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-   -   Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO (http://www.bikeforums.net/recreational-cyclocross-gravelbiking/453476-motobecane-fantom-cross-uno.html)

Kopsis 10-21-12 12:41 PM

I just hit 150 mi on my new CX Uno. Bars were one of the first things I changed (switched to a narrower Deda compact) and shortened the stem from 130mm to 110mm. I have the 54cm frame and at 5'7" (with a short torso) I might have had a slightly better out-of-the-box fit on a size smaller.

I too had to replace the stock brake levers. I saw a couple of reviews that said the stock levers were uncomfortable, but I figured "how bad can they be?" The answer, it turns out, is that they are remarkably bad. I couldn't ride the stock hoods for more than a couple miles without feeling that the levers were attempting to sever my thumbs.

Kopsis 10-22-12 08:33 AM

I got a PM asking about my impressions on general ridability in my configuration. Unfortunately you need 50 posts to reply to a PM (which seems crazy, but whatever) so I'm posting the response here ...

In the stock configuration, I felt really stretched out on the 54cm frame. Had I gone a size smaller, I probably wouldn't have had to change anything other than the brake levers. Since I made my bars/stem/levers changes I've been doing 20 mi solo road rides on the weekends at an 18 - 20 mph pace and the bike feels great the whole time. I don't experience any discomfort (other than the good pain of tired legs).

I haven't done any off-road riding yet. I went with a CX bike mainly for durability and to be able to run wider tires. The streets I ride are old and pretty rough, so running wider tires at lower pressure really ups the comfort level for me. Plus, it's nice to know that if I need to make an unplanned off-road excursion to avoid becoming a hood ornament, that option is always open :)

bigbenaugust 10-22-12 11:41 AM

So the LBS ended up redoing my cantilevers, too. The z-link cables were too short, and I knew this, but I was making it work anyway. So they swapped them out for saddles and straddle cables. They also trued and tensioned the rims, which the rear REALLY needed.

I took it on a 22mi group ride on Saturday. I knew the pace would be moderate enough that 39/16 would not leave me behind. :)

frantik 12-29-12 05:21 AM

Just picked up a FCU yesterday.. it's lots of fun to ride! Here are my intial impressions

I'm really impressed with the frame material... but it seems they cut costs on construction a tiny bit though (I see a few minor flaws and some of the welds are kinda messy). Paint (power coat?) is real nice, though the decals are UGLY as hell (esp the TT logo).. BikesDirect I'll design you a new FCU logo for free! Or put the decals on top of the clearcoat so they can be removed easily, which seems to be a common desire.

While the overall frame quality is very good, it seems they spec'd all low end component to meet their low, low price point. I'm also not sure how much the PO messed with the bike after it was assembled (bike was barely used at all) but the brake levers are crooked and the brakes are poorly adjusted. Some of these issues are the same ones that xmart bikes have (low end components and poor assembly) but at the price I paid I'm not complaining. Even at $400 it's a good value, if you want a new bike.

I know it's a single speed vs fully geared bike, but just by picking them up I can't tell if my high end Centurion Ironman or the Fantom Uno is lighter.. that's a pretty good sign in my opinion.

And echoing all other reviews... those Cheng-Shin brake levers are THE WORST! Skinny and uncomfortable on the hoods and not enough extension to reach from the drops... luckily i've got some Cane Creeks lying around

bigbenaugust 12-29-12 05:05 PM

Decals may be hideous, but they sell orange Scotchlite that is a near-enough match for mine. Black and white are also available, so go to town. :D

And I can guarantee that the frame is not powercoated. My Uno came from BikeIsland listed as having a couple of paint scratches. Looks like white primer and orange paint in my case.

Also, 1900+ miles in 9 months.

Algreen 01-01-13 11:17 PM

Now you guys are tempting me. I'm looking for a city bike/commuter, but wouldlike something a bit higher quality than UNO. If only the kilo TT could accept a slightly wider tire.

bigbenaugust 01-01-13 11:26 PM

Would the Kilo WT be an option for you, sir?

