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Fantom CXX - SRAM Apex bicycle -- NEW

Old 08-25-11, 10:39 AM
  #1  
bhanl0n
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Fantom CXX - SRAM Apex bicycle -- NEW

What are your opinions of this new offering from BD? All input appreciated

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fantom_cxx.htm



Main Frame Reynolds CroMoly butted tubing, Double water bottle mounts
Rear Triangle SuperCustom butted and tapered CroMoly, Forged road dropout, REAR RACK BRAZE-ONS
Fork Motobecane lugged+brazed crown threadless, 1-1/8 fork, front fender eyelets
Crankset SRAM APEX 48/34T (42~52cm:170L, 54~62cm:175L)
Bottom Bracket SRAM sealed bearing
Pedals n/a
Front Derailleur SRAM Apex
Rear Derailleur SRAM Apex
Shifters SRAM Apex 10-speed (20 gears total)
Cassette/Freewheel SRAM PC-1070 11-32T
Chain KMC 10 Speed
Front Hub Shimano Deore, Aluminum rubber sealed caged ball bearing
Rear Hub Shimano Deore, Aluminum rubber sealed caged ball bearing, 130mm
Spokes 14g Stainless
Rims Alex DA16 Doublewall Aluminum w/CNC Sidewalls 6061 T6 Aluminum
Tires Ritchey Cross Comp Speed Max 700X32C wire bead 30TPI FV
Brake Set Tektro Oryx Cantilever
Brake Levers Tektro 42~50CM:RL341 , 52~62CM:RL-340
Headset Ritchey Logic Comp 1 1/8" Threadless
Handlebar 6061 AL, Bar bore :26.0 (42~46cm:400L 50~52:420L,54~56cm:440L,58~62cm:460L)
Stem Aluminum +/-7 Degree (EX:42cm:70L/46~50cm:80L,52~56cm:100L,,58~62cm:110L)
Tape/Grip Custom cork wrap
Saddle WTB SST COMP BLACK SATIN STEEL RAIL
Seat Post Micro-adjust Aluminum, 27.2
Seat Clamp Ultralite alloy, 31.8mm, Lazer etched
Sizes 42, 46, 50, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm | CXX Geometry
Colors Yellow or White Painted or Chrome plated
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Old 08-25-11, 11:50 AM
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Looks like a nice, solid bike. Probably fairly heavy (steel frame, fork, cheap-ish components), so not ideal for racing. Lots of fender and rack mounts. The frame could be used for a single-speed in the future (screws on the rear drop outs). Geometry looks cross-ish (has a shorter chain-stay and steeper angles than a touring bike would). I'd say it'd be a good commuter or gravel-path bike that you could race occasionally.

Last edited by dmcgoy; 08-25-11 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-25-11, 12:04 PM
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bhanl0n
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Would you recommend spending a little more money and getting a Kona Jake or Redline?
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Old 08-25-11, 12:23 PM
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What do you want to do with the bike?
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Old 08-25-11, 02:03 PM
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My opinion of it is pretty much the same as any BD bike. If you like it and it works for you then buy it. But if you tend to keep bikes for a year or so and upgrade it to something else then it's not a wise choice. BD bikes in the DC marketplace at least have to be pretty much given away in order to move them, where a better known brand frequently sells for 75% of it's original cost and sell quickly. Other option obviously is to buy at the BD point where you get a good groupset and later down the road swap out the frameset. Apex isn't really there for that amount of involvement.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:03 PM
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I've been eyeing this bike as well; seems like a good deal for the money. From what I've seen, most other bikes equipped with Apex are double the price. I was considering buying it as a first race bike, and then upgrading the wheels down the road. Does the top tube look on the longish side to you? My current road bike has a center of bottom bracket to top of seat tube = 57 cm and an effective top tube = 56 cm. I'm thinking the 54 cm CCX would be the closest to that. Can anyone with cross racing experience confirm that this sounds correct?
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Old 08-27-11, 12:44 AM
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Heavy fork

The Nashbar steel frame has 105 and a carbon fork.

