Pulled the trigger on a Bontrager Race

DC

New member
Newest addition to the stable...
No special place in my heart for Bontys, but cool handbuilt American steel none the less.
Frame only...this one might take a while to figure out the build.
 

Attachments

  • 100_8898.jpg
    100_8898.jpg
    127.4 KB · Views: 103
Last edited:

Kirk Shell

New member
Must be trying for a divorce or something!:D
No special place in my heart for Bontys, but cool handbuilt American steel none the less.
Frame only...this one might take a while to figure out the build.

Bontrager Race Light was my second choice back when I bought my 93 Yo. A local shop had one that fit and was deeply discounted even with nice components. I looked that bike over for a few weeks and just couldn't do it. It just didn't feel as good as the Fat. I'm happy with my decision.

I'd still love to have one of those Bontragers as a backup though. I love the retro paint scheme. I rarely saw them on the trail, even back in the day!
 

Kirk Pacenti

New member
Nice!

Great looking bike. There's a good chance I built that frame... depending on the year. From the look of the seat stays and chevron panels, it's a 1994 model. We went to a 1 piece seatstay in late 1994 - early 195 iirc. Enjoy it! Cheers, KP
 
Last edited:

DC

New member
Thanks for the compliments everybody! For $175 I thought is was worth a shot!

Great looking bike. There's a good chance I built that frame... depending on the year. From the look of the seat stays it's a 1994 or earlier model. We went to a 1 piece seatstay in late 1994 iirc. Enjoy it! Cheers, KP

Thanks Kirk,
It is an honor if you were the torch on this one!

I have been researching a bit. I don't know the exact year of the frame, I read that the f der cable stop got moved from the back to the side of the seat tube in '94. I worked at a shop in Cinci that sold both Fat and Bontrager through both companies' transition periods and thought I remembered the sleeved stays up until after the Trekification, perhaps they were older frames that we got shipped??? The mid 90's are a bit blurry from all the singletrack and herbal supplements back then! Anyone know if the serial numbers have any kind of date code in them?

This frame might be art for a while as I just found out that I am getting back my '92 Y0 (my first, 734Y2S) and a '95 Rocky Mountain Speed (full sus Sweet Spot bike)! Bike build overload time!:thup:

DC
 

DC

New member
I have been researching a bit. I don't know the exact year of the frame, I read that the f der cable stop got moved from the back to the side of the seat tube in '94.
DC

I think I got that backwards???? I think this one is looking to be a '94 due to the combo of sleeved stays, the side mounted cable stop and the non square edged decals (slanted ends of panels).
 

Kirk Pacenti

New member
I think I got that backwards???? I think this one is looking to be a '94 due to the combo of sleeved stays, the side mounted cable stop and the non square edged decals (slanted ends of panels).

Yes, that looks more like a 94 to me. Fwiw, the serial numbers were completely random. We'd stamp sequential numbers into hundreds of drop outs at a time and dump them all into a big box. Parts were then pulled randomly to build batches of chainstay / dropout sub-assemblies and could have ended up on any number of models / sizes. Cheers, KP
 
Last edited:

DC

New member
$175.00 !!! - I'd say the cranks are worth that alone.

I wish I got the whole thing for that!!! I'm getting the frame, f derailleur, post and I think seat clamp. The seller did offer me a insane deal on the wheels like throw em in for $100!!! I'm a 32 hole / 3 cross snob, so I declined. He said pretty much everything else was sold.
 

rthomer

New member
The Bontrager was my first or second choice, depending on the day, until I finally bought my Fat. I really loved that bike and the look of the panels. My LBS had an unfinished frame on display to show off the welds, it was drop dead gorgeous. The welds were SO nice I inquired about buying a frame unfinished, and have it clear coated or clear powdered.
Curious how you'll like the ride compared to your Fat.
 

DC

New member
...
Curious how you'll like the ride compared to your Fat.

I had that chance to compare the rides of both back in the 90's. I thought the Bontrager was very responsive, but rocky downhills always made me feel like I was going to go over the bars. Thats why I chose a used Fat Chance for the same price I could get a new Bontrager. I've never looked back. HOWEVER, I agree that they are top notch in the construction and they look sweet too! We'll see how this girl handles, probably won't have a Bonty offset fork(at least at first). It also probably won't get built as a traditional trail bike, as that is what my Yo and Buck are for!
 

