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  1. #1401
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenjihara View Post
    Wonder where he got those decals?
    They're pretty easy to come by. They were designed to be be beat up and replaced as needed to save the paint.

    Those decals came on the steel bike. The Ti Lite had it's own decals that were not panel. Also, I've never seen a painted Ti Lite.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  2. #1402
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenjihara View Post
    Wonder where he got those decals?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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  3. #1403
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    Just saw this on my feed. Haven't seen one with a switchblade in a long time.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/bontrager-r...k/332478109581

    I'd be all over this if I didn't have 4 projects already going.
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  4. #1404
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Just saw this on my feed. Haven't seen one with a switchblade in a long time.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/bontrager-r...k/332478109581

    I'd be all over this if I didn't have 4 projects already going.
    Sooo... there's kind of a "no outing" policy on the vrc forum, but i guess ebay is public enough that it matters little? I'd been trying to get him to sell me the fork before he listed, but he hadn't responded anyway. FYI, frame is '92 or older and fork is from '94 and wrong length, so not quite matched. Still nice though.
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  5. #1405
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    That looks a Judy crown. Did the forks come with that crown originally? Not a bad looking setup, but it looks pieced together to me

  6. #1406
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    That looks a Judy crown. Did the forks come with that crown originally? Not a bad looking setup, but it looks pieced together to me
    It's a mag 21 crown. Bontrager made a few rigid ones like that, but quit when the Rock Shox started getting a lot of recalls for cracked crowns. Said "they didn't want any part of that."

  7. #1407
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    its looks to be a sus corrected fork, came with that crown
    looking for 20-21" P team

  8. #1408
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    My Bontrager ownership has come full-circle. Years ago, on this thread I lamented selling my Trek made '99 Bontrager Privateer Comp. Later, I bought a Santa Cruz made Race and after that an even nicer Race Lite. But, for sentimental reasons I always wanted the original one back and this weekend, 15 years later, I finally got the chance after bumping into the guy who bought it. Amazingly, it's still in the same condition I sold it. I know the Privateers don't get as much love but I love it and I'm so glad to have it back!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Official Bontrager Thread-fullsizerender-22-.jpg  


  9. #1409
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzler View Post
    My Bontrager ownership has come full-circle. Years ago, on this thread I lamented selling my Trek made '99 Bontrager Privateer Comp. Later, I bought a Santa Cruz made Race and after that an even nicer Race Lite. But, for sentimental reasons I always wanted the original one back and this weekend, 15 years later, I finally got the chance after bumping into the guy who bought it. Amazingly, it's still in the same condition I sold it. I know the Privateers don't get as much love but I love it and I'm so glad to have it back!
    The 1 1/8" headtubes on the 99 and a few 98 Privateers make them the most versatile by far.

    As far as ridability goes, I can't tell the difference between any of them, they're all great bikes as far as I'm concerned. There's some obviously nostalgia and collectability to the pre-trek frames, but if you just want a good steel bike to ride, you can't go wrong with any of them.
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  10. #1410
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    Looks great!

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  11. #1411
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    The 1 1/8" headtubes on the 99 and a few 98 Privateers make them the most versatile by far.

    As far as ridability goes, I can't tell the difference between any of them, they're all great bikes as far as I'm concerned. There's some obviously nostalgia and collectability to the pre-trek frames, but if you just want a good steel bike to ride, you can't go wrong with any of them.
    I agree regarding the ride of the privateer vs the race and race lites. I should have never sold my 98 privateer with the 1.125” head tube as it really opened up fork options. Lots of those “shouldn’t have done that” sales over the years. 

  12. #1412
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    Need a fork idea

    Hello! I have question about fork options on a race. But first I never posted on this thread so I should do an intro.

    I have one of the last races made in SC. At the time I worked in a shop we sold Bontrager and Klein before and after Trek right until the end. I know I have one of the last because I bought it from the Trek blow out fax dealers got. One fax included all the last run of SC bikes. They had road, Ti, Race and Race lights on blow out about a full year after the SC shop was closed. I actually ordered a Race lite,They shipped me a Race instead. I was pissed as I wanted a lite and was charged for it. I remember to this day a race was $179, race lite $225, Ti $350. I tired to get the order made right but all larges where taken. So I ended up with a race and complained enough they ended up refunding me the difference plus some, so I paid $150. I remember all of this because I was so proud of the deal and consider it my best bike deal ever. Frame hung on the wall of my house for a year and then I built it with a new 99 SID SL TI and XTR. The only parts left from that build are the frame, fork and headset.

