First impression Fantom 29er Comp-
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2011

    First impression Fantom 29er Comp

    This review is for the 2015 Motobecane Fantom 29 Comp.
    I've previously owned a Fantom 29er X5 and here's the review I wrote for it few year back:

    I put under 100 miles on the X5, but crashed out and lost two front teeth, sold the bike and vowed to my wife I'd never do Mountain biking again.
    Fast forward three years later and here we go again.

    First up is sizing. Everyone is a bit apprehensive about BD bikes due to sizing.
    I consider myself normally proportionate with torso and legs so I'm more at ease with online ordering.
    I ignore the sizing guide from BD, and did some research by taking a look at other manufacturers such as Scott, Giant, FUJI, Specialized and Trek sizing chart for for my height.
    Giant was the only company to recommend a size smaller than others, so I consider their sizing guide as an outlier.
    I found that for my height of 5'11.5", I would be a good fit for a ETT of about 23.8"-24.4", and the 17.5" Fantom Comp 29er had ETT of 24.3.
    I was very worried about the SO height of 32.4, but Chris from BD assured me that the SO is measured from the center of the TT, and the rider will have enough room to stradle the bike.
    I went ahead and placed the order and waited about 10 days for it to arrive.

    I spent about three hours on the initial assembly, but I'm very anal about my bike build. Greasing every nuts and bolts, bottom bracket, checking and rechecking adjustments etc.
    Lot of time was spent on doing the disc caliper adjustments trying to get rid of the brake rubs but now they're silent.
    I also needed to mount the rear deraileur and adjust, attach front brake cable to the fork and attach the bar.
    Shifters and brakes were already mounted so that saved a bit of time.

    Was worried about the standover, but I can straddle and lift with and inch or two no problem.
    Also not bothered by the long(relative to other bikes) wheelbase.

    Bike complete came in hair above 30# without pedals, but I plan to bring it down a bit in the future.

    Some misinformed specs from the BD website:
    17.5" comes with 175mm crankarm not 170mm, which is better fit for my height, and stem is 100mm not 110mm which is good since 110mm on a 29er would look weird.
    Came with SLX rear deraileur, was expecting Deore, which is a plus.

    Comparing to the X5, this bike comes with better stem, seatpost, and bars and the rear mech.

    Lastly the bike has Made in Taiwan sticker, not sure if anyone cares but I consider Taiwan BD bikes to be higher quality than Chinese BD Bike.

    This will be my seventh BD bikes, and I've generally been pretty happy with most of them.

    2004 Trek 520 23"/58cm (SOLD)
    2010 Motobecane Century Comp 58" (SOLD)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom 29 X5 19" (SOLD)
    2012 Motobecane Le Champ Ti 56"
    2012 Windsor Hour 58" (SOLD)
    2013 Motobecane Cafe Sprint (SOLD)
    2013 Motobecane Cafe Noir
    2015 Motobecane Fantom 29 Comp
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First impression Fantom 29er Comp-img_20140905_131218.jpg  

    First impression Fantom 29er Comp-img_20140904_210117.jpg  

    First impression Fantom 29er Comp-img_20140904_205419.jpg  

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Thank you for your reviews! There aren't a lot out there on Motobecane bikes. I'm going back and forth between the X5 and the Comp myself. Which do you prefer? Did you like the SRAM components better? This will be my first serious bike although I've been riding off and on most my life. I've never had a 29er though. I'm 6'3" 180 so I'm not sure if I should go 19" or 21". According the BD charts, the 17.5" frame should fit you perfectly. Would you agree or do you think the bike feels is a bit big or small?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    X5 is out of stock at the moment and according to BD they won't be restocking till late 2015 with a completely re-designed setup(probably with the MOTO29HX frame).

    As far as frame goes, MOTO29HX is the newer and (IMO)much matured 29er geometry with its 70degree HTA. The top tube on the MOTO29X was just way too high for an average rider like my self. The MOTO29HX hydroformed downtube gets rid of the ugly looking guesset which was holding it together on the MOTO29X. My only gripe with MOTO29HX is that the cables are routed on the top of the TT.

    The components such as the stem, seatpost+collar, handlebars are much better on the Comp. The stem on the X5 is way too ugly, and is the first candidate to be replaced. When you replace the stem, you might as well replace the handlebar and get an over sized 31.8mm. Comp came with a 11-32 cassette and I just replaced it with 11-36, so add $40 to the total expense.

    You can probably find lots of posts comparing sram and shimano, but either is fine with me. They each have their pros and cons but they both work, and they both work well enough. With the Srams push-push I sometimes found myself panic shifting into the wrong gear on a technical switch backs. Shimano doesn't offer 36/22 cranksets which I would like for my weak knees. Comp comes with the Deore 10speed which is brand new for 2014.

    With 17.5, I think the bike fits me like a glove. I have the seat slammed back as far as it can go, so I think even 19" would have been ok?
    Since you are between sizes, I strongly recommend that you test ride some bikes. Also concentrate on the ETT when comparing bikes, not so much the frame size.

    First time riding 29er will feel awkward and definitely require some getting used to. Since you're a tall lad, you might actually like the bigger wheel size, more than not.

    Before purchasing the Comp, I compared a similar specced Specialized which was on sale for $1100 at Mikes Bikes.
    I'm sorry, but I just couldn't justify paying $400 extra just so that I can ride a brand name bike.
    Last edited by mrshinsa; 10-01-2014 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Do you have an update? Would really like to hear how the bike's working out for you.

  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Hi, I have not studied the differences in the 29 trail vs the 29 comp!. but I can tell you that by my weight alone I am very happy with the bike in my first two week honeymoon if you will. I expected to have to do alot of tuning and fixing squeeks and poorly adjusted components but to my surprise the setup from the factory is quite precise ! and I am well pleased after last Sundays ride I was inspecting the spokes and found all still tight !
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by captbo; 12-02-2014 at 08:13 AM. Reason: my spelling

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: soarftb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Does anyone who has had this bike for a while have an updated ride report? Thanks.
    2015 Kona Taro
    2015 Motobecane Grand Record
    2014 Scott Scale 960
    2015 Trek FX 7.3

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Interested in a ride report as well. I am considering this bike. How has it held up?
    2011 BMC SpeedFox SF01
    2014 Fuji Sportif 1.1 (road bike)

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