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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:48 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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Bontrager

The name Bontrager was a real Enigma for me as a young teenager,
the first time I caught wind of this brand was stood in our local bike shop,
I was trying to sort out next seasons bike,
and the mavic rep was telling the shop owner of an American fella
that had cut and re-rolled a mavic road bike rim to mountain bike size,
making it stronger and lighter.

The shop owner was impressed and so was I.
The rep went onto tell the shop owner of the new product line following this new pattern with a rim called the ma40mb.
This was certainly for me,
a major step forward for the evolution of the mountain bike,
I enquired to the name of the guy that did the work, that man’s name was Keith Bontrager.

At this point my next bike was ordered
and the wheels were rebuilt using the ma40mb rims,
the improvement was clearly enough to change the mountain bike wheel forever. And to my mind this is forged in history.

Nearly half a season had passed and my only luck in finding out more,
was simply to buy MBA magazine
which usually showed the American product months before we could read about it in our own mags.
There never seemed to be massive adverts and big budget ads,
but man when I was fortunate to read a review or even see a picture….it never failed to impress me.

The Bontrager design and engineering went to new levels for me.
Working with kestrel, developing carbon and the first seen V brake on the 1988 totally futuristic full suspension carbon fibre "Nitro",
the development of the first production suspension fork with Turner for the then new company going by the Name of Rockshox…., Next for me were the Bontrager Forks, its use of the different materials, the bonding, and interchange-ability as well as weight,
strength and overall performance….all at the time for me totally revolutionary.


Attachments:
BONTRAGER SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA.jpg
BONTRAGER SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA.jpg [ 30.35 KiB | Viewed 1579 times ]
Bontrager.jpg
Bontrager.jpg [ 37.48 KiB | Viewed 1579 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:48 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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The Bontrager reviews I had been reading and the whispers amongst those that knew were all about "Gussets", and how he had made a frame light and yet totally bullet proof. This had to be good.

As I said at the beginning of this retrobike memory lane, for many of us at this time, it was all about strength and weight.


Attachments:
Bontrager.jpg
Bontrager.jpg [ 356.26 KiB | Viewed 1568 times ]
DEDICATED FOLLOWERS OF FASHION NEED NOT APPLY..JPG
DEDICATED FOLLOWERS OF FASHION NEED NOT APPLY..JPG [ 255.67 KiB | Viewed 1568 times ]
BONTRAGER FORKS SELF ENERGIZING FRONT BRAKE XT HEADSET PANARACER TYRES.JPG
BONTRAGER FORKS SELF ENERGIZING FRONT BRAKE XT HEADSET PANARACER TYRES.JPG [ 490.04 KiB | Viewed 1568 times ]
American Muscle.JPG
American Muscle.JPG [ 222.45 KiB | Viewed 1568 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:48 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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I was fortunate to be introduced to Lincoln and the Brixton cycles race team at this point, all of course wearing Bontrager race kit, and racing the now infamous Bontrager Off Road.

My first impression of this Race team was ….well, quite frankly shock….these guys were massive, physically fit Rasta wearing dedicated racers and the bikes they were riding were skinny svelte steel horses.

There was surely something to the rumour of the strength and weight
of these bikes especially if these fellas were racing them as hard as I had seen. They must be INDESTRUCTABLE, I thought.
And this theory for me carried on, there were never massive glossy adverts and full neon coloured brochures. No, a Bontrager was Different.


Attachments:
keith-bontrager Brixton cycles.jpg
keith-bontrager Brixton cycles.jpg [ 93.96 KiB | Viewed 1565 times ]
Industrial Grey Pearl. Obession Blue and White Panel Decals..JPG
Industrial Grey Pearl. Obession Blue and White Panel Decals..JPG [ 280.75 KiB | Viewed 1565 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:49 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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After spending time with friends who were cycle couriers, progressing from early muddy foxes then oranges, to Bontrager. When I asked why, the answer was simple.

It’s light but first, it’s strong, if you break it (which really isn’t easy) it’s fundamentally cheap to fix, and if you scratch it up, change the panel decals.


Attachments:
Much more than a mountain bike. Hardcore Uproar..JPG
Much more than a mountain bike. Hardcore Uproar..JPG [ 364.98 KiB | Viewed 1562 times ]
mIXED BY THE mAD pROFEssOR..JPG
mIXED BY THE mAD pROFEssOR..JPG [ 376.91 KiB | Viewed 1562 times ]
More than the sum of its Parts..JPG
More than the sum of its Parts..JPG [ 356.26 KiB | Viewed 1562 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:49 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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I understood these guys, they would buy one bike and basically live on it, riding it to work, riding 100s of miles on it for work and then race it at the weekends. They spent their hard earned cash only the best tools for the job, and it had to do it well. In the cycle courier game lost time costs money and no one wanted that.