    But now the fork is pretty much done and I need to replace it and I'm looking for opinions. I use the Race to tow my kids trail a bike and trailer mostly on the C and O canal path. I tossed some knobbies back on the it and hit a couple of trails with it this past summer. Forgot how much I liked hard tails and went out and bought a Lyndsky Pro 27.5. So it's not really going to be a trail bike for now, but the option to use it that way would be nice. I am thinking of going with a rigid fork. What should I get? A true bonti fork is way more than I want to spend on this bike. Or should I get a suspension fork? I've seen some out there for sale used, make sense to get one now before they are even harder to find, if that possible. So what would you do?

  13. #1413
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    Is your fork/stem/headset threaded or threadless?

    If you don't mind the look, these aren't horrible:

    https://www.carboncycles.cc/?s=0&c=82&p=887

    or

    https://www.carboncycles.cc/?s=0&c=82&p=1659

    The height isn't perfect, yours with sag is probably running close to 405mm.

    Another option something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carver-Bike...AAAOSwqMFZnGTo
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  14. #1414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzler View Post
    My Bontrager ownership has come full-circle. Years ago, on this thread I lamented selling my Trek made '99 Bontrager Privateer Comp. Later, I bought a Santa Cruz made Race and after that an even nicer Race Lite. But, for sentimental reasons I always wanted the original one back and this weekend, 15 years later, I finally got the chance after bumping into the guy who bought it. Amazingly, it's still in the same condition I sold it. I know the Privateers don't get as much love but I love it and I'm so glad to have it back!
    Awesome! I have way too many bikes I want back I sold. I dream of finding them again. There's a Fat Chance Yo Eddy out there I miss the most. I was a snob about privateers in the past, but you couldn't tell the difference riding and the steer tube size was better. These frames where still US made, just in Wisconsin, so the quality was there.

  15. #1415
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    I saw those Carvers, that's what made me think rigid. Those other forks sort of look like the bontrager fork, where the Carvers are more classic looking. How do they ride compared to a steel fork?

    I have a treadless and it was the long travel sid at 80mm.

  16. #1416
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    You might want to look for one of these Kona P2's. They're nice forks, and the straight blade matches the Bontrager aesthetic well.

    Bikeman Kona P2 Mountain Fork, 1 Inch!

    They do come back in stock there from time to time.
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  17. #1417
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    As for rigid steel forks you can have a look on the PACE RC30 (GoatSurfer Retro MTB - Pace Forks Timeline) the 1996 modell was avaiable suspension corrected as well. Still not easy to find. Good luck.

    I got myself this one on the weekend:

    Official Bontrager Thread-1f1a51b1-45ba-40a0-815c-c80b3ba0f88a.jpg

    A friend picked it up. The seatpost was a bit too large but came out without any problems.

    All the best!

  18. #1418
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    Quote Originally Posted by caemis View Post
    A friend picked it up. The seatpost was a bit too large but came out without any problems.
    LOL Glad you mentioned the seat post. I was able to ask about your saddle height.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  19. #1419
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    I didn't realize seatposts came in 700mm versions...
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  20. #1420
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    Its really long, isnt it. And the position on the bike would look pretty funny, but I assume I'll need some assistance to get on top of it
    Cheers

  21. #1421
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Is your fork/stem/headset threaded or threadless?

    If you don't mind the look, these aren't horrible:

    https://www.carboncycles.cc/?s=0&c=82&p=887

    or

    https://www.carboncycles.cc/?s=0&c=82&p=1659

    The height isn't perfect, yours with sag is probably running close to 405mm.

    Another option something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carver-Bike...AAAOSwqMFZnGTo
    Bro did you see the weight on those carbon forks? They are heavier than that steel one. I just picked up a race lite today and might build it up 1x7 and try to go sub 10 kilos. Interested in getting a rigid fork for it. So far this looks to be the best option new:
    Carver XC 410

    My guess is that there are better, lighter options from back in the day with the 1" threaded steerer.

  22. #1422
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4AM View Post
    Bro did you see the weight on those carbon forks? They are heavier than that steel one. I just picked up a race lite today and might build it up 1x7 and try to go sub 10 kilos. Interested in getting a rigid fork for it. So far this looks to be the best option new:
    Carver XC 410

    My guess is that there are better, lighter options from back in the day with the 1" threaded steerer.
    Note that the weight listed for the Carver fork is without V-brake posts, which are clamp-on and available separately. I own both forks (as yet unused), and they are clearly made with the exact same dropouts, crown, and maybe in the same factory in China.

    The Exotic 425mm carbon version of the fork with disc and V-brake posts is listed as 1060g (mine is 1087g uncut). I also have a 410mm Carver fork (938g uncut disc only). The V-brake adapters are over 100g as a pair so the weights are equivalent. Cutting the steerer should shave 100g or more, but both of these forks are already lighter than my Bontrager composite fork.

