1997 Bontrager Ti Lite
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Make: Bontrager
Model: Ti Lite
Year: 1997
Size: large
Color: natural titanium
Serial Number: BT19161
Frame: tig welded titanium - Sandvik 3/2.5
Fork: 2000 Rock Shox SID Race
Headset: Chris King - 1 in. threadless
Front Derailler: Shimano XTR
Rear Derailler: Shimano DX
Rear Cogs: Shimano XTR 12-32
Hubs: DT Swiss Hugi 240
Rims: Mavic x517
Brakes: Shimano XT v-brakes
Levers: Shimano XT
Shifters: Shimano XTR 8-speed
Cranks: Cook Bros. Racing RSR 24/36/48
Bottom Bracket: SunTour w/ WTB grease guard 68x125mm
Bar: Yeti EA-70
Stem: Kore Aheadlite 135mm / 5 degree
(1 1/8 in. threadless w/ shim)
Bar Ends: Ritchey WCS
Seat Post: Kore Elite 27.0
Saddle: Serfas Arc

Bontrager's Race Litest

In an effort to make a lighter "Race Lite" steel mountain bike frame, Keith Bontrager determined that while he could do it, the final cost of the frame would be greater than building the frame with titanium. Thus was born the "Ti Lite" - Bontrager's lightest frame offering.

Actual frame construction was subcontracted out to Sandvik (now called Titanium Sports Technology or TST) who specialized in titanium frame building. The Ti Lite has most of the same features as the Race and Race Lite frames (i.e. gussets), but has a few unique features (i.e. welds in places where the steel frames have none). In the end though, the frame is unmistakably Bontrager.

In building the frame, I managed to come up with a 2000 Rock Shox SID with a one-inch steerer. That was the final year of Rock Shox's one-inch forks, and they were available in limited quantities.

To the best of my knowledge, only about 750 Ti Lites were ever built. They were only available in 1996 and 1997, and I don't believe that there were any changes made during the production run. The year that I listed my bike, 1997, is really a guess. I'm unsure how the serial numbers correspond to the builds.

So how does it ride? Well... like a Bontrager. I'm not sure that I could tell you if I were riding on a Race Lite or Ti Lite without looking down. I'm not sure that the estimated half pound weight savings (claimed in the Bontrager catalog), is that noticeable. But the frame's color sure looks nice.

-el



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