Putting together a 2011 Fantom 29 Pro- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Putting together a 2011 Fantom 29 Pro

    I recently put together a Fantom 29er Pro and wanted to give some feedback in appreciation of others who helped me make my decision. This was one of the first bikes I've ever assembled, and my first MTB (my other bike is a 1992 Miyata Sportcross hybrid). This note is aimed at someone debating whether to buy on the internet and try to assemble it themselves who maybe hasn't done it before.

    Sizing:
    I'm about 5' 11-1/2" with about a 34" inseam (measured with my sneakers on). I was debating between the 17" and 19" frame, and eventually settled on the 19". Having tried the bike now I'm happy with the decision (I'm very comfortable with the riding position), but definitely couldn't go any higher in standover. I figure I've got just barely 2 inches available (picking up the bike while staddling it and looking how high the wheels come off the ground). There's plenty of space left on the seatpost to go higher (the 2011 model comes with a 350mm seatpost), and the 17" probably would have been fine as well in retrospect.

    Special tools/materials needed:
    - You really need a torque wrench. I bought the Spin Doctor torque wrench kit from the Performance Bike store down the road for $70 and it met all my hex/torx bit needs as well. It worked fine and didn't give me any trouble as long as you know not to listen for a click and instead just feel when the head flexes. I think Pricepoint has the exact same set by a different name on sale for $50.
    - Pedal wrench (I got the cheapest one I could find at REI).
    - Grease (for the seatpost and pedal threads), chain lube.
    - Shock pump for the fork (I bought the one from BD).
    - Cable cutter for the poploc cable. I just used the built-in cutters on an old pair of needle nose pliers and they worked fine. The parts bag included two cable ends.
    - An open end wrench or socket wrench for the banjo bolt (I had the right socket lying around and used it with the torque wrench).

    Build:
    The bike arrived well packed and in perfect condition. The only assembly tasks were:
    - Putting the front brakes on the fork and disk on the front hub.
    - Assembling the stem, handlebars, and everything that attaches thereon: poploc, shifters, brakes, grips & plastic bar ends.
    - Dropping the seat into the seat tube.
    - Hooking up the poploc remote.
    - Putting on the pedals.
    - Inflating the fork and tires.

    Notes on putting it together:
    - All the bolts had already been dipped in some type of plastic-y thread lock material, so I didn't need to apply anything special.
    - It took awhile to figure out how the cables along the bottom of the top tube should be routed around the head tube. Just about every picture on the Bikesdirect site shows it slightly differently. I finally concluded that the shifter cables should go on the same side as their respective levers, while the rear brake should route on the left side (opposite side as the lever). This matches the Fantom 29 Elite detailed pics.
    - I also concluded that the front brake tube should route on the inside of the fork. There's a small set of raised bumps on the top right of the fork (facing it from the front); the tube nestles in between them and there's a black zip-tie included to hold everything in place. I had to loosen and rotate the banjo fitting slightly so the tube pointed a little more forward. AFIK if you don't loosen it too much you don't have to bleed the brakes. I didn't need to use any other zip ties to hold everything in place.
    - I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to mount the front calipers. I just mounted them slightly loosely, put a rubber band on the lever to hold it down, and tightened down the mounting bolts to the right torque. Perfect the first time.
    - The only instructions were for the fork, brakes, and shifters. Nothing for the stem/handlebars, so I had to lookup online to figure out the right torque. The fork manual has no information on setting the fork pressure, and the shock pump instructions were a little vague, but I figured it out.
    - When you attach everything to the handlebar, leave everything slightly loose until you've got the grips on so you can adjust their positions. The grips go on with less effort if you dip them in a dishwashing detergent/water solution first.
    - Leftover parts: There were two big black zipties, three small cable holders with little zipties (not sure what those were for), two spacers which I think are for reducing the fork travel, an extra cable end cap from the poploc, two plastic brake spreaders, and a bunch of manuals and a Rock Shox sticker.
    - The spec says that it comes with Elixir R, but mine came with Elixir CR (with alloy levers though). Likewise, the spec implies a no-name generic seatpost, but mine came with a Ritchey brand.

    I won't comment much on how well it rides because I've only been on a fairly short ~3mi trip (gravel path & road). For what it's worth, I didn't have to make any adjustments to the brakes or derailleurs for them to work acceptably well (lucky I guess), and the brakes were especially good - very progressive grab, and very quiet.

  2. #2
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    Can you explain the filling of the fork?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by subspd
    Can you explain the filling of the fork?
    I assume you mean using the shock pump to add air?

    I used the shock pump from Bikesdirect. The package instructions are at http://planetbike.com/files/ShockMateInstructions.pdf. Are you looking for more info on using that specific model? Note that you need to use a shock pump, but any model should work; a tire pump won't work though.

    The fill locations on the fork are located at the top and bottom of the left fork tube, each covered by a screw-on cap. Fill each of them per the shock pump instructions to roughly 1/2 your body weight (or better yet follow the charts at http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/servi...inflation.pdf). It doesn't matter which you fill first.

    The other fork tube has the poplock attachment point at the top, and the bottom appears to have a rebound adjustment knob (I didn't touch that).

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