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  1. #1
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    Fuji Cross Comp vs. Motobecane Phantom Pro

    Hi everyone, first post here. I have been lurking for several weeks while I decided; a) what type bike to get (road vs. cx) and now, b) what bike to get.

    First a little about me. I am 6'-4", 240lbs. I am a division I collegiate athlete that has fallen out of "game shape" and am looking to get back. A few weeks ago I went on a road ride with some friends and really loved it. I live in Southern California and plan on riding year round, on 90% roads with some off roading thrown in (there are some great trails around here. I do like the idea of at least having the option). Beyond that I also plan on commuting a few days per week (10 miles each way, urban).

    Being that most of my rides will be roadies, I originally thought about getting a pure road bike, but have since decided to get a cyclocross bike. Being that I am a big guy, I want a relatively strong frame. While a CX frame will be heavier than a roadie, I think ~22lbs will be fine for my needs. I do plan on getting some 25 tires to use for my everyday needs. I will probably change the gearing to be more on par with that of a roadie.

    (all that being said, if anyone REALLY thinks a CX bike is a mistake and I should get a road bike, dont be afraid to speak up)

    Ok, now to the bikes. I have been in and out of several of my LBS and spent a lot of time talking to them about componetry and my needs. I have basically narrowed it down to:

    Fuji Cross Comp
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_28503

    Motobecane Phantom Pro
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...oss_pro_IX.htm

    I know they are very similar, which is part of the reason why I am having a hard time deciding. My LBS can order me the Fuji for $950 so it ends up being nearly the exact same price as the Phantom Pro. Now I know the Phantom Pro has nicer components, but I like that the Fuji will be bought locally, since I dont know much about bikes and will likely need help with some questions. That being said, I plan on buying pedals, shoes, tires, a computer and eventually new gearing from the LBS, so I doubt they'll mind helping.

    What do you guys recommend? Since I plan on doing some substantial road rides, will the upgraded components make a big difference? This will be my only bike and needs last me for a few years so its an important decision.

    Please help this newbie find his way!

  2. #2
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    if you're new to bikes, i'd go with the store-bought bike. If its at performance, join their club first and you'll get 10% of the purchase price back as store credit (cancel membership before 1-year renewal). They also sometimes have coupons for 10-15% off bikes. (i think thats in addition to their "sales" price?)

    It looks strange to me that the Motobecane bike has several cranksets listed but they are "no choice" items? I think the Omega is FSA's bottom of the line road crank. The next step up is the gossamer, found on the fuji bikes. Some people with the gossamer crank have a "creaking" issue which requires removing the crank arm and greasing it, then re-installing (preferably with a torque wrench). It happened to me after ~300 miles on my '07 fuji cross pro. Just something to consider if you don't want to do work on the bike yourself (the procedure isn't hard though). Not sure if that also happens to the Omega.

  3. #3
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    I would get the Fuji because the LBS will be a big help, since it's your first bike.

    But be careful. For my first bike, a shop sold me something too small which was on clearance. Then, shopping around for my second bike, there were a few shops that kept telling me different sizes just by eyeballing me, and one even told me "there's only one left and it's just your size!" over the phone without even seeing me.

    So I got fed up and bought from bikesdirect. But I like to play mechanic and tinker with stuff, so I wasn't too scared of putting it together and tuning it up or anything.
    If you don't want to deal with assembly headaches or guesswork for sizing, make sure you find a shop you trust who is serious about proper sizing.

    Now, that said, if you'll be riding mostly with your roadie friends, why not just get a road bike? Not trying to make you change your mind, just curious. I don't think a road bike frame would buckle under your weight or anything. And you said you already plan to change the gearing. Unless you expect to go off pavement often and want that versatility (which you should...tearing down a fire road for miles and miles is fun!), might as well just go with a road bike.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
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  4. #4
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    Same situation

    Hey, just wanted to say I was dealing with pretty much the same situation, although Im 5'11" 170lb, I went with the Fantom pro. From what Ive read here and else where, (correct me if i am wrong) aluminum frames in this price range are pretty much identical between Fuji, Motobecane usa, and many other brands. They all come from Taiwan and are the same quality aluminum. So I went with the better components.
    I just ordered the Fantom pro and it hasn't got here yet, but Ill post an update when it does if you havent made up your mind by then.

