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  1. #1
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    First CX Bike: Motobecane Fantom CX vs. Motobecaone Fantom Cross vs. Windsor Cyclo

    Hello all! First time poster, but been reviewing the forums until the wee hours of the morning for about a month straight. I currently ride an old Trek 820 MB with slicks on it. I'm getting into biking more and want more of a road feel. Not going road bike because I primarily ride paved/gravel bike paths and live in a hilly section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lots or branches and random junk on road.

    Going with BD because of their taller bikes. I am 6'7" with a 36-37" inseam. I'm a bigger guy (300 lb - Down from 313), so a CX bike seems a bit better built than a pure road bike.

    I plan on riding around 100 miles a week for fitness purposes, but I will also being do my first sprint tri coming up.

    What are your recommendations? (I am a gearhead and love to tinker with stuff, so no issue with putting it together.)

    Narrowed it down to 3 choices:

    Motobecane Fantom CX - $499 ($463 when ordered on eBay with Bing CB)
    Sora/Tiagra
    Pros: Cheap; avalible in 64cm frame; triple crank
    Cons: Sora shifters; ChroMo fork; cheaper overall componets
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx3.htm

    Motobecaone Fantom Cross - $799 ($739 when ordered on eBay with Bing CB)
    Tiagra/105
    Pros: Avalible in 64cm frame; CF fork; Vuela wheels; Tiagra shifters;
    Cons: More $$
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ntom_cross.htm

    Windsor Cyclo - $795 (Not offered on eBay)
    105/Ultegra
    Pros: Ultegra RD; Better crankset; CF fork; 105 shifters
    Cons: Most $$; only in 61cm frame
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/cyclo.htm

    P.S. - I know I haven't posted alot, but I really need advice...I am not a BD fanboy...

  2. #2
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    When I was shopping BD for cyclo bikes, I narrowed it down to the Windsor Cyclo and if you're going to spend $800, why not spend $100 more and get the Moto Cross Outlaw with discs? The Cyclo has 105 shifters and seemed like an overall better package than the others you mentioned. If you're going to be cyclo racing though, I'm not sure discs are allowed.

    First item of business is to make sure you get a bike that fits you. I'd even take a look at Performance if there's one near you. They have a Scattante and a GT that may suit your needs, and since you are a special size, could use a physical evaluation of the bike.

  3. #3
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    Won't be doing any cyclo racing...mainly fitness rides. I'm leaning towards a cyclo bike because:

    1. Fast than MTB w/slicks
    2. Most bike paths around here have a bunch of branches/junk on them
    3. Many light singletrack trails around here I might want to venture onto.
    4. Stronger frame

    Didn't consider the Outlaw because it is $100 more, dont care about discs, and lesser components than Phantom Cross.

  4. #4
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    A couple things to watchout for: the seat, wheels, fork and cranks.

    Just go ahead and assume you'll be buying a new seat, I'm 6'1", 240 and found the seat extremely narrow and painful, I got a Brooks B17 and love it.

    The wheels are all 32 spoke or less (I wouldn't the second bike you linked to at all for this reason) when I was 285, I broke spokes on 32H wheels quite often and really prefer 36H for over 250lbs.

    As a bigger rider I tend to avoid Carbon Forks, I just don't trust them to not catastrophically fail during a hard impact (RR Xing, pothole, etc) under the strain of a bigger rider.

    As a bigger rider, who may need a bit more gear to get up a hill, I'd watch to make sure you are getting either a triple or a compact (again the second bike this is an uncertainty as you may or may not-no choice)

    I have the 2009 version of the Fantom CX (compact double instead of the triple) and other than the seat change and some more road oriented tires, it's been a great ride.
    2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    2008 Jamis Coda
    1999 Trek 930

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  5. #5
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
    I have the 2009 version of the Fantom CX (compact double instead of the triple) and other than the seat change and some more road oriented tires, it's been a great ride.
    I had this bike also and it was a good entry-level 'cross bike.



    I sold it for this 29er I converted. Now this bike can handle single track.


  6. #6
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    Good words guys...still considering.

    I think I have it narrowed down to either of the Motobecane's. Is the $270 upgrade for carbon fork, Tiagra shifters, Tiagra FD, 105 RD, better handlebars, and better wheels worth the cost?

    I'm checking the Clyde forum to see if any 300lb riders have issues with a CF fork.

  7. #7
    RT
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    If you are considering a carbon cross fork, I just purchased the Winwood Dusty for $141/free shipping. I'm only 6'1"/185 lbs, so I'm not sure if I'm below the line of concern for catastrophic failure. I think carbon forks these days are built pretty well, but other Clydes may differ in opinion.

    If you're talking $270 for all of those upgrades together separate from the bike, let me know where you find all of that stuff for that price. If it is $270 for components on the better of the two bikes bike, then take the upgrades. Sora->Tiagra is the big upgrade level for Shimano components.

  8. #8
    RT
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    Here's a link to a recent Fantom Cross CX purchase. Maybe this will help.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...antom-Cross-CX

  9. #9
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    I have a 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX and I can tell you that you would need to replace the wheels almost immediately. I only weigh 130 and ride mostly on nice roads and I've had to true my wheels every few rides. I've looked up reviews and the Alex R500 rims that come on the wheels and the spokes are just awful. Nobody makes it past 300miles without breaking a spoke and more break after that. Luckily, I've gone almost 400miles so far without breaking any though. I would say the $270 is worth the upgraded components, especially shifting from the drops which you can't do with the Sora shifters. I would only be worried about the lack of spokes on the XRP wheels that come with the Fantom Cross (20f/24r) because of your weight. The wheels aren't very light though based off XRPs claimed weight (2021g) so maybe the rims are strong. I assume even with the lower spoke count that they are better than the R500 wheels. Like others have said, a new seat is needed. The one that comes on both bikes is terribly uncomfortable.

