Review: Motobecane Fantom 6by6 27.5 all-mountain bike

Good value, solid build quality and well-sorted components

27.5 All Mountain Trail
The 6by6 is a very attractive package from Motobecane and it's a whole lot of bike for the money.

The Motobecane 6by6 is a lot of bike for the money.

The Lowdown: Motobecane Fantom 6by6 27.5

With a street price of $1800, we were excited to try out the 6by6 to see if it was up to par with more expensive bikes with the same components. Like most Motobecane bikes, this one stands out as you add up the price of the components: Shimano XT drivetrain, RockShox Revelation fork, Ritchey cockpit, WTB wheels and tires. “What’s the catch?” is the common question. Buyer are wary of the frame that all these parts hang on.

Well we’re happy to report that the bike checked out just fine. The bottom bracket height is a bit high for us at 13.75 inches and the bike is a bit portly at 31 pounds. But otherwise testing went very well and this weight is on par at this price point. The suspension is active vertically and stiff laterally. The bike was responsive, and it held up in the big descents without complaint. The head and seat angles were just right at 67.5 and 73.5 respectively. For all-around trail riding, it definitely did the job. And at that price you’ll likely have money left over for upgrades.

Stat Box
Frame: Advanced hydroformed Aluminum Travel: 6-in. w/ 150mm RockShox Revelation RCT3
Tire Clearance: Room for 2.3″+ tires Suspension: Full CNC Alum. Knuckle Box Multi-link
Steerer Tube: Tapered Tires: WTB folding bead
Routing: Dropper seatpost routing Grips/Saddle: WTB
Hubs: Thru axle hubs front and rear MSRP/Street Price: $3999; $1799
Bar/Stem/Post: Ritchey Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 Chilies-out-of-5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Frame is stout and laterally stiff
  • High bottom bracket at 13.75”
  • Frame angles are dialed
  • Long stem, narrow bars
  • Low price
  • Weight is 31 pounds, wheels are strong but heavy
  • Component choices are smart and from reputable brands
  • Rear shock is not as plush and controlled as newer RockShox Monarchs (updated for 2015
  • Bike can take a lot of abuse and keep on rolling
    spec now)

Full Review: Motobecane Fantom 6by6 27.5

This indeed is a great value bike on the new 27.5 wheel size. While others charge a premium for new technology, Motobecane has sought out the best deals and components to deliver a solid package. Bottom bracket height is a bit high for our West Coast tastes and we swapped on wider bars and a shorter stem.

The 6by6 frame is stout and laterally stiff.

The 6by6 frame is stout and laterally stiff.

Our eyes instantly focused on the black-legged RockShox Revelation fork. This is a surprise at this price point. The rear shock is the RockShox Monarch. Talking to Motobecane, we learned that the models shipping now have an updated rear shock called the Monarch R rear shock with Fast Black 7075 shaft and Rapid Recovery rebound damping. This is a significant change since this rear shock has excellent, supple performance and has very good mid-stroke damping support. Info can be found here https://www.sram.com/rockshox/products/monarch-r

Bar and stem are made by Ritchey Components.

Bar and stem are made by Ritchey Components.

WTB wheels are the tubeless compatible TCS version and the tires are the Wolverine from WTB. Post, saddle, stem and bar are functional and reliable components from Ritchey.

Tire clearance is excellent as shown here with a 2.2 WTB Trail Boss. The actual tire on the final bike spec is the WTB Wolverine.

Tire clearance is excellent as shown here with a 2.2 WTB Trail Boss. The actual tire on the final bike spec is the WTB Wolverine.

Crank and derailleur duties are handled by the trustworthy Shimano XT. Brakes and shifters are Shimano SLX, which saves money with no compromise in performance. Only a few grams of extra weight are added.

Brakes are dialed with the Shimano SLX. These brakes have high end performance and reliability and are on par or better than much more expensive brakes.

Brakes are dialed with the Shimano SLX. These brakes have high end performance and reliability and are on par or better than much more expensive brakes.

Frame and Geometry

The frame is a well sorted affair with a four-bar design with free-moving and laterally stiff pivot bearings. Head angle is a just right at 67.5 degrees and seat angle is steep enough at 73.5 degrees.

The frame has some attractive lines on it with a top tube bend for improved clearance. Tubes are oversized and welds are beefy.