  5. #5
    cs1
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    Pretty much getting the same answers you got over at Roadbikereview, http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=176396
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

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    I emailed bikesdirect about the motobecane sizing and they said its the same frame as the fuji cross.
    Hello,

    Since they use the same frame, you should fit a Cross Pro 54cm perfectly. Bikes generally take 5 to 7 business days to arrive.

    Thanks,
    Chris


    -----Original Message-----
    From:
    To: bd4salesteam@aol.com <bd4salesteam@aol.com>
    Sent: Fri, Jun 19, 2009 8:36 pm
    Subject: two questions

    Hello,

    I am interested in your motobecane fantom cross pro. I currently fit a fuji cross 54cm just fine. Will I also fit a 54cm fantom cross pro fine? Also, if I order it on Monday/Tuesday. How long for estimated delievary? Thank you.
    Last edited by DirtyDragon; 06-22-09 at 04:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyDragon View Post
    I emailed bikesdirect about the motobecane sizing and they said its the same frame as the fuji cross.
    That's a blatent lie. The Fuji uses a diamond shaped downtube, the Motobecane is round. I have a Fuji Cross Pro, and I own a Motobecane bike. There's certainly not a quality comparison, the Fuji wins hands down.

    But lies is what I'd expect from BikesDirect, so no real surprise here. S

  8. #8
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    Which motobecane do you have. I just picked up a fantom cross and the frame is exactly the same as the Fuji Cross Pro that my neighbor has. Both have A frame or diamond or whatever you want to call it.

  9. #9
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenote157 View Post
    Which motobecane do you have. I just picked up a fantom cross and the frame is exactly the same as the Fuji Cross Pro that my neighbor has. Both have A frame or diamond or whatever you want to call it.
    He might not have comparable models. Yes, Moto gets their frames in the same factory as Fuji. Basically a bike company has a special 1 or 2 year deal with the mfg of the frames. It's kind of an excluse. Then the frame is basically anyones to buy. Bikesdirect saves a lot of money by using existing designs. Problem is they're always a year or two behind the curve.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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    i love my fuji cross. I think either bike would be fine... If i were you though, i'd wait for an awesome deal from performance bike. I got my fuji cross comp for $857 + tax + 10% cash rebate on performance card. This is comparable to the motobecame phantom cross or the windsor cyclo. Difference here being is that i get free adjustments from Peformance for life. If you can wrench your bike, go for the motobecane, but you will not be diassapointed with the fuji cross.

  11. #11
    Senior Member fskywalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for info!
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  12. #12
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    That's a blatent lie. The Fuji uses a diamond shaped downtube, the Motobecane is round. I have a Fuji Cross Pro, and I own a Motobecane bike. There's certainly not a quality comparison, the Fuji wins hands down.

    But lies is what I'd expect from BikesDirect, so no real surprise here. S
    Ok, I'll bite. Why is it that you would expect lies from BD? Do you have any practical experience with them? I have seen a significant amount of positive reports from customers of BD than naysayers, and the latter are typically snobs or shop owners.

    I own a 2009 Fuji Cross Comp and have ridden a Moto Cross Outlaw (wish I would have bought that one). Both are excellent rides. I am partial to Fuji, but the Moto was just as sweet.

  13. #13
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
    Ok, I'll bite. Why is it that you would expect lies from BD? Do you have any practical experience with them?
    Because it's cool to bash BD. It makes you sound like the guys over at the Road Forum.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  14. #14
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I am only looking at frames and what tipped me to BD direction was... no tax. But my budget is certainly much smaller than yours.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    dork. yup. mrtornadohead's Avatar
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    IF looking for a cheap cross bike, Performance has a Scattante model that sports Sora-level stuff for under 700 US, I believe.

