Fantom Pro 29er - First ride today!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    SunnyDaze
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    Fantom Pro 29er - First ride today!

    A family emergency finds me moving back to the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania for a least six months. I learned quickly that motorists in these parts don't exactly "share" the road.

    The bike showed up Thursday. Being 6'4" with fairly long legs (I don't know my actual inseam), I ordered the XL. I waited patiently for my shock pump, brake bleeding kit, seatpost, and saddle to show up on Friday.

    The Good:

    All of the torque specs on the parts that came assembled were dead on. The Matte Slate finish is very, very sharp. The welds on the frame are every bit as clean as the welds on my Scott SUB 20 or my old Klein Quantum. The Avid Juicy 3's grip very well (after proper bleeding)! The Shimano drivetrain is quiet and unnoticeably smooth. Also, it came very well tuned out of the box. I had to make a slight adjustment on the low stop of the rear derailer. No biggie. The headset feels smooth. I cleaned the bearings and repacked them before I assembled it. My concern was the accumulation of dirt or other contaminants during shipping. The TruVativ crankset and BB were torqued to spec, and felt very smooth. I felt no need to disassemble and overhaul the BB. The RS Tora 318 (inflated to 280 psi) manages to perform beyond my expectations, considering the fact that I weigh 310 lbs. Oh, Poploc is radical.

    The Bad:

    The factory seatpost is not very strong. This was anticipated, and a replacement was ordered at the same time as the bike. The stem and handlebars are no-name, but I'm going to see how they withstand the test of time. The WTB Speed-V saddle is now on my girlfriend's franken9'er. That might fall under "The Good." The Avid rotors came slightly warped. I didn't measure the runout, but, it caused a "ching - ching - ching" noise to come from the front and rear brakes. Avid's "alignment" process is a hoax. You are better off lining them up by hand with the bike up on a stand and tightening the caliper bolts in a position where the rotors do not contact the pads as the wheels rotate. No more "ching - ching - ching." The composite pedals may be the next thing to go.

    First ride:

    Sunday, July 19. I rode from Whitsett to West Newton along the Yough River Trail. It's about 16 miles, round trip. This includes a few detours down interesting looking paths and slag / gravel roads, and a brief jaunt around the town of West Newton to visit some old friends. The bike felt very solid. The higher front end geometry complimented my massive self extremely well. Once I found the magic saddle height and position, the bike felt very responsive and confidence inspiring as I pedaled along. The drivetrain performed flawlessly, even under acceleration. The RS Tora felt plush. I don't do drops or jumps, but I do find myself hitting a groundhog hole or two in a field as I vere off of the trail. If any of you Clydes have reservations concerning the Tora, forget about it. This bike does what you tell it to do, and it does so without any sucker punches.

    I will keep yinz (Pittsburghese for "you all") posted on how the machine holds up. I'll also throw up some photos as soon as I remember to take them.

    Thanks for the read.

    Sayonara.
    Last edited by SunnyDaze; 07-19-2009 at 11:02 PM.
    Burn fat, not oil!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    pics please
    good review too

    did you bend your seatpost already?

    where is the bottom edge of your new seatpost when inserted into the frame?

  3. #3
    SunnyDaze
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    I'll try to get a few snapshots in before I shove off to work tomorrow afternoon. No, surprisingly, the factory seatpost didn't bend. Then again, I only rode about 50 feet on it, just to check the BB for noise before fine tuning. I had it at the minimum insertion mark. The new seatpost is 400mm long, it goes down about 7 or 8 inches into the seat tube. It's a Kalloy Laprade. It's not an expensive post, but if you look at how much it weighs as compared to others, it's much heavier. Much heavier = Much more dense. It doesn't have the same "flexy" feel as the OE seatpost. I'm half tempted to purchase another and take it into the lab at school and test it's elastic limit.
    Last edited by SunnyDaze; 07-20-2009 at 08:01 PM.
    Burn fat, not oil!