The Bontrager was cool and no big budget glossy advertising was required to make it so.


Attachments:
Horizontal Droupouts Carved from 4130 steel plate..JPG
Horizontal Droupouts Carved from 4130 steel plate..JPG [ 460.31 KiB | Viewed 1561 times ]
Bulleye, Durace, Xt,.JPG
Bulleye, Durace, Xt,.JPG [ 301.07 KiB | Viewed 1561 times ]
14.JPG
14.JPG [ 256.02 KiB | Viewed 1561 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:50 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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For many it was simply Hardcore..............


Attachments:
COOKS BROS RACING.JPG
COOKS BROS RACING.JPG [ 286.64 KiB | Viewed 1560 times ]
Bonty-Salsaduo.jpg
Bonty-Salsaduo.jpg [ 88.3 KiB | Viewed 1560 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:50 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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The Off Road,

It was reported in the press at the time that "this bike was the most carefully built and well thought out steel bicycle on the Planet", (1990),

And they werent wrong, and it had a whole lot more to offer than just "Gussets".

Using the American 4130 Atx tubeset from True Temper, this frame was an inspiration for me from the first moment i laid eyes on it.....


Attachments:
The Business.jpg
The Business.jpg [ 52.76 KiB | Viewed 1559 times ]
RASTA.jpg
RASTA.jpg [ 118.62 KiB | Viewed 1559 times ]
Perfect Gussets.JPG
Perfect Gussets.JPG [ 280.47 KiB | Viewed 1559 times ]
MASSIVE MUD CLEARANCE NOT CHAINSTAY BRACE AND THOSE INFAMOUS GUSSETS..JPG
MASSIVE MUD CLEARANCE NOT CHAINSTAY BRACE AND THOSE INFAMOUS GUSSETS..JPG [ 257.66 KiB | Viewed 1559 times ]
Integral Adjustable anti chainsuck device 1990.91.JPG
Integral Adjustable anti chainsuck device 1990.91.JPG [ 235.62 KiB | Viewed 1559 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:50 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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Tig welded to Perfection, with a host of details, some of which naturally became a world wide industry standard to my mind from this point on.

The Gussets, well they speak for themselves, perfectly made and there to do a job, increasing the strength at the higher stress points by up to 60%, (headtube and chainstays) and therefore eliminating the need for a bridge joining the chainstays, affording this Off Road racer much better mud clearing capabilites and much needed due to our weather conditions here in the uk.


Attachments:
Mental Mud Room.JPG
Mental Mud Room.JPG [ 304.53 KiB | Viewed 1557 times ]
mIXED BY THE mAD pROFEssOR..JPG
mIXED BY THE mAD pROFEssOR..JPG [ 376.91 KiB | Viewed 1557 times ]
MASSIVE MUD CLEARANCE NOT CHAINSTAY BRACE AND THOSE INFAMOUS GUSSETS..JPG
MASSIVE MUD CLEARANCE NOT CHAINSTAY BRACE AND THOSE INFAMOUS GUSSETS..JPG [ 257.66 KiB | Viewed 1557 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:51 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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Add to this the fact that the Downtube is set further up the headtube, reducing the chance of the 1" headtube ovalizing under extreme abuse, and affording the frame a better turning circle for the front forks,....

To me the more i looked at this bike the more it seemed like an industrial "cycle" revolution....,


Attachments:
Much more than a mountain bike. Hardcore Uproar..JPG
Much more than a mountain bike. Hardcore Uproar..JPG [ 364.98 KiB | Viewed 1556 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:51 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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But it doesnt end there, No way, this was one of the first bikes i saw that had all top routed cables, another great factor for the uk climate, use of the roller for the ft mech cable, all designed to keep the mud out and your gears running free for longer.

The Cable guides are Riveted/bonded, saving the un-needed fatigue levels due to no heat being required and thus retaining the strength.

Little details.....like the more svelte seatbinders than had been previously seen, machined by hand, small light and none of the extra heat needed to be applied to the frame.

The trick part for me was at the rear too. A two piece wishbone set up, a thicker guage tube and indestructable brake bosses help reduce flex under braking, and the lower half from the bosses to the dropouts... a lighter guage saving un-necessary weight, added to this it had horizontal dropouts and cantilever design affording the bike massive amounts of choices for the end user (wheel bases and setups).


Attachments:
TWO PIECE WISHBONE..JPG
TWO PIECE WISHBONE..JPG [ 241.73 KiB | Viewed 1555 times ]
TRUE TEMPER TUBING..JPG
TRUE TEMPER TUBING..JPG [ 306.4 KiB | Viewed 1555 times ]


Last edited by sinnerman on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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