FANTIC XF1 INTEGRA CARBON 160

FANTIC XF1 INTEGRA CARBON 160

Fantic started as an Italian motorcycle company in 1968, and over the years they’ve won Trial and Enduro FIM World Championships on their bikes in the ’80s and ’90s. 

Three years ago the brand was purchased by a group of Italian investors with a goal of bringing the brand back to its former days of glory. In addition to a new line of two-stroke motorcycles, they also dove right into the e-bike market, and by 2016 they created Fantic USA to enter the American market. The e-bikes are built in Italy at the same factory as their motorcycles. We’ve had the opportunity to ride a few of their bikes over the last year, and the impressions have always been positive.

THE BIKE

Integra is the name of the entire Fantic line, chosen to represent the integration of the battery into the frame. This lowers the center of gravity, provides structural support for the frame and protection for the battery, as well as making the bike look a lot cleaner.

The XF1 Integra line is spec’d with a SRAM drivetrain and RockShox suspension. There are different levels, from the XF1 Integra 140 Trail that comes in at $5490 up to the flagship XF1 Integra Carbon One (a step above the model we’re testing here) that’ll set you back 12 grand. 

The semi-integrated battery is a nice touch and adds to the waterproofness.

Where most e-MTBs on the market run 27.5-plus-inch tires with the option to use 29-inch wheels, Fantic has done neither with this bike. Fantic has chosen to do both with a 29-inch wheel up front and a 27.5-plus-inch tire on the back. The bigger wheel in front means it can roll over almost anything and offers precise handling, and the wider, smaller wheel in the back offers more torque and grip and quicker turning. 

“Even when we got a little crazy, we could reel it all back in quickly.”

This mixed-wheel concept is a universal application with off-road motorcycles, and since Fantic knows a thing or two about motorcycles, they adapted the same wheel-size principle to their
mountain bike.

The slack front end is very forgiving. Overall, the suspension is truly plush.

The head angle is slack and varies depending on the size of the frame. It’s 64.5 degrees on the small frame, 65 degrees on the medium and 65.5 degrees on the large frame. All three frames have a 73-degree seat tube angle, and that poses an issue. 

THE PARTS

The Fantic rolls on Mavic hoops with a 110mm x 15mm thru-axle, and the rear is a Boost 148mm with a 12mm thru-axle. The fork is a RockShox Lyrik with 160mm of travel. That fork has been improved for even better small-bump response and improved performance under load, like when braking hard.

Internal cable routing keeps everything looking tidy.

The rear suspension linkage is cold-forged and CNC-machined for strength and reliability. All of the suspension pivots feature dual bearings for smooth and responsive performance. The linkage for the rear triangle is anodized red, which creates an attractive accent to the otherwise black-and-yellow color scheme. A RockShox SuperDeluxe R rear shock works with the design to provide a progressive rear suspension to keep the rear wheel planted on any terrain.

Shifting duties rely on a SRAM GXe e-bike-specific shifter that only allows one gear per shift to offer smooth shifts. Fantic spec’d this bike with a KMC E-specific chain, which is always a good idea considering the forces delivered to
the wheel.

THE MOTOR 

Fantic uses the Brose S powerplant for this bike for the entire line (save their new road bike with the Fazua motor).  The Brose S is similar to the previous Brose T motor, but Brose has refined it to make it lighter, 15-percent more powerful, more efficient, and quieter with some replaced hardware, new circuitry and new programming. It has a class-leading 90 N/m of torque. Internally, it’s driven with a belt, which means it’s quieter than a geared motor.

We love Brose motors for their perfectly natural feel. It doesn’t kick in hard; it’s a wonderfully subtle power addition that you only notice when it drops off for a second (unfortunately, almost a full second) when shifting. The Brose S offers support of cadence up to 120 rpm, but it’s the most efficient at 80–90 rpm.