There's another thread about this here somewhere.
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Old 08-27-11, 01:38 AM
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I'd go with the Diamondback before the bikes direct, solid frame and fork.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0_10000_202339
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Old 12-07-11, 05:21 PM
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I'm going to bring this thread back to life....

Has anyone picked up the Fantom CXX by now? If so, what do you think?

I've been thinking about getting a Surly Cross Check. In the 56 cm size, the geometry between the two bikes is identical. The wheels are the same - Deore hubs and Alex DA16 rims. A bunch of other components are different, but seem like acceptable choices at this level of bike.

Can't ride it of course, but I'm thinking of taking a chance on it. I'm wondering about tire clearance, though. Does anyone know the maximum tire size that will fit in the frame? (The Cross Check is claimed to fit 700Cx45 mm)

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 12-08-11, 04:55 AM
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If you can wait ten days I'll let you know what I think (It shipped but I wont be home until the holiday season). I was looking at the Cross Check too, but it seemed a bit under-speced especially at the price point. The CXX frame looks almost identical to the Cross Check so it was worth a shot.
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Old 12-08-11, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post

Can't ride it of course, but I'm thinking of taking a chance on it. I'm wondering about tire clearance, though. Does anyone know the maximum tire size that will fit in the frame? (The Cross Check is claimed to fit 700Cx45 mm)

Thanks,
Jim
The Cross Check has greater tire clearance than most CX bikes. Almost every CX bike will take a 700x35. However, few take more than 700x38 with enough clearance for a little mud. If you are planning on running 700x40 tires or larger, stick with the Cross Check.
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Old 12-08-11, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The Cross Check has greater tire clearance than most CX bikes. Almost every CX bike will take a 700x35. However, few take more than 700x38 with enough clearance for a little mud. If you are planning on running 700x40 tires or larger, stick with the Cross Check.
Thanks. I e-mailed BD last night with this question. I'll post the answer if they get back to me. Otherwise I'll keep your suggestion in mind. Tire size isn't necessarily a deal killer for me, but it would be nice to have the option to run big tires.

Jim
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Old 12-08-11, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
Thanks. I e-mailed BD last night with this question. I'll post the answer if they get back to me. Otherwise I'll keep your suggestion in mind. Tire size isn't necessarily a deal killer for me, but it would be nice to have the option to run big tires.

Jim
I have multiple wheelsets and use multiple tire sizes on my CX bike.

I'll use 700x24 or 700x25 for smooth pavement when riding for fitness or doing century rides.

I'll use 700x32 touring tires for bad pavement or smooth, dry gravel. I use Vittoria Hypers for this and they are almost as fast as skinny tires.

I'll use 700x37 knobby tires for wet gravel and trails.

Only epic mountain bike trails would require a wider tire than this, IMO.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-08-11 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-08-11, 11:18 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I have multiple wheelsets and use multiple tire sizes on my CX bike.

I'll use 700x24 or 700x25 for smooth pavement when riding for fitness or doing century rides.

I'll use 700x32 touring tires for bad pavement or smooth, dry gravel. I use Vittoria Hypers for this and they are almost as fast as skinny tires.

I'll use 700x37 knobby tires for wet gravel and trails.

Only epic mountain bike trails would require a wider tire than this, IMO.
I agree, but some of the pics people have posted of their bikes with fatter tires are appealing to me. Maybe not necessary, but cool-looking just the same. But like I said, it isn't a deal-killer. I will feel reassured if BD gets back to me and says it can take 700cx38. It probably will, but better to know beforehand.

mmp,

I'll be interested to hear how yours turns out. On the other hand, a couple of the sizes are getting low/selling out, so I may be driven to act sooner!

Jim
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Old 12-08-11, 06:27 PM
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BD e-mailed me today that the bike can fit up to 700x42C in both the frame and fork. Thanks BD!
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Old 12-08-11, 08:12 PM
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Definitely not for racing, especially since the cables run along the bottom of the top tube which would make shouldering a pain, literally.
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Old 12-09-11, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
BD e-mailed me today that the bike can fit up to 700x42C in both the frame and fork. Thanks BD!
Just an FYI, with 425mm chainstays, fitting a 700x37 with 45mm fenders will be tight. Clearance gets tight at the front derailleur band.

