Phantom pedalling prowess?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,062

    Phantom pedalling prowess?

    I am currently on a Kona Process 111. Love the geometry but pedalling, other than seated, makes for quite a bit of suspension movement. I read an article that the Phantom's KS Link is very similar to a DW Link but in use experiences more pedalling movement. Anyone care to comment on how a Phantom pedals? Thanks.

  2. #2
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,755
    Fantastic pedaling bike. Probably MORE crisp than some of the recent DW bikes I've ridden (Switchblade, Mach 5.5).
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,278
    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I am currently on a Kona Process 111. Love the geometry but pedalling, other than seated, makes for quite a bit of suspension movement. I read an article that the Phantom's KS Link is very similar to a DW Link but in use experiences more pedalling movement. Anyone care to comment on how a Phantom pedals? Thanks.

    Would recommend posting this in 29er forum. Not saying you won't get good feedback here, just maybe more unbiased thoughts over there. I am also considering a Phantom for a long pedal day bike, and the general consensus in this sub is the Phantom is totally awesome. Everyone seems to rave about it up and down.

    Fact of KS-Link is that yes very similar in design to DW, and all the KS bikes pedal great. I pedal my 32lb Spitfire on everything from hour long sprint rips to shuttle runs to all day epics. No complaints. Shoot, in May I did a 70 mile ride in Pisgah Natl Forest (NC) with a coil mounted up. KS link is legit.

    If you cross post, post your link here. Will be following this one.

  4. #4
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,755
    Fair assessment. I've personally only ridden or owned two bikes that climbed more efficiently than the Phantom: Pivot Mach 429 Trail and the Yeti 4.5. Neither could hold the Banshee's jock going downhill.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  5. #5
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,427
    I hope you guys don't mind me spewing my mind here. I've had some time to reflect on this subject, having gone through a period where I liked to discuss it more seriously from a less knowledgeable perspective.

    Broadly speaking, I interpret pedaling prowess as being very related to acceleration response. It begs the question, how does the bike behave when you try to accelerate. This is often compared to hardtails, which are regarded as being the gold standard in responsiveness to acceleration attempts. Once you get up to cruising speed, does the pedaling response of any FS bike really misbehave? Sadly, I don't think this answer can be pinned down to any individual system like the linkage, considering the shock, wheel, tire, gearing, weight, geometry, CoG, rider fitness & stance, and terrain (slope and traction) all play a role that make it difficult to isolate one factor from the rest for true scientific testing.

    I suppose this is why anecdotal and empirical accounts of comparing one bike to the other tends to be quite useful, and why it's often best to do these tests yourself, to ensure that your terrain, fitness, and stance are compatible with the bike systems. I personally have ridden a few Banshees as demos, in part thanks to MRP coming out to my area. I will pretty much reinforce what Blatant said, but I will try to elaborate a bit more in a more philosophical sense. This coming from someone who currently owns a SB5c and also owned DW Link bikes (Ripley), VPP (Spider 29 Comp), and various Horst Links and single pivots, and generally jump on any opportunity to test ride almost any bikes (HD3, Spider 275, Primer, Haibike ebikes, Rocky Mtn, etc.).

    Without being too wordy, I believe it boils down to this: when I am aware that my pedaling is bad, such as being stuck in too high of a gear and needing to grunt out the rest of a climb or risk losing time and crunching gears by shifting, the SB5c's behavior is surprisingly pleasant, compared to a vast majority of other bikes. It allows me, who spent all winter on a singlespeed, to perform decently without being punished for poor technique. That said, I will reiterate that once I'm up to speed, to the point of smooth cruising where I'm not accelerating and slowing down between pedal strokes like a caterpillar, it really doesn't matter what linkage I'm riding. I put out a strong time on a Banshee Rune with Stage and CCDBa CS on a segment that has a fair amount of elevation drop, and finishes with gaining some of that elevation back with some tricky half-benchcut singletrack that has pedal strike dangers, that I casually challenged once a week on my SB5c to beat, only recently overcoming it.

    So rather than focus on the linkage, perhaps it's best to focus on getting out of that "rut" of going so slow that you're inching along on the trails. Anything to improve acceleration will help, which might mean getting lighter wheels, and obviously getting in better shape and improving riding style (attacking hills, cranking it up whenever you notice you are going at a snails pace). Perhaps if you don't have this fitness, it might be wise to be on something with less travel or even a HT, rather than throwing $$$ at a solution that winds up being a compromise, rather than "magic". With short travel, linkage doesn't matter as much.