    The Carver is better because 410mm is perfect for the Bontrager frame, and the V-brake posts are bolt-on. You could certainly buy the Carver bolt-on V-brake posts and use them on the Exotic fork with no fixed V-brake posts, they use identical carbon tubes.

  23. #1423
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    Just wanted to show you all my 1991 Bontrager Race (L) w/ Fat Chance Big One Inch fork. Salsa Roller stem.w/ Chris King headset & Front Hub. Paul's Stoplight brakes,levers, rear derailleur w/ Titanium 7 speed cassette. I tried to keep it all American as I upgraded parts with the exception of the XT Thumb shifters . Weighs about 21.5 lbs. Trying to decide whether I should repaint it or just replace the decals. Also thinking about putting the switchblade back on to keep the original geometry of the bike. However the one inch is lighter and an awesome fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Official Bontrager Thread-img_0320.jpg  


  24. #1424
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    Bontrager Privateer S Build with 1x10

    Hello everyone and hoping I can begin my project here. I'll try to make this simple...
    I recently bought a 97 Bontrager Privateer S Frame and looking to build it up with modern components. I recently saw a "90's" Marin built with Sram 1x11 NX components and it looks fantastic (see pic)...
    My problem is this. What bottom bracket do I even start with to begin my project? Getting started has been difficult.. Any advice on getting a beginning plan together would be grateful.Official Bontrager Thread-1x.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Official Bontrager Thread-img_3024.jpg  


  25. #1425
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemazz11 View Post
    Hello everyone and hoping I can begin my project here. I'll try to make this simple...
    I recently bought a 97 Bontrager Privateer S Frame and looking to build it up with modern components. I recently saw a "90's" Marin built with Sram 1x11 NX components and it looks fantastic (see pic)...
    My problem is this. What bottom bracket do I even start with to begin my project? Getting started has been difficult.. Any advice on getting a beginning plan together would be grateful.Click image for larger version. 

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    You need a standard 68/73mm BSA BB.

    But, figure out what crankset you want first, then get the bottom bracket for that crankset. There are bottom bracket / crankset options from square taper, ISIS, Shimano interfaces, and 22/24/24/ and 30mm external cup BB's that will all fit this frame.

    But, really, you should probably come up with a budget and general direction you want to go with this. If you just want to get it ridable again with some decent components, you could probably get a used wheels, crankset, BB, cassette, and drivetrain on ebay and only spend a few hundred dollars. Otherwise, you could spend as much as you want as modern components will still fit this frame. The NX route would be somewhere in the middle, you'll need a 68/73mm GXP bottom bracket for that crankset. Otherwise, once you have wheels, the rest of the NX groupset except the brakes should fit. I'd get some Avid FR5 levers and whatever comparable brakes they have these days.

    One other thing, is the fork usable at all? These indy's were pretty bad even back in the mid-90's, not even sure if you can get elastomers for them these days.
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  26. #1426
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    Jestep,
    That is the answer I was hoping for and really appreciate it and your time. I understand about a budget and where I want it to look cool, so why drop so much $$..? Glutton for punishment perhaps..
    As for the fork? I have no idea except for the guy that sold it to me believes it is in good shape. He found it on ebay and does not believe it saw any use whatsoever. Total Mech type of guy.. I can replace of course..
    That said,
    I have no problem getting used on ebay but since I'm new to this I fear I'll buy the wrong part and be stuck with it, LoL.. This is why I thought starting with the BB would be the plan.. I do like the 1x concept instead of the classic 3x which I've considered and vintage is even more expensive then new!... what group do you think I should I begin to search for that would not have "new" prices and give me what I'm looking for?
    I would say that i will be using the bike for light mtn biking and city ripping. I have a DS mountain bike so it won't be hitting the hard trails..

