2012 Motobecane Fantom Cross CX- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2012 Motobecane Fantom Cross CX

    Just wanted to know if anyone has purchased one of these and what your thoughts are. The one main thing I'm not so sure about is that the frame seems to be a little dated, but I'd still consider it if enough people who have purchased this model are happy with it. Here is the link:

    Road Bikes | Cyclocross | Cross Bicycles by Motobecane USA | Motobecane Fantom CX Cyclocross | Save up to 60% off New bikes with full warranties

    Alternatively, there is a more advanced model here - I'm not a road bike guy at all, but it does have 105 components:

    Save up to 60% off Cyclocross | Cross Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross
    Last edited by getagrip; 09-25-2011 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've had the double version of this bike since 2008. I'm not very enamored with this bike. The components are cheap and it's somewhat of a boat anchor. I'm planning on selling it and buying one of the Ti cx bikes. If you have the cash, I would highly encourage you to buck up for one that comes with a carbon fork, no cheap (and heavy) Alex wheels, and no Sora components.

    The frame itself is Fuji designed, and can be found at Performance bike on a variety of Fuji CX bikes if you need to check fit. It's a serviceable and stiff frame, just ugly with the typical BD branding.

    The Fantom Cross Pro Rival looks good at $1000.

  3. #3
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    Last Tuesday I decided to purchase the Motobecane Fantom Cross CX3 for $579 (with triple chain rings). The bike was well packaged, arrived within 3 days, and went together fairly easily. For anyone considering purchasing this bike and is not very familiar with how bikes go together, I would recommend having a bike store install the stem (well, mainly the headset top cap - my star nut started to creep up because I did not do it correctly) and the front brake, as these can be rather tricky. The bike shifted fairly well right out of the box, but did much better after I took it to a bike mechanic to do derailleur adjustments.

    I took it for a ride on Sunday and had a blast. The bike looks great, is very solid, and is very well put together. It is very fun to ride. On the downside, I wasn't overly impressed with the brakes, and the rigid front fork is taking time to get used to because of how different than it is than a mountain bike suspension fork, but other than that, this bike rocks! Well...ok, the seat is rock hard too!

    Anyway, if anyone is looking for a well built cyclocross bike that is not too expensive, you can't go wrong with the Motobecane Fantom Cross. I definately recommend the triple cranks over the model with the dual front cranks for the extra $30. Will post some pictures soon.
    Last edited by getagrip; 11-03-2011 at 02:14 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sorry I'm late getting the pictures up. For those who are interested, here are some pics of my cyclocross bike, from still in the box to the first day on the trail:

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture001.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture001.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture002.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture002.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture003.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture003.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture006.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture006.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture007.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture007.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture009.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture009.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/?action=view&amp;current=Picture010.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Motobenane/Picture010.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

  5. #5
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    I bought a motobecane cross bike in fall 09. It has been working well for me. It is my road/triathlon/gravel bike. It may not be the nicest bike, but it is by far the best spec'ed bike for the money.

    It looks like you have the same seat that came stock on mine. You will want to replace that ASAP! Everything else has been of decent quality and is holding up fine.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, that seat was horrible! Definately getting a new seat!

  7. #7
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    Hmm, I'm checking out the Fantom Cross double. Trying to decide if I want that or the steel nashbar cx bike.

    My current winter/rain/around town/lock up bike is a road bike. No need to be riding around a race bike in bad conditions or riding around on 23 mm tires, which are all I can fit with full fenders.

    I think I'll sell it off and replace it with a decent cx bike. Always hard for me to not go for the nicer option, but I will be locking this up...and I already have a very nice cx bike to race on.

  8. #8
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    I've been looking for a bike to do a little road training, commuting, town runs, etc. on. Decided on a cross bike mainly because it can do all of the above (I had no interest in a dedicated road bike, but can see myself racing cross in the future.) I browsed the used market, but didn't come up with much. I settled on the CX3, which came decently equipped and well under budget. It arrived last week, very well packaged, assemed easily, and looks great.

    Overall I'm extremely happy with my decision. Sure the wheels are complete anchors and the saddle is horrendous, but it was $579 shipped to my door. It rides very well and will serve its purpose. Slowly I'll replace some components and I have no doubt it will be worth every penny.

  9. #9
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    Looks nice, I have seen some of those at cross races and they definitely are much better than racing a mtb or frankenstiened vintage road bike.