  4. #4
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    What seat replaced the Speed V?

  5. #5
    SunnyDaze
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    A 143mm Specialized Rival. It's a few years old, but it's never been ridden on. It's been in my closet for quite a while now. I'm glad I finally had a use for it, and that I never put it on Craigslist.
    Burn fat, not oil!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDaze
    A family emergency finds me moving back to the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania for a least six months. I learned quickly that motorists in these parts don't exactly "share" the road.

    The bike showed up Thursday. Being 6'4" with fairly long legs (I don't know my actual inseam), I ordered the XL. I waited patiently for my shock pump, brake bleeding kit, seatpost, and saddle to show up on Friday.

    The Good:

    All of the torque specs on the parts that came assembled were dead on. The Matte Slate finish is very, very sharp. The welds on the frame are every bit as clean as the welds on my Scott SUB 20 or my old Klein Quantum. The Avid Juicy 3's grip very well (after proper bleeding)! The Shimano drivetrain is quiet and unnoticeably smooth. Also, it came very well tuned out of the box. I had to make a slight adjustment on the low stop of the rear derailer. No biggie. The headset feels smooth. I cleaned the bearings and repacked them before I assembled it. My concern was the accumulation of dirt or other contaminants during shipping. The TruVativ crankset and BB were torqued to spec, and felt very smooth. I felt no need to disassemble and overhaul the BB. The RS Tora 318 (inflated to 280 psi) manages to perform beyond my expectations, considering the fact that I weigh 310 lbs. Oh, Poploc is radical.

    The Bad:

    The factory seatpost is not very strong. This was anticipated, and a replacement was ordered at the same time as the bike. The stem and handlebars are no-name, but I'm going to see how they withstand the test of time. The WTB Speed-V saddle is now on my girlfriend's franken9'er. That might fall under "The Good." The Avid rotors came slightly warped. I didn't measure the runout, but, it caused a "ching - ching - ching" noise to come from the front and rear brakes. Avid's "alignment" process is a hoax. You are better off lining them up by hand with the bike up on a stand and tightening the caliper bolts in a position where the rotors do not contact the pads as the wheels rotate. No more "ching - ching - ching." The composite pedals may be the next thing to go.

    First ride:

    Sunday, July 19. I rode from Whitsett to West Newton along the Yough River Trail. It's about 16 miles, round trip. This includes a few detours down interesting looking paths and slag / gravel roads, and a brief jaunt around the town of West Newton to visit some old friends. The bike felt very solid. The higher front end geometry complimented my massive self extremely well. Once I found the magic saddle height and position, the bike felt very responsive and confidence inspiring as I pedaled along. The drivetrain performed flawlessly, even under acceleration. The RS Tora felt plush. I don't do drops or jumps, but I do find myself hitting a groundhog hole or two in a field as I vere off of the trail. If any of you Clydes have reservations concerning the Tora, forget about it. This bike does what you tell it to do, and it does so without any sucker punches.

    I will keep yinz (Pittsburghese for "you all") posted on how the machine holds up. I'll also throw up some photos as soon as I remember to take them.

    Thanks for the read.

    Sayonara.
    I just ordered one tonight. I went with the Pro SL model because I liked the brighter finish on the frame and because they were out of the Pro model. I see the SL has some upgraded components so I am hoping it solves some of your issues for me.

    So how do you like the 29" ride and handling?

  7. #7
    SunnyDaze
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    Honestly, I am becoming fond of it. Keep in mind that my riding experiences prior to this are limited to a Klein Quantum and a Scott SUB 20. I ordered a 400 HT from BD this week. It'll be here tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a long - term comparison blog. Benefits, detractors, differences, similarities, etc...

    As for now, the 29er is everything that I've read and expected. It's smoother than anticipated. It requires a little kick to get it up to speed. Once you reach your cruising speed, it's easy to maintain. I don't know how much of that is my adrenaline from the "29er hype" and wanting to make the bike into what I hoped it would be, and how much of that is pure physics persevering before my eyes.