  27. #1427
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemazz11 View Post
    Jestep,
    That is the answer I was hoping for and really appreciate it and your time. I understand about a budget and where I want it to look cool, so why drop so much $$..? Glutton for punishment perhaps..
    As for the fork? I have no idea except for the guy that sold it to me believes it is in good shape. He found it on ebay and does not believe it saw any use whatsoever. Total Mech type of guy.. I can replace of course..
    That said,
    I have no problem getting used on ebay but since I'm new to this I fear I'll buy the wrong part and be stuck with it, LoL.. This is why I thought starting with the BB would be the plan.. I do like the 1x concept instead of the classic 3x which I've considered and vintage is even more expensive then new!... what group do you think I should I begin to search for that would not have "new" prices and give me what I'm looking for?
    I would say that i will be using the bike for light mtn biking and city ripping. I have a DS mountain bike so it won't be hitting the hard trails..
    I suggest starting a new build thread for this in the vintage or 26er forum. That way this thread isn't consumed by a personal build. Can make suggestions further from there. There's a number of potential issues so would be much better for its own thread.
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  28. #1428
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    One other thing, is the fork usable at all? These indy's were pretty bad even back in the mid-90's, not even sure if you can get elastomers for them these days.
    We have 1 Indy XC and 3 Judy XCs. We sent one of them to Jerry from Hippie Tech in Garden City, Idaho. He did a very good job rebuilding it and replacing the springs. You can also get springs online for Indy XCs. We bought some for another one of our bikes and did a fork rebuild at home, and the fork works flawlessly now. If you have to replace the elastomers I definitely recommend upgrading to springs, the fork functions much better with them.
    Last edited by 4AM; 05-22-2018 at 10:05 PM. Reason: typo

  29. #1429
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    you selling that hippie tech rebuilt judy by chance?

  30. #1430
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williwoods View Post
    you selling that hippie tech rebuilt judy by chance?
    No sorry. I have it on my 1997 Privateer Comp that is converted to 1x with new rims, wide bars, and tubeless.

  31. #1431
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    You have a pic of this bike? I'm almost done with my 97 privateer and I'm doing the same with handlebar, components and wheels. Found a great retro seat on ebay.
    I'll post when completed.

  32. #1432
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    Picture

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemazz11 View Post
    You have a pic of this bike?
    Official Bontrager Thread-capture.jpg

  33. #1433
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    That is really sweet. Are those Indy XC forks? How is that holding up? My frame is in this string a few posts ago. I should have it finished this week.
    Doing the same type of build with shimano zee 1x10.. It will be more of an urban assault vehicle.

  34. #1434
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    Bontrager Privateer S Build with Shimano Zee 1x10

    She is all done. I really dig it and rides nice. Weighs in about 20 pounds and rips nicely.
    The Indy XC fork seems to be just fine at least for now...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Official Bontrager Thread-img_3203.jpg  

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  35. #1435
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemazz11 View Post
    She is all done. I really dig it and rides nice. Weighs in about 20 pounds and rips nicely.
    20 pounds? Damn that is such a light build. Sick saddle it's the same one I have on my bike, only mine has 2.5k miles of rubbing so there is barely a label left on it. Glad you went 1x. Old bikes are so nice when you choose the right modern aspects to include in them. My dad and I started a club called the Neo-Retro Cycling club where the members ride bikes that have the best of the old (steel radness) and the best of the new (1x drivetrains, wide rims, etc.). So stoked on your build man I hope you love it.

  36. #1436
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    '92 or '93 Race

    Just picked this up a few weeks ago. Always wanted a classic Bontrager. It's a '92 or '93 Race by my estimation. All parts from the original build except probably the tires which are still mid-90s. Interesting that it has a Specialized build kit - fork, crankset, rims, Prolong saddle, handlebar, and grips. Great condition.

    Official Bontrager Thread-18-05-19-11-26-36-6915-1-copy.jpg

  37. #1437
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    ^nice looking bonty! Hard to tell from the pic, but are the seat stays one piece or two pieces? That and the drops outs are two distinctive ways to date these bikes.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.
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  38. #1438
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    Yes, definitely two piece seatstays, this is way before Trek. I'll take a closer look at the dropouts, I seem to remember horizontal or vertical dropouts mean something.

    Some other features to date stamp it: block vs. slanted decals, I'm not sure when they switched, I can only tell from the online catalogs but there's a couple year gap in the ones I can find on the web. Other identifiers: bottle mounts are brazed on mine and not bonded. Cable stops are TIG welded and not bonded/riveted aluminum. Not sure when they made the switch.

    I had a friend who bought one in '93 or so and I remember it had bonded cable stops and water bottle mounts. He also set it up with the Stealth fork
    Last edited by mtbslocal; 06-03-2018 at 03:33 PM.

  39. #1439
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    The front derailleur pulley was only on the earlier race/racelites as well. I think it was around 94 when they removed it. They switched to the slanted stickers maybe a year later, so guessing late 93 or 94 on this frame.
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  40. #1440
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    I think the above date guesses are good but it looks more, to me, like an Off Road as opposed to a Race. The seat clamp is the same as the one on my fillet brazed which is built with an Off Road tube set. Off Roads also had two bends on the chain stays. Mtbslocal's look that way though it's hard to tell from the side view. That said, All the stops appear to be welded and Race style.