  10. #10
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    just picked up a new vuelta corsa lite wheelset for the sweet price of 200 bucks. never heard of the brand, but upon some research the wheels get great reviews. couldn't pass up on a sub 1600g wheelset for 200 bucks. i'm curious to throw the stock alex wheels on the scale...losing those tanks should really bring the bike alive.

  11. #11
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    That is the one that I have been looking at as well. Thinking of picking up as a commuter/road trainer. If you are looking for a good seat on the cheap I cannot recommend the Charge Spoon enough. I got mine on sale for $26 to my door from Universal Cycles and use it on my 29er HT, I have ridden $150 Selle Italia saddles and this thing is just perfect!

  12. #12
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    hey ghost rider you got an update on that wheelset? im just curious because im thinking of getting the fantom cross cx double. how much do these bikes weigh stock?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gswarriorfan View Post
    hey ghost rider you got an update on that wheelset? im just curious because im thinking of getting the fantom cross cx double. how much do these bikes weigh stock?
    Sorry, don't have the weight, although I'd say the bike is on the heavier side. I'd seriously recommend getting the triple - it makes taking it off road sooo much easier, particularly when going up hill. Yeah, I know, we all have mountain bikes and we don't need to take our cyclocross bikes off road, but riding your cyclocross on singletrack is such a fun experience!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gswarriorfan View Post
    hey ghost rider you got an update on that wheelset? im just curious because im thinking of getting the fantom cross cx double. how much do these bikes weigh stock?
    stock the bike weighed just under 25 lbs. w/o pedals. the upgraded wheelset is working out nicely. very noticeable difference between stock. with the new wheels, a comfy new 190g saddle, and some road slicks i'm down to 22 lbs. with some heavy m520 pedals. not light by any stretch, but respectable.

    plans for the future will be, 1x9 setup with new crank, carbon seatpost, and most importantly a carbon fork. that cromo fork is a tank. should be able to achieve a sub 20 lb. road/commuter/cx bike for well under 1000 bucks. i'm happy.

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    picked up an Alpha Q CX fork for 49 bucks...yes 49 bucks. insanely light and should be a nice upgrade for the fantom. i'll install tomorrow and report back. getting much closer to a <20 lb. cross bike. just waiting for a good deal on a new crankset and i'll be going 1x9 with a 42t singlespeed chainring and bashguard. any thoughts on a durable lightweight crank?

  16. #16
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    Wow...amazing deal. Sounds like your bike is coming together nicely.

    What size bike do you have? Just wondering how fit is. I'm about 5'8".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gswarriorfan View Post
    Wow...amazing deal. Sounds like your bike is coming together nicely.

    What size bike do you have? Just wondering how fit is. I'm about 5'8".
    I'm 5'10" with a 31" standover in bike shoes. Went with the 54cm and it fits well after some tweaks. The stock seatpost has about 25mm of setback...too much for my short legs. Zero-setback post fixed that problem. The stock stem measures in at 120mm which is probably the right size for me if I were road racing. Coming from a mountain biking background, I'm used to a bit more upright position. Threw on a 90mm I had laying around and feel a lot more comfortable. Eventually I'll go back to the long stem as I get aquatinted with a road position.

  18. #18
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    Alpha Q CX fork went on today without a problem. Carbon fork weighed in at a svelte 521 grams...alternatively the stock CroMo fork weighs 1130 grams!! Well over a pound of savings and much improved ride quality.

  19. #19
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    I ended up trading my Motobecane Cyclocross for a Trek 1.5 road bike to use for a week long bike ride across the state of Nebraska. After the bike ride across Nebraska was over, I did some neighborhood rides on the Trek. While the rims and tires on the road bike were less brittle than I thought they would be, I cringed every time I hit a bump or crack in the road. I also didn't like it on gravel. I could take my road bike on gravel because I was running 28c tires, but it was kind of a nerve wracking experience because of the lack tread on the tires. Plus, who wants to get their shiney road bike dirty? While I did like the road bike better than the cyclocross because it was lighter and I was faster riding it up hills, I missed my cyclocross. After I sold my road bike, I noticed I didn't like taking my mountain bikes on neighborhood rides, so I decided to pick up another cyclocross.