    The Fantom Cross has all around better parts so I would go with that. You might want to consider selling the wheels as brand new when you get them and find something with 32 spokes front and rear. Another option would be to ride the wheels and just replace the butted/aero spokes with normal 14g spokes to increase strength. Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all your help guys. I REALLY appreciate it. Honestly, this forum and the Clyde forum seem to be a bit more helpful than the road forum. (Not saying their bad though...)

    Think I'm going to do some more research on the wheels. I looked at the Vuela site and they claim "Vuelta wheels do not have a stated weight limit. Due to materials used and method of building, Vuelta wheels are the strongest in their class. We know of no normal human weight that will cause a Vuelta wheel to fail."

    For those asking about the $270 upgrade price, that is the cost of upgrading to the next bike, not just the next set of components. The fact that I can't shift from Sora shifters in the drops might be reason enough to go to Tiagra.

    Keep throwing suggestions my way if anyone has them!

  11. #11
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    I had a 2007 Fantom Cross it was my first real bike put over 15,000 miles on that bike before it was stolen. Nor was I ever nice to it, I had some seal problems with the original wheels though they weren't the vuelta wheels it currently comes with. Other than that I wore out some of the components but overall I felt like is was a decent bike really enjoyed the handling of it. The cf fork never gave me any issues strength wise even did some stupid stunts with that bike. Kind of miss it to be honest.
    Do what makes you happy.

  12. #12
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    If you have questions about Vuelta wheels, stop right there. I have put 2,000 miles on a set of Vuelta Corsa HD (32 spoke F/R) and they still spin like the day I got them. I'd buy another pair in a heartbeat.

  13. #13
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    Looks like we might have a leader then..

    Motobecaone Fantom Cross - $799 ($739 when ordered on eBay with Bing CB)
    Tiagra/105
    Pros: Avalible in 64cm frame; CF fork; Vuela wheels; Tiagra shifters;
    Cons: More $$
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ntom_cross.htm

  14. #14
    RT
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    I think you'll appreciate the better components, and especially the size. I'd place frame size as your first priority.

  15. #15
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Is Bing Cash Back still available for Ebay purchases?
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    Is Bing Cash Back still available for Ebay purchases?
    It just came back today...8%. Oh how i miss the 35% days...

    That would have made this bike $534 shipped!!!!!

  17. #17
    Senior Member nubcake's Avatar
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    I would really go into a shop and even if you don't plan on buying from them I would still pay them to do a fit for you. Just because you are very tall doesn't always mean you need the biggest size available, especially being a bigger guy you probably are lacking in the flexibility department which would mean you would need a shorter bike. Body proportions also play very heavily into sizing a bike, inseam is just a very very small part of the picture despite what online fit calculators tell you.

    I also can not recommend going to a good shop enough, they cost a little more but as I have seen first hand from many a bikes direct/online customers it always ends up cheaper in the end, especially if this if your first ever road style bike.
    Follow me as I prepare for the 2010, wait no 2012, maybe 2013 Tour Divide, ahh hell I will do it one day...
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  18. #18
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    Spend the money for Tiagra shifters rather than Sora. At 300 lb you should also spend $60 on a Park spoke tensiometer, to make sure the spokes are evenly tensioned at close to 110 kg. Any 32 spoke wheel will then hold up for ever. The 24 spokes should be OK, but if one breaks you will have to walk.

  19. #19
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    Again...thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.

    I do plan on going to my local shop for a fit. They really do have great service, but they can't get within $300 of the Fantom Cross.

    I am actually pretty flexible...bike 40 miles on MTB, kayak, ultimate frisbee...still trying to lose more.

  20. #20
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    I think you will be happy with fantom cross it's a pretty solid bike. Make sure to check all bolts. Just got a dawes single speed yesterday, pretty much every bolt was loose except the headset which was way to tight.
    Do what makes you happy.

  21. #21
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mceagle555 View Post
    It just came back today...8%. Oh how i miss the 35% days...

    That would have made this bike $534 shipped!!!!!
    Can you share the link for the Bing Cash Back on Ebay?

    Thanks
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  22. #22
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    If you really do like to tinker and you have a bike you ride, then you might want to go the route I'm going.
    I bought the FantomCX frame from BikeIsland for $200 shipped (no tax) and putting all the spare parts I have around on the bike to make it a full bike. Then you can add nicer components later piece by piece.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    Can you share the link for the Bing Cash Back on Ebay?

    Thanks
    1. Bing.com
    2. Log into cashback account
    3. Click on "shopping" link
    4. Search for "Cheap Wii" (Might have to search a few times before eBay ad comes up
    5. Click on eBay add with 8% cashback sign under it
    6. Will redirect to eBay
    7. Should have 8% banner at the top of eBay page (Make sure it is there, otherwise no cashback for you!)
    8. Now search for buy-it-now bikes (or whatever)
    9. Must use buy-it-now and paypal to get Bing cashback

  24. #24
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    Well....it is done. I purchased a 64cm Motobecane Fantom Cross from sprtymama on eBay today. (Same as BikesDirect). Should be here later this week for me to put together!

    I went into my LBS and showed them a printout of the geometry without the Motobecane name on the top. Told them it was a Tiagra/105 setup with CF fork. They did some measurements and said "Honestly, we don't have a bike that would fit you well. The one you have the geometry for would be perfect for you."

  25. #25
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Check out the build I'm doing on that frame:
    Fantom CX build
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

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