    To get back to the original question, I'd go with the Fuji and ride it bone-stock for a while. As a new rider, you won't really know what works best or is more appropriate for you. Get some miles and about 5 or 6 months on it stock, and then you'll have a better idea if you want a cassette with a tighter cluster, or bigger chainrings. I doubt that you'll be spinning out the 50 x 11 on the flats right off the bat.

    As for tires, if you're going to stay on pavement, I'd get some slicks, at least 25s, but more likely 28's or 32's. You can run them at a bit lower pressure, be more comfortable and be just as fast (Bicycle Quarterly proved that wider tires at lower pressures are faster). As a starting point, the Panaracer Pasela's (the regular, not the TourGuard version) are pretty inexpensive and pretty fast.
    Wig out, wig hard,wig on.

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    I got my 09 Cross Comp at performance for $899 when I first bought it and then they dropped the price to $799 2 months later and they gave me back the difference. Since this will be your first bike I would recommend you go with the LBS because in case something happens it will be easier to get support whether it be from Fuji or the store. I know people knock on performance around here because it's a chain but the one in my city is a great shop with good sales guys that are not pushy or try to put you in a bike you don't want. I just bought a second bike from them for my girlfriend (Fuji CCR) on double points weekend and we will be getting back $200 in store credit which she is using to buy some shorts, saddle bag, tubes, etc.

  17. #17
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtornadohead View Post
    IF looking for a cheap cross bike, Performance has a Scattante model that sports Sora-level stuff for under 700 US, I believe.

    To get back to the original question, I'd go with the Fuji and ride it bone-stock for a while. As a new rider, you won't really know what works best or is more appropriate for you. Get some miles and about 5 or 6 months on it stock, and then you'll have a better idea if you want a cassette with a tighter cluster, or bigger chainrings.
    I doubt that you'll be spinning out the 50 x 11 on the flats right off the bat.

    As for tires, if you're going to stay on pavement, I'd get some slicks, at least 25s, but more likely 28's or 32's. You can run them at a bit lower pressure, be more comfortable and be just as fast (Bicycle Quarterly proved that wider tires at lower pressures are faster). As a starting point, the Panaracer Pasela's (the regular, not the TourGuard version) are pretty inexpensive and pretty fast.
    Mine came with a 46-36 front and 12-25 in the rear.

  18. #18
    dork. yup. mrtornadohead's Avatar
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    OR, a 46 x 12 - still, if one is new to riding bikes, I don't think one would be spinning out a 46 x 12.
    A 46 x 12 I think is a far more sensible gear, especially for a 'cross bike.

    You're riding a Fuji Cross Comp? What do you think of it? Do you do a fair amount of road riding with it, or almost all off-road? Sorry, I'm inquisitive - saw it, have an interest in it... ok, so a passing interest, but an interest nonetheless.
    Wig out, wig hard,wig on.

  19. #19
    RT
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    I rode it in to work tonight for the first time, and it is as smooth as butter on hot waffles. It is all stock so as to evaluate the order in which I will be replacing components. I am not a racer and bought this more for roads than anything. Did not commit to a road bike because I do like to go off-road whenever possible.

    Sorry to hijack and make this a review thread, but here goes.

    • Speaking first to the point of the gear selection - I thought I would want to immediately swap out the 46t chainring for a 50t, creating a Franken-double (compact), but just by eyeballing the FD, it looks like I'd have to either move the FD up a tad or get a new one altogether. The ride tonight featured a 1.5 mile downhill, topping out at 40 mph before I had to start coasting. Four more teeth would have been nice, six teeth even nicer. My hybrid has a standard road triple and a 11-30 cassette, and the 52/11 is SWEET. IMO, 46-36 and 12-25 are just fine. Not worth the effort/expense to swap out rings and cassettes.

