Bontrager Race for Sale in Orange County

Interesting Bontrager for sale

Our friend Cyclotourist has a Bontrager in Redlands CA that he wants to sell for a good cause (rent for the bike coöp).

Is it a Race? Race Lite? Privateer? It’s loaded with XTR, the hubs are Ringlé, and it has a Marzocchi Bomber fork (uncut steerer, new looking).

Yes, I want it.


Silver, slanted decals.


Prettiest crank I’ve seen in a while, and USA stamps on the chainring.


According to Yojimg, he of the Bontrager Info Page, tube gussets at the bottom bracket make it pretty clear it’s a Race. The head tube isn’t relieved, though, so it’s not a Race Lite.



Further, he says:

That looks to me like a size XL post-1995 made-in-Santa-Cruz Bontrager Race.  Here’s why:

1. The seat stays use the later single-piece design, which I believe dates it to 1995 or later.
2. It still has the canti-brake cable stop, meaning it’s older than 1997-98.
3. The top tube is very nearly horizontal, and the mono-seat-stay is quite long, meaning it’s bigger than a size L.
4. 1-inch steerer tube.
5. The front of the head tube is not milled, so it’s definitely not a Race Lite.
6. The rear dropouts don’t look forged (like this: so I don’t think it’s a Privateer.  Also Trek-built Privateers never came in that color or with that color of decal.  However, it could be a repaint/repowder.
7. True top-pull front derailleur (without a cable pulley to redirect 180º for a bottom-pull front) so it’s later than 1994.
8. The TT and DT gussets at the HT look a little different than others I’ve seen.  As such, it might be a Privateer, but I don’t think so.
FWIW, the serial numbers likely don’t mean squat.  The story I heard was that they literally stamped random, 4-digit numbers on the dropouts before they were welded to a frame, and just tossed them in a box.  My ’93 RL is 0423, while the ’94 Race I had before that was 2494.
Most of what I know about Bontragers can be found at

I love the idea of unique identifiers thrown in a box for future use. “Yes, they’re unique. No, they don’t represent a fixed date. Why the fuck would you care?” It’s like an ISBN. It does the job it needs to do. Don’t overthink it.

Many thanks to my awesome friends. I hope one of you buys this Race for $1000 and makes me sorry I didn’t snap it up at $600.

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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

3 thoughts on “Interesting Bontrager for sale”

  1. The internets have spoken!

    This was fun, and the crash course in Bontragerology over the last 48 hours has been awesome!

    If anyone is interested in this GREAT bike from Santa Cruz, contact the Bike BBQ and make it happen!

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