    Sometimes, a bike encourages or discourages attacking the climbs, but I firmly believe that's more due to other systems, than it being due to the linkage. I see that the linkage carries some unknown mystical factor that has been overhyped by marketing (blame DW for this one). There's a lot of pros and cons to consider when designing it, but for a truly great bike to be created, everything needs to be considered holistically as a whole singular system that balances out all the forces/stresses.

    As an example, for someone like Chris Cocalis, to work with DW, who I heard basically interprets what CC says he desires, and creates a few hardpoints for linkages and axles and what not, which CC then incorporates into the rest of the bike, there seems to be an additional layer of challenge and possible miscommunication, compared to when one person can do it all himself (ex. Jeff Steber's JS Tuned concept going beyond rear susp design). But then again, some of these designers are stuck in their own bubble, and it helps to be exposed to the rest of the world and gather inspiration from other sources. The quest for attaining engineering perfection/excellence is a seriously expensive endeavor, which often results in disappointment in the end (once the early buzz/high from chasing the dragon fades). Might do some good to inject a dose of reality to keep things in check, else the things that really matter, like the ultimate luxury, retirement, becomes more of a distant dream.

    BTW, I've ridden the Process 111. I see it as a bike that favors truly aggressive riding. When I'm out of the saddle rocking it back and forth, dancing, it comes alive. It accelerates well, even if I'm merely just sloppily stamping with all my might to accelerate quickly to get up to speed, especially trying to get it on its rear wheel because it looks rad to accelerate that hard. I don't see the bob as a detriment, I see it as something I need to get past, as it's there to provide traction and to erase the terrain, which allows me to pedal willy-nilly through rough stuff that hardtails and stiffer suspension wouldn't allow me to pedal through. If I start accelerating in a heavy/high gear, I see my immediate task as getting enough speed that it allows me to spin that gear at 100 RPM, rather than it being a rhythmic exercise of putting my body weight into the pedals and lifting my hips stair-master style. I like the Hei Hei for more efficient cruising, which can also be rallied on demand--it holds up surprisingly well to speed through the rough. Which brings up a more important question: how important is chassis stiffness? Is having a beefy rear triangle, like found on a Hightower, Mach 5.5, and Phantom really necessary for you? As a 140 lb rider, I can say no, but to a bigger rider, I suspect it means the difference between having fun at speed smashing into NFL football-sized rocks, and doing the same but needing to moderate your speed since you feel like something's reaching its limit and likely to break if pushed harder.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    526
    It pedals good, Its a heavy frame (mine is a 2014 so newer frames might be a tad lighter)wouldn't say it is a great pedaling bike for that reason, its no xc bike. It is a ripper though on the descents. Cant comment on the process comparison.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    24,080
    Only now seeing this, but I'll still chime in with my experience.

    My Phantom is a pre-production as far as I was told, but AFAIK the kinematics are not different to a production version. I got an X-Fusion 02 RCX shock for the ability to have a wide range of dampening adjustments if needed, I do use it all the time because I am like that, but in all honesty, I really probably don't need to as much as I do. Yes if I am really hammering on the pedals (depending on the gear I'm in) and look down I can see the shock moving, but I have to look down to know this, otherwise, I do not feel any movement.

    Similarly, I can very much feel a difference if I use the 4 different compression settings on the bike, but more so in how the geometry of the bike feels over actual movement, i.e. as I use former modes, I feel the rear end sit up more, which works better for extended climbing or steep climbing. Unlike some people, I don't think it's take any sort of talent or coordination to reach down and flip a little switch on a shock to help improve the ride depending on the terrain, I hardly never touch the fork.

    I use the compression settings on the shock because I tend to set my Phantom up with the rear softer than front in full open, basically for the really steep stuff, so on more pedaly stuff I use the 1st or 2nd compression setting to help sit the rear up a bit in it's travel, like micro geo adjustments, I use the 3rd position for really steep climbs or on the road. Will also note that when I get out of the saddle to sprint, unless it's over rough ground, the shock sags into it's travel and then basically stays there, no bobbing up and down, which I find quite impressive.
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 04-01-2017, 06:54 PM
  2. question about head tube angle and downhill prowess
    By goodmojo in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-22-2015, 08:03 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-19-2015, 05:54 AM
  4. Specialized Prowess XC flat bar USA ship to UK?
    By Hatone in forum Specialized
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-11-2014, 07:27 AM
  5. Any pedalling rides at SoMo tomorrow?
    By Jayem in forum Arizona
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-16-2011, 12:27 AM

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.