  41. #1441
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    Early ‘93 OR race
    looking for 20-21" P team

  42. #1442
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    Fork options - Privateer S?

    Trying to get a bike and rider out of retirement. The bike's 20 years old, but generally in good working order. However, the Indy XC elastomers are shot, coming out of the fork in crumbles. Elastomers seem to be an abandoned suspension tech, so looking for help here. Point me at an old thread if it exists (probably).

    Scanning the web and this thread gets me:
    "New bike" - not happening, other places to sink cash first
    "Replace elastomers" - I can find them, $52. Simple, but tech is dated
    "Replace elastomers with springs" - how? Can I get damping?
    "Rigid fork" - this bike will be on trails or it won't be ridden
    "Replace fork" - the dreaded 1" threaded steerer rears its ugly head. What's doable?

    My goal here is a bike suitable for trail riding. New elastomers seem the path of least resistance, but if there's a great improvement to be made, I'll consider it. For sake of discussion, let's cap it at around $200.

  43. #1443
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    What’s the axle to crown you need? I have a 1” threadless fork with carbon legs that I’m not using. It’s disc only though.

  44. #1444
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    Quote Originally Posted by polomanH2O View Post
    "Rigid fork" - this bike will be on trails or it won't be ridden

    My goal here is a bike suitable for trail riding. New elastomers seem the path of least resistance, but if there's a great improvement to be made, I'll consider it. For sake of discussion, let's cap it at around $200.
    After getting the first of my now 4 bontragers in 1994, I'll tell you that I've now essentially spent almost a quarter of a century trying to make them rigid. The only reason you "need" a suspension fork for trail use is if you're trying to keep up with a bunch of reckless, testosterone-fueled, 30-something, bros on boulder-strewn trails like you see in the you tube / go pro videos. There are other valid ways to enjoy trails. And honestly, if that's the kind of riding you want to do, the bike's geometry is going to be more limiting than anything.

    My best 1" fork is an air-sprung 2006 SID that I cut apart and re-built usind a bolt-on judy crown. That's a lot trouble though and, again, the 28.6 stancions are limiting for hard core trail riding.

    The suspension-corrected Carver forks that are available on ebay right now are one of the best, readily available, inexpensive rigid options we've ever had.

    Keeping the bonty is a worthwhile goal but unless you get lucky and find some high-end and lightly used sus fork on ebay, my personal suggestion would be to go rigid with the biggest, cushiest tire (2.5, 2.6?) tire you can fit, slow down a tiny bit, and put the savings toward a second, modern, all-mountain geo bike for crazy downhill stuff.

  45. #1445
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    If you can find a replacement coil spring set to replace the Indy type 2 setup, that might be the best option. Coil springs last and work well. That's what I did with my 95 Judy XC's when the elastomers turned to chalk.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  46. #1446
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    Good suggestions, thanks

    iamkeith - I like the "don't be a sucker for the propoganda" vibe. Not a true retro-grouch, but I may jury rig the fork for a trial and get a Carver fork. Would have to get the headset taken care of at LBS, but eBay cro-mo forks are in the price range.

    fatchanceti - looks like 410 mm, but I don't plan to switch to disc

    kenjihara - Replacement elastomers/MCUs are availalbe - would a coils be a real improvement? If so, is there any guide to swaps: size, spring rate, dampers? DIY or check with LBS?

  47. #1447
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    Quote Originally Posted by polomanH2O View Post
    Replacement elastomers/MCUs are availalbe - would a coils be a real improvement? If so, is there any guide to swaps: size, spring rate, dampers? DIY or check with LBS?
    If you go with looking for replacement fork parts, my suggestion is to avoid replacing the internals with coil springs. Elastomers have natural damping (a slow return to their unsprung state), coil springs do not. Unless you find a spring kit that included oil damping, adding a coil spring creates a pogo stick on your bike (not unlike a WalMart bike). A rigid fork would be way better than a coil fork without damping.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  48. #1448
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    Official Bontrager Thread-20180827_191241-large-.jpg

    Finally scored one of these. Have been looking forever for one. Been harder to find than switchblade forks.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  49. #1449
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    Hmmm, interesting item, can't say I've ever seen one, about what year were those made? Oh and where did it pop up from? Enjoy...they look sweet

  50. #1450
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Claus View Post
    Hmmm, interesting item, can't say I've ever seen one, about what year were those made? Oh and where did it pop up from? Enjoy...they look sweet
    Ebay. I've only seen 2 of them for sale in roughly 6 years of watching. My guess is they came out late 90's likely when the other titec made flat crowbars were being produced. I haven't been able to pinpoint an exact year on them. If anyone has the details I'd love to know.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

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