Thursday, March 27, 2008

Motobecane Fantom 29 vs Motobecane Fantom Pro

I received a couple of comments about how the Fantom 29 would compare to the Fantom Pro. So here it is....

How about comparing brothers? Of course the Pro is nicer with higher end components but is it a better value?

The only differences between the two bikes are the fork, brakes and crankset.

The 29 has Avid BB-5 Brakes vs the Pro with Avid Juicy 3 Hydraulic Brakes. The Juicy Brakes are about $130 more.

The 29 has RockShox Dart 3 Fork at $125 vs RockShox TORA RS318 with lockout, 100mm at $380 for the Pro.

The Fantom 29 has TruVativ 5D 22/32/44T Crankset at $70 vs TruVativ FireX 22/32/44T at $140 for the Pro.


The Pro has $455 more in parts. It costs $795.95 on bikesdirect. Its Relative Value Factor is 1.32 and therefore is the best value of the bikes I evaluated so far. Maybe I should have bought the Fantom Pro, but again I did not want to spend a lot of money. So I am still satisfied with my Fantom 29 purchase.

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.

Bike Price Delta RVF

Motobecane Fantom Pro 796, 455, 1.32

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...

Thanks for your response to this request. I was especially curious about the crankset comparison because, odd as it may sound because it's the least sexy of the three parts you compared. After looking around at reviews and talking to a few shop wrenches, it seems like you really take your chances with the FiveD crankset. One wrench said he'd guess about a 50/50 fail rate on those sets.

So my interesting dilemma is do i put out the extra $200 on the total upgrade 29 Pro right away for upgrades in brakes, forks (neither of which i'm that concerned about, the stocks seem adequate) and the crankset, or go with the regular 29, which would be perfectly fine for me, in all likelihood, and take the chance that I won't have to drop most of that $200 difference on an eventual crankset upgrade.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comments.

The Fantom Pro is a better value but like you said it is $200 more. I use the bike for fitness rides and therefore the Fantom 29 is adequate for my needs.

With the Fantom Pro you need a shock pump for the front fork. Also I thought the BB-5 mechanical brakes are fine. I have not worked with hydraulic brakes.

As for the crankset, I would not worry about it. The 5D seems fine to me. I have a Raleigh Grand Prix with a Truvativ Touro crankset which I believe is of similiar quality. I bought the bike in June 2007 and have 1163 miles on it with no problems.

Anonymous said...

Needing a shock pump is a good thing. The Dart 3 comes with a spring for a 140lb person. If you want to upgrade the Dart 3 to handle heavier riders you need a $50 spring and a $50 service. If you weigh more than 180lbs, it's never gonna work. $380 for a new shock and a $220 paperweight, factor that into the relative value.

Makes the extra $200 plus $30 for a shock pump seem cheap.


Mike said...

You are right. The Fantom Pro has a better shock. I just did not want to pay $200 more for my bike. The Fantom 29 works fine for me since I am just using it for fitness--- mostly cross country, rail trails and I avoid technical parts of trails.

I weigh 172 lbs and the Dart 3 seems fine. I don't feel it bottoming out on the trails I ride.

Anonymous said...

I'm the guy that originally requested the comparison between the pro and 29. I did end up getting the Pro.

I think I probably would've been perfectly happy with the regular 29 for the most part. I'm not generally noticing what i'd think would be a huge difference (although to be fair i've only ridden the pro, not the regular 29), with one exception...

I'm actually going to be using the bike as a substitute road bike (one of the appeals to me was being able to essentially put 700c tubes and tires on the bike) and since it's an all-around bike for me, it gets a fair amount of road use, anyway. With varied use like that i'm finding the lockout feature on the Tora shock a dream. I've got an old Raleigh mtn bike with an old oil/air RockShox Mag on it and you get a pumping action on the fork when you are cranking up from a stop at a stoplight. It's so nice to be able to really bear down on a road with the Tora and not feel the life being sucked out of me by that pumping.

It's an odd little advantage that i hadn't considered, but there you go.

mwarner88 said...

For what it's worth, I got my the "Pro SL" in early September, and now after about six - eight rides all i can say is SWEET !
This is one fine machine, the best purchase i've made since getting my slightly used Mercedes E-class.
I justified the higher price ($995) by knowing I'd eventually upgrade the components, so why not start with the best. As Ferris Bueller says, if you have the means, I'd highly recommend it.
BTW - what's thew value factor for the Pro SL ?