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  1. #1
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    Reputation: rolondo's Avatar
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    Bontrager Race XXL, modern build

    I suspect more than a few folks here will not care for this bike given the significant lack of period correct parts and odd color scheme, but a true 90's build was never my intent. I wanted something I would ride and enjoy without worrying about replacing hard to find parts. Besides, I've always had good luck with Thompson, Chris King and Salsa. My mother did recover from breast cancer, and while that's not the complete reason for the pink (I just liked it) it didn't hurt my motivations for building it in this manner. Gill over on the Retrobike forum did the decals, and they came out great. I totally messed up on the top tube one, but I kinda like it like this. I am ordering a replacement, and at some point I will add it on (assuming I don't mess it up as well.) :-)

    I believe the frame dates to 1996. I purchased it locally and built this up over time. Everything except the wheels and frame are new.



    I went back and forth on whether to build it as a 1x9 or single speed, and I opted for the 1x9 with the Microshift thumbie. I admit - I took the budget route on the Bontrager crankset, but it works well. The hubs are Bontrager branded Chris Kings, and I believe they came stock on a 1999 Bontrager Privateer. I just thought they were cool, and were very reasonably priced for Kings.




    The fork is a Carver. I thought it was kinda cool that they now make a carbon one with a 1" steer tube. I know there are the Exotic-branded ones on Ebay, but I thought this one looked much better. The brake posts are removable. Also a neat feature that isn't common on most carbon rigid forks.


    Hope you enjoy!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    Nice. I'm not sure that I'd have gone with pink decals, but otherwise it looks good.

    Have fun with it!!
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  3. #3
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    Well, you can tell from my avatar how I feel about old bontys. One of the things that I think are so cool about them is the loyalty they engender, and the many novel ways that people have found to adapt and re-purpose them, and to continue using them. (I've often thought about starting a thread with some of the more unique ones: road bike conversions, cyclocross conversions, 96ers, disc conversions, modernized, single-speeded, etc.) The fact that so many were made, combined with the fact that they never wear out, means most aren't particularly valuable - so "why NOT" do what you've done if you like it?! Awesome.

    (PS: Nice to learn about the Carver fork option, too - Thanks!)
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  4. #4
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    I appreciate it. I owned a couple of Privateers at one point or another and just wasn't comfortable on a 19" frame. It frustrated me but didn't lessen my appreciation for Bontragers - especially the early ones. There was always something about them - I've fixated on them since the late 90's. When I found this one I knew I wanted to do something fun with it. It will get ridden a lot.

  5. #5
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    unofficial breast cancer awareness parade bike. Awesome!

    nice to see the finished product. I bet it handles like a racecar with that front end. How tall are you, btw?

  6. #6
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    Reputation: chefmiguel's Avatar
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    Looks like a fun ride
    Now With Avatar!

  7. #7
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    Love the pink, especially the Chain Keeper.

  8. #8
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    Great inspiration for me. I've been looking for motivation to put a Race Face narrow wide chainring on mine for a 1x8. I like that fork. I may get one myself

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Thanks! Flow, I am a little over 6'2. It is a pretty nimble bike with the fork. The fork is suspension-corrected to 80 mm and 410 mm in length. The top bar is basically parallel to the ground, but I do wish the bike sat just a touch higher at the front. It's minor, but when you see one with the correct suspension fork the front is a little taller. It's a minor thing though and I am happy with the bike/fork. It's a fun ride.

    Quick update - I added the top tube sticker (thanks Gil!) and a Brooks Cambium saddle. Even I have to admit the bike is now a bit over the top blingy. I can mute it down a bit with the Flite and a black handlebar, but for now I like it. Even though it does a look like a parade bike, I do intend to trail ride it fairly extensively.


    Last edited by rolondo; 12-17-2013 at 08:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    How do you like the Cambium so far? I am torn on buying one or not. I have a new to me Waterford that is going to be getting built up and torn between that and a traditional style Brooks/Ideale.......

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by datmony View Post
    How do you like the Cambium so far? I am torn on buying one or not. I have a new to me Waterford that is going to be getting built up and torn between that and a traditional style Brooks/Ideale.......
    I really like it, and I didn't think I would until I saw them in my local bike store. I have owned several B17's in the past, and my general opinion is they were heavy and a bit more trouble than they were worth. I thought I would own nothing but Flites until I saw these. The Cambium is comfortable, nice looking, and from what I can tell quite durable. Time will tell, but so far thumbs up. Kind of expensive though - that's the downside.

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