Bike & Sizing Advice

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  • 08-18-2010
    ncnmra
    Bike & Sizing Advice
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the sport and rented a bike over the weekend to give XC a try. Really liked it, and now I'm in the market for a bike. While I probably wouldn't appreciate a $2000 bike, I also don't want some WalMart bike that will discourage me from the sport. Around the $500 mark is a good start I feel.

    After extensive research, I came across the BD site, and was excited about the 700HT. I was about to pull the trigger, but the 19" and 21" are out of stock.

    I was steered to the Fantom Trail by some other forum posts, and figure the $100 difference may be worth it in terms of component differences (I also prefer the Slate to the silver, but that's moot).

    Here are my questions:

    1) I noticed the 700HT has the XT rear derailleur and the Fantom Trail has the LX. Is there a significant difference? Are there any other component differences I should be aware of?

    2) I'm 5'11", my "leg length" is about 34", I weigh 180lbs. I was going to go for the 19" 700HT, but I'm wondering what size I look at for the Fantom Trail. I don't know if skill level would play a role, but I would basically be considered a "novice".

    3) I see that the Fantom is heavier than the 700HT. I don't plan to race, this is recreational only, should I be concerned about this?

    Basically, should I jump on the Fantom or wait for the 700HT??

    Any other tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated!
  • 08-18-2010
    TwoHeadsBrewing
    Welcome to the forum!

    1) XT is better than LX, but there is not a big difference in performance.

    2) For sizing, do this fit calculator online: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
    That will give you a good idea of what size frame you need.

    3) Don't worry about the weight, it's probably going to be the least important factor in buying this bike.

    The Fantom Trail is a better bike all around, but the Fantom 29er is probably the best deal for $600 right now: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...antom29_08.htm.

    Dart 3 w/ Lockout, Avid BB5 Brakes, Deore/XT Shifters, and lots of people have great things to say about this model. Good luck with your purchase, hope this helps!
  • 08-18-2010
    ncnmra
    Thanks for the reply!

    I never thought about a 29er. I'm a little leary about getting into something "unique", and this style seems like its a bit of a new concept....
  • 08-18-2010
    TwoHeadsBrewing
    Not to worry, the 29er is a well-known beast at this point. I personally noticed an increase in my MTB'ing performance after switching from my GF hardtail to my current 29er. Most people will say that there is at worst, no difference, and at best a large performance advantage. BUT, it is a very similar bike to the Fantom Trail but it has the XT rear derailer.
  • 08-22-2010
    ncnmra
    OK, I decided to go forward with the 29er.

    I think I've decided on the 17". Any comments in favor or against? Again, I'm 5'11, and inseam is about 33.5".
  • 08-22-2010
    SuperJETT
    My wife is 5'7" and rides a 15" Fantom. I'm 5'10" and can tell the 15" Fantom is too small but not horrible.
  • 08-23-2010
    ncnmra
    OK, so 17" should be good for me then. I'd rather err on the side of too small. I tried a Specialized Rockhopper 29er 19" at a LBS, and the guy said that it was the right size, but it seemed way too big. Seat had to be way way down, and the extension seemed excessive.
  • 08-23-2010
    ncnmra
    Pulled the trigger on the 17" Black. I'm going to take lots of pics and maybe even try to do a video once it comes in.

    Thanks for all the advice!
  • 08-25-2010
    mole7374
    in same situation....
    ncnmra I'm in the same situation as you and sounds like we're built the same... I'm 5'11" and inseam is like 33 or so... pants are 32 but actual inseam a little more. I'm getting a 29er (fisher) and my buddy who owns a shop and has sold me every bike I've ever owned is telling me to go down a size to 17.5 and not 19. (fisher sizes) The geometry is so close on these with the only significant differences being stand over (29.6 vs 31) and seat tube (24.3 vs 23.5) I've always ridden a 19.5 hard tail but my buddy is telling me that my body fits a 26er ok on 19.5 but he says the 29er is going to feel too big to me. I trust him but I'm nervous b/c I've always been on 19.5...I think I'm going to go with 17.5 since dimensions are so close.
  • 08-25-2010
    ncnmra
    I ended up going with the 17" because the Fantom 29er in the 17" and 19" are very close in most dimensions, according to the chart. The only difference is stand over height and effective top tube length, the difference there is only 0.6".

    I tried a Specialized Rockhopper Disc 29er at a LBS in a 19" and although the guy said that it was a good fit, it felt WAY too big. However, looking at the geometry specs of the Rockhopper, it looks like it has an even longer top tube length than the 19" Fantom 29er.

    From all the data I put together, I think the 17" Fantom 29er will be the right size. Since I'm no pro, I'd rather err on the side of too small anyway, and the size between the 17" and 19" specs almost seemed trivial anway.
  • 08-25-2010
    mole7374
    funny man.... it looks like we were/are in pretty much the same situation.... the hifi deluxe specs seem just like the phantom's where the 17 & 19 were really close....I mean the top tube was .7 and stand over was like 1.4 inches. My gut is telling me the same as you in that I'm no pro but like to ride technical and hard and don't want to be out of control on a big beast. I've seen the stumpys and they did look big to me too.. I sat on a 19 fisher (couldn't ride b/c of rain) and I was able to stand over it ok but it did look big as well. To your point...with stuff being that close just safer to go down.
  • 09-01-2010
    ncnmra
    I got the 17" Fantom 29er on Monday. Put it together no problem, its a mean looking bike. I have some pics and vids that I'll post at some point.

    Part of me is wishing I went for the 19". I find that I have to have the seat at pretty much the maximum position to get the proper riding height. The forward extension seems to be OK, and it felt good on the short trail that I took it on.

    My dad has been riding for a few years, and he was skeptical of the 29er concept, but really liked it when he tried it on the same trail. "Smooth" were his only words. He was comparing to a Marin Nail Trail (about 4 years old).

    Regardless, I'm glad I went for the 29er, just wish I could have test fit the 17" vs the 19". The 19" with a 31.8" standover measurement was a little too close for comfort by the numbers.
  • 09-01-2010
    SuperJETT
    Your horizontal extension means more than how high the seatpost is. I have my seatpost on my KHS at it's max without going to a 400mm post but my reach/everything is perfect IMO and there is no way I could do the next size up frame.
  • 09-01-2010
    manabiker
    You will want to get your butt off the seat and to the rear on downhills/drops, so if you have your bike set at road riding specs you may want to lower your seat a inch or so to move around on it better.
    Congradulations on a great choice. "Keep them pedals moving"
  • 09-01-2010
    Jisch
    I had a similar issue with my wife's bike - the seatpost was at max and she really wanted to go up another 1/4". I got a longer seat post and everything is great. I'd much rather buy a longer seatpost than have her suffer with low standover clearance. I also feel much better knowing there's a few inches of seatpost in the frame versus the bare minimum.

    John
  • 09-02-2010
    HamfisT
    Yep.. best to spend a few bucks on a longer post than flirt with the minimum insertion line.


    I use a Sette APX post from pricepoint, 400mm, about 24 bucks!
  • 09-03-2010
    Jisch
    Yep
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by HamfisT
    Yep.. best to spend a few bucks on a longer post than flirt with the minimum insertion line.


    I use a Sette APX post from pricepoint, 400mm, about 24 bucks!

    Exactly the post I bought for my wife.
  • 09-05-2010
    ncnmra
    Can you guys tell me the seatpost diameter for the Fantom 29er that I should be looking for?

    NM: Its written on the seatpost 27.2