    • The Kenda Kwick 700C x 30 tires were smooth despite their obvious non-roadieness. I will be replacing them first with a spare set of Panaracer 700C x 25's I have lying around. The Alex DC19 wheels (according to Sheldon's chart) will accept 25's at the lowest, and that is a conservative estimate.

    • Flipped the stem.

    • Will be replacing the canti brakes with mini V's and Kool Stops this weekend. I haven't ridden cantis since the 70's, and they are quite squishy. I have adjusted them to their maximum effectiveness and they come nowhere close to the V-brakes on my drop bar hybrid conversion.

    • Saddle is comfy enough, but I've never met a saddle that irritated me enough to go out and replace it immediately. I think the key is in fitting it to your style of riding.


    I didn't need another bike, but for $580 after Team Performance points and a 10% discount, I had to do it just for the components alone. If you can still find one somewhere, it is well worth the money.
    Last edited by RT; 05-07-10 at 12:36 PM.

  20. #20
    dork. yup. mrtornadohead's Avatar
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    Very cool. Although you may need to swap brake levers if going to V-brakes, or get the Travel Agent or some such. Canti's can be a bit more work to get setup right, and if they are set up with the link wire and it's the wrong size, there's not much help. You may have to go to s different size link wire or a straddle-cable setup. Kool Stops (salmon) help a ton.

    You probably could go with the 50t ring and nudge the front derailer up a tad.

    You're right about the price - that's a screamin' deal.
    Wig out, wig hard,wig on.

  21. #21
    cs1
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    Cantilevers are so underrated. I think most people just don't know how to adjust them. I've never had a problem with them.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  22. #22
    RT
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    I know how to adjust them. The V-brakes on my other bike are the strongest brakes I've ever used aside from discs, and I have them dialed in. Mini V's will work without a travel agent or new levers. At less than $10 a pair, it is totally worth it. I don't want to get into another flame war about canti vs. the World, I just prefer not to have to work so hard to stop.

    EDIT: cs1 (or anyone) - can you PM me with your favorite tutorial on how to best adjust canti brakes? I realize back in the 70's we called them 'center-pull' and much has changed over the years. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems the physics are still the same. Thanks!
    Last edited by RT; 05-07-10 at 12:38 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
    EDIT: cs1 (or anyone) - can you PM me with your favorite tutorial on how to best adjust canti brakes? I realize back in the 70's we called them 'center-pull' and much has changed over the years. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems the physics are still the same. Thanks!
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html

  24. #24
    RT
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    Thanks, I spend a lot of time on Sheldon's pages. I seem to have covered all of the bases, but the levers still feel squishy. I'm just so used to V's and discs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
    Thanks, I spend a lot of time on Sheldon's pages. I seem to have covered all of the bases, but the levers still feel squishy. I'm just so used to V's and discs.
    Cantilevers will always be weaker than V's, discs, or even dual pivot (hell, some single-pivot) road calipers. It's the nature of the beast.

    That said, you mentioned above that you ride a 2009 Fuji Cross Comp; I Googled the specs and noticed that it came with Tektro Oryx brakes. I had a set of those on my old Haro CXR (yes, Haro made cross bikes once upon a time) and I'll say that they're the absolute bottom of the barrel as cantis go. Even with dual-compound Kool-stops, they're not really passable.

    The good new is that cantilevers are friggin' CHEAP compared to discs or road calipers! When I built up my Surly, I used some wide-stance Kores that I found on eBay for like $20. Even with the stock pads, they blow the Oryxes out of the water. They feel the opposite of "squishy;" in fact, they make my Ultegra calipers with Kool-Stops and Nokon housing feel squishy by comparison at the first pull (although the road brakes are ultimately more powerful).

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm telling you to throw money at the problem, but that's what my experience has been. Hope you get it sorted out!

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