yesterday I got my hands on this 19” Bontrager Privateer
bikes like this seem to give off energy that is to say I’m energized by them or maybe it’s just that they don’t slowly suck the life out of me like the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of aluminum front suspension upright comfort grip shift shit bikes I’ve refurbished in the last 39 months
during that time a few bikes stand out in memory and this is one of them one that I would not be embarrassed to be seen riding in public one that I enjoyed working on and took for an unusually long test ride when it was done
the Bontrager Privateer was handmade in Waterloo, Wisconsin because Trek absorbed Bontrager bikes and cranked out sweet hard tail mtb frames in the late 90s
this bike came with blown out Rock Shox circa 1997 and non-descript aftermarket 8-speed grip shift in addition to all its trusty XT and LX derailleurs and brakes and cranks. I reached into the magic used bike part basket and came out with some XT 7 speed thumbies a Fizik saddle some big fat Odyssey pedals and a Ritchey flat bar and then walked over to the fork library and checked out an overbuilt cro moly Bianchi mtb fork which you might recall was a byproduct of that shifter demo I built a while back completely completing the recycle & reuse circle and without the hand-wringing hair-pulling old-mountain-bike-discussion-forum-consulting because I wasn’t worried too much about suspension correction and I work with what I have because I have to in any case the end result looked and felt just fine while the goofy stack of headset spacers may actually be a topic of discussion that and a few new parts (grips, tires, chain, cassette, brake pads and all cables & housing) bring the bike into 2015 ready to roll home with a new owner for only $366 at Bike Works.