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.