Spitfire or Phantom as a trail bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Spitfire or Phantom as a trail bike

    Hi all. I'm looking at a trail bike to compliment the Rune that I'm building up for gravity riding and enduro racing. My local trails are natural and pedally but have some rough descents with drops up to around 1m. Previously I had a pivot mach 4 (120mm/115mm 27.5) and then a SB5 (150mm/127mm 27.5). The pivot was the most fun but I really felt like I was going to break it on the rough stuff, while the SB5 felt like it had the right amount of travel but it was dull to ride.

    I've been considering either the Spitfire or the Phantom. For the Spitfire I would probably go a 140mm fork to make it a bit more trail focussed and bring the HA back to 67deg. With the Phantom I'd probably go 130mm fork for the rougher stuff, and the lack of rear travel has me worried about the rougher stuff - though I expect it can handle more than the more xc focussed pivot could.

    What are the pros and cons of each? Is the spitty too close to the rune? Would the phantom get rattled on the rough trails? Should I just save my cash and pedal the rune around? I'm sure there's no wrong choice

    tl;dr - choosing between a spitty or phantom for "aggressive trail riding" to compliment my rune

  2. #2
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    I think I'd put the cash into an ultra light wheelset and fork for the Rune. Then get an adjustable headset like an Angleset. Run the Rune in the low-slack setting, then Angleset it as steep as possible to get into the 66.5 range.
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  3. #3
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    tl;dr - choosing between a spitty or phantom for "aggressive trail riding" to compliment my rune
    Go for Phantom and you will not regret for it.
    Running Phantom with mrp stage setted to 130mm,with chips in neutral position with B+ wheels,and slack position with 29" wheels.
    Phantom was build as complement to burly knolly warden,but now knolly most of the time collecting dust in a garage and used only for really gnarly trails.

  4. #4
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    I'm sure Phantom owners love their Phantoms, and Prime owners love their Primes, and opinions will differ. No doubt the Phantom will handle what you are looking at doing no problem. But IMO there just isn't any penalty for the 135 rear travel of the Prime. Pedals beautifully for me even on XC trails (or the road to the trail for that matter). That being said, with the Prime you will then need a 140 fork, which can impact pedaling efficiency and how easy the bike is to pop. But most forks can be adjusted to mitigate that at the cost of some plushness.
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  5. #5
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    After owning several Phantoms and a Prime, in your position, I'd choose the Phantom. Yes, the Prime pedals well. But there's just something special about the Phantom, plus it's a clear separation from your current rig.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  6. #6
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    OP, haven't ridden a 26" wheeled bike since '07, and only B+ along with 29ers since '07. I'd have to say that Phantom as a bike that is very different from you Rune, yet will still handle a lot of the chunk you can throw at it, just maybe a bit slower and with more rider input needed.

    The Phantom is capable of handling pretty much anything you can throw at it that the Prime would handle, except for the really nasty stuff, only and biggest difference, is you really have to ride the Phantom and get lots of trail feedback, on the Prime it's a Caddy, just plows through stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I'm sure Phantom owners love their Phantoms, and Prime owners love their Primes, and opinions will differ. No doubt the Phantom will handle what you are looking at doing no problem. But IMO there just isn't any penalty for the 135 rear travel of the Prime. Pedals beautifully for me even on XC trails (or the road to the trail for that matter). That being said, with the Prime you will then need a 140 fork, which can impact pedaling efficiency and how easy the bike is to pop. But most forks can be adjusted to mitigate that at the cost of some plushness.
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  7. #7
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    Spitfire is a bit too much overlap with Rune. It also depends on how you build it.
    Go with Phantom, especially if you are taller than average.

    I just built a Phantom and I'm actually faster on it both going up and down than on my 27.5 160mm bike. I don't know why this happens on rough downhills but that's a fact. Yes, there is more feedback from the trail, but it's not that kind of shaky ride, it's awesome feedback, you just feel and know that there is something happening under the wheels but it still rides thru.
    I'm having a blast with Phantom. It's definitely can be considered for aggressive trail riding. Very nimble and totally does not feel dull. It's very agile, easy to throw around, roomy and very easy to lift front end. Amazing bike. It will handle rough stuff and 1m drops with no problems.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all, pretty much confirmed what I was thinking

  9. #9
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    Just to agree, the Runes can be built nice and light and for instance I have my Spitfire built up at 32 lbs. There is a lot of overlap.

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