I think it has the same fork as the Uno and the same SUB rims I bought for my Uno, along with a 520 frame. Geometry is a little more compact chainstay length is shorter, components are a little better, and it uses wide calipers and not cantilevers.

I did the first ride of 2013 today (guess it would have to be :) )... First ride in a week and a half due to winter break, too. 14km of errands around town on the Uno. Kitty litter bucket pannier and all. ;)

frantik 01-02-13 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbenaugust (Post 15109526)
I did the first ride of 2013 today

HAH, I was riding AT midnight (pedicab).. first ride of 2013 on the FCU was at like 1am ;)

Algreen 01-02-13 09:32 AM

You guys are hardcore. My first outing yesterday was on cross country skis north of Chicago. Riding my vintage Masi to work today. Happy new year!

I am considering the Kilo WT. I ordered the kilo TT pro and it arrives today. I've heard that many of those bikes are irregular and some can fit a 30c tire, so I'm gonna wait and see how it looks before/if sending it back and getting a WT or building up a Jury.

bigbenaugust 01-03-13 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frantik (Post 15109832)
HAH, I was riding AT midnight (pedicab).. first ride of 2013 on the FCU was at like 1am ;)

Sorry, I have kids. :) I was down at 11:30 New Years' Eve and back up with the boy at 05:20 on the 1st. Since I am not commuting this week (university is closed), riding had to wait until naptime. :)

frantik 01-03-13 06:04 AM

well to be fair I was riding the FCU home from work at 1am

today i took a quick trip the LBS and my crank arm almost fell off.. guess i didn't tighten those babies down well enough when i swapped em out :rolleyes:

btw the stock FCU chainring weighs almost 200 grams! swapping out the crankset or just the ring can save you some decent weight. I swapped on an older Shimano 600 crankset from the mid 80s with a Dura Ace 39t ring.. looks way nicer and a lot lighter too

frantik 01-04-13 05:15 AM

Last night I put on some On-One Midge bars i had laying around. Reused the handlebar tape without problems. the stock levers actually look better on this bar than the stock one imo, and they aren't nearly as uncomfortable now that I wrapped the bar tape around them, like how I wrap all my bikes.

I removed one lever and pulled the cable out and found there was no ferrule on the cable housing at the brake lever. I added one and noticed a big improvement in braking. I didn't check the other side but wouldn't be surprised if there was no ferrule on that side either. if this is the case on all bikes, adding a ferrule to the lever housing is definitely recommended. I think I'm also going to add some in-line cable adjusters, since there is no way to do fine adjustments of the brakes.

Here's some pics of the Midge bars. They are not my favorite "dirt drop" bar, but they are ok. A bit too wide for my tastes. I have already ordered an Origin8 Gary II bar, and am also expecting some Tektro RL200 levers in the mail soon. I have those bars on my drop bar MTB and I like them a lot. I think I'm going to need a much higher stem though.. i swapped the stock one for a slightly taller stem I had on hand, but it's still pretty low. I'm going to wait till I get the Gary bar before I worry too much about stems though.

Swapped out the stock boat-anchor crankset for an older Shimano 600 crank with a 39t dura ace ring. I may go to a 42 ring with either a 17 or 18t freewheel... still learning the sweet spot with regard to the gearing. 39x16 (65.3gi) is a pretty good all around city gear but I'm thinking I'm going to want more top end as I get more used to riding SS. Maybe I just need bigger tires though ;) Speaking of which, I think I will have to buy a new chain if I want to get tires much bigger than 30mm.. just by adding one tooth to the chainring, the wheel was moved pretty close to the seat tube. One thing i didn't think about is that you have to re-adjust the brakes every time you change the gearing.. kinda a bummer if you want to run different gears on a flipflop hub