Kirk Pacenti

New member
I have built a lot of frames and been to a lot of bike factories, and can say that with the exception of TST, Bontrager frames were built better than anything else I have ever seen in person. TST (Sandvik) being an exception... but only because we insisted they use our process to build the Ti Lite frames. They were so impressed with the results that they adopted the process for all of their frame production. I felt the same way on my Bontrager. My only complaint was that the seat angle was way too steep and put the rider in a much too forward position. I got launched over the bars more on my first Race Lite than any other bike before or since. Fortunately I worked there and was able build myself custom frames sporting twin 72/72 seat and head angles and a longer top tube (24 inches on a large frame) a combo that still works perfectly for me today (for hardtails). Cheers, KP
 
Last edited:

DC

New member
It is the coolest thing getting to hear your inside perspective on the Bontragers, Kirk!
The first fork I'll be putting on it will be a Vicious 415(413?)mm that Colker is sending my way. Something in my gut tells me this may ride pretty well, we'll see!
Frame coming from Cali, fork from Rio...I'll be impatient very soon.
I'd say the possibility of this frame hanging around as wall art for a while are slim to none!!!
 

Kirk Shell

New member
I had that chance to compare the rides of both back in the 90's. I thought the Bontrager was very responsive, but rocky downhills always made me feel like I was going to go over the bars. Thats why I chose a used Fat Chance for the same price I could get a new Bontrager. I've never looked back. HOWEVER, I agree that they are top notch in the construction and they look sweet too! We'll see how this girl handles, probably won't have a Bonty offset fork(at least at first). It also probably won't get built as a traditional trail bike, as that is what my Yo and Buck are for!

Back in 92 / 93, when I was comparing the Yo Eddy to the Bontrager Race Lite, both built bikes in seperate shops, I remember the Fat feeling nimble and easy to bring the front end up. The Race Light on the other hand felt very much like a high candence positioned bike and I had to struggle to get the front end to rise even a couple of inches. The 89 Bridgestone MB3 I had at the time had that same cadence feel or geometry. As stated before, I couldn't be happier with my decision to go with the Fat and I'd certainly do it again.

The Bontrager does have a certain mystique about it in my mind, and it's just so nice to look at. Probably make the nicest looking road warrior ever!
 

IF52

New member
What was the point of the different fork offset? If you've ridden a bonty with and without, did it really make it better, or what? We sold a few, but I never spent much time on them since we never got any in that fit me (read, I'm tall).
 

DC

New member
I've never really ridden a one without its proper fork. I will soon find out.:D
 

settemarche

New member
D Sizzle,

i think you are going to like the way the bike handles. i have had several Race Lites. with the sloping top tube, it felt a little more sporty than say my Buck Shaver or Yo. a little better in the open single track - but, this is what it was designed to be used in. my Fat bikes seem better carving in the tighter twisty stuff.

the finish quality of the frame - paint, decals, - i think is far better on the Fat bikes. both of the Race Lites that i have owned had poor paint quality. but, that also could be designed in. just a junky powder coat to keep the steel safe.

regardless - way bitchen frame. gussets, gussets, and more gussets. it should be a joy to own. plus, it has the sleeved seat stays! early most likely pre Trek production. super cool.

Sette
 

colker

New member
I have built a lot of frames and been to a lot of bike factories, and can say that with the exception of TST, Bontrager frames were built better than anything else I have ever seen in person. TST (Sandvik) being an exception... but only because we insisted they use our process to build frames. They were so impressed with the results that they adopted the process for all of their frame production. I felt the same way on my Bontrager. My only complaint was that the seat angle was way too steep and put the rider in a much too forward position. I got launched over the bars more on my first Race Lite than any other bike before or since. Fortunately since I worked there, I was able build myself custom frames sporting twin 72/72 seat and head angles and a longer top tube [24"], a combo that still works perfectly for me today (for hardtails). Cheers, KP

if i ever get myself a custom frame it will be a double 72.. i like the steeper front so much more! mantis was the only bike w/ this kind of geometry.
 

colker

New member
It is the coolest thing getting to hear your inside perspective on the Bontragers, Kirk!
The first fork I'll be putting on it will be a Vicious 415(413?)mm that Colker is sending my way. Something in my gut tells me this may ride pretty well, we'll see!
Frame coming from Cali, fork from Rio...I'll be impatient very soon.
I'd say the possibility of this frame hanging around as wall art for a while are slim to none!!!

Dan, i am shipping the fork on monday!
i need to build a box for it.
the vicious fork has a rake that's very close to the original bonty.
 

colker

New member
What was the point of the different fork offset? If you've ridden a bonty with and without, did it really make it better, or what? We sold a few, but I never spent much time on them since we never got any in that fit me (read, I'm tall).

bonty lower rake = more stable at high speeds.
 
Top