Thursday, March 20, 2008

Motobecane Fantom 29 vs IBEX Section 29

Before I decided on buying the Fantom 29 I had been looking at IBEX full suspension Ignition 3. I am glad I went with the 29er. IBEX also has a 29er so I was interested in determining how it stacked up in value to the Fantom 29. I did not buy the IBEX Section 29 because it was a little more than I wanted to spend at $999 plus $35 shipping. I also wanted a black bike. The Section 29 is Ruby Red.

The detailed specs can be found on the IBEX website at

The Fantom 29 has Avid BB5 Brakes vs Avid BB-7 for the IBEX . The IBEX is worth about $30 more.

The Fantom 29 has WTB MotoRaptor 29 x 2.1 tires with WTB FX28 rims vs the WTB ExiWolf 29" x 2.30 with the WTB LaserDisc 29 rims for the IBEX. The IBEX is worth about $50 more.

The Fantom 29 has the RockShox Dart 3 Fork at $125 vs Rock Shox Tora 318 Air at $380 for the IBEX . The IBEX has 80mm travel vs 100mm on the Fantom.

The Motobecane and IBEX frames are aluminum. I like the Fantom 29 black color over the Ruby Red of the IBEX.

The Fantom 29 has Shimano Deore Mega-9 Rapid Fire 27 speed trigger shift at $90 for pair vs SRAM X7 Trigger at $50 for the IBEX.

The Fantom 29 has Shimano Deore XT long cage rear derailleur RD-M761 at $85 vs SRAM X-7 at $45 for the IBEX.

The Fantom 29 has TruVativ 5D 22/32/44T Crankset at $70 vs FSA Moto MegaExo (44/32/22T) at $140 for the IBEX.

The Fantom 29 has Shimano Deore FD-M510 front derailleur $26 vs SRAM X-7 at $29 for the IBEX.

The IBEX also includes Shimano M520 SPD Clipless pedals w/ cleats at $50. I use clipless on my road bike but not on my mountain bike so this wasn't important for me.


The IBEX has $378 more in parts. It is about $400 more that the Fantom 29 so the value is close to the Fantom 29.

The Fantom 29 has a better drive train. The IBEX Section 29 has a better Fork, Wheelset and Crankset but it is $1034. I chose the Motobecane over the IBEX because I did not want to pay $1034 for a bike that I am using just for fitness. The $600 Fantom 29 works for me.

I like the Fantom 29!

As an on going recap here is a list of the bikes I reviewed. They are ranked by a Relative Value Factor (RVF) . The RVF is the price of the Fantom 29 + or - the value of the major parts difference (Delta) divided by the price of the bike. So far the Fantom 29 is the best value of the bikes I reviewed. The IBEX Section 29 jumps to second place.

Bike: Price, Delta, RVF

Motobecane Fantom 29: 596, 0, 1.0
IBEX Section 29 : 1034, 378, 0.942
Raleigh XXIX+G: 1100, 368, 0.876
Diamondback Overdrive: 600, -122, 0.790
Marin Alpine Trail 29er: 667, -122, 0.711
Specialized Rockhopper Disc 29er: 760 ,-144, 0.595


Anonymous said...

you sure do sound like an engineer. seems like the fantom pro29 or windsor cliff team 29 would "score"even higher in your system. but the real question is : are these cheapo frames really fun to ride or is it "worth " paying a little more for a better frame? and a $100 suspension fork sounds like walmart/costco level to me. kamakaze

Mike said...

Thanks for the compliment-- sounding like an engneer.

For me, the Fantom 29 is really fun to ride. I only tested the Raleigh XXIX so that is the only other 29er I have ridden. I really couldn't add any real world experience to answer yor question as to whether paying more for the frame is worth it.

As for the fork, the Dart 3 performs well for me. I use the bike for fitness---mostly XC, rail trails and I generally avoid the most technical part of trails.