Help me choose: HAL5, 6, or BOOST, or Fantom DS?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Help me choose: HAL5, 6, or BOOST, or Fantom DS?

    Old timer looking to upgrade my 18 year old 26" 4x4 v-brake bike. I started with Gary Fisher hardtail and doing XC (which I still have) upgraded to my old 4x4 a couple year later. I still enjoy XC singletrack, but where I live now in the SF bay area has a lot more all-mountain and trail riding and not much singletrack. Honestly I don't have huge desires to conquer 3' drops, rock gardens, or anything too gnarly. I'm getting old. I love to climb, but want to be confident on any reasonable descent. Furthermore, I'm sized on the small side:

    145lbs (no gear)
    28.5" inseam

    I'm not sure I need 6" of travel - since I currently have 4". I know 6" will help for the more gnarly downhills and technical stuff, but I'm not actively seeking them out. I don't want to lose much climbing ability/speed either. So I'm hesitant to jump from 4" to 6".

    So the HAL5 might be a better option for me, but geometry wish, it doesn't appear to be much different than the HAL6. My main concern with either the HAL5 or HAL6 is standover height - both around 29.5" - which will literally be a PITA. My current 4x4 also has a higher standover - I've never been fully comfortable with it all these years even though I've never had an incident with it...though I have come close a couple of times.

    For the HAL series this leaves the HAL BOOST which with slightly more breathable standover at 28.5" should give me 1" clearance with shoes LOL. However, even though it's a 5x5 the slacker geometry and componentry seem to point this more optimized for going down than going up compared to the HAL5/6.

    Finally this leaves the FantomDS standover is humane at 26.8", it's a 4x4 like my current ride. But it's an older single pivot design (my current bike is a multi-link), and I guess this one is closer to a XC bike than a all-mountain ride.

    One last thing. I do see a lot of people with 1x11 and 1x12 gear setups on the local mountain - I can see the practicality of this, BUT I can't fathom riding slowly on the flats or fireroads. So at min, I'm looking at the configs that have 2x11 or 2x12 gearing.

    I know I can't have it all, but would like to get the right ride.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: biked2school's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Front/Rear Thru Axles start with the 6. Somehow that was important to me.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sfgiantsfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    You should test ride some bikes. Some of the new bikes with 120mm suspension are great and you may prefer them over a long travel bike.

    Not that there is anything wrong with too much travel but you may not like the way they climb
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

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