Strengths: Ti quality ride and no fuss material
Price is ridiculously good
I am new to riding a cross bike. I can't stand road riding, but with some mixed in with hike n bike/light singletrack/road rides....it's ok. I realize the fitness benefits....now onto the bike.
I bought from BikesDirect and was a little wary sending my $1799 off into the abyss.....however, I ordered on Sunday and received it on Thursday. Assembly was a piece of cake - needed some tightening of allen bolts as well....no biggie.
I installed a U.S.E. suspension seatpost first thing as well. The bike responds really well to force on the pedals. I'm not light at 195lbs and it doesn't seem overly flexy when I stand up and get on it. The frame feels reasonably compliant when riding singletrack. I ride trails with roots, logs to bunnyhop, decent rock steps on it as well. So far the wheels are staying true and the bike is taking the beating.
By comparison to Moots and Lynskey (only other Ti brands I have owned) the welds are not as "pretty" but compared to the Lynskey especially....it seems beefier. I've already had to send my Lynskey 29er Mtb back 2 times in the first 18 months of ownership. Anyways, I'll report back after I have used and abused it for 6 months. I would list weight as a weakness, but honestly, I wasn't looking for or expecting a really light bike. So far I'm nothing but impressed.
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2013
Strengths: Value, of course.
Non-corrosive frame material.
Excellent geometry, no toe overlap.
Weaknesses: Weight is a little high at 22.5 #s on my scale.
You cant find a Ti framed cross bike with butted and manipulated tubes, but this one has it at a bargain price! Brushed finish is superb. Weld quality is the best I've ever seen. Geometry is very good for off road and good for on road. Tracks well around corners. Components are well matched with the frame to work together as a whole bike. You could lose some weight in the wheels, but for $1500, I expected that. The disk brakes work great.
I changed the seat for a wider, more comfortable one. The bars are a perfect shape - short reach and drop. I removed the top of the bars brake levers - dont know why anyone would want them.
This bike would be great for a first time cyclocrosser or someone who wants an all-arounder bike. It has rack and fender mounts. The price makes this a very good buy for what you get.
Strengths: Comfortable ride, good geometry, Rival components, good looks
Weaknesses: Saddle, Mavic Aksium wheelset
I also have a Trek XO2 and in comparison the Fantom Cross Pro is just as good of a bike. While it may be a bit heavier thna the XO2 it has a great ride. The geometry is such that you get great agility but it still seems to be stable at relatively high speed. I've ridden this as both a commuter and in cyclocross races. As a commuter it is light and fast and as a cyclocross racer it is agile and light enough when you are shouldering it through barriers. The value is indisputable. You would have a hard time assembling the components off ebay or craigslist for the cost of this bike. It doesn't carry a name brand saddle (which is the weakest thing but that may be just my preference), handlebar, stem or seatpost but it has the Rival drivetrain which in my opinion is the best value for cyclocross. Get one, you won't be disappointed.
Strengths: 1. Awesome value - simply stunning.
2. Smooth and forgiving ride - it's as smooth as carbon while being tough as nails. On rough pavement it really shines. I tend to be going faster than I think because this bikes smooths the ride more.
3. confident into corners and descents - it doesn't under or over-steer, it's not twitchy. The more I ride this bike, the more it just disappears.
4. do-everything versatility - fast with narrow tires, rough stuff with fatties or attach a rack and fenders and go for a couple of days. If that isn't enough, the hubs and frame are completely ready for disk brakes.
5. frame should be tough as nails - Ti is supposed to outlast me. This is an overbuilt one too.
6. truly impressive frame finish and details (insane given the price). The frame finish is beautiful. The down-tube, top-tube seat and chain stays are all heavily manipulated. They are oversized for strength. Even the head-tube and brake bridge have had some impressive manipulation. The only round tube on this frame is the down-tube. The detailing is really something else. The welds are very good if not Gucci artisan-ish. Remember that Ti is a very difficult material to work. I'd like to meet the craftsmen who built this machine. The fork is fine - I can't tell - it looks nice and allows fenders, etc.
7. sensible, classic geometry at least in the larger frames and right-sized crank, stem and bars - It puts the rider in the right place improving handling and performance. I changed out nothing!
8. second-to-none Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, with a useful 46x36 FSA crank - Hard to beat this stuff.
9. brakes are good. Seatpost, stem and handlebars are good and reliable.
10. handlebars are a real treat. They are slightly swept back in a very comfortable manner. It makes up for a slightly long frame. All these frames are a tad on the long side.
Weaknesses: 1. The bike needed some TLC to get it going well. You need to be comfortable with a wrench, know someone who is or be willing to take it to a shop to tidy up. In my case: the rims were out of true a little, the rim strips were not installed right (causing 2 flats), the brakes were really poorly adjusted, the drivetrain took some time to dial in. I was OK to clean these things up and I am fussy - I like my bike to perform really well.
