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  1. #1
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    Fantom Cross Pro Titanium (my first roadbike)

    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. Clean welds with a brushed finish. If the decals are stickers, they are so well applied as to be sprayed on.

    The story: I bought a Motobecane 52cm Fantom Cross Ti because I really wanted a titanium bicycle to train on. I've been an MTB rider for all my life, but I decided it was time to do some road riding and maybe there isn't simpler training than spending my commute in the saddle of a bicycle.

    I chose the Rival equipped version because it was $300 less than the DA equipped model. While Rival is a lighter groupo, it is my understanding that the DA equipped bike is lighter as the Vuelta USA wheels supplied on the DA model are quite a bit lighter.

    The bike as far as I can tell, is as stiff as any aluminium frame I've been on. Maybe this is because as a cyclocross frame, it is a bit more sturdily built than a road frame. The bike never felt particularly flexy in frame or fork. The wheels thus far have functioned perfectly with disk brakes installed. With the Rando Hypers, the bike is plenty fast for my purposes. While riding through Garden of the Gods park, I hit 37mph on a downhill, and I hadn't run out of cadence. Still a couple extra teeth in the big ring couldn't hurt.

    I'd heard of pretty poor treatment by LBSs of owners of Motobecanes, but I took mine to Performance Bicycle and upon entering the store began discussing having a bike build finished that I'd ordered online. As soon as there was an understanding that I not only was willing to pay for the buildout, but to pay further for a maintenance contract, the staff were suddenly very interested in spending time working with me. After finishing the build, the spindoctors were more than willing to admit that the Fantom Cross Titanium was pretty well built and amazing. One of them admitted to me that he'd built an aluminium cyclocross bike with Rival components with his employee discount and paid the same overall as I had to buy my titanium bike. This to me makes clear that the Motobecane is a great value proposition.

    Future ideas: The fact that my roadie is on disk brakes makes for some interesting ideas as I get more accustomed to road riding. According to BikesDirect, my bike has a 130mm rear axle, which rather limits my disk hub choices. I am interested however in figuring out which just how light I could make a set of 28 spoke carbon rims attached to narrow disk hubs. Could make for a pretty interesting machine. A pretty fast bike.

  2. #2
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    I have the same bike but in 49cm size and it weighed just over 21lbs and is noticeably heavier then my 53cm Immortal Ice. did you try the v-brakes compared to the disks? and how much did you pay for the Hayes? Im trying to decide if I want to go disk?

  3. #3
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    I never bothered testing the canti's as I didn't like them on Amy previous bike and the Hayes through ebikestop were about 50 each. Not too bad, and the braking is great though I wish I'd researched more as I'd have likely got the Hope v-twin setup or made the jump to the sram s700 hydro shutters and calipers. That said, I'm still adapting to the reduced braking capabilities of a Roadie to a MTB with disks and fat city tires. On one rides I had a guy pull into the bike lane, slow to a crawl, then as I swerved left to go around him, he began turning left. Thank God he saw me before I got smeared all over his suv. He stopped blocking the lane with his suv and I passed with inches to spare. In the meanwhile I had grabbed both levers with two finger off the hoods and gave heavy squeezes, the result being a pretty quick drop from 37mph to 12mph and my rear wheel skidding. I am glad I switched to the Rando Hypers as they are pretty resilient and didn't flat spot on me. Also they haul ass so that's nice!

    Anyhow if you want inexpensive and can handle the noise under light to moderate braking, the Hayes are pretty worthwhile. I'll still probably jump on the sram hydros when they come down some in price. $400 an end isn't really in the cards for me.

    I think/hope that the weight is in the wheels. The vuelta pros are a lot heavier than the Teams. I am thinking I might build out some novatecs in 28f/30r with some Taiwanese carbon rims and bladed spokes and see if I can lighten the bike that way but that's a ways off and probably it'd be cheaper to shave 30lb by eating less and riding the bike more. These xrp pros seem to stay true pretty well after all!

    How are you liking yours so far!? Why did you down-size soo much?

    I'm interested to know and I'm still trying to prefect my for so my feet don't go numb while riding. That's irritating.

  4. #4
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    I am also a mtber I never cared for v-brakes either until I grabbed a finger full of the Ultegra brakes on my Immortal Ice and it about threw me otb. the v-brakes on the cx are slightly better then average. wet conditions is when rim brakes really suck!

    I am a "tweener" and usually can get away with either a medium or a small at 5 foot not quite 7 inches. I probably should have ordered a 50cm Ice but side by side they look pretty similar except the seat post is pretty low on the Ice. So far I have about 70 miles on the Fantom CX and I think its fantastic.