Also added a bottle cage... the little bit of silver color on the crank and bottle cage really seem to "tone down" the graphics for me.. i still don't really like the top tube logo but i'm learning to live with them. still looking for options to cover them up though!

http://imageshack.us/a/img689/7012/p1010064ef.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img716/6318/p1010065u.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img685/6466/p1010066wf.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img221/6708/p1010067ce.jpg

aquateen 01-04-13 06:46 AM

ups says my fantom cross uno is one business day away from arriving

:)

frantik 01-04-13 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquateen (Post 15117876)
ups says my fantom cross uno is one business day away from arriving

:)

:thumb: be sure to true and tensions the wheels when you get it, then have fun :D

bigbenaugust 01-04-13 11:51 PM

I have a lovely cell phone shot of my Uno with panniers and two boxes of diapers on the back. But I am pretty sure I would get thrown out of here if I posted it. :)

frantik 01-05-13 12:45 AM

lol that sounds sweet to me actually :D

bigbenaugust 01-05-13 11:26 PM

You made the tragic mistake of asking for it. Parking grarge at the local Target.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-a...1221021537.jpg
But at least you can see the bar/lever swap and seat swap.

frantik 01-06-13 03:40 AM

nice.. just got my tekro RL200 levers in the mail today, expecting the new bar in the next few days

impressive you can tote that much stuff home on a SS.. u running the stock gearing?

bigbenaugust 01-06-13 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frantik (Post 15124732)
nice.. just got my tekro RL200 levers in the mail today, expecting the new bar in the next few days

impressive you can tote that much stuff home on a SS.. u running the stock gearing?

39x16, just as it came out of the box.

marqueemoon 01-07-13 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crossnut (Post 13920776)
IF BD would build it, I think MANY would go for a Ti version of the Fantom Uno...

I'd consider this.

I may have something built to spec directly by one of the Chinese fabricators eventually though. Seems like a pretty ideal type of bike to do couplers on.

frantik 01-07-13 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbenaugust (Post 15128171)
39x16, just as it came out of the box.


i thought the stock was 38x16?

bigbenaugust 01-07-13 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frantik (Post 15131233)
i thought the stock was 38x16?

Well, this was a BikeIsland bike, and as such, parts may have been swapped. It came with a long 175mm crank, too, and a wide 46cm bar, which are not supposed to be on the 54cm bike. Definitely a 39t ring... I just turned around and checked. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by marqueemoon (Post 15131220)
I'd consider this.

I may have something built to spec directly by one of the Chinese fabricators eventually though. Seems like a pretty ideal type of bike to do couplers on.

I was hoping for a version of the Fantom CX (more conventional CX geometry) with horizontal dropouts. But if a Ti version was cheap enough, I would pick it over Al. :)

frantik 01-07-13 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbenaugust (Post 15131257)
Well, this was a BikeIsland bike, and as such, parts may have been swapped. It came with a long 175mm crank, too, and a wide 46cm bar, which are not supposed to be on the 54cm bike. Definitely a 39t ring... I just turned around and checked. :)

ah i see :) i changed the stock gearing for 39x16 which is pretty good... might bump it up to 42x17 or 42x16 since it's super flat in SJ and I've got another bike for grocery getting an hauling

bigbenaugust 01-07-13 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frantik (Post 15131458)
ah i see :) i changed the stock gearing for 39x16 which is pretty good... might bump it up to 42x17 or 42x16 since it's super flat in SJ and I've got another bike for grocery getting an hauling

Big +1 there. I had considered going all crazy and going to 42x17 on 170mm cranks, but I will stick with what it's got for now. It is slower than my Fantom CX on Central Expressway, but I can't say that I mind much. It is a fun bike.

frantik 01-08-13 02:41 AM

i had pedal strike with the stock crankset and 172.5 arms.. haven't had a problem with the new 170 arms, though i think they don't stick out quite as much either


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