2. The wheels are a little dodgy and at my size, it's a concern. I can true wheels and you need to with these puppies. The wheels are light, rims are good, and the hubs are very good but the spokes are light, aero and have a tendency to wind up when adjusting them. It's too bad, because the wheels ride well. I expect to ride them until I start braking spokes and have the hubs/rims rebuilt with round DT spokes.
3. It's not the lightest bike. Don't buy it for that. It doesn't climb like a demon. It's not heavy either. In my case the fully equipped 61cm bike with pedals, bottle cages and seatpack came in at 19.3 pounds. By comparison similarly specified aluminum and carbon bikes come in at 17.0 and 16.0 pounds respectively. Steel would be more. Recall that this a cross bike with overbuilt frame, fork and heavier wheels and tires. Don't sweat the weight much, just don't expect a featherweight.
I am reviewing a 61cm "2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Ti". I didn't find a category for that and couldn't open a new one for it.
I recount the strengths and weaknesses above. I've ridden many bikes for many years. Overall this is an exceptional bike at an exceptional price. It ticks off all the boxes for me: do-everything versatility in a really handsome, durable, high-performance crazy comfortable package. If you only have one bike, this is the one to get.
The bigger you are, the more this bike is going to suit you (for fit and weight). The worse the roads are in your area, the more this bike is going to sing. The more variety in situations you ask of it the more it will shine. Every ride, this bike simply gets better. I'm sorry to gush. Finally if you have some technical bike know-how, it would help too.
I changed out the saddle, pedals and tires. All of these things are very personal. It's kind of normal.
Favorite Ride: Any quiet country road, preferably with some hills
Purchased At: BD
Similar Products Used: I've been riding about 10,000km a year for over 30 years. I've owned and ridden numerous steel bikes, aluminum bikes, a top carbon bike and this is my second titanium bike. I ride racing, touring, cyclo-cross and mtn bikes. I like versatile bikes the best. I am 200 pounds, 6'3" and quite strong. I ride on a lot of rough roads up the eastern seaboard.
Bike Setup: This bike is 61cm "Motobecane Cross Team Titanium" setup with Ultegra/ Carbon Fork / Titanium Frame and Vuelta Team Super Lite wheels.
It came with two surprise deviations from spec:
1. bonus Shimano 105 road pedals.
2. 44cm wide handlebars. These are the right size for such a big frame (they said I'd get narrower ones).
It has all stock components except that I swapped out the:
- cross tires for 28C Continental Grand Prix slicks,
- Ritchey saddle (sad-dle) for a Fizik of my liking,
- 105 road pedals for versatile Speedplay frogs.
... and I took off the "Tektro RL570 Cross Top Levers (brake from the tops of the bars)" because they just interfere with my hands and my comfortable hand position.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2011
Strengths: great drive train components group, and decent wheels. in comparison to brands at the LBS's, I saved $900.
Weaknesses: I have discovered that cantilever brakes need frequent adjustment. Out of necessity, I am learning how to adjustment them. I have begun looking into a V brake replacemtn for the Avid 4's
This was my first drop bar bike, and coming from a bike with an upright ride, initially there were some aches in pains, but slowing the transition helped my adapt. Now it is the only bike I want to ride. I bought the bike in late January and have put nearly 4,000 miles on it. My LBS suggested I get a cross bike since more than half my riding had been in town, and I often will hop curbs. I had mixed emotions about the internet purchase, but received no flack from the shop. They will continue to get my business. Dealing with Bikesdirect was easy. Since their warehouse is close, the bike arrived the next day in perfect condition.
Bike: Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro Titanium (SRAM Rival Equipped)
Price: Internet price on Bikesdirect
Weight: Unknown, but it doesn't feel under 20#
Changes: Hayes CX5 Disks 160f/140r, ISM Adamo Century, Vittoria Rondo Hyper 32c folding
Build quality: As good as I've seen on a welded frame. Clea ... Read More »
I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a Fantom Cross Pro from Bikes Direct, though the idea of buying without riding seems a bit crazy. Great specs for the $ and has good reviews online.
Several people here and elsewhere have said that these B-D Motobecanes are basically rebranded Fujis. So I fig ... Read More »
Hi everybody, this is my first post here. I am thinking of ordering a Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro Titanium from Bikes Direct. Being a Titanium frame with SRAM Rival components, it seems like an amazing bike for $1700.00, but I am a bit uncertain about ordering a bike online. I am replacing a Jamis N ... Read More »
Funny, no one posts their sizes with these photos. Who here has a Motobecane Fantom Cross PRO Titanium Cyclocross Bike? Can anyone post a photo of a tape measure running from centre bottom bracket to top of seat tube for me? As well the top tube length C2C?
I see all types of sizes in the Ti C ... Read More »
Just saw this on BD... only $999... Is this a good deal? For what I know just the Rival group set costs more than this... And it came with a carbon fork! And a not too shabby Mavic Aksium Race wheel set
[IMG]http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/images/fantomcross_pro_rival_white_600.j ... Read More »