Opinions on <$600 Bikes (529HT, Fantom Trail, 29Point1, 29Point2)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Opinions on <$600 Bikes (529HT, Fantom Trail, 29Point1, 29Point2)

    Just looking for some opinions on some of the sub $600 bikes I'm looking at. I've been thinking of getting the 529HT for a long time, but since the 2016 Fantom Trail has been updated I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. It now has a tapered head tube, TCS tires, and an XCM fork. Then there's the 29point1 which has TCS tires, but mechanical discs, and the 29point2 which has TCS tires, and hydraulic discs, although they are the Tektro M330 which I think is a step down from the dracos.

    So just wanted to know what people thought about the worth of the additions on the Fantom trail. Is the 30mm stanchions and tapered head tube with RL that much better than the XCT? Any other things you guys think is relevant?

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 2729DS Disc brakes, Tubeless Compatible Rims
    Frame: Fantom Tapered Head Tube
    Fork: XCM-RL-DS
    Front Derailleur: Acera
    Rear Derailleur: Deore
    Rims: WTB i25 TCS
    Tires: WTB Bronson 2.2
    Brakes: Tektro Draco

    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 529HT
    Frame: Fantom
    Fork: XCT
    Front Derailleur: X3
    Rear Derailleur: X4
    Rims: 700C
    Tires: 2.25
    Brakes: Tektro Novela

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes with WTB TCS Tubeless Compatible Rims
    Frame: 29point
    Fork: XCT-HLO-DS
    Front Derailleur: Altus
    Rear Derailleur: Acera
    Rims: WTB i25 TCS
    Tires: WTB Bronson 2.2
    Brakes: Tektro Novela

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point2 29er Mountain Bikes
    Frame: 29point
    Fork: XCT
    Front Derailleur: Acera
    Rear Derailleur: Alivio
    Rims: WTB i25 TCS
    Tires: WTB Bronson 2.2
    Brakes: Tektro M330

    Bike will be used for daily commute. I want to have the option for hitting some trails sometimes. It will replace my free to me target special magna.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I also notice that the Fantom Trail has a Truvativ FiveD crank. From what I can gather this is an old model crank. Any ideas if it is an upgrade from the Suntour XCT crank or just a sidegrade.

  3. #3
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    All are decently priced for what they are, so it's up to you to decide if the upgrades are worth it. In all cases, the upgrades are worth the cost bump, but may not be required for the riding you do. For primarily commuting, I'd stick with the moto 529 or even the 429. An alternative to the 529 is the Fantom LTD. Same price, lower quality brakes, but wider rims.
    Free Ship 48, Save up to 60% off new 29er Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 disc brakes

    I'd prefer to have the TCS wheels with the 25mm internal width because I would set them up tubeless and I primarily ride twisty turny singletrack with a lot of rocks and roots. I like the wider bars of the fantom, but a wider handlebar only costs $30. Tapered headset only comes into play if you plan on upgrading the fork beyond the rockshox recon/suntour raidon level. Most forks you would probably put on these bikes have a straight steer tube. A thru-axle is much more important than the tapered headtube, and none of these bikes have it.

    The truvativ 5d crankset is lighter than the shimano crankset. Unfortunately, it requires you to use a truvative chainring in the middle position. If you have plans on swapping out aftermarket chainrings, you'll have a hard time getting them to work on a 5d crankset. The shimano's are more aftermarket friendly.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the insight. I hadn't really considered the through axle. And good insight on the chain rings. While I don't plan on doing many upgrades I think we all know how that ends up. REI currently has the 2015 models (Ponderosa, Tupelo) at 50% off. I may end up getting one of those instead. I'd be giving up the TCS wheelset and RL for through axle and better components. Shopping on a budget sucks. Too many decisions.

  5. #5
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    For the money, the Ponderosa is hard to beat. You also get some bikeshop support, assuming you live near an REI. If you don't live near an REI, I'd still keep it high on the list. It's a good bike for the money. The rims still set up tubeless and are a good width, they're just not as wide. My current rims are the same width and I don't have any complaints. Not a big deal if you're using it primarily to commute. And the whole remote lockout thing isn't a big deal unless you're racing. My bike fork has lockout, and I've probably used it twice in 3 years.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  6. #6
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    Went with the ponderosa. 50% off was too good of a deal to pass up. This bike feels huge lol.

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