Bottom bracket height is a little high for our tastes as we like it lower for Santa Cruz area riding. But this bike should work better for chunkier, rootier areas.

There is no dropper post to keep the price low but Motobecane fully expects the customer to equip this with their favorite dropper post. Bars are a bit narrow but the user can upgrade those as well. Bottom line it’s an attractive and affordable package that leaves plenty of budget for down-the-road upgrades.

Team Version with - Rockshox Pike RCT3 150mm forks, XTR / XT 20 Speed, Guide Brakes  I have attached a hi-res pic List $4599, Street price $2200

Team Version with Rockshox Pike RCT3 150mm forks, XTR / XT 20 Speed, Guide Brakes. List $4599, Street price $2200.

A new model

And finally, there is a very exciting sibling model announced for 2015. It is Team Version with RockShox Pike RCT3 150mm forks, and XTR / XT 20 Speed, Guide Brakes. List price is $4599 and street price is $2200. With a Pike fork and Guide brakes, this is ridiculous value and it will be an awesome performer.

For more information visit www.bikesdirect.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • ray says:

    The popular perception of Motobecane is enough to strike it from any serious consideration for purchase by me. I’d rather support my LBS by buying a reputable quality brand from them. Buying a bike online is NOT for me. The resale value of a Motobecane bike is also a big detractor. It may be a fine bicycle for others but I think I’ll pass.

  • tyrebyter says:

    Love my LBS, but his bikes are made in China just like this one. If the argument is about local vs. Internet, that’s one thing, but there really is nothing to complain about this bike. It puts a rider of modest means on the trail with a competent machine. Demonizing the source sounds a bit elitist. How many here never use Amazon, Jensonusa, etc?

    • MVH says:

      The aluminum Motobecanes are made in Taiwan (not China) by everyone’s favorite frame maker. Mine says so, right on the box and tube. Brands also manufactured by Kinesis include Diamondback Bicycles, Felt Bicycles, GT Bicycles, Schwinn, Jamis, K2, Raleigh, Trek, Kross and Kona — as well as the brands marketed by the U.S. company Bikesdirect.com: Motobecane USA, Dawes USA, Cycles Mercier, Windsor America. Great bike, amazing price.

  • Brizzy says:

    Why does this review have nothing about handling, climbing, descending, etc? It’s like a first look article.

    I love my BD road bike and their hardtails were great back before tapered steer tubes were the standard (still good if you don’t care about compatibility and replacing stuff). The parts spec on these 6″ bikes is amazing for thw price, but the geo seems all sorts of messed up. People dont need to know it’s a great deal, they wanna know how it actually rides.

  • tyer says:

    Motobecane….dont knock one till you ride one. I have multiple titanium motobecanes they are superb machines with out a doubt. Awesome review mtbr.

    • Confidant says:

      I love my full suspension Motobecane! when i bought my bike in 2000 they we’re called the Bike Shop now their called Bikes Direct, my bike has been in the shop several times over the years since i purchased but it rides like new with proper maintenance.

      The bikes are sold inexpensively and i think they skimp a little on their technician staff but we always work through the details and get me satisfied and ready to roll.

      I might add that BD comes with a lifetime service warranty on labor and you simply pay for parts.

  • Noah says:

    I’m very happy with my BD road bike, and I’d happily buy from them again. They were great to deal with, always helpful, and the bike looks spectacular right down to the details. I currently own 12 bikes (I do all my own wrenching) and I think the Motobecane is my favorite.

  • Tikimon says:

    How does it ride? Like a dream!

    I just came off a GT Sensor Elite FS 29er. Good bike, but not outstanding. My Fantom 27.5 Pro FS has me walking and riding on air! It climbs like a goat, zips through turns easily, and is rail-stable down hills and at speed. It rolls over rough spots or rocks easily like the 29er but is so much more agile! I’ve taken a few rides to get used to it, and I’m frankly in love with it.

    RIDES GREAT!

  • Wayrider says:

    If it wasn’t for my $600. BD road bike purchase I may not have followed up with my next $6000. LBS bike purchase and many more because that BD bike was a great ride and still is.Though I do all I can to support my LBS not everyone has the same access or positive experiences with their own local bike shops. Doesn’t hurt to have options.

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