Fitting a tire larger than 700x37 and having reliable mud clearance can also be a problem.

Fitting a 700x42 might be possible, but not practical.
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Old 12-10-11, 08:51 PM
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I've been riding a Motobecane SSCX for the past three years and it is an awesome bike.

I would expect the CXX to be equally as good.

The CXX is rather interesting with it's SS-able dropouts, downtube shifter bosses, Reynolds tubing, and available chrome finish.
I've heard it said that the Apex group sells for what the complete CXX sells for.
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Old 12-11-11, 08:16 PM
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I ordered one. It will be a few days before I get it and maybe a few more before I have time to put it together.

For those following along, some of the sizes are showing low stock now in yellow and white. They have a message saying they may not be restocked at the same low price. That may just be to make gullible people hurry up and buy. If that's the case, it worked on me. ; )

Jim
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Old 12-13-11, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
I ordered one. It will be a few days before I get it and maybe a few more before I have time to put it together.

For those following along, some of the sizes are showing low stock now in yellow and white. They have a message saying they may not be restocked at the same low price. That may just be to make gullible people hurry up and buy. If that's the case, it worked on me. ; )

Jim
Enjoy your bike, Jim. What color did you get?
A Motobecane Mirage road bike was delivered to me today from Bikesdirect and it is sweet. It's green with a chromoly frame and fork and downtube shifters.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:39 AM
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George,

I ordered mine in yellow. It is supposed to be delivered on Thursday. My wife wants me to work on a house project (essentially a Christmas present), so I probably won't get to do much more than look at it for a few days.

I have done some searches to anticipate how much setup this is going to need. How did yours look? I am wondering if I should buy the tools I need to remove the cranks and bottom bracket, so I can make sure the threads are greased and the bottom bracket is properly tightened. I think I have everything I need to check/grease the hubs and headset and pretty much everything else people have said to check.

Jim
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Old 12-13-11, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
George,

I ordered mine in yellow. It is supposed to be delivered on Thursday. My wife wants me to work on a house project (essentially a Christmas present), so I probably won't get to do much more than look at it for a few days.

I have done some searches to anticipate how much setup this is going to need. How did yours look? I am wondering if I should buy the tools I need to remove the cranks and bottom bracket, so I can make sure the threads are greased and the bottom bracket is properly tightened. I think I have everything I need to check/grease the hubs and headset and pretty much everything else people have said to check.

Jim
Hi Jim,

I like the yellow.
I believe the CXX has an integrated crank/BB. The crank arms probably have self extracting bolts so you probably don't need a crank remover. You will have to have a tool to check the BB cups but it's cheap ad you should have one anyway.
I would check the chainring screws and ride it. If there's no noise I'd leave it alone.
The drivetrain on the Mirage makes no noises so I'm lettin' it be.
I'm really impressed with the quality of the bike. The paint and welds are perfect. The wheels are true and the hubs are adjusted properly. The front shifting needed a little tweaking but the rear was perfect.
I think you're gonna' be really happy with the quality of your bike.

Enjoy, George

PS I'm sure a rave review is forthcoming.
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Old 12-13-11, 04:37 PM
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The bike arrived. Judging by the picture I was sent, the rear derailleur needs to be installed, the shifters mounted to the bars and the bars wrapped and both brakes need to be cabled in addition to the basic stuff. A bit more work than I expected but still not too bad.
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Old 12-17-11, 12:38 PM
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Mine arrived too. There were a couple of holes in the box, but everything looks good so far. I wish it had come with the shifters/brakes installed and handlebars wrapped, but no luck on that. I have no love of wrapping handlebars. All in all, I'm happy with everything so far.

Jim
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Old 12-24-11, 08:25 AM
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an alternative to the CXX

If you're looking for ways to invest in Steel...

Nashbar's steel cross ride is back down under $700 with 105 components. I'm a big fan of bikesdirect, but this one is a great Rival (no pun intended) to the CXX.

The CXX has some big rings in the back while the Nashbar ride is more traditional. You'd probably want to swap out the seatpost and stem on both. All of Nashbar's cables look to be routed on top of the top tube which is a big plus if you're gonna race your steel.

I want to buy both!
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