    Glad you didn't get hurt!!



    Last edited by RLucky82; 05-02-2013 at 08:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    How does it compare to your Immortal for road riding?

    Mine has been a joy, though I've got to watch the tire pressures as they tend to go down over the week. I've switched over to an Adamo Century seat, which is better than the original, but I still get the numb feet. Also I think I need to switch out my stem for a longer steeper one to make up for the compact size of the bike causing me to knee myself in the belly all the time! Maybe losing a few pounds will help out the problem. I will weight the bike the next time I'm into the bike shop.

  6. #6
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    Omg the Ritchie seats are horrible! I had my taint go numb the other day, not good. So far I have just over 250 miles on it and it doesn't feel that different then the Immortal other then the Ice is alot lighter and feels a little stiffer. Handling is about the same but I don't get to push them that often to really feel a difference. And I'm also compairing a 49cm Fantom CX to a 53cm Immortal Ice. Also I found some 35c road tires sitting in the garage and slapped those on there just for fun

  7. #7
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    Stil Liking It?

    I'm thinking about buying one of these as a dedicated long-distance commuting bike. Are you still liking yours? How are the wheels holding up over distance?

  8. #8
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    I made over 1000 miles through the summer without a single problem from the bike, and I've done a bit of riding through the winter, though not when it's snowing; that's no fun. The bike has held up fine and the wheels have never had a glitch, though I did get a set of Oval 327CX which are a little lighter and a little wider. Now the Vueltas are relegated to CX tire duty. They've remained true and without issue the whole time.

    The only problem that's really bothered me is that while the seat and top tube are the perfect height, the top tube length is a little short for me. I wish they'd offered the road bikes in the disk brake options.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the feedback. One more question: Do you think it was worth the extra money to go with Titanium? The comparably spec'd aluminum version is $500 cheaper and I'm having trouble convincing myself it's really worth the money for a commuter bike, especially since I'll be able to run fairly fat tires on this frame (compared to my current road bike, which will only support up to a 23mm tire).

  10. #10
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    I guess that's a tough question to answer. Personally I like the feel of titanium although that is kind of muted on this frame since it's as beefy as it is. I would still say it's probably more comfortable than an aluminum, but ultimately if you are only using it for commuting and nothing else, the price becomes more of an issue.

    If I'm being totally honest, I'm already thinking of getting another bike just to have a slightly better fit frame for me. In that case this one would either become a mountain bike or a full time commuter. I just don't know.

    Did I mention I'm using a 135mm rear axle, and the only change is I have to pull the stays apart when putting the wheel on. You couldn't use this kind of flexibility with any other material except maybe steel. Presently the only adjustment between my two wheelsets is the disk brake. My cassettes work identically, indicating that the increased spacing is at the hub center.

    What I would really like to do at present is add a bit of stack height under the headset which brings up an excellent point about this bike. It has an integrated headset, which means far less adjustability and maintainability. As yet I haven't found a way to integrate an external cup headset into the frame. This would have been a dealkiller had I paid attention before buying the bike. I really want to relax the steerer angle and raise the frame at the front in the manner seen with longer headtube bikes, but the only options are spacers above and stems. No fun.

  11. #11
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    Here is my 52. Love it. Ive since stripped the decals.


  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    You've got the newer version of the same bike. Mine didn't come with disks, how do you like the Avids? I went with Hayes because they are short throw, though what I'd really like are some hydros, though the pocketbook won't allow, as I'm trying for a fat tire bike right now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurseDubya View Post
    You've got the newer version of the same bike. Mine didn't come with disks, how do you like the Avids? I went with Hayes because they are short throw, though what I'd really like are some hydros, though the pocketbook won't allow, as I'm trying for a fat tire bike right now.
    They are a bit disappointing. I have an older cannondale f5 mtn that came with BB5's which I couldnt stand, even with upgraded pads, they had a weak grip and were loud as hell, going downhill riding the brakes, you could hear me coming a mile away

    Having a different pad design than the BB5's I was excited try out the 7's, unfortunately, they are not much different. I might grab a set of EBC pads to see if that helps, heard good reviews on them. Compared to my wife's Yeti with Shimano cx70's(?) cantilevers, the BB7's are underwhelming.

    Hydro's would be awesome. I have yet to ride anything with them equipped.

  15. #15
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    how tall are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattheis View Post

    I'm 5'8" and was wondering if i should get the 52cm or the 54?

    I have short legs and a long torso if that helps.

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