Which new bike advise- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    No good Which new bike advise

    I have crashed my old bike and its not worth saving so am looking for new wheels. My wife has a 30 year old Moto French version, road bike that has just been put in top shape and we do ride together on our local trails. However, I am interested in a mountain bike as a replacement. As always cash is king and a consideration. I have looked at three of the Moto models that are in my price range but question the price spread vs. benefit between the models. The three that I am presently considering are as follows:

    1. The 2010 Motobecane 700 HT at $499.95
    2. The Motobecane Fantom 29 at $595.95
    3. The Motobecane 2009 Fantom Comp at $795.95

    From what I can tell in my research all three bikes are certainly worthy of consideration, and offer technical differences setting each of them apart, but my question becomes are they sufficiently different to justify the $300. spread?

    It would be helpful for you to know that I am 6 ft,, 192 lbs., and have a 30.5 inch standover.

    Any comments or suggestions anyone can offer would be most appreciated.

    Gray Guy
    Cumming, Georgia

  2. #2
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    This is a ton of bike for the money, and in your price range if you're considering a 29er. The fork upgrade alone is worth more than $100 over the Fantom 29.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cliff29pro.htm

    I'd decide on 26 vs 29 first and then go from there.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for your suggestion, I am leaning toward the 29 and in doing so have added the Fantom 29PRO to my list since it also is priced at the upper end of my consideration. In considering the 29 my question would be what size a 15 or 17? With my measurements I think I could accomodate either. Comments? I also would be interested in comments concerning the merits of the Fantom 29 vs. the 29 PRO.

    Gray Guy

  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    I have the regular Fantom and can't really compare it to the Fantom PRO, except to say that for casual trail riding the regular Fantom is probably more than enough bike for you. The 29ers are king when it comes to a smooth ride. I have the same measurements as you and the 15" frame size fits me just fine. Plenty of top tube clearance.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5

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    Thanks Gary, very helpful comment!

    Gray Guy

  6. #6
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    Try to ride a bike with a Dart fork and one with a Tora fork before you decide.

    I would avoid the Dart at all costs if you plan to do even the slightest bit of aggressive riding, but I'm a little bigger and taller than you are.

    I had a 21" Fantom 29 Pro (moved everything over to a 23" frame), and liked it a lot. I would have stuck with it if I hadn't scored a nice deal on a larger frame. The Cliff 29 pro is right at the same level and used to sell for about the same price which makes it a very nice deal at $699. Search the archives in this forum and you can find some comparisons between the two. The Fantoms use shimano stuff, and the Cliff's use SRAM. Some people have a preference.

    The Cliff 29 is virtually identical to a Fuji 29er, if that matters to you. It's probably also worth pointing out that the company selling these Moto's is not the same company that made your wifes bike.

  7. #7

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    Thanks Fireflock,

    I will take a look at the Cliff 29 Pro, our local LBS carries the Fuji line and their annual sale starts this Saturday so will take a look at that bike as well. I am aware of the French/USA Moto swap and the difficulity in upgrading the French bikes. I agree the specs on the Tora fork are a lot more impressive. I have found some negative comments concerning the hydraulic brakes needing more maintenance, is this a problem?

    Gray Guy

  8. #8
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    GG - I just rec'd my Cliff 29Pro on Friday. It came with a Tora Race, not the 318 Solo that was spec'd. That is fine with me since the Races specs out about a 1/2# less in weight. I posted a q on the differences on this board and one post said that the Race doesn't have the adjustable travel (80-130mm). The spec on the bike is great. I'm a little shorter than you, with a 32" inseam and the small Windsor (17") fits me well, but the stem is short, so the cockpit ends up about an inch shorter than my other bikes. A new stem will correct that for me. Other than that, the frame fits me well. One thing to consider is that if you get the Tora Solo Air (318 or Race) you will need a pump to get it setup for your weight. Mine came set up for a lightweight, so I haven't got a chance to take it in the woods yet and give it a workout. The hydr brakes are excellent. They were easy to get setup, but obviously I haven't had to make any adjustments yet. I also have to say that the SRAM X7 shifters and deraillers are excellent. No ghosting, clicking, searching, just a solid click into the gear you want. BTW, I put the bike on the scale and it came in at 29#.
    1995 Cannondale M500, Amp F3XC Fork
    1996 Scott Vertigo LSD (FS), Judy XC Fork
    2009 Windsor Cliff 29 Pro, RS Tora Race

  9. #9

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    Hi Toyman,

    Thanks for your review of the Cliff 29 Pro, certainly makes for some further consideration, a hundred bucks more than pays for a LBS setup, I will be looking closely at the Fuji 29 as fireflock suggested, when the local sale starts on Saturday. I have noted some minor differences between the tech specs of the Cliff 29 and the Fantom Pro, but if the difference is sufficent to justify the extra $100 is questionable. Obviously, since you sprung for the Cliff you didn't think so.

    Gray Guy

  10. #10
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    gray guy, it was a small leap of faith going away from Shimano and ordering a partially assembled bike via the internet, but I'm pretty happy with the decisions. The big differences to me were that "it seems" as if you get a higher spec'd: front derailer, hydr brakes, wheels, and maybe stem, bars & seat post, although that comparison is probably negligible at best, as compared to the Fantom. The other thing that sealed the deal for me is that it came with a pair of clipless pedals, which saves me from buying a pair. I'm not too sure what the actual differences in the frames are, but I bought with the idea that I may just look for a different frame in the future. One last thing, it's my understanding that the price ($699) on the Cliff29 Pro is a reduction of what it sold for earlier this year. I don't know what the original number is though.

