I'll have no problem racing it time to time, but I will pull out the hardtail in the future for tame, short courses.

    General Trail Riding; what I refer as "Mountain Biking"? Phantom, every day of the week for me. The Phantom descends better and for me, out climbed the Epic in step, technical stuff--I place a lot of this on geometry and suspension design- thats not a place where the Brain Shock is most effective to me. I will say though, is that an Epic with wide bars, a dropper, and a 120 Pike is a pretty dang good ride--just got tall in the front. I am loving not having to ever think about where I want the Brain adjuster to be at before a ride, or during a ride. I can just get out and grip it and rip it.

    Etc Items:Phantom, Phantom, Phantom: Things like a traditional BB, adjustable geometry, multiple aftermarket shock options, dropper post routing options, easy, external cable routing are all making my day... especially no Press Fit BB!!!! The only thing I'd like to get 'back' would be an inside the frame bottle mount.

    Really, I doubt much of what I wrote is a surprise to anyone. Again, all of what I've wrote are my experiences. Your mileage may vary. My Epic was a '13 model, so Brain design, etc of the newer bikes may impact what I've experienced. I'll be throwing up a more detailed review here sometime soon...

  17. #17
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    Tell you man, selling that frame was one of those decisions I came to regret fairly quickly.

    To be perfectly frank, I bought into the massive grassroots marketing campaign and sold the Phantom to buy an Evil the Following. For my body, my riding and my area, the Evil isn't half the bike that the Banshee was.

    Luckily, it was very, very easy to resell given the demand. I'd buy another Phantom in a heartbeat.

  18. #18
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    Tell me more about the Phantom vs. Evil bikes? I tried to convince my buddy to get a Phantom, but he snuck around and got The Following. It is an awesome bike, but I am curious what you found different about them.

  19. #19
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    Man, I hesitate to get into these sorts of comparisons. Mostly because my wants/needs on a bike have very little value for other riders. And, based on most of the other input in regards to the Following, it appears my experience is pretty far out in left field.

    That said, I sold the Phantom frame and used the exact same build on the Evil frame. The Evil did climb a bit better; in fairness, I PR'd a pretty difficult 6-mile climb up National trail on it. For me (style, fitness, terrain, etc.), the Banshee was superior in every other regard (overall descending, suspension feel/performance, turning, etc.).

  20. #20
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    Hum strange indeed. TO me this would be good news except, as you say, you seem to be the only one. Maybe it comes down to the fact that you had a custom tuned shock on the Phantom in the form of the AVY tuned RP23 and the shock on the Following is stock OEM. One guy down here has a Following and I'd love to give it a go, but it's a Medium and WAY too small for me, but he sure seems happy, but then again he was coming off a SJ FSR, so pretty much any properly designed DW/Mini link would be a huge improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Man, I hesitate to get into these sorts of comparisons. Mostly because my wants/needs on a bike have very little value for other riders. And, based on most of the other input in regards to the Following, it appears my experience is pretty far out in left field.

    That said, I sold the Phantom frame and used the exact same build on the Evil frame. The Evil did climb a bit better; in fairness, I PR'd a pretty difficult 6-mile climb up National trail on it. For me (style, fitness, terrain, etc.), the Banshee was superior in every other regard (overall descending, suspension feel/performance, turning, etc.).
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Man, I hesitate to get into these sorts of comparisons. Mostly because my wants/needs on a bike have very little value for other riders. And, based on most of the other input in regards to the Following, it appears my experience is pretty far out in left field.

    That said, I sold the Phantom frame and used the exact same build on the Evil frame. The Evil did climb a bit better; in fairness, I PR'd a pretty difficult 6-mile climb up National trail on it. For me (style, fitness, terrain, etc.), the Banshee was superior in every other regard (overall descending, suspension feel/performance, turning, etc.).
    Wow! That's saying a lot.
    I really got obsessed about buying The Following when it was first announced but ended up getting a used Trek Remedy 29er frame for quarter of the price. The Remedy 29er with the right parts is a total slayer btw. Are you holding out for 2016 Banshee models or going to try something different? Canfield or Ibis perhaps? The Ripley LS looks fairly tasty.

  22. #22
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    My Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail is coming in today.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    My Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail is coming in today.
    Nice geometry on that one. Interested in what you think about it when you give it round.

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