    Honestly, I didn't want to get another Motobecane, and had my eyes on a Tiagra equipped Focus Mares at Jenson USA for $800 + shipping. Only problem was, I didn't know if I really wanted to spend that much on a bike. So, once again, I found myself going back to Bikes Direct to get a bike. I didn't want to get the exact same model I had before, but I couldn't find a better deal on a cyclocross elsewhere, so I ordered another Motobecane Fantom Cyclocross. This time, however, I went with the double crank for $549 instead of the triple crank, and chose a different color.

    While the double is slower than the triple in certain riding conditions (like climbing), I like it a lot better than the triple. First of all, it makes you work harder, and that makes you a stronger and faster rider over time. Secondly, whether I'm on the big ring (50t) or small ring (36t), I can shift to almost any gear in the rear. I was able to get away with that a little with the triple, but I'd say the double is a lot smoother, and the 36t is actually quite nice to ride.

    After making the purchase, part of me wishes I just said the heck with it and purchased a more expensive bike like the Focus or upgraded Motobecane model. I'm not really digging the Sora shifters - the Tiagra ones on my Trek worked better, and I didn't have to press as hard on the brakes. Truthfully, the Sora shifters don't work THAT bad, but it would definately be better to have Tiagra or 105 shifters for $250 extra. I will say the Sora front derailleur works better with the double chainrings than it did with the triple. While the rims are basically paper weights, what I do like about them (and the cyclocross in general) is that this bike feels like a tank and that I can ride through anything!

    The other thing I don't like so much about the Motobecane cyclocross is that its just not as comfortable as the Trek road bike was. Its a slightly bigger bike so that could be part of the issue, but I don't think Motobecane's are known for comfort anyway, so that should be too much of a surprise. The Tektro brakes are a little weak as well. I've read that some people upgrade to Avid Shorty's.

    So, while I kind of wish I went with something more expensive and better equipped, I'm not dissatisfied at all with my purchase, and I'm glad I have the extra $250. The one thing I'm NOT regretting about spending more is that I'm spending more anyway for a set of Aerobars and a set of platform SPD pedals (Shimano A520, I think). So, if I had purchased a more expensive model, I'd end up spending close to $950 with extra parts. What's my current plan for this bike? Ride 1500 miles this season, another 1500 miles next season, and then I'll allow myself to upgrade!

    Here is a recent photo of me and the new cyclocross at the zoo - yes, here in Omaha they have an event each year where you can take your bike to the zoo and ride it! Notice the rhino in the background! Anyway, hopefully this review was more helpful than my initial review for anyone considering this bike. I will say that if you can comfortably afford the extra $250, its definately worth it to get a better equipped bike, but the $549 model works just fine for those on a more limited budget.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Motobecane Fantom Cross CX-bike.jpg  

    Last edited by getagrip; 08-03-2012 at 01:50 PM.

  20. #20
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    I have a question about this bike. Since this thread was already on the first page, I may as well ask it here.

    Why is it that the MSRP is $1695, but it seems to sell new for $580?

    I have an opportunity to buy one gently used. Seller is asking $475, and I believe her when she says it's only been ridden a handful of times. (I've seen the bike and know her through mutual friends.) My original goal for the "find daughter a bike" project was to spend between $300 and $400. But I've been looking all summer with no luck.

    I'm looking for a bike that my daughter can use both as a road bike and a cross bike. I presume this bike would fit that bill. I'm looking for a bike that a cyclist would consider an entry level bike. (Average citizen might think a dept store bike is an entry level bike.) I want something she can ride for the next few years. I'll buy her pedals for it, but I don't want to be upgrading components.

    What's the consensus? Am I right to be looking at this bike?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAriadne View Post
    I have a question about this bike. Since this thread was already on the first page, I may as well ask it here.

    Why is it that the MSRP is $1695, but it seems to sell new for $580?

    I have an opportunity to buy one gently used. Seller is asking $475, and I believe her when she says it's only been ridden a handful of times. (I've seen the bike and know her through mutual friends.) My original goal for the "find daughter a bike" project was to spend between $300 and $400. But I've been looking all summer with no luck.

    I'm looking for a bike that my daughter can use both as a road bike and a cross bike. I presume this bike would fit that bill. I'm looking for a bike that a cyclist would consider an entry level bike. (Average citizen might think a dept store bike is an entry level bike.) I want something she can ride for the next few years. I'll buy her pedals for it, but I don't want to be upgrading components.

