I’ve been asked a bunch about how my bike is performing. I bought it from bikes direct…I love my LBS Johnny Sprockets, but I am a student, and I wanted the most componentry for my money. Honestly…I wanted Rival. I found it on the Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro, which after some research, I found it was just a re-branded Fuji Pro Cross. Dependable brand.
So I ordered it up from Bikes Direct. 5 days later, it arrived.
Assembly was a cake walk. I was peeing my pants with glee the whole time in anticipation of the first ride.
It works well. Fairly light, and sure-footed whilst carrying my 200 pound bulk. It gives some shudder in bumpy high-speed sections, but again…I’m heavy. No brake shudder from the carbon fork, even with the beefy tektro mini-v’s I installed to stop my weight. Canti’s would just be squeaking like mad, begging for sweet, delicious death. The Shorty 4’s that came on it just wouldn’t have cut it. If you’re thin, they will be fine.
Cornering is predictable, and faster than other off-the-rack bikes that go for double the price of the Fantom. I had no problem pushing the corner speed in every corner of every lap. Shouldering is tolerable, with cable routing on the topside of the top tube. Mud stays away from the cables as well.
The SRAM Rival rear derailleur and shifter have been killing it. I dropped the front in favor of a single ring crank, but I’m sure it would’ve done fine. Instead, I’ve found that Salsa makes the best chainrings and bash guards.
The Mavic Aksium Race rims are slightly heavy, but are bomb proof…they haven’t snuck out of true since I straightened them when they came out of the box. There are kits to make them tubeless as well.
All in all, it’s well worth the cash ($999 shipped from Bikes direct).
Update 11/1/10: I am A.D.D., and constantly wanting to upgrade or change. I’ve been be eying a Spooky Supertouch, and I might pull the trigger soon. I need the amazing bump absorbing powers it possesses to save my grundle and arms from the pain that is inflicted by the saddle and bars because of my extreme girth. And I love the company. And the name. And their graphics.
Update 2/2/11: The huge snowstorm here in Chicago was a blast on this bike. I fell a zilly times in the 2 feet of snow. On the plowed roads, I was passing cars. Peep the photo below.
Bonus: If you like supple, buttery rides from even your clincher tires, BUY CHALLENGE TIRES NOW!!!!! 260tpi, hand-glued tread…so nice. Worth the price…with a killer look to boot. I chose the Challenge Grifo for the rear, and the Grifo XS for the front.
Update 11/9/11: Wanna see what it looks like more than a year later? Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro: The Final Incarnation. My trusty commuter has been turned to an even more indestructable single-speed.