New guy, lookin at a Fantom 29 Sport-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2018

    New guy, lookin at a Fantom 29 Sport

    Hello all, a little background. I am 51 5'10" 230 and working on losing weight, was up to 285 at my peak. Anyway, I rode years ago and was never really good but I enjoyed it and am looking to get back into riding for exercise and just getting back into the woods on a bike. Simple smooth single track is really to most harsh I see in my future, again I'm 51 and my days of getting radical are over.

    I've been doing the research for about a week and I keep coming back to a Motobecane Fantom 29 Sport for getting back in the saddle. I have done the Craigslist thing but something in me wants a new bike and to me it looks like the Fantom 29 fits my needs and then some. Looking for all opinions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    It's a solid bike comparable to most other entry level bikes from your local bike shops. The real benefit of a motobecane vs. a bike shop bike is the cost vs. your ability to assemble it. If you are mechanically inclined and want to learn how to put a bike together (willing to risk your life on your ability to setup disc brakes), the motobecane is great. If not, better to buy something at a local bike shop.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  3. #3
    OFS old, fat, slow
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I have an older one that I ride regularly. I'm also 225ish and I ride rough, chunky trails with it. The frame is strong at the cost of being a bit heavy - so an excellent tradeoff for guys our weight.

    I don't know that they've changed much in years, but that's okay - it still works quite well and the value proposition is difficult to beat.

    I'm 6'2" and wish I had an XL, but the L still works with a longer seatpost and riser bars.

    If I were you, I'd step up to the Comp model. It's 300 more bones, but the components/fork/wheels are significantly better. The components on the sport are what you find on department store bikes, while the comp has "real" entry level mtb components.



  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post
    The components on the sport are what you find on department store bikes,
    The parts aren't great, but they're not department store bad. They are definitely entry level, but strong and reliable entry level. Definitely not performance worthy though.

    A comparable bike shop bike is this.
    $550, so $150 more than the motobecane, but with the giant bike, you get their assembly and support. You also get resale value. Resale for a used motobecane is comparable to wallyworld big box stuff. Doesn't matter what's actually on it parts wise. The name is not recognized by the non-bike riding crowd and in the bike-riding crowd, it's looked down on. I've had my gravity 29er for over 6 years now with no intention of getting rid of it, so resale doesn't matter. The bike is still good and I've learned so much about assembly and trail side fixes. If you like to tinker with stuff, online bikes are worth it.

    For even cheaper, the following is good too. Nothing amazing parts wise and very comparable to the Fantom sport, but the cost is good if one of them will fit (which the 19" large should). I've ridden comparable to one of these, and when setup well, they will last almost forever. The fork is kinda junk, so an good upgrade in the future would be a suntour XCR for $100 or a rockshox recon silver for $250. The recon silver fork is an excellent heavy rider, and long term trouble free fork. I've been using one on trails for the last 6 years and it still works as good as new.
    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 429HT
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Forbin's Avatar
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    Jun 2018
    I say go for the Sport. I'm the same age as you and got back into mountain biking a few years ago when surgery took me out of my regular sport (ultra-running). I tried a bunch of new activites (kayaking, hiking, cycling) and wasn't sure if I'd develop a passion for any of them. I was willing to throw some money at each of them to figure it out, but I didn't want to throw a ton of money at any of them before I knew I'd stick with it.

    That's when Bikes Direct came on my radar. I got a entry level bike like the Sport and enjoyed it enough to pick up another (used) bike. Those entry-level bikes taught me a lot about basic maintenance and educated me quite a bit about what features were important to me. After a few years of riding, I decided to throw around $2000 at a full-suspension bike, not because I wanted to ride like a crazy-man, but because I wanted to ride trails that were uncomfortable on my hard-tails. My full-suspension bike has really changed not only where I ride, but just proved to be a revelation and really enhanced my enjoyment. My experience on my Bikes Direct bike really helped me make a solid choice.

    All of that is to say you're on the right track. The Sport is a good bike and you'll get your money's worth out of it if you ride it for a couple of years. My advice is just get it and ride the hell out of it. If you stick with the sport, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision on an upgrade.

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