    What's the consensus? Am I right to be looking at this bike?
    The MSRPs of Bikes Direct bikes tend to be inflated. I'd say, more realistically, if you were to buy a similarly equipped cross bike at your local bike store, you would spend $800-$1000. If the bike you are looking at has barely been used at all, I'd say $475 is a decent price. Its a very solid entry level bike. The big thing is whether or not the Motobecane would fit her - do you know what size the frame is? How tall is your daughter?

    Personally, I prefer cross bikes to road bikes when riding in the street, because they can take more punishment. You could probably find a used hybrid for your daughter in the $300 to $400 range, but the cross bike is going to be a lot faster. Based on my experience, the Motobecane Cyclocross has been a fantastic buy - I just rode mine 84 miles this past weekend!

  22. #22
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    Thanks getagrip. I got the MSRP off the Motobecans website.

    She has test ridden the bike and it is a little too big for her, but that's actually what I want so it will last. (We keep buying her properly fitting mountain bikes--I feel that's important when weaving in and out of trees and rocketing down rocky descents--and that's getting expensive.)

    The purpose of this bike purchase is so that when my husband and I are on our road bikes and we want to go on a paved trail ride, she is not at such the disadvantage that she is at on her mountain bike. Originally I was thinking a road bike, but someone suggested a cross bike and I figured why not give her an option of another sport to explore. She's 12 and I like her to try new things.

  23. #23
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    What size is the bike and how tall is she? A little big is ok. Way too big could be really bad.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_rider_x View Post
    stock the bike weighed just under 25 lbs. w/o pedals. the upgraded wheelset is working out nicely. very noticeable difference between stock. with the new wheels, a comfy new 190g saddle, and some road slicks i'm down to 22 lbs. with some heavy m520 pedals. not light by any stretch, but respectable.

    plans for the future will be, 1x9 setup with new crank, carbon seatpost, and most importantly a carbon fork. that cromo fork is a tank. should be able to achieve a sub 20 lb. road/commuter/cx bike for well under 1000 bucks. i'm happy.
    What's the rear hub spacing on that bike? I have a few decent road wheel sets laying around. If it's 130mm that would be a viable option for me.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  25. #25
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    Got mine (Fantom Outlaw - with disc bakes) earlier this week. Very pleased - all as described and shipped the day of order (an early am submission). Spent probably 1 hr putting it together - not really pushing it, just tinkering as I went along. Pretty descent components and the bike seems really nice and I have enjoyed it on one 12 mile jaunt. Had to do some gear and brake adjustments out of the box and need another round of rear dérailleur adjustment after my break in ride (at the level of a the barrel adjuster). Real happy with the braking with the disks. mine weighs around 24.5 lbs with pedals.

  26. #26
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    I've been riding the Windsor Knight for road rides and commuting, but I'm looking for a cross bike with some better commuter features for a rack and fenders. My current carbon road fork is just too narrow, but the Fantom CX looks like it might work. I can use almost all my parts from the Knight and slap on some canti brakes and I should be good to go.

    For those of you with this bike, how does it ride? What do you like or not like about it?
    "Got everything you need?"

  27. #27
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    Can someone tell me what the max size tires are that can fit on this bike? I'm on the fence between this frame and a Surly Cross Check, which $350 more. But I do plan on making this my kind of everything bike; commuter, easy singletrack, grocery getter w/ rack, bike packer, gravel road tourer. I'd like to be able to put some fairly wide tires on it for those gravel road trips, and don't want to be stuck with a max 40c width.
    "Got everything you need?"

  28. #28
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    I'm running maxxis locust and never noticed or even thought about any clearance issues. I think there is decent enough room with these. I'll see if I can remember tonight to take a look.

    Tire Review: Maxxis Locust Cyclocross Tire Review | Cyclocross Magazine ? Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos

  29. #29
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    I would assume that just about any CX frame can run 35c, and most of the time I'll probably run Kenda SB8's in 35c. However, for those long gravel roads or singletrack days it would be cool to be able to fit a 45c tire or 29x1.9" fatty.

    Kinda like this one:
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  30. #30
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    I'd give Bikes Direct a call to find out the specifics. I'm running 32c, and I have plenty of room for a bigger tire.

  31. #31
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    Thanks for the replies! I got a response from Chris at BikesDirect and he said that a 700x42c would be the maximum size.
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