    This is why we shall do a comparison. 26er vs 29er. What do yinz think? I know this is going off topic... and I PROMISE that I'll post 29er photos by mid-week. My mom is still in pretty bad shape from her accident, and I haven't had the time to just snap photos at will. I promise, I don't work for BD.

    Have a great weekend all!
    Burn fat, not oil!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDaze
    Honestly, I am becoming fond of it. Keep in mind that my riding experiences prior to this are limited to a Klein Quantum and a Scott SUB 20. I ordered a 400 HT from BD this week. It'll be here tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a long - term comparison blog. Benefits, detractors, differences, similarities, etc...

    As for now, the 29er is everything that I've read and expected. It's smoother than anticipated. It requires a little kick to get it up to speed. Once you reach your cruising speed, it's easy to maintain. I don't know how much of that is my adrenaline from the "29er hype" and wanting to make the bike into what I hoped it would be, and how much of that is pure physics persevering before my eyes.

    This is why we shall do a comparison. 26er vs 29er. What do yinz think? I know this is going off topic... and I PROMISE that I'll post 29er photos by mid-week. My mom is still in pretty bad shape from her accident, and I haven't had the time to just snap photos at will. I promise, I don't work for BD.

    Have a great weekend all!
    I had my first ride today on the Fantom Pro 29er. I was worried it was all hype, but what can you say? If it feels smooth, fast, absorbs roots and ruts and flows downhill like a banshee, then it does! I am so glad I bought into the "hype". 15 minutes on the trail and my initial impression was I won't ever go back to 26" wheels.

    I will report back in another week or so after I get about 20 miles on varied trails under my belt.

  9. #9
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    When you say you ordered the XL, was that the 21" frame? I'm about 6'4" and ride a 26er with a 23" frame. I've been trying to figure out if the 21" is big enough for me. I've heard you are supposed to go a size down when comparing a 26er to a 29er.
    Also, do you know the widest tire you can fit in the frame on the rear? Will it fit a 2.3" tire easily?

  10. #10
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    For me at 5'10" I fit perfectly into the 15" 29er frame Fantom 29 Pro.
    Sizing down one may indeed be a good guideline.

  11. #11
    SunnyDaze
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    My 26er is a 23" Motobecane 400HT. It fits me well with the saddle positioned about 3/4 of the way back on my seatpost. I am 6'4" / 6'5" and I ride the 21" XL frame on my Fantom Pro with no problems. Actually, the saddle is positioned more fore than it is aft. In all of my experiences, things that you hear are usually best verified by doing for yourself. That is the only way that you will know. Top tube length and overall bike geometry plays a greater factor in comfort than "down one size" ever will. My advice is to find someone who has a 21" niner with similar geometry and see if they will let you ride it. I live near Pittsburgh. You're welcome to try (not abuse) my machine for a quick blast if that helps.

    As far as the tires go, I can pretty much say that the 2.3's will fit. They're only .1" wider on each side of the rim. Actually, the 2.1 Motoraptors don't suck.
    Burn fat, not oil!

  12. #12
    SunnyDaze
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    I just (finally) put up pictures in the Moto pictures forum.

    Enjoy!
    Burn fat, not oil!

  13. #13
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    Do you know what the head tube length is on your 21" motobecane? I'm looking at a used fork that is already cut to 190mm. Will this work?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch1413
    When you say you ordered the XL, was that the 21" frame? I'm about 6'4" and ride a 26er with a 23" frame. I've been trying to figure out if the 21" is big enough for me. I've heard you are supposed to go a size down when comparing a 26er to a 29er.
    Also, do you know the widest tire you can fit in the frame on the rear? Will it fit a 2.3" tire easily?
    I am 6'4" 255LB and the XL frame is a great fit for me. The stock ritchey seatpost is not long enough at 300mm (need 350mm +), and the stock bars were too narrow for my liking.

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