    That being said, if I actually needed a bike, I would have played the "it's only another $x hundred" game, and probably got the Cliff 29 Team or Fantom Pro SL (in that order), since the additional cost seems to be well worth the upgraded fork and components. IMHO
    1995 Cannondale M500, Amp F3XC Fork
    1996 Scott Vertigo LSD (FS), Judy XC Fork
    2009 Windsor Cliff 29 Pro, RS Tora Race

  11. #11

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    Toyman,

    I looked at the two bikes on your wish list and all I can say is WOW, but maybe a bit over my needs.

    The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys!

    Gray Guy

  12. #12

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    I visited my LBS today and they suggested the Jamis Durango 29 as their match for the Moto Fantom 29PRO. Pricewise, after their sales discount plus state taxes the Jamis comes in about $30 less than the 29PRO if you figure in the assembly and tuning cost ($50 assembly and $60 tuning) for the MOTO. The LBS then provides two years of free maintenance with their bike if I go with the Jamis. I would be interested in technical comments on this tradeoff. However all comments are welcome.

    Gray Guy

  13. #13
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    The durango component wise is more like the Fantom 29 not the 29Pro. The Jamis has the Dart not the Tora for that price.

  14. #14
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    GG - A lot of this decision comes down to your comfort level. I know where you're coming from, in that you can see and handle the bike, plus peace of mind for 2 years on maintenance and warranty issues. I was in a different position than you when I bought my Windsor Cliff Pro, in that I have 2 other bikes to ride. I don't know if I would have been as confident if it was going to be my only bike. I stopped by my local (1 hour or so away) bike shop and looked at a few Cannondales, which is what I was initially going to buy. REI had the Caffeine 4 29er on sale for $8xx, which you may want to take a look at also since that frame was still made in the USA in '09. I'm actually glad I couldn't get to my (L)BS. There was a C-Dale 29er with a lefty that was my size and looked and felt fantastic. It was a bit pricey at just under $1400, but I'm sure I could have rationalized it if I had to!

    In looking at the specs of the Jamis & Moto, I agree with the above poster that it is more of a comparison to the Fantom 29 and the Jamis doesn't really spec out which Dart it comes with. From your last post I surmise that the price fo the Durango is $1,059+tax. The Fantom 29 is $595. Now we're talking a substantial difference of $450.

    Spec Comparison:

    Fork - Assume both are Dart 3
    Derailleurs - Front - both Deore; Rear Jamis Deore, Fantom XT
    Brakes - Jamis - Tektro 160mm Hyd - Fantom - Avid BB5 Mech 185mm (?)
    I can't comment on the comparisons between the Truvativ BB's/Cranksets and Shimano, which may be important.
    Then the other unknown (to me) is the frame comparison, which also may be a big decision maker for you.

    Back to the fork. I just rebuilt a 1996 Judy XC on one of my bikes. I posted a few q's on it and the general consensus was that I should scrap it as even the lowest end current forks (ie: Darts) would be better. I put some extremely enjoyable miles on the Judy this weekend with no complaints. I don't know if that means I could have been very happy with a Dart 3? I do know that I've had my Windsor for 2 weeks now without being able to ride it in the woods because my @#$!# pump hasn't come yet!

    So, what does it all mean? You need to decide your threshold for risk and what it's worth to you. If you like the Jamis and feel comfortable with the price & service, I say by all means go with your gut. I don't know what you rode before this bike, but I'm sure either will be an upgrade. These message boards sure are good for the economy, aren't they?
    1995 Cannondale M500, Amp F3XC Fork
    1996 Scott Vertigo LSD (FS), Judy XC Fork
    2009 Windsor Cliff 29 Pro, RS Tora Race

  15. #15

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    Hi UnderPar and Toyman,

    Thank you both for your comments and great advise. I do agree that the Jamis is under-speced to the Pro, and I have just learned that one of my friends has a road bike that he got from Bikes Direct that he is very happy with, so that ups my comfort level a bit. Since this is probably the last bike I will ever buy, I do want to get a machine that I will ride with confidence and pride. Toyman, you shouldn't have pointed me at the fantom 29 Pro SL, my needs vs. my desires are having a battle with my pocket book.

    Thanks again

    GG

  16. #16

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    Update, I have entered an order for the Moto Fantom 29 Pro SL 17 thats scheduled for delivery next Wednesday the 23rd. I will keep all interested informed with my experience as it develops. Thanks to all for your interest and helpful advise.

    GG

  17. #17
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Guy
    Update, I have entered an order for the Moto Fantom 29 Pro SL 17 thats scheduled for delivery next Wednesday the 23rd. I will keep all interested informed with my experience as it develops. Thanks to all for your interest and helpful advise.

    GG
    I think you'll be pleased with it. Keep us posted with questions, pics, etc!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  18. #18
    HTFU!
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    You should have gotten the Titanium!
    Seriously, I had the same dilemma over a year ago and knowing myself, I did not want to buy a bike that I would eventually want to replace parts on so I bought the best bike I could afford.
    If you are going to do a bit of riding, I doubt you will be disappointed with your choice. And if you get the riding bug like many of us have, then I also doubt this will be your last bike purchase.
    I no longer deserve a signature. :skep:

  19. #19

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    Hi IMHO,

    I'm a techie by profession so looked at that option, but the leep in cost was the limiting consideration. By the way I do like your byline, particularly after my recent experience.

    Best GG

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO
    You should have gotten the Titanium!
    +1. Fly Ti is a very well made frame. I expect it to last many years. An even better deal in the long run..

  21. #21

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    Hi All,

    Just a quick update, the bike has arrived in great shape and has been assembled by the LBS, which for some reason failed to mount the remote PopLoc adjust, so need to followup on that, but the first ride went very well, so am on my way to the trail for a better run. The 17 fits me very well so made the right choice on that option.

    Gray Guy

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