Like most Brose systems, this unit, too, uses a Marquardt display. Toggle the top switch one click to the right and you get a torque meter, which can be a great training aid or just an option to geek out on to see how much power your legs are putting out. Having it in this mode doesn’t let you see what power assist mode you are in, but you can still switch it up or down. We just think it’s novel to be able to challenge yourself on climbs. 

The rear shock is semi-protected, nestled inside the lower part of the seat tube.

The battery, which sits partly nestled inside the downtube from the top, is 630 Wh, which is about 20-percent more capacity than the standard 500 Wh batteries on most of the e-MTBs on the market. There’s likely to be no range anxiety with this battery. The only thing that might worry you is that there’s no key for the battery, only a hex bolt. There’s a potential for theft risk this way, but for anyone who has ever misplaced a key for a battery, it’s a lot more convenient to just use a hex wrench.

WHO IT’S MADE FOR 

The XF1 Integra Carbon is aimed squarely at enduro riders who will use its 160mm of travel on long, technical rides. The battery life is definitely supportive for this type of rider as well. It’s not for the faint-of-wallet, either. With the carbon front triangle for light weight and strength, it weighs in at a spendy nine grand.

THE RIDE

Climbing aboard the bike, it’s obvious the bike has a nice, clean cockpit. The system powers on quickly, and after selecting the desired power mode, take-off is easy and silent. The internal belt drive means that this motor is one of the quietest on the market. We can get to 20 mph quickly, and the bike holds 19–20 pretty easily on flat ground. While hitting 20 mph uphill is a stretch, running around 13 mph on a climb is sustainable. 

Unfortunately, there’s no bosses for a water bottle, which means that riders will need to carry a hydration pack no matter what. 

Overall, we like the XF1’s geometry, though we felt a little far back over the back wheel when climbing, and the bike wanted to loop out on really steep stuff. When ascending really steep sections, we came off the back a couple of times.

Test rider and Hall of Fame rider Harry Leary loved the plush suspension on the XF1.

Going downhill is another story altogether. It has a longer wheelbase, and with the 29-inch wheel up front, it prefers to go fast. It comes into its own at higher speeds, cornering like it’s on rails, almost asking you not to touch the SRAM Guide brakes. When you need them, however, they are there for the braking. Even when we got a little crazy, we could reel it all back in quickly, and the four-piston brakes were easy to modulate.

The suspension is so plush, and with a slack and forgiving front end, it ate rocky sections and big drops for breakfast. We looked for bigger drops than we do on most bikes, and the suspension was really, really good. Compliance over small bumps was excellent and kept the tires on the ground where they’re supposed to be and the bike felt planted.

Because the wheelbase is so long and because of the 29er up front, the bike wasn’t especially flickable. You did have to set up carefully for turns, perhaps anticipating slightly. The tire combo was perfect, the on-the-cusp-of-plus-sized 2.5-inch tire in the front tracked straight and true, and the wider 2.8-inch tire in the back gripped every surface confidently—from loose dirt to wet rocks.

THE VERDICT

You get what you pay for, and this bike proves it. It’s a solidly competitive enduro bike, with great suspension, lighter weight, thanks to the carbon main frame, and the unique dual-wheel sizing. Expert-level riders will like this bike right out of the box. It’s pretty forgiving to intermediates or even beginners who may not always pick the best line.

SPECS

FANTIC XF1 INTEGRA CARBON 160

MSRP: $8990

Motor: Brose S 36V, 250W mid-drive 

Battery: 36V, 630Wh Lithium-ion

Charge time: 4–5 hours

Top speed: 20 mph

Range: 20–60 miles

Drive: SRAM GX, 1×11, 11-42T

Brakes: SRAM Guide T, 203mm rotors 

Controls: Marquardt

Fork: RockShox Lyric RC, 160mm
of travel

Frame: Carbon fiber main frame, aluminum rear suspension triangle

Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5” (f), Minion DHR II 27.5×2.8” (r)

Weight: 47 lbs.

Color choices: Black/yellow

Sizes: S, M, L

www.fanticbicycles.com


THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET

ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION

In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google.

Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Subscribe Here

For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345

Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com