The traditional Italian motorcycle brand FANTIC successfully branched out into the eMTB market several years ago, and the FANTIC XF1 180 Race displays their motorsports heritage with pride. But how much of an all-rounder is it?

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FANTIC XF1 180 Race | Brose Drive S Mag/630 Wh | 180/180 mm (f/r) | 24.19 kg (size L)
€ 6,390 | manufacturer website

The look of the € 6,390 FANTIC XF1 180 is polarising. The silhouette of the front triangle with its distinctive kink in the top tube and the colourful paint scheme is reminiscent of a 90s motocross bike. Instead of a two-stroke motor, the light and powerful Brose Drive S Mag provides 90 Nm of torque to drive the voluminous 27.5″ tire on the rear.

Components, weight and technical details of the FANTIC XF1 180 Race

Staying true to the motocross style, FANTIC combine the 27.5×2.8″ rear tire with a 2.6″ wide 29er up front which offers improved rollover and steering precision. The 630 Wh battery is only partially integrated into the down tube of the aluminium frame. Keeping the centre of gravity low and central, the coil shock cuts through the seat tube, with its travel matching the 180 mm fork. The positioning of the shock limits the seat tube length across all three frame sizes meaning they only accommodate short travel dropper posts. Ignoring this and the puncture-prone EXO casing tires, the spec of the FANTIC XF1 180 Race is near faultless. The componentry is robust, durable and designed to perform on the trail. The MAGURA MT7 brakes paired with a huge 220 mm Galfer rotor up front wouldn’t look out of place on a full-on downhill bike, offering tons of stopping power.

Bring a ladder
Due to the suspension design, the seat tube of the XF1 180 Race is very short. This limits the dropper post length and freedom of movement as a result.
Loud and useless
When the suspension compresses, the rear tire rubs on the mudguard. At the same time, it’s too short to fully protect the shock from flying debris, so we removed it after the first ride.
Silent and secure
The chainstay protector prevents any chain slap and FANTIC’s proprietary chain guide keeps everything securely in place.

FANTIC XF1 180 Race

€ 6,390

Specifications

Motor Brose Drive S Mag 90Nm
Battery TP FTC-03-35S 630Wh
Display Marquardt
Fork RockShox Lyrik Select+ 180 mm
Rear Shock RockSHox Super Deluxe Coil Select+ 180 mm
Seatpost Switch Dropper 100 – 125 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT7 220/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem FSA Grid 35 mm
Handlebar FSA Grid 800 mm
Wheelset Mavic EXM/Miche XMH 550 SH 29"/27.5"

Technical Data

Size S M L
Weight 24.19 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 115 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount TRUE, mit speziellem Insert

Specific Features


Pizza plate
The huge 220 mm Galfer rotor offers reliable braking power while the MAGURA MT7 brakes are easy to modulate.
Weak point
Unfortunately, the 2.8″ wide MAXXIS Minion only comes in the puncture-prone EXO casing, which limits the FANTIC’s downhill capabilities. Heavy or aggressive riders are best advised to change these immediately.
Unrivalled
At high speeds, the suspension of the FANTIC XF1 180 Race performs at its best, where it leaves the competition far behind.
Nicely hidden
The Brose Drive S Mag motor is hidden underneath numerous covers and does its job much more quietly than on the ROTWILD or NOX.

Geometry and size of the Fantic

FANTIC have also gone their own way in terms of geometry, ignoring the current trend of longer, lower and slacker. With a reach figure of only 436 mm, the XF1 180 Race is the shortest bike on test. However, the 65° head angle is slack and the stack height is very tall.

Size S M L
Seat tube 390 mm 440 mm 490 mm
Top tube 570 mm 604 mm 631 mm
Head tube 105 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 64.0° 64.5° 65.0°
Sitzwinkel 71.0° 71.0° 71.0°
Seat angle 407 mm 407 mm 407 mm
BB Height 368 mm 368 mm 368 mm
Wheelbase 1,206 mm 1,235 mm 1,257 mm
Reach 381 mm 413 mm 436 mm
Stack 607 mm 615 mm 628 mm
Helmet Hebo ORIGIN | Glasses 100 % Speedcraft | Shirt Hebo CAMISETA | Shorts Hebo RUBICON | Knee pads Fox Enduro Knee Sleeve

The Fantic XF1 180 on the trail

Despite its aggressive appearance, the pedalling position of the FANTIC XF1 180 Race is very comfortable and upright. On forest roads, the tall front end and the rather short main triangle make you feel like you’re riding a chopper but the FANTIC still gets up steep climbs with ease. Though the front wheel has to be actively weighted, the supple suspension and wide MAXXIS Minion rear tire generate so much traction that the rear wheel doesn’t spin even if you pedal while standing up on loose gravel. FANTIC have done a great job of fine-tuning the Brose Drive S Mag motor. It makes its 90 Nm torque available in a very controlled and natural manner.

Grip, precision & composure: every imaginable line is possible aboard the FANTIC XF1 180 Race

Steep, steeper, FANTIC: the XF1 180 Race thrives on demanding descents. The extremely tall front end prevents any sign of over-the-bar feelings and instils you with confidence. The outstanding performance of the suspension, the huge amount of traction generated by the front and rear wheels and the excellent steering precision in steep terrain make the bike seriously capable going downhill. The faster you go, the better the suspension performs, eating up obstacles without feeling undefined. Our only criticism of the FANTIC XF1 180 Race is the annoying saddle, which you can’t get far enough out of the way because of the short dropper post. For those of you who don’t consider yourselves downhill racers, be forewarned: unless you ride the FANTIC down the roughest tracks you can find, you won’t be having that much fun. On flat and flowing trails, the CF1 180 Race feels underwhelmed and requires a lot of physical effort to manoeuvre around tight twists and turns.

At high speeds, the FANTIC’s 180 mm travel suspension outperforms the entire test field.

Tuning tip: swap the rear tire out for a 2.6″ model with a thicker casing | get the most compact dropper post available (OneUp V2) to compensate for the seat tube’s low insertion depth

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

The FANTIC XF1 180 Race is only for those who want to go downhill as fast as possible. With the exception of its limited dropper post length, the bike’s geometry and suspension perform brilliantly at high speeds in the bike park and hitting big jumps. On more relaxed, moderate trails, the bike feels cumbersome and the tall front end requires a lot of effort to manoeuvre.

Tops

  • excellent suspension
  • incredibly composed and precise on steep descents
  • natural feeling power delivery

Flops

  • seat tube is too long and the insertion depth is limited
  • puncture prone rear tire
  • unwieldy on flat terrain
  • tire rubs on the mudguard

You can find out more about the FANTIC XF1 180 Race at fantic-bikes.com.

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann