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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Motobecane Fantom CX and R500 Wheelset

    So I'm looking at getting a Motobecane Fantom CX for a commuter bike. I have road bike now and an old hybrid. The road bike is fun but I'm having troubles commuting on it. The hybrid is very slow and heavy and just not a joy to ride.

    Please ignore the whole bikesdirect issue, I've bought from them before and been pleased. My specific question is regarding the R500 wheelset. I see a lot of bad reviews online saying they are not good, spokes will brake and they'll go out of true starting around 2,000 miles. However, this might refer to a different version (is this Alex R500 or Shimano R500) that has lower spoke count. These have 32 holes, I saw some Shimano R500's with something like 20 holes. Does anyone know if this will hold up reasonably to my weight (I weigh 190 lbs)? Of course, at this price point I can use them until they go out then buy something stronger. I don't care if my wheels are ultra-light, I'd just like them to be strong and not quite the boat anchors that my hybrids have.

    P.S. I'm looking to buy now as these bikes will go up in price and they still have some of the largest frame size left. You all better not go buy this bike and make them sell out before answering my question .

  2. #2
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    The Alex wheel sets are 32 spoke, and were a mid year up grade at BD.

    I'm located pretty close to one of the Brick and Mortar store fronts that is owned by Bikes Direct but ran under a different name. This means I can go and test ride different BD bikes that most have to just order on faith.

    I test rode a Fantom CX back in the Spring and thought it was a pretty good bike. With shop support, it's an even better deal!

    I personally think they would make a great bike to have. A nice commuter that you can go out and hammer some road miles or trail time with no worries.

  3. #3
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I bet the wheels will be fine. I can't find the specific differences between Alex's models, but my Cross Check and Monocog both came with 32 spoke Alex rims and I haven't had problems with either. The Cross Check's have had an especially tough life so far. If you are worried, then have them properly tensioned by a good wheelbuilder when you get the bike.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    As others have said, the R500 definitely refers to the Alex R500 rims. Anyone else have experience with these rims?

  5. #5
    Senior Member racethenation's Avatar
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    My Schwinn Fastback has the Alex R500 rims with 28 spoke front and 32 spoke rear. I am 265 and started riding them at 280, so this review may not help you much.

    They held up fine for the first 1000 miles. Then I broke a spoke on the rear wheel. I had the spoke replaced and the wheel trued and re-tensioned. After another two rides (about 25 miles total) I broke another spoke on the rear wheel. I decided at that time to have the rim replaced with a Velocity Deep V and all new DT Swiss spokes. I reused the hub. I just picked it up yesterday. I did 12 miles on it last night and another 50 this morning. The front wheel has had no problems yet so I did not replace it.

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