1997 Bontrager Road Lite
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Make: Bontrager
Model: Road Lite
Year: 1997
Size: x-large
Color: vegas gold
Serial Number: 615
Frame: tig welded steel - True Temper OX-III
Fork: Tange Silhouette
Headset: Chris King - 1 in. threaded
Front Derailler: Shimano Ultegra
Rear Derailler: Shimano Ultegra
Rear Cogs: Shimano Ultegra 12-27 9-speed
Hubs: Mavic
Rims: Mavic Cosmos
Brakes: Shimano RSX
Levers: Shimano Ultegra brake/shifter combo
Cranks: Shimano Ultegra 30/42/52
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Ultegra octalink
Pedals: Shimano SPD M-535
Bar: Ritchey WCS 44 cm
Stem: Salsa 90mm / 90 degree 1 in. quill-style
Seat Post: Thomson Elite 26.8
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite

1997 Bontrager Road Lite

After being a fan of Bontrager bikes for several years, I bought my first Race Lite mountain bike in July of 1998. I put many miles on that bike, and loved every one. When it came time to replace my road bike, I thought that the Road Lite was the ticket.

In late 2001 I purchased the NOS frameset from Chain Reaction Bicycles, where incidently I ended up working for a period time at a later date. Initially I moved the components from my old Scott road bike to the new frame to be sure that I liked the bike - which I did.

The bike is built with traditional European road geometry, with the exception of a slightly sloping top tube. The Road Lite was the first (or at least one of the first) production road bikes to use the new "compact" style geometry. The sloping top tube, the frame gussets, and the mono-stay rear end where all hold overs from Keith Bontrager's CX and mountain bike designs. Most of the frame tubes where shared with the Race Lite as well.

I completed my first century (100 miles) on this bike, in Solvang, CA, and completed a loop around Lake Tahoe on it as well. I enjoyed the way the bike rode. My only issue with it was that riding without hands wasn't possible due to a shimmy in the front end - I never did figure out what was causing this.

Soon after buying a Ritchey Swiss Cross I decided that there was no real reason to own both the Bontrager and the Ritchey. In my opinion the Ritchey was a better road bike (even though it's a CX frame), and I didn't expected to ride the Bontrager much any more. I sold it on eBay in late 2002, and the new owner bought it for a great price. I hope he's enjoying it, as I often wish I